Q&A: Alanis Morissette

Singer Alanis Morissette has never been one to hide her feelings, and she's got a whole new album's worth of them on "Flavors of Entanglement." She spoke to Jac Chebatoris:

Let's just get it out of the way: how do you feel about your ex-boyfriend Ryan Reynolds's engagement to Scarlett Johansson?
[Laughs] I'm really happy for him.

Wasn't your record originally supposed to come out on the same day as hers?
My album release date has been moved five times, so I wasn't even aware of what dates were what at this point.

You strike me as someone with a Zen quality.
I just did a tour with [Matchbox Twenty's] Rob Thomas, and he kept saying that whenever I wasn't with him, his imagining was that I was levitating somewhere, meditating. Cut to we had the most debaucherous, entertaining, hysterical time together, so they were the first to say that their perception of me was a little off!

You're writing a book?
I'm so excited about it. I'm having to put a pin in it right now because I'm touring and I can't focus on it, but it will re-emerge when this cycle of touring ends. It's a book of essays that I've written and photographs from my travels and self-care practices.

What do you mean by "self-care"?
Just what to do when you're completely depressed about—fill in the blank. Little exercises you can do.

I need that book!
I want it for myself! It's a total selfish endeavor.

After "You Oughta Know" came out, you were known as Angry Alanis. Do you still get that?
I think anger is an incredible life force, and I'm proud of my own anger. I think so much of it has to do with where you channel it. I'd been repressing for a long time this sort of cultural thing for me, as being a Canadian, was that I was very passive-aggressive. So a lot was squashed down, and all of a sudden I had this freedom to write whatever I wanted, so of course this was going to come out.

Do you think a lot of people might have that wrong impression of you?
Well, what happens is that in interviews, I'd wind up being really philosophical, so the levity and the debauchery were in my private life, and then, the other persona came forth in my more public life.