Avril Lavigne reflects on early career: "I just wanted to rock out...I didn’t want to be all bubblegum pop"

Avril Lavigne
(Image credit: Mark Horton/Getty Images)

Avril Lavigne has reflected on the challenges she faced in her early career, specifically the pressure she felt as a woman in a male-dominated industry, and as an alternative artist in a landscape overly saturated by pop music.

In conversation with The Guardian, the Canadian pop-punk vocalist opened up about her desire to not write "bubblegum pop", especially as an angsty, rebellious teen fresh out of education.

“I was getting out of high school and I just wanted to rock out,” Lavigne explains. “I want loud guitars, I want live drums … I want to write about the crazy stuff, the insane emotions, the good and the bad.

“I was very clear on what I wanted to do and what I didn’t want to do. I wanted to be angsty and to sound more like a band; I didn’t want to be all bubblegum pop. I wanted to turn my emotions into lyrics. I was honestly just very, very pure.”

Speaking of the struggle to create the type of music she wanted, especially as a woman in an industry over-run by disagreeable men, Lavigne noted that the music executives "didn’t care what I had to say. They had their own style and didn’t bother to look at me and try to let me lead.”

Lavigne recently returned to her original punk roots for her new Travis Barker/John Feldmann-produced album Love Sux, which arrived back in February via DTA / Elektra. 

Just over a month ago, the alt star surprised audiences at her show in Toronto's Massey Hall on April 29, with an onstage collaboration with singer-songwriter sensation Olivia Rodrigo on her 2002 debut single Complicated.

Lavigne is currently playing a handful of Canadian headline dates before hooking up with Machine Gun Kelly's Mainstream Sellout tour. 

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.