Avril Lavigne would like you to think that she has a donkey.
The singer is currently living out in Malibu, a mostly peaceful place just west of Los Angeles. It reminds her of her home in Canada, not because of the sun or the waves but the “country vibes” and rolling hills. Her neighbours, she tells me, have a donkey, and she winds herself into hysterics trying to explain what noise he makes: “He doesn’t bark, he just makes noises. He yelps. Squeaks. Talks? It’s so funny,” she adds: “I don’t personally have a donkey, but write that in the article. ‘Avril Lavigne puts out new single ‘Bite Me’, moves to Malibu and gets a donkey.’”
Lavigne might not have a donkey all her own, but it’s clear that she’s in a great place right now – Malibu, but also personally. Now 37 years old and on her seventh album, she has settled into her place in the world: “I’m really grateful to still be doing what I love and to have a musical outlet. I’m having so much fun with it all, and I guess you can tell,” she says. “I’m not just putting out another record to put out a record, I’m making music this far into my career because I truly want to and it’s just such a big part of my life. I’m so excited to still be doing my thing.”