My Chemical Romance once cheered three times for sweet revenge. Kanye West once toasted to the douche bags and the a**holes. Avril Lavigne, like Peter Pan and Ponce de León before her, raises her cup to immortal youth — the fantasy of arrested development. You know, those idyllic years before deferred loans and divorce, when the world was ahead of us as opposed to on our shoulders. Is it so much to ask for?
“With ’17’ — the song — that’s an age that I think about a lot, or I speak about a lot with my friends,” says Lavigne, of one of the tracks on her fifth studio album Avril Lavigne. “It was such a big year for me.”
At 17, Lavigne was essentially a millionaire. Less than two years before that, the young Canadian came to New York with her acoustic guitar and sang songs for famed producer L.A. Reid, who was then the head of Artista Records. She wowed him, and from then on her career was set on a path that would lead to her being labeled the “anti-Britney,” someone who played her own songs with certain je ne sais punk and Hot Topic eyeliner. Complicated Sk8r Bois were only the beginning.
“I think that’s also what’s so great about this record,” says Lavigne. “It’s a little bit nostalgic … with the first single, ‘Here’s To Never Growing Up’. You know it’s all about your attitude and your approach in life, and I always just want to have fun with everything.”