When she was asked what impact did such massive fame had on her life, she answered:
“It was very confusing for a while–there was so much stimulation, and I needed to get away from it to regroup and see the beauty in it all. There was a lot of illusion within it; there’s a lot of illusion that comes with being famous and being in the public eye. While I felt motivated by the desire to express myself, I felt that others around me were motivated by money, fame, or status– whatever it was–and that’s all valid, but there was this dissonance between what my motivations were and what theirs were. So I definitely needed to get away and stop and breathe.“
Alanis continued to earn vast critical acclaim. She was voted #2 Artist of the Year in the Rolling Stone Critics Poll, while the readers of the magazine called her the #1 Best New Female Singer. Over at the Los Angeles Times, “Jagged Little Pill“ was voted #2 album of the year in the Critics Poll. Alanis also earned six Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year (“You Oughta Know”), about which she said:
“I’m appreciative of this kind of acknowledgment and respect. It feels good to know that my songs have affected people along the way. Thanks.“
Big success.. do you dismiss the past?
“I can’t dismiss things that I’ve done in my past. They’re a link in the chain, and if I took them out, I wouldn’t be here right now. And I’m really happy being here right now. The main difference between what I’m doing now and what I did before, is that I’m less fearless now with what I write. And I was less secure as a person back then, so I wasn’t as ready to be as unadulterated and forthright back then. It was more for the sake of entertainment back then, whereas now, it’s more for communication.“
The forthcoming release of “Jagged little pill, Live” (Maverick Reprise Video). Exactly two years to the day after she launched her world tour at a small club in Madison, Wisconsin, the 90-minute presentation mixed in-concert and behind-the-scenes (High 8 and film) documentary footage. A fascinating all-access look at the artistry of Alanis and life on the road, it was produced by Alanis and Steve Purcell and was edited from 220 hours worth of collected footage.
“While I could never do the two years justice in an hour and a half (there was a lot left out), I did my best to show the different mindsets, moods, coping mechanisms and humor that carried us through months of extremes. I am happy to share these moments, knowing that things (and I) will never be the same.“
“My motivation for creating this show was initially to have something for myself to keep as a souvenir. Something I could look back on in five or 40 years and gasp, shudder, be sentimental and proud. As it was nearing its completion, I felt the urge to share it with others. It’s a document of what it was like to tour and support a record that was and continues to be very special to me. It captures being on the road during a time where the illusion taunted my/our growth and where the seductive and somewhat unrealistic aspects of our lifestyles tested us daily.“
“Jagged little pill, Live” featured performances of all the songs from Alanis’ precedent-setting and critically-acclaimed “Jagged Little Pill“ debut album on Maverick, including concert scenes from Alanis’ dynamic performance in New Orleans at the UNO Arena in October 1996 that was filmed to air as an in-concert TV special throughout Europe. A part of two new songs written on the road — “Can’t Not” (by Alanis and Glen Ballard) and “No Pressure Over Cappuccino” (by Alanis and Nick Lashley) — were inserted at the beginning and end of the video over credits.
“There are some nights where I would channel my rage through certain songs…other nights where I would channel my sadness or compassion through others. It is not difficult for me to go back to the root emotion behind one of my songs. It was easy because every night there were new people to communicate to…the conviction would return simply because I was engaging in a new conversation with a new ‘person.’“
“The road taught me to grow in my assertiveness, how to find my center in the midst of craziness, how to be a boss, that focusing on the songs/music above all else is the only way for me, that fame/adulation/celebrity status is illusory, how beautiful women are and how beautiful men are when they are fearless about sharing all sides of themselves unapolegetically.
Road life is different for everyone…It is a place where it is mysteriously easy to self-destruct. My role was one of leader, friend, mother, boss, child. I dealt with feminism issues as well as the issue of where to draw the professional boundary with certain people. At the end of the day we were all there for each other as much as we could be under the circumstances and we became a temporary family. There were a lot of beautiful moments that I will never forget.
While it may have seemed like I was surrounded by allies, life on the road can be very insulated, therefore isolating. There is no handbook on how to deal with road life and external success, much less how to dispel the illusion without seeming spoiled and ungrateful. Meditation taught me how to get back to the fundamental truth. We get distracted by all that is outside of ourselves in this desperate race to “get” something that will make us feel whole and connected. We seek bliss through “things” (other people, money, status, sex, adulation…etc) when all we have to do is be still. Because what we so desire is in the silence. It is us. It is tiring and futile to try to grasp for it by attaining or achieving “things.” Meditation, along with “achieving” what could have seemingly been the “ultimate achievements,” made me realize that we are all sadly and ignorantly chasing our tails.“
In the video, when being interviewed, she said that “I’m much more courageous when I sing than when I speak.“. But where did she get her courage from?
“My courage comes from my ability to be unapologetically vulnerable. I have found my vulnerability to be very empowering. (Vulnerability does not mean weakness, it means fearlessness.) To be afraid of my weaknesses and to always “put my best foot forward” (which is what could have been done with this show) would be misrepresenting what actually happened. Being an artist means you are on a journey. An emotional and creative one. I believe they go hand in hand. And I have no problem having people come along with me on that journey for however long they’d like.“