Avril Lavigne has gone through a few changes since she released her last CD three years ago.
The 21-year-old Lavigne is now married (to fellow Canadian rocker Deryck Whibley of Sum 41). She's also a certified actress, having made her film debut in last year's flicks "Fast Food Nation" and the animated "Over the Hedge." And she's gone glam, ditching her tomboy duds for gowns and heels in high-profile modeling gigs.
But anyone concerned that the pop-punk princess had lost her edge will find reassurance in the title of her latest album: "The Best Damn Thing." And there's more attitude throughout the CD — the first single, "Girlfriend," is about taking someone else's guy.
It was Lavigne's edgy, tough-girl persona (along with the rock ditties she co-wrote) that helped to set her apart from the rest of pop's divas when she made her debut at 16 with her first album, 2002's "Let Go." It sold millions, as did her follow-up, 2004's "Under My Skin."
Now, with her third disc, Lavigne is picking up where she left off.
The Associated Press: It's been awhile since your last album. Why the break?
Lavigne: ... I just wanted to kind of take a break and live my life. I worked on a couple of movies, got married, and then I went into the studio and because I write my songs it takes much longer for me to work on my album. I took my time with the album. I didn't want to rush it, I wanted to make sure it was really good ... I want to make sure I have time for myself to enjoy myself to enjoy life, because I've worked so much in my life.
AP: How has getting married changed you?
Lavigne: I don't feel like marriage has really changed me that much; just personally, in my personal life, I'm really happy.
AP: You're new album is very upbeat — does that reflect your mood?
Lavigne: Well, a lot of my inspiration for this record came from tour(ing), and me realizing what songs I like to play live the most ... I had this vision for this record; my vision was to make a fun record all the way ... energetic, poppy and catchy but still a rock record, so that's what I did. So I went in the studio and had a really good time, and the songs are so me, and it's fun, it's like a party CD ... it's like a summer CD, that's what it's like to me.
AP: Your husband worked with you on two songs — had you two always planned to work together?
Lavigne: No, I didn't plan on working with Deryck. I had written two songs with my friend Evan and they are kind of in the pop-rock vein and I thought he'd be perfect for it. He was producing his record, so he was already in the studio. I'm glad he got to be a part of it. We have very similar styles and we like a lot of the same music, and he's really good.
AP: You've started acting — is that something you'd always wanted to do?
Lavigne: (I) basically started acting when I was younger. I was in the school plays, singing and stuff and then I got a record deal. The singing thing worked out. I just wanted to try it again and be creative in any way I can. I am looking forward to getting a great movie and working on a good project. I believe in myself and I know that I can, so I want to. It is a matter of me finding the right project, something that really speaks to me instead of just jumping into something. I make sure I am selective and careful with what I do. I have to be extra careful because I'm going to be really judged.
AP: You've actually done high-fashion modeling spreads — a big change from your tomboy image. How are you evolving fashion-wise?
Lavigne: As I've gotten older, I appreciate fashion a bit more and experiment a bit more. Now I am at the age where I will wear a dress. Before I didn't want to. I'm a casual dresser but I love clothes, shoes, everything. I have done a few fashion spreads in Harper's Bazaar, W and all that stuff just to try it out, but I don't actually dress like that. Once in a while I'll put on a dress maybe if I am going to a premiere or something.
AP: People kind of have an image of you as a very spunky, in-your-face kind of girl. Have you mellowed at all?
Lavigne: I've changed a ton, I've grown up, I'm wiser. I'm still the same girl. I'm just an older version. I've always been honest and I've always totally been me. Been outspoken. I'm not a butt-kisser. I'm true to myself, and I think that is what a lot of the fans liked about me.
AP: You say you plan to start a clothing line — so many stars have one. Why did you decide to do one now?
Lavigne: Now I love clothes, and I feel like I have all these really cool ideas. It's something creative to do. It would totally be one of those things where I'm coming up with all the ideas. It would be how I dress. ... My whole thing is I love black, I love Dickies, I like Converse, I will wear heels once in a while, anything with a skull ... anything with kind of a rock 'n' roll vibe is what I wear.