MANCHESTER, Tennessee — These days, Lily Allen interviews generally serve one of two purposes: talking about the follow-up to her Alright, Still album, or diffusing any of the myriad of rumors that have been popping up in tabloids and gossip sites.
So, Lils, what's it gonna be?
"I'm not gonna talk about my next album, because it's a secret," she laughed while at Bonnaroo over the weekend (see "Bonnaroo Recap: White Stripes, Police, Lily Allen Bring Heat To Already Scorching Fest"). "I actually have an apartment in New York, and I've been there trying to record. I've been working with [production duo] Future Cut again, and we've come up with some ideas, it's just not really there yet.
"I think that's a mistake a lot of people make these days, when they have a successful first album, and then the record company pushes them into rushing a second one, and I'm not interested in doing that," she continued. "The songs I've written so far are good, they just don't shout anything different to me than what the last album was like, and I'd like to do something different."
OK then! So quickly, we switch gears and get right to the latest round of gossip about her. When we last spoke — back in March at South by Southwest (see "Pete Wentz Clones Descend, Lily Allen Warbles As SXSW Gets Under Way") — the dirt was that Allen was either a lesbian, pregnant or a booze-fueled street fighter on the lam from the law (see "Lily Allen Is Not Pregnant, Is Sick Of Rumors — And Work").
But now, the rumor-mongering has gotten a little less ridiculous. First and foremost are the reports that she's an alcoholic, reports that were erroneously attributed to a MySpace message she supposedly wrote. Of course, when concerned fans went to her site to read the post for themselves, they didn't find anything, a fact that those same reports would explain away by saying that Allen's message had been erased. The only problem is that Allen said she never wrote such a thing in the first place.
"It never was on the Myspace blog. Someone made it up. We've been trying to trace it, because obviously, my publicist in England is really angry about it," she sighed. "I did an interview in Canada — I can't remember what the TV program was called — and someone, like, a journalist or not a journalist ... got a notepad out and wrote what he thought I said, and then called one of the tabloid journalists in London, and said, 'Oh, Lily just said she was an alcoholic on the TV.' So they printed it, then said I had written it on my blog — because I do write things on my blog — but it was never there ... it's just another one of those lies."
Then there's the whole "hot mess" incident, which started when Allen canceled an appearance at Austin, Texas, radio station Mix 94.7's JB and Sandy's Beach Party citing an illness — only to be photographed at several NYC hotspots the same weekend. The story got picked up again, and Allen was suddenly nothing more than a spoiled party girl who backed out on prior commitments.
Again, she begs to differ. And while she's sort of getting tired this type of thing, she knows that — for the immediate future, at least — it's an unfortunate side effect of being the girl who's not afraid to speak her mind, or live her life.
"That story's all lies. I really had the sh--s. Badly, and it's not even a joke, I was really in a bad way. But it was only like a 24-hour bug, and then the day after, I did go out for dinner with a friend of mine, and then passed by a bar afterwards, for only about 20 minutes, and then went home," she sighed. "People like to make stuff up, don't they. People used to love it when I'd say really outrageous things, and there'd always be something exciting to write about. But when there's isn't anything exciting, people just make it up."
And while she knows that her fans must be getting tired of the near-constant (and consistently bad) press coverage, Allen isn't about to apologize. Rather, when asked if she has a message for her supporters, she laughed, paused for a second, then blurted out: "Look, I'm not an alcoholic, I'm 22-years-old, and I like a drink. Big deal."