Bif Naked Revealed On I Bificus

Rock singer's new LP addresses her impulsive romantic nature, abortion, same-sex attraction, alien abduction.

LOS ANGELES — Bif Naked falls in love a lot. Sometimes she falls so hard she gets engaged.

It was the most recent such occasion of impulsive near-matrimony that inspired "Moment of Weakness" — the first single from the charismatic rock singer's I Bificus album, released last month.

"After my marriage dissolved when I was 21, I've probably been engaged four or five times," Bif Naked said while in town to do press interviews and play a show here earlier this month.

The Vancouver, British Columbia, singer's sweet, girlish manner contrasts with her tough-girl looks — Bettie Page haircut, heavy black eyeliner extending toward her temple, a ring piercing her bottom lip, and her arms covered in tattoos. Dressed in solid black, Bif Naked sat in the conference room of her label, Atlantic Records — the same location she chose for the video for "Moment of Weakness" (RealAudio excerpt).

"I always fell in love, and I always will, which is actually fine, because I feel like I'm never gonna get jaded," Bif Naked said about the inspiration for the song. "But my last fiancé, man, that was really hard crawling back from the hole I dug for myself in that relationship. That song is for him, definitely, because it was like a moment of weakness."

The video, which is on MTV's frequent-play list, follows the performer as she roams through the Atlantic offices and startles suit-clad extras. She said she went with director Marcos Siega's concept for the video because she thought his treatment best suited the song. Plus, she added, she and Siega both have the same Schwinn bicycle, which indicated to her that they were fated to work together.

Bif Naked, 27, says she leads a straight-edge lifestyle — no

drinking or drugs — and practices martial arts. She has a rather

exotic background, having been born in India to a Canadian teenager who

placed her for adoption; her birth mother had been banished to a mental

hospital to hide her pregnancy.

A young American couple doing missionary work in India adopted her. The family moved her to Minnesota when she was 2. They later relocated to Canada, then Kentucky and finally back to Canada.

Offstage, the singer uses her married name, Beth Hopkins. But she has used Bif Naked as her stage name since she started playing in bands during her late teens.

Though "Bif" is a nickname for Beth, she said she doesn't recall exactly how "Naked" got tacked on and believes it was "a combination of me and a boyfriend, kind of how he saw me and how I saw my lyrics."

In addition to love-related themes of betrayal, heartbreak and same-sex attraction, I Bificus finds Bif Naked delving into such subjects as abortion and alien abduction. A vein of humor runs through the album, most often coming in the little details.

"I died eating french fries," she sings in the chorus of the opening track, "I Died" (RealAudio excerpt), as she recalls being dumped by a boyfriend in a restaurant. Later, on the song "Anything," she tells us her eighth-grade boyfriend, George, "peed my name in the snow." She said George calls it poetic license, insisting he wrote her name with his mitten, but she maintained the story is true.

"She's got a lot of spunk, but she's hardcore," 21-year-old fan Tina Klein said after Bif Naked and her band performed at the Los Angeles' Roxy Theatre earlier this month. "She has the coolest outlook on life, she's very assertive and just plain rocks. I learned a lot from her album, and it made me laugh."

While the LP leans heavily on high-energy rock, it also contains a few ballads, including "Any Day Now" — with Bif Naked's yearning vocal over a base of programmed keyboards — and the pretty acoustic-guitar number "Lucky" (RealAudio excerpt).

Before I Bificus, Bif Naked released the EP 4 Songs and a Poem, her self-titled debut LP and a 1997 spoken-word album, Volume 1. She co-wrote most of the new disc, her first on a major label, with her manager, Peter Karroll, whom she calls her "stage mother."

In line with the album's confiding tone, "Choatee" is what Bif Naked calls "a letter to my unborn child."

"I'm totally pro-choice," she said. "I would never be down with anyone telling me what to do with my spleen or my uterus, but at the same time, even though we, as women, make our own decisions, we're still allowed to mourn our decisions."