This month, Avril Lavigne made her cover debut with Alternative Press. As part of our Modern Icons Issue, Lavigne was interviewed by Rico Nasty (who operates under the alter ego Trap Lavigne when she taps into her punk influences, in case you didn’t know).
In the issue, Lavigne appears alongside other beloved names in music to converse with the artists they inspired. That roster includes Travie McCoy x Jason Aalon Butler, Alice Glass x carolesdaughter, Jacoby Shaddix x Remington Leith and Greg Puciato x Rou Reynolds. Elsewhere, Girlpool, PUP, Laura Jane Grace, Jared Goldstein, Jen Malone and the Maine’s John O’Callaghan are featured throughout the issue.
Lavigne and Nasty cruised through a variety of topics in the cover story, including the challenges Lavigne faced as a woman in music and the influences she held close. In particular, Lavigne praised Alanis Morissette’s ability to conjure raw emotion and tell it like it is, no matter what others thought. It’s easy to see how that attitude bled into her own career as a musician.
“[Alanis Morissette] just fucking put it right out there,” Lavigne explains. “Looking back, I feel like she was huge and helped me realize that you don’t have to be prim and proper, or perfect, or say all the right things.”
Here, you can read an excerpt of their conversation. Check out the full interview in issue #404, available here or above.
RICO NASTY: Let’s start with the fashion because we got to give you your flowers, Avril. The cover of Let Go is iconic: The baggy pants, the hair, the highlight is everything. I know you see everyone dressing like how you used to dress now. That must be so weird. But that shit is so amazing. Did you know that [your fashion] was going to become such a staple for who came to be?
AVRIL LAVIGNE: Oh, my God, I had no idea. Even just hearing you say that and point it out… I was oblivious to what was going on. I was literally just wearing…
NASTY: …Whatever you wanted?
LAVIGNE: Yeah, and I would wear the same shit over and over. No one ever fucking does that now.
NASTY: That’s what makes you so fucking raw, bro. None of that mattered. It was all about the music with you. That’s fire as fuck.
LAVIGNE: A lot of the vintage T-shirts I was wearing [at the start of my career] were literally mine from soccer and baseball and different sports. They were the T-shirts I had as a kid for those teams I played on. And the neckties were really my dad’s neckties. It’s really hilarious.
NASTY: People always ask me who I am inspired by, and honestly, there’s been a numerous amount of times where I’ve mentioned you. Who are you inspired by? Who are the people that make your fucking eyes pop out of your head, just like, “Whoa, this person is fucking sick”?
LAVIGNE: I’d say an early influence, someone I’m inspired by, is Alanis Morissette. What I thought was really cool about her is that she didn’t hold back, lyrically. She was just angry, and had so much angst, and she just fucking put it right out there. She didn’t care. Looking back, I feel like she was huge and helped me realize that you don’t have to be prim and proper, or perfect, or say all the right things. If you’re fucking over it, or an angsty teenager, just get it out. Say it like it is.
Another one, and this is a crazy story: I met Shania Twain when I was 14. This is before I had a record deal or anything. I won a fucking contest at a local radio station to sing onstage with her. I got to sing onstage with her at this sold-out arena in Ottawa, in Canada. She gave me an opportunity to get up onstage as a young kid, and that definitely helped me in my career. And she’s someone I’ve stayed in touch with. I did an interview with her the other day. She’s so epic — like her songwriting, writing from a woman’s perspective about things we go through. Those two were quite inspiring throughout my life and had a real impact.