NEW YORK - Alanis Morissette is a rainbow of raw emotions. Over the years, we've seen her grow from a feisty 21-year-old to a creatively Zen wife and mother at age 38. Through it all, she has sold more than 60 million albums and broken down barriers for young female artists in the process.
Morissette recently releases her eighth studio album, Havoc and Bright Lights, after a four-year hiatus.
Question: You grew up in the public eye. Do you feel this endears you to people or draws more criticism?
Answer: Probably both. If someone is resonating with what they see, they are probably going to think I'm a genius. If what they see they judge as horrifying, they'll think I'm an idiot. That hasn't really changed.
Q. Your albums are very personal. Is it hard to be transparent as an artist?
A. To be transparent in song is very easy for me. I don't mind offering my life up as a case study. The challenge has been applying the courage that it took to be authentic in my songs to my day-to-day life. I used to be upset, go into the studio alone and write a song, thinking that would take care of everything. Eventually, I had to actually buck up.
Q. Jagged Little Pill was a juggernaut of an album that defined a generation. How do you look back on that record?
A. It's impossible to top, and chasing it would be ensured suffering. But my ego is flattered by the album's longevity. Women were taken more seriously in terms of record sales and radio play. The wave was happening, and I was riding a surfboard on the crest.
Q. Does Havoc and Bright Lights refer to the negatives and positives of life?
A. I'm a Gemini by trade, so I'm obsessed with wholeness. I don't want to be good, I want to be whole. I love the dark because it's alluring to me. The light is alluring and scary, too. I will always explore both sides, I can't help myself.
Q. What can fans expect from your live shows?
A. Expect every emotion. At the end, I'm rung out from exploring frustration, rage, joy, bliss, infatuation and lust. The set list is all over the place, featuring songs from the last 17 years. There's this timeless line that runs through them all, and somehow they work really well together.