Alanis Morissette talks Bieber, fame and new acoustic tour

Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette

, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:29 PM ET

Get ready for a heavy dose of Alanis Morissette next year.

To honour the 20th anniversary of her mega-selling breakthrough album, Jagged Little Pill, the 40-year-old singer-songwriter will release a covers album featuring some as-yet unnamed artists (we asked, but she wouldn't crack) tackling her most famous record, a Jagged musical earmarked for Broadway, and an nearly completed memoir.

And don't think for a second that it's all about nostalgia next year for the 16-time Juno/seven-time Grammy winner – she's also working on a new album, which is currently pencilled in for mid-2015 release.

"I have 13 new songs, which are in the very beginning stages," Morissette says. "I'm excited about it. I have so much I want to say right now."

Chatting down the line from Los Angeles, she also had a lot to say to QMI Agency about her current acoustic tour (which touches down at Casino Rama in Rama, Ont., on Friday night and the Colosseum at Caesars in Windsor, Ont., on Sept. 26), the crazy times in the mid-'90s, being a parent on the road (she has a three year old boy with husband/rapper Mario “Souleye” Treadway), and her thoughts on that problem-plagued dude from Stratford, Ont.

How are the shows going so far?

They're going really well. It's much more vulnerable and intimate. I love the idea of being able to hear a pin drop in the middle of a song. There's so much more onus on the vocal performance because there's no way for me to hide behind anything.

It's almost like being in the living room with my buddies, in a way (laughs).

As a parent myself, it is sometimes difficult to get out of the local grocery store without an issue. How do you manage parenthood on tour?

If there was a period of time where I was focusing on 17 things at once, now I'm focusing on 37 at once. It's just a little harder on my body and my sanity (laughs). I have to up the ante on my self-care practices.

So no after-parties?

Unfortunately, no. Although, I definitely went through a phase where I was ripping it up, so to speak. However, even during my 20s, I really didn't party that much. I think my work addiction circumvented any overly wild ways.

If your son Ever decided to get into the music business, would you encourage it?

Yes, I would. I just wouldn't encourage him being in the entertainment industry very early. And how I distinguish when I believe is too early for a young person to be in the industry is when they're doing something fun and it segues into not being fun and they are six (laughs). That's not appropriate... that's actually abuse.

Is it easier or harder to crack the music business these days?

I think it's easier to be expressed and share, which I love. It used to be gate-kept by the record companies and it created a lot of dysfunctional relationships because there seemed like there was only one route to share your music publicly, whereas now you can do it in your living room, post it up on YouTube and you're technically in the music industry. However, if you have a hyper-fame fantasy, you still have to go the traditional route.

What is your best or worst memory from those days?

I remember landing in Singapore and there being 40,000 people at the airport waiting for me. I got off the airplane, down the steps and walked through this maze of people, some with scissors, that started cutting pieces of my hair off. It was overwhelming. I remember hiding in my hotel room on that tour for Jagged. I couldn't leave because there would be people hiding in the hallways. I also remember walking by window in my hotel room and my shades were drawn but my shadow hit them and all I heard outside was this huge roar. I quickly saw that the idea of fame was its own monster – it was almost had nothing to do with me, in a way.

I guess you have some sympathy for Justin Bieber?

It's very difficult because when you're that age you're trying to define yourself, trying to find out who you are, what your values are and what you believe in. You're supposed to be experimenting. It's a time when you're supposed to be trying on red, blue, yellow, green, you know? Seeing what works for you and finding out what integrity even means. All of this happening in the public eye while you're being hyper-judged, hyper-accessed... it's not the ideal environment to be cutting your teeth on. It's a very unusual circumstance to be famous, while you're in the early stage of development... I still have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) from it.

Twitter: @johnwillms

John.williams@sunmedia.ca


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