Avril Lavigne is back with a new album and a new outlook on life. The "Girlfriend" singer, who released her last record over four years ago, confessed that she wanted to focus on her personal life before making her latest album, Goodbye Lullaby.
The 26-year-old divorced Sum 41 vocalist Deryck Whibley after four years of marriage in 2010, and has recently coupled up with "Hills" star Brody Jenner.
Lavigne talked to Parade.com about her long break between albums and how love plays a big role in her songwriting.
Finding some "me" time.
"I've been on the road since I was 17, so it was nice to balance it out a little and be at home and do what I needed to do in my personal life and just live a little. I'm always away from everybody and it was nice to be at home and around friends for a little bit. And, of course, since I write my music, it's important to take the time to get inspiration. So I took a bit of a break. I was working on the record, but I was taking my time with it."
Flexing her writing chops on Goodbye Lullaby.
"I've always co-written on every song on my albums, but for this record, I wrote half of it on my own and co-wrote the rest and then I produced two songs, 'Goodbye' and 'For Real.' I'm a very sensitive, emotional person, so I love to write. The album is not as pop-rock as my previous stuff. All my records have been really diverse: You've got your mid-tempo and then your super pop song and then a more aggressive one and a ballad. This is the first record that is consistent all the way through, it is more of a consistent mood."
Her most important career lesson learned.
"It's really important to be yourself and be true to who you are because everything you do becomes a part of your identity. I always make sure that I am myself. I know who I am and what I want, and I've learned a lot about what works [and] what doesn't. Experience is a good thing because it helps you grow."
The theme of self-empowerment in her songs.
"It's something that was never calculated and I was never trying to do, but it is a consistent message in my music. My message has always been to be yourself and follow your dreams and don't let anyone push you around."
How her recent divorce and newfound love inspires her songwriting.
"Love affects everybody. I've definitely written about love. This album overall is about strength and it's about personal growth and it's about moving forward in life and opening a new chapter."
Connecting with her fans through Twitter.
"What's really awesome is how the Internet is today, especially Twitter. It's a really great way to connect. My fans are online and they've been really supportive and I really appreciate it. I have the most incredible fans and they've waited and been supportive and I'm really grateful for that. They're very dedicated."
The biggest misconception about her.
"I've always been a kind of shy, introverted person. When I was 17 during my first record and doing interviews, I was kind of like, 'Why do I have to talk to all these adults?' I was pretty quiet and people may have taken that the wrong way."
Dabbling in the fashion business with her Kohl's clothing line, Abbey Dawn.
"Fashion is such a big part of my music. It's cool because I've seen my style resonate with my fans and some of them come to the show and kind of go along with whatever I'm currently into, whether it's the pink streak or the black streak, or the tie."
Any fashion regrets?
"I don't really regret anything. I can sit back and look through all the photos and see how I've grown up and how my style has changed and it's kind of funny because on my first record I was way tomboy. Now, I'm 26 and I have more of a feminine look."