Into the BLACK
Pop star P!nk unlearned a lifetime of bad habits for her daughter, writes Cameron Adams
P! NK ( pictured) would like to apologise to all parents for a career full of cursing in lyrics.
Now she’s a parent to 15- monthold daughter Willow she’s found herself baulking at her own recorded potty mouth. Including recent single Blow Me
( One Last Kiss) – the S- bomb drops four times in each catchy chorus.
‘‘ The record company always say ‘ Have you got a clean version?’,’’ P!nk says. ‘‘ And I say ‘ No, just ---- ing bleep it. I wasn’t going to sing ‘ You’ve had a rough day, I’ve had a rough day’ Not gonna happen.’’
Her wake- up call was quite literal; one of P!nk’s friends rang her to let her hear their child doing the ‘ nana- na- na- na- na’ bratty rant from her hit So What, complete with a loud raspberry at the end.
‘‘ Now I’m a mamma I’m more aware of it, I get it,’’ P!nk says.
‘‘ I get it why my friends are p----at me when they have kids in the car and my songs come on. Sorry.’’
P!nk is talking up her sixth album,
The Truth About Love.
She’d switched off from music after motherhood, easing back into it by working with her ‘‘ safe place’’ – songwriter Billy Mann.
‘‘ We have our ‘ Dare to Suck’ week,’’ she says.
Where Did the Beat Go and The Truth About Love passed the suck test. ‘‘ It steamrolled from there,’’ P! nk says.
The recording process was different this time around.
‘‘ Usually I go a week straight until three in the morning: whisky, cigarettes and tears,’’ she says.
‘‘ This time it was Monday through Friday, 1pm- 10pm, home to pump [ milk] by 10.30pm.’’
A lifelong smoker, the 33- yearold is also nicotine- free for the first time since her teens. Her quit technique? ‘‘ It’s so easy when you have to. When you give yourself a choice that’s when you f--- up.’’
Aside from the health benefit, P! nk discovered a change in her voice – another octave.
‘‘ They should put that as a warning on the [ cigarette] pack ‘ If you’re a singer, here, have an octave, throw these in the trash’. What a stupid, stupid, stupid woman I was.’’
The album was steered by US songwriter Greg Kurstin. P! nk had been obsessed by his work on albums by The Shins and Lily Allen. He was the conduit to Lily Allen – the UK guest singer on True Love.
‘‘ I love her so much,’’ Pink says of Allen. ‘‘ I think she’s the funniest, wittiest person. She’s got it. She’s got that ‘ f--- you’ I need from people.’’
Eminem provides a guest rap on ‘‘ alternative club banger’’ Here
Comes the Weekend, a straight swap for P! nk singing on his track
Won’t Back Down.
‘‘ He was like ‘ Do a song with me’, f--- yeah. I said ‘ Do a song on my album’ he said f--- yeah. ‘‘ Handshake, nothing signed, done. I still think we have another song in our future that will be funny and s--talking, we just didn’t have time.’’
Dan Wilson ( Adele, Missy Higgins) co- wrote the album’s
glorious finale, ballad The Great
Escape, a song about suicide and anti- depressants.
‘‘ It’s about how we’re all so numbed,’’ P!nk says. ‘‘ It’s very personal for me. We’re all trying a way not to feel anything.’’ It sits with ballads such as Glitter
In the Air. Indeed, P!nk says she was planning a whole album in that vein.
‘‘ If Willow hadn’t have happened there’d be something like that, an acoustic record. It’ll happen later. It’ll put some people to sleep, but that’s the plan. I need that. I need those songs. Those songs are my heart and souls Those songs are what got me through the U+ UR Hands.’’
How Come You’re Not Here is another track about her brief split with Carey Hart – being by his wife’s side on her three- month 2009 Funhouse Australian tour was marriage therapy.
The lyrics run, ‘‘ I’ve heard some rumours about another girl, I’ve heard she’s cute but she stores nuts like a squirrel . . . I’ll wait until you get bored and she gets carded for beer.’’
‘‘ Everyone who hears that song goes ‘ Poor Carey’,’’ P! nk says.
‘‘ What about poor me! No one knows his side, but he’s a good sport. He’s got a good sense of humour. Plus, what’s he going to do! I played it for him at the end of the night after it was recorded and he went ‘ f---!’ Now I’ve written it, I’m over it.’’
THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE
( Sony) out now