Avril Lavigne declared in a Web post late last year that her next LP, The Best Damn Thing, would be “fast, fun, young, bratty, aggressive, confident, cocky in a playful way … all the good stuff.”
In case you didn’t believe the “fun” part, the singer recently told MTV she had an absolute blast recording the effort (see “Avril Lavigne, Deryck Whibley Dish Details On ‘Fun, Young, Bratty’ LP” ). She didn’t labor over songs, didn’t write any serious ones — well, OK, just a few — and made sure to indulge herself throughout the process.
“This record, I’ve never had so much fun in the studio,” the singer said. “We would order food five times a day and totally pig out. We’d be drinking. I wrote ‘Girlfriend’ when I was drunk.”
Lavigne says she did her best work when she wasn’t thinking so hard about it. “With my new song ‘Girlfriend,’ the second I was singing the melody, the lyrics were coming out: ‘I don’t like your girlfriend,’ ” Lavigne said. “The chorus was written in two minutes. It took nothing. And what’s really cool about ‘I Can Do Better’ is we wrote it, and then I just ran into the booth, and I sang. I laid down the verse, and … we just used my demo [take]. It was totally different — so much fun!”
Part of what made it so easy for Lavigne to churn out the tunes was that she didn’t delve deep into her emotions to come up with subject matter — most of the songs are about fictional experiences she thinks everyone can relate to. “Everything Back but You,” for instance, is about how bad spelling can ruin someone’s day — a girl gets a postcard from a guy who meant to write “Wish you were here,” but instead wrote, “Wish you were her” (ouch). “You left out the ‘e,’ you left without me,” Avril rails, “and now you’re somewhere out there with a b—h slut psychopath, I hate you.” No mincing words (or letters) there.
“Some of the songs I wrote didn’t even mean that much to me,” Lavigne said. “It’s not like some personal thing I’m going through. They’re just songs.”
Let’s hope husband Deryck Whibley of Sum 41 knows that’s the case: The album’s first single, “Girlfriend,” is about wanting to steal someone else’s boyfriend. Still, there are a few songs on the April 17 release that serve as a reminder that Lavigne isn’t just a mall punk princess. “When You’re Gone” is the closest Lavigne has come to a love song, so much so that it embarrasses her.
“It wasn’t like I deliberately did it,” she demurred. “I was writing a slow song and that just brings out all that stuff in you, all that emotional stuff. It’s not cheesy, because I wrote it. If I was older, a professional writer coming up with all that, that would be lame.”