By Marianne Beattie
Avril’s first interview with the press was one-on-one with Faze Magazine in Spring 2002
Deceptive, frustrating, lonely, and difficult.
“Life’s like this,” sings 17 year-old Avril Lavigne in her first single, “Complicated”, a song she wrote about dealing with people who are insincere and phony. Avril’s debut CD, Let Go, confronts her experiences with betrayal, rejection, and life’s uncertainties.
“The worst thing that ever happened to me was getting my heart broken,” says Avril. “I was 15 and I was in love and the guy broke up with me for no reason. It took me a long time to get over it. I wrote like 20 million songs about that!”
An experienced singer/songwriter and self-taught guitarist, Avril likes to write and play her guitar when she’s feeling upset. The important thing is just getting the emotions out she says, “Sometimes I have to cry it out, or vent to my best friend, or call up my mom. Once I get everything off my chest, I feel better.”
At 16, Avril left behind the comfort of family and friends in her hometown of Napanee, Ontario to begin work on her debut CD in New York. Moving on her own from a small town of 5,000 people to a city of over 18 million caused her to really grow as a person and learn more about the world. It also challenged her to continue doing life on her own terms no matter what the consequences.
“I started working with these really talented people,” says Avril, “but the songs weren’t representative of me. They started to talk about having people write for me but I had to write myself. I had to do my music.”
It was a stressful time but Avril never considered giving up. She moved to Los Angeles where she hooked up with producer/songwriter Cliff Magness, who gave her the freedom to write her own lyrics and guide the creative process.
“It was awesome to work with him,” says Avril. “I wanted to rock out and he wasn’t afraid of what the record label would think of that.”
Avril Lavigne’s triumph as an artist and a person seems to come from her no-fear-approach to the circumstances in her life, “I’m not afraid of what people think,” she says, “It’s way easier to be yourself than to pretend you’re someone else. It’s better to be truthful and honest because in the end you’ll be a lot happier.”