Ashlee Simpson Talks About Her New Album 'Bittersweet World', Herself And More
You said in one interview that one thing you love about performing is seeing the joy in people's faces and seeing them sing along to your songs. But how about if it was you in the audience, singing along? What have been some of your favorite concerts that you've attended?
Gosh. There's been, obviously, some boring concerts. I saw the Killers and that was pretty great. I went with my girlfriends and we just danced around. That was a good time. Watching the Yeah Yeah Yeahs was awesome.
You've also been on some of these "hottest women in rock" sort of lists. How do you feel about this whole list idea in general?
Everybody has their own opinion, right? To be a part of it is awesome. But everybody has their own opinion.
What is beautiful to you?
A good personality. Style. Somebody that is so interesting that they just glow.
A lot of women today seem to be bombarded with images of unattainable beauty, from magazines, to television, to the Internet. It gives rise to a lot of negative emotions and self-perceptions. What do you have to say to girls and women who aren't able to meet that sort of standard of beauty but who still feel the pressure to try to meet and the effects of being unable to?
Standards are a little crazy these days. I think that, when you go to sleep, as long as you're happy with the way you are and the way you look, that's the most important thing. I think it's an internal thing. As long as you feel good with who you are and comfortable with what you're wearing, but not if that's the most important thing.
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Celebrities such as yourself are always under the scrutiny of the press. What sort of effect does that have on your day-to-day life?
It doesn't. When I wake up, I put on what's comfortable that day. The most important thing is that you're happy with yourself. Everybody will always judge. It's never bad to take chances. Whether it's with an outfit and it's outrageous or something. If I'm going to an event, I'm going to put on something nice that I feel great in. Day-to-day, I like to wear whatever I feel comfortable in.
Does that ever give you anxiety, as far as paparazzi going extreme lengths to get photos?
Yes. If somebody jumps out of a bush, I get a little freaked out. People can be a bit judgmental. Everybody has a good day and a bad day.
What would be a bad day?
I don't think it's bad to walk around in your pajamas. It's only normal. When they snap a million pictures, you're going to make a goofy face.
What do you think of all the coverage of Britney Spears?
It's not my business, but it is all over CNN, and I think people should leave her alone. If I were her, I'd just leave the country. I'd fake a kidnapping.
Have you given thought to this kidnapping plan?
(laughs) Not really. I just feel for her and I wish her the best.
It seems like reality TV is creating a lot of celebrities. What do you think of reality TV?
I can't talk too harsh on it because I've done it. I wouldn't do it again. It's sad because it is so interesting to watch somebody's life, y'know? I think it's everybody's personal choice. I'm happy with where my show was at the point in my life that I did it. There's a lot of reality TV, but I'm not going to say anything negative.
Why is it that you wouldn't do another show if you were offered the chance?
Never say never, right? But, I don't think I would want somebody in my house all the time.
Do you watch any reality TV?
Not too much. If I'm bored, I'll watch some shows. I don't keep up from week to week.
What do you do just for fun?
I watch movies and hang out with friends. When I'm super-bored I try to knit, which I can't say I'm great at. I try.
What are some things you've knitted?
A scarf or something. I don't have any crazy skills. And I like to paint.
What do you paint?
Just whatever. Actually, I'd like to go to an art class.
Is there a particular style that you paint in?
It's black and white and I do it mostly with my fingers. It's definitely interesting and abstract, but I need to go to art school.
Is there an artist you could compare it to?
No. My favorite artist is Salvador Dali. I do it when I'm hanging around with my friends.
Is painting a group activity or is it something you do on your own?
It's really just for fun.
You've mentioned that you want to pursue acting more seriously.
What sort of roles would you like to take on?
My favorite movies are True Romantic, Sweet Home Alabama, and the original La Femme Nikita. That's something I see myself doing for a long time so hopefully I'll get to pick and choose my roles. I'd like to be a chameleon with my roles.
Would you be interested in taking a role in an action film?
I would love to.
Do you partake in any extreme sports, say, bungee-jumping?
I don't. The first time I was on a harness was on my new video, "Of Glass." That was super cool. But I'd love to. It's great to explore and try new things. I'd love to skydive one day.
You've mentioned in the past you're a fan of Joan Jett and Pat Benatar. Have you ever thought about having someone like that guest on one of your albums?
I think that would be the most incredible thing. I love Missing Persons and Debbie Harry. That would be a dream. Maybe one day.
Do you have any guilty pleasures when it comes to music?
Blondie. Listening to "Rapture" or "Heart if Glass" is always fun. A silly moment with myself is jamming to a Chicago song (laughs).
When you say jamming, like, air guitar?
No, in the car. By myself. (laughs)
You've said this new album is a party record. What do you put on when you're having a party?
You want to pick music that everybody will enjoy. Michael Jackson. It depends. Arctic Monkeys' "Dancing Shoes" is always a good choice. If you're having a party you want to pick all different styles.
Music can make you want to party but it can also make you want to cry.
I have those songs as well. It depends on what I'm going through in my life but I'm a huge fan of Bjork. Sometimes I get so emotional because she's so amazing.
Why is it that you decided to call the new album "Bittersweet World"?
There's a song on the record called "Bittersweet World." And it is, to me. The song is saying that, and "Why can't we all just get along?" It's a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing, but it really is one of those love-to-hate kind of things.
How do you feel about the world right now?
It's at an interesting place, but I'm a happy human being.
What are some things that you consider bitter in this world?
Quite a few things. There's the positive and the negative, y'know?
How about the sweet?
There are lots of sweet things. I have amazing people around me. I couldn't be in a better place. I'm grateful for my life and where I'm at. I never thought I could be in the position that I'm in.
Interview by Ben Kharakh
Starpulse.com contributing writer
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