Alanis Morissette talks 'Havoc,' addiction and motherhood
And her love of purses
“I’m as shallow as you can get,” a charming Alanis Morissette surprisingly confessed at a Los Angeles event, and then proceeded to prove just the opposite.
The small gathering, held at Sonos Studios in Hollywood, featured a Q&A conducted by Billboard's Phil Gallo, with Morissette about the making of her new album, “Havoc And Bright Lights,” as well as a mini-concert by the Grammy winner.
[More after the jump...]
After 1995’s “Jagged Little Pill” catapulted the then-21-year old into the stratosphere, much of her material has been about the search for connection, meaning, and a healthy sense of self in a world that values surface, ego, and monetary success.
“After ‘Jagged Little Pill,’ the only direction to go was spiritual,” she said, adding that the overwhelming success of that album (it sold 33 million copies worldwide) had provided her the “brass ring” in terms of what we are taught to value, but ultimately she found those rewards “pretty hollow.” That experience left her asking the bigger “existential” questions and with the realization that she could use her music as a “means to an end” to explore the deeper questions.
“Havoc” treads that ground. First single, “Guardian,” addresses the disparity between the “mama bear,” fierce love she offers her new son, Ever, and the near total lack of love she offered herself. “Woman Down” chronicles the struggle women have carried through the generations. “I call it backdoor activism,” she says. “Artists are social activists whether they want to be or not.” Morissette feels it’s a great time to be a woman today. “We can be empowered and say ‘I need you’,” she said, noting that in past iterations of the women’s movement, females weren’t allowed to act as if they needed anything or anyone. “Celebrity” looks at those who see fame as a worthwhile end product.
As with her past studio albums, when she started to write the material for “Havoc,” “I [didn't] have any sense of what an album’s going to be. I just put on my helmet and hope for the best.” Morissette rarely comes in “with a lot of info” when she starts a song. The exception, she noted, was “You Oughta Know,” which came from “a desperate diary entry.”
Her greatest talent, “if I can admit to [one],” she said, is “I like taking in a ton of information and distilling it. I could speak about it for 10 hours and sing about it for four minutes.”
Admitting she’s a “big recovery junkie,” and enumerating her top three addictions as “work, love, and food,” Morissette drew a laugh when she said she no longer judges the “girly girl” side of herself that loves purses as much as music (and how: she wore gorgeous, bright red suede booties with stiletto heels). And lest she come off as too granola and only about exploring her latest emotion, she admitted a fondness for the paparazzi and gossip: “I love looking at what people are wearing. I love knowing who was just born.”
But much more importantly, as she starts a U.S. tour Aug. 25 in Montclair, N.J., Morissette says she loves that she’s finally found a “beautiful blend of personal and vocational” when her husband and son join her on the road.
She concluded the evening with lovely stripped-down performances of "Hand In My Pocket," "Guardian," and "Thank U."
News From Our Partners
- What to Watch Tonight: The Season Finales of SVU, The Middle, Modern Family, Chicago Fire, Nashville, and Criminal Minds The Weirdest, Grossest, Bestest Moments from Netflix's Hemlock Grove, in Pictures and GIFs What to Watch Tonight: SYTYCD, Awkward., and the Finales of Grimm, The Game, and DWTS
- New 'Man of Steel' Trailer: Watch Now! 'The Hangover': Retracing The Success Of A Few Crazy Nights 'Fast & Furious 6': How Michelle Rodriguez Came Back From The Dead
- 'Before Midnight' L.A. Premiere: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy Celebrate 18 Years Together (PHOTOS) Josh Hutcherson in 'Ape': 'Hunger Games' Star Lines Up Role in Psychological Thriller 'Man of Steel' Trailer: Kneel Before General Zod
- Rihanna Working on Eighth Album [Pic] One Direction to Release Fourth Book This Summer Beyonce Reveals Battle With Tonsillitis + 'Grown Woman' Choreography in Mrs. Carter Show Tour Videos
- In Pictures: The Cars of Fast & Furious Digital Multiplex: Warm Bodies and Aftershock Discover the Best-Reviewed Films in Summer Movie Scorecard 2013
- Please Watch New 'Arrested Development' In Order & Not At Once From 'Idol' Contestants To Judges? From 'Unfabulous' To 'American Horror Story'
- The Telefile - Critics' Choice Television Awards 2013: Nominees Announced The Telefile - TV on DVD: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 The Telefile - Veep: The Episode's Best Insults
- Xbox One Games Can Be Played By Multiple Users on One Console 'American Horror Story: Coven' Adds Emma Roberts 'Fast 6′ vs. 'Hangover 3′: Who Will Win the Memorial Day Weekend Box Office?
Will their collaboration yield Smith's first release in 8 years?Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Tickets go on sale on FridayTuesday, May 21, 2013
She is woman, hear her roarTuesday, May 21, 2013
Keyboardist died today of cancerMonday, May 20, 2013