Avril Lavigne: ‘I’m definitely always open to love. I’m a Libra and Libras love love’

In his latest ‘At Home With’ conversation on Apple Music 1, Zane Lowe is joined by Avril Lavigne who discusses her brand new single “Bite Me”, signing to Travis Barker’s label, her love of country music and embracing diverse genres, the current prominence of pop punk, approaching the 20 year anniversary of her debut album, and her love of Billie Eilish, Machine Gun Kelly, WILLOW, and more.

Avril Lavigne Tells Apple Music About New Single “Bite Me”…
It was just time to rock again, and I have a feisty side to me. And with this single ‘Bite Me’, like, I’m in a happy place in my life, and it’s all like it’s fun and it reflects that. Even though like I’m reflecting on past stuff I’ve been through in relationships with love. Let’s face it – love’s not easy, right? And, I mean I’ve been through the ringer so like yeah I’m writing about it again…and I feel like ‘Bite Me’ is kind of about a guy wanting a second chance but not giving him the time of day because, you know, you did before… It didn’t work out, and having that self respect.

Avril Lavigne Tells Apple Music About Signing to Travis Barker’s Label…
Well, it all started with Blink 182 being one of my favourite bands. And I have admired Travis my entire career. We worked together on The Best Damn Thing on that album and he played drums. And then on this, Travis is producing, we’re writing together and we just had such a blast collaborating in the studio. Now, I’m signed to DTA Records, which is his label, and it just felt like a natural fit it and it made sense. And I think creatively, we just click, he gets me. Working with Travis, you’re totally right. Where he’s like, “Well, what do you want?” And he’s like, “Here’s my opinion. Here’s what I think.” But ultimately he’s like, “I want it to be your decision. I want you to be happy with it.” Because he gets it because he’s an artist. He’ll like to sit around, chat with me, give me his opinion and feedback. But ultimately of course I’m going to listen to him, but he’s like, “Make the decision for yourself.” So yeah, it’s been cool.

Avril Lavigne Tells Apple Music About Her Album ‘Head Above Water’…
The ‘Head Above Water’ album was, obviously I write my music and each album is reflecting at different levels and points in my life. And that one was a darker record for me, and it was heavier. And I was writing about what I was going through at that time in my life. And on this I’m reflecting, I feel we had the pandemic and I had reflected on my life in love in past relationships. But also then I started, I was kind of heartbroken. I was like, I need a minute before I have a relationship again. I need to just like focus on myself. And it was the first time in my life where I was like, I just need to do me and put me first. And so that’s where that came from. And then along the process, I found love.

Avril Lavigne Tells Apple Music About Personal Growth Over The Years and Being Open to Love…
I feel like I know myself really well now, and I’m comfortable with myself and I’m the best version of myself. I guess that’s what just happens over time. But I’m definitely always open to love. I’m a Libra and Libras love love.

Avril Lavigne Tells Apple Music About Approaching The 20 Year Anniversary of Her Debut Album and The Current Prominence of Pop Punk…
I’m coming up on my 20th anniversary next year for my first album. So I’ve been doing this professionally for 20 years. Yeah. It’s crazy. People come up to me and they’re like, “Oh my God, I grew up listening to you,” or, “I started music because of you.” And it’s super humbling and it’s really cool. And I’m stoked that pop punk music, it’s coming back around right now and people are falling back in love with it. And it’s almost in a weird way, it feels bigger than ever right now.

Avril Lavigne Tells Apple Music About Having Diverse Musical Taste and Loving Country Music…
Stylistically, I write all kinds of different music and all of my albums have been quite diverse, like with the first record. “Sk8er Boi” was a pop punk song “Complicated” was more pop rockish. “I’m With You’ is like a power ballad, and I have all those different sides to me. I love music in general… Just all kinds of different styles of music, I even like country. I have a truck and I listen to country music all the time. And I swear, the songwriting in country music, it’s so good. It’s almost just so good and they’re so brutally honest and so forward lyrically, like Mod and I were in the truck listening to country music and he is like, “Country music is punk.” It’s just so out there.

Avril Lavigne Tells Apple Music About The Consistency of Her Message Over 20 Years of Making Music…
Over the last 20 years of making music, that a lot of the songs have an anthemic girl power or whatever you want to call it, strength in it. I don’t want to be a pushover. I want to stand up and speak my mind and stand up for myself and my music. And I think that’s important to me that the fans can relate through the stuff that I’m writing about. But also turn to music for inspiration in their life.

Avril Lavigne Tells Apple Music About Being a Fan of Machine Gun Kelly…
Machine Gun Kelly is actually a really great songwriter. I met him at a friend’s concert, at a We The Kings concert. And he ran out on stage with them with the guitar. And I was like, okay, cool. And he’s so talented. I’ve seen him in the studio, gone to a bunch of his shows. He’s killing it right now. He’s a great guy. And he is talented on so many levels. He acts, he directs, he writes films. He’s a great songwriter and he’s a great performer.

Avril Lavigne Tells Apple Music About Discovering Punk Rock and Finding Her Sound…
When I first started singing I was singing in church because I was seven, and my mom was like, “Okay, she can sing. How do we get you up on stage to sing?” So I was singing in church and then I was singing at fairs around town and it was country music. And then I got to a point when I was 15, I was like, “I don’t like this music. I don’t want to be doing that. I don’t want to sing anymore, almost.” And what happened was I got into high school, I started wearing baggy clothes and growing into myself, I’m wearing black eye makeup. And my parents were like, “Why are you dressing like a dude? What are you doing? You’re in baggy clothes.” And I started then discovering, my first year in high school, I grew up in a Christian school too, sort of, for the last few years. I got into high school. I started drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, trying things. And I got a NOFX record, a Green Day album, Blink 182 record. And I was just like, “Yes.” And then I started learning guitar and figuring out how to play drums. So bands like that, when I was discovering myself, I was discovering them in music. And that was a really important time for me. That was a decision of do I continue singing at these country fairs and church? At the time I was just growing out of that and not feeling that. And then I got into high school and got CDs and were borrowing CDs and discovering new music, and I discovered bands like that. And then I started writing in my bedroom. I slowly learned how to play guitar on my own, and then eventually wrote the record that I made, which is probably just influenced by all of it. My first record.

Avril Lavigne Tells Apple Music About The Power of Billie Eilish…
She’s so unique and powerful and special. It’s so great to see someone young like her songwriting, involved in the songwriting and not following a trend, but doing her own thing. Her and her brother created together. They had a unique sound. It was very her. It hit with people and I mean, she’s cool. She looks cool. She’s funny. She’s hilarious when she talks. She’s really smart. I think there’s been… When someone young can tap into what they’re going through and really get that raw emotion and lyric out, it resonates with people. And that’s what Billie was able to do.

Avril Lavigne Tells Apple Music About Being a Huge Supporter of WILLOW…
It’s really cool seeing another woman come into this lame of music and it’s so male-dominated and she’s so creative. I love her. It was really fun working with her. She’s so sweet and she’s out there kicking butts. I’m a huge WILLOW supporter.

Avril Lavigne Tells Apple Music About YUNGBLUD…
He’s awesome. And he’s so full of… He is so insanely talented. I don’t even know if people realise how incredible of a singer he is. I performed “I’m With You” with him. We did an acoustic version of the song. And he sang that song… His voice is beautiful. He’s so talented. On the piano… We were in the studio and he was just all over the piano, drums, everything, his songwriting. But he’s great. So “Fleabag” is his new single, and that song’s dope. I dig it.

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