Avril Lavigne talks tour that visits McKees Rocks Aug 20, 2019 3:00:53 GMT
Post by Jimmyzz on Aug 20, 2019 3:00:53 GMT
Avril Lavigne talks tour that visits McKees Rocks
By Scott Tady | Posted Aug 17, 2019 at 5:00 PM
MCKEES ROCKS — Taking several years off did Avril Lavigne some good.
Though the former pop-punk princess is ready to rock again, supporting a newer sound on a fall tour that visits the Roxian Theatre in McKees Rocks on Oct. 8.
In a phone interview last week with The Times, Lavigne said she’s not nervous about hitting the road again after a lengthy layoff.
“I’m excited and really grateful to be able to get back on tour,” Lavigne said. “It felt good to step away from it for a few years. But I’m happy I’m working again and writing music and recording and putting out music and going on tour with my band.”
If you saw her 2008 show at Duquesne University’s Palumbo Center, you’ll recall a stage awash in vivid pink and black hues.
Lavigne is just now planning the look and feel for this tour, but the “Complicated” and “Sk8ter Boi” singer assures it will be eye-catching.
“I’m going to step it up with my costumes. I’m excited about that,” she said. “I’m working on the wardrobe now, and meeting with a dress designer.”
She likely will tie in something visually with her new single, “I Fell in Love With The Devil,” which has a music video where she’s driving a hearse, laying open-eyed in a coffin and playing piano in the woods in a red gown with a long train.
“I’d been planning that video for two years,” Lavigne said. “It’s this mysterious video, where I make a decision to walk away from someone who’s not good for me.”
Fans are left to wonder if ex-hubby Chad Kroeger, singer for Nickelback, or someone in the four years since their split was a lyrical inspiration.
“It’s a song that’s very empowering, which is a theme on this new album. It’s about being in a relationship — a crazy relationship — but ultimately knowing my worth, staying strong and confident, and not going to let them take advantage of me. I think we’ve all been there. Or many of us have.”
Hopefully her current relationship status is closer to another of her new songs, “Goddess,” where she praises the guy of her dreams (“he thinks I’m sexy in my pajamas/The more I am a hot mess/The more he goes bananas.”)
Has she found a man like that?
“I’m on my way,” Lavigne said with a laugh.
At 34, she knows not to take any guff, like when she encountered a guy who called her a dumb blonde.
“That was said to me, and I immediately thought that’s definitely a great song title,” said Lavigne, who got busy co-writing “Dumb Blonde,” a sassy snapback on her new album with spot-on lyrical help from Nicki Minaj
“We wrote it about women’s empowerment. And that it’s OK to be a girl and have an opinion. And not let someone talk down to you,” Lavigne said. “Though it’s a fun song, and not so serious.”
Released in February, her sixth studio album, “Head Above Water,” came out of the gate serious with the piano ballad title track, also awash in strings and synth, addressing Lavigne’s battle with Lyme disease.
“I’ve heard it’s been an inspiration,” she said. “It was written about my health but a lot of different people could relate to it on a number of different levels. I didn’t hold back on this album. I dug deeper. I said I’m going to be vulnerable and put it all out there and be ready and just go. I hoped that would be inspirational.”
She carried over the vulnerable theme by posing for the album cover naked behind a strategically placed acoustic guitar.
“I didn’t mind doing that,” she said. “We were doing a photo shoot and I was changing my costume and said, ‘Quick, bring me a guitar.’ And I just posed behind it. That was really cool. It does symbolize the album’s theme of just being yourself and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. I think it works. It’s different for me.”
The album sounds different, too, from her spunky pop-punk days early in her career.
“There’s not as much electrical guitar and loud, loud drums. The vocal is the lead part of each track,” she said. “It’s all about the vocal performances. There’s a little padding in the production, but not too much. The idea was to have more fun vocally.
“Record companies kept warning me to do what I already had been doing. But it was time for me to go and try other stuff,” Lavigne said. “I feel like I went back to my roots, before my first record came out. I grew up singing in church and performing country music at country fairs in Ontario, that’s when I was 7. But then as a teen, I really got into Green Day and NOFX, because that was more like what I had become.”
She’s still got that punk-pop rock vibe mixed in her musical DNA, and it’ll rise to the surface when doing older hits like “Girlfriend” or “Sk8er Boi.”
“That’s a part of me,” she said. “The new songs are another side of me. It was cool singing the older songs again at our band rehearsal. I really enjoyed that. It brought back so many really great memories I have tied to those songs, and I think the audience will feel that way, too.”
If fans enjoy the show enough, they might buy a tour shirt, which Lavigne also is helping to design.
One of her ideas for 2019 concert T’s plays off her new song “I Fell in Love with The Devil.”
“It’s kind of gothic,” she said.
The Roxian show marks her first Pittsburgh area appearance since supporting the Backstreet Boys at the Burgettstown amphitheater in 2014. She was part of Star 100.7-FM’s O Starry Night holiday show in December 2013 at the Petersen Events Center, also with Backstreet headlining.
Lavigne hasn’t headlined Pittsburgh in 11 years, but she still knows how to stoke Steel City pride.
“When I think of Pittsburgh, I think of the Penguins, from growing up watching hockey and playing hockey,” she said. “I’m really excited to return to Pittsburgh, happy to be back on tour, and grateful just being able to perform again.”
Tickets for the Oct. 8 show cost $60.50, with VIP privileges climbing to $255.50. With each purchase, $1 will be donated to The Avril Lavigne Foundation, supporting people with Lyme disease, serious illness or disabilities.