In a new interview, Alanis Morissette reflects on the loneliness she experienced after being catapulted to global fame 25 years ago. She also looks back on the grammatical inconsistencies contained in her hit single ‘Ironic’.
Alanis Morissette joined Brian Hiatt for the latest edition of the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast. Morissette’s third album Jagged Little Pill came out just days after her 21st birthday. It would go on to sell more than 33 million copies worldwide and make Morissette one of the biggest names in contemporary music.
Asked what advice she’d give her younger self, Morissette says she’d focus on finding a stronger support network.
“It was pretty lonely,” she says. “And during that time every festival I participated in, it was like 72 male bands and Alanis Morissette. It got to a point where a lot of them didn’t know what to do with me. Like, ‘Ok, we’re not going to have sex with her, we’re not going to pay her. What do we do?’ My answer was, nothing, just chat with me.
“So I tried making a lot of friends and it just didn’t quite work out, because it was such an unusual circumstance . . . I have a little sadness when I say that even right now. I tried – I don’t know where they were.
“You know, I had this bill of goods sold to me that I think the entire planet had sold to them too about fame, which is fame is going to solve all your problems. You’re not going to be lonely – you’re going to be loved up. And that’s not what happened.”
The conversation then turned to ‘Ironic’, the third single from Jagged Little Pill. The track’s lyrics recount a string of bad luck events – e.g. rain on your wedding day, a no smoking sign on your cigarette break – none of which are examples of irony. Morissette certainly isn’t oblivious to the grammatical incongruity. In fact, the song is skewered in Diablo Cody’s Jagged Little Pill Broadway musical.
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“Diablo Cody just nailed it,” Morissette says. “That song was so not precious and I didn’t even want it on the record. I wasn’t that precious about it, and I came to realise later that perhaps I should’ve been.”
Morissette’s new single ‘Reckoning’ is out now. Her next album, Such Pretty Forks in the Road, is due on Friday, July 31st.