The world’s introduction to Avril Lavigne was far from run-of-the-mill, and more in the realm of discovering a wunderkind in 2002.

“Complicated,” her first single and music video, ran down the details of young love, punctuated by fun and silly whims. Lavigne (then 17-years-old) played guitar, was noticeably funny and impassioned, with a pop-punk persona that trumped a sex-sells image. Wearing a white t-shirt and tie, the triple threat of chanteuse, songwriter and musician sang the high-spirited song with a fresh, audacious energy that grabbed and held her fans’ attention.

Couple that energy with palpable vocals, in-your-face lyrics, a believe-in-yourself mentality and organic sounds, and we have just scratched the surface of Lavigne’s successful appeal. The award-winning performer, who many critics deem a musical maverick, would say her real strength lies in never holding back and having creative freedom.

“I have always stayed true to myself and made the music that I wanted to make,” Lavigne responded when asked about how she sees herself as a singer. “I write from the heart and I do what makes me happy. My fans are amazing and have always supported me through the process and that keeps me going. To know that I have such loyal, amazing fans that want to keep hearing my music is truly inspiring.”

The small-town girl turned musical maven has quite a career trajectory at only age 29, already reminding us that her infectious reach knows no bounds. Global stardom befell her after 2002’s six-time platinum debut album, Let Go, followed by a slew of more platinum records and international anthems including “Sk8er Boi” and “Girlfriend.” And along her journey fraught with a myriad of Grammy nominations mixed with personal and gratifying strides, Lavigne’s tried-and-true fans have never been shortchanged. The petite performer is still commanding audiences to jump into frenetic mosh pits and crowd surf everywhere, not to mention have the time of their lives, even if only ephemeral.

With renewed purpose, Lavigne gave the backstory on her upcoming self-titled album arriving on Nov.5 to GALO. The singer also shared her musings on moving forward in the musical world, and how philanthropy and fashion have been her life’s muses.

GALO: As a multi-talented songbird, this fifth studio self-titled album marks your return to the commercial and commodity side of music. In terms of your influence and the music itself, your presence seems to have never left the rock world. But taking a two-year break since your last project must have allowed you some time to soul search and carefully plan your reemergence. Where did you draw inspiration from for your forthcoming album, and what themes do your songs speak to? We imagine that your collaboration with Marilyn Manson on “Bad Girl” makes way for a heavier sound, and your duet with husband, Chad Kroeger on “Let Me Go” might be about romance. Are those statements fair to say?

Avril Lavigne: [The statements] are definitely fair to say. I really wanted to go deeper with this record and try things from different genres. Some of the themes that I have never tried before were really exciting for me. I am really excited for people to hear the new songs.

GALO: Speaking of statements, your new single “Here’s to Never Growing Up” has a great line: “Singing Radiohead at the top of our lungs, with the boombox blaring as we’re falling in love.” You co-wrote that song with Kroeger, talking about the jovial wants of staying young. Tell us about the theme behind that song off your upcoming Avril Lavigne LP.

AL: “Here’s to Never Growing Up” is about just that, staying young and wanting to do all of those things you did when you were younger. It’s a fun, upbeat song that you can just blare all summer long!”

GALO: With such snappy choruses (your “What the Hell” single off of 2011’s Goodbye Lullaby comes to mind,) heavy guitars and high-spirited melodies, your songs epitomize what it means to have fun and live in a certain moment. Your music seems to be a study or exercise in emotions: wildly playful voice, straight-talking lyrics and relatable subject matter. Your powerhouse voice almost feels like an instrument in so many of your songs. Would you agree, and what other instruments were an anchor for this this soon-to-come album?

AL: We used a lot of guitar, piano, some electronic stuff, and some stripped down vocal stuff. This record is pretty diverse. I really wanted to play with some new sounds, and go deeper into different themes and sounds.

GALO: You said this upcoming project is a follow-up to 2011’s Goodbye Lullaby, an album fraught with such appealingly heartfelt and vulnerable tracks. You wrote on your Web site about the intense journey of doing your last record. “I pushed myself and didn’t hold back,” you said of your last album featuring acoustic guitar, piano and orchestra-heavy songs. Can you please expand on the specifics of this new record’s relationship to your previous record? What about the last record influenced your new creation?

AL: I was completely vulnerable on the last record. I really put it all on the line with my songs and didn’t hold back. This record is similar in a way that I am not holding back by taking chances with these new sounds. I wanted certain sounds for my songs, and I just went with it.

GALO: Needless to say, since arriving on the scene at the age of 17 as a self-professed “pop-punk tomboy,” success has followed you everywhere. You have a very impressive list of accomplishments: the 6X platinum Let Go debut album, several international hits including “Complicated” and “Girlfriend,” eight Grammy nominations, more than 30 million records sold worldwide, etc. Many artists can lose themselves along the road, but you never seem to have succumbed to that. As all artists go through bumps in the road before amassing accolades and recognition, what was the turning point for you when you knew that you had arrived or that you had staying power? When did you hit your stride as a musician, and how are you moving forward?

AL: I don’t know that I have “arrived.” I always push myself to work harder, and to keep creating because as a musician, it’s what fuels me. I think that when you say that you have “arrived” or “made it” that you can get lazy. I never take for granted my fans or my successes or failures because I always want to keep going, keep creating and moving forward. My fans are why I’m still here. I want to make music that people love — that they can relate to and that tells a story.

GALO: And alongside your slew of hit songs that have turned many of your core fans on their ears, you are an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Your Avril Lavigne Foundation is doing incredible things in helping young people with serious illnesses and disabilities; you have a burgeoning career as a fashion designer with your Abbey Dawn clothing line. How has becoming such an altruistic force and fashion maven influenced your life? How has it made you into the person you are today?

AL: I always wanted to have a fashion line! I wanted to create something that I could wear and that people could be comfortable and stylish in. There are so many awesome hoodies, heels and flats that are day-and-night wearable. The Avril Lavigne Foundation was also something that I felt a huge calling for. I wanted to give back in so many ways and through working with different organizations, so it made sense to me to start my own foundation. I love seeing the smiles on kids’ faces when they get to do something fun! We have a Rockstar program at Easter seals and have also started camp S.T.A.R.S, which sent 50 kids to camp this year that otherwise wouldn’t be able to [go].

GALO: Do you have any new fashion or foundation events or projects coming up? Have you thought about starting another type of business or organization?

AL: I currently am running my birthday party campaign for The Avril Lavigne Foundation with right now. You can go online and win a trip to meet me and come to my CD release party! And I would love to continue acting and have a more serious role. It’s my next goal!

GALO: We know that you performed at the iHeartRadio Music Festival Village in Las Vegas on Oct. 21. Do you have an official tour in the works? If so, what can fans expect from it?

AL: I have officially announced my China, Japan and Southeast Asia tours. They start in February, and I can’t wait for the fans to hear my new songs and play my classics for all the die-hards. It’s awesome to hear everyone sing along to songs like I’m with them.

Avril Lavigne’s self-titled album is set to be released nationwide on November 5th, 2013. Currently, the album is streaming on iTunes and iTunes Radio and is available for pre-order.

Video Courtesy of: Epic/

Video Courtesy of: Epic/AvrilLavigneVEVO

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Featured image: Pictured: Singer Avril Lavigne. Photo Courtesy of: Epic.