As Avril Lavigne's tour behind Under My Skin touches down in Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia this week, her fans in these countries can rest assured that while the Canadian songstress won't be talking about her love life to them, she will be performing the hits they want to hear. No matter how much she hates playing them.
"I don't understand the bands that are like, 'We are not playing that single,' " Lavigne said. "Sometimes I cannot stand playing 'Complicated,' but what makes it worth it is when I do play it the crowd gets really excited."
One way Lavigne is trying to keep things fresh and lively is by picking up some new instruments. "I got a set of drums growing up that we got for Christmas one year and so I always knew how to play them a little bit," she said. "I usually have someone like [songwriter/producer] Butch Walker come out and sing and I'll play the drums. I play the piano on a bunch of songs. I do some songs by myself on acoustic guitar and then of course I play electric guitar during other songs. So I'm all over the place."
While she is all over the place on tour, Lavigne admits that she leaves herself phone messages back home when she gets song ideas (see "Avril Lavigne To Start Her New Album At The Sound Of The Beep"). It's when she's not touring, though, that the ideas really start to flow. "When I'm out on the road and I'm working I'm not that inspired to write," she explained. "It's kind of when I get home and I don't have anything to do [that I get inspired.]"
Under My Skin started to take shape in Los Angeles about a week after her tour in support of her first album ended. During the seven months Lavigne spent writing music, her life was more complicated than when she was on the road, though. First she had to learn how to deal with the unavoidable L.A. paparazzi. Her solution was to greet them cheerily with her middle finger raised as often as possible. "I don't want to flip through pages and see things like press making up stories about the person that I'm with or stuff that's going on between us that's not going on between us. That happens to a lot of celebrity couples," she said, promptly shutting down any chance of asking about the status of things between her and Deryck Whibley from Sum 41.
The second challenge was harder for her to deal with. Without bodyguards, tour managers and assistants who have assistants, she had to do things for herself again. Without a car there to shuttle her around she said she decided to rent a ride herself. "I have no idea what the hell I'm doing but I'm going to learn all the freeways. I remember having to drive to the studio one time, to record one of those songs with Don Gilmore, and I got so lost. I pulled into the gas station totally crying," she recalled. "I didn't know where I was going."