When asked to break down tracks from her back catalog, Pink is more than game to provide snap judgments on the fiery songs she’s been churning out since her 2000 debut, “Can’t Take Me Home.” Her blistering honesty when it comes to her music -- and herself -- has been a dominant force in a career fueled by rebellion and moxie.
Though we talked with the singer, whose real name is Alecia Moore, about her upcoming disc, “The Truth About Love,” for a forthcoming Calendar feature, the real fun began when we quizzed her on the records from her past.
But first, a few reveals from pop's most famous tough girl.
Song she hates perfoming the most: “Don’t Let Me Get Me.” I wish I could burn that song and never sing it again,” she laughs. “I’m . . . 32 years old [Moore turned 33 on Saturday].”
Most uncomfortable she’s been: “Probably after 'Missundaztood' came out and I went on the promo tour and had to talk about [the album]. I thought if I wrote those songs that would be it and I’d never have to talk about it again, but it was the exact opposite. It was, ‘So tell me about [my parent’s] divorce.’ Every interview was a therapy session, and after two years I was done.”
Biggest lesson learned: “Professionally, when I went from ‘Missundaztood’ to ‘[2003’s] Try This,’ I was sort of like 'I’m gonna rebel, and you think I can’t do punk rock.' I was rebelling for no reason . . . had I stayed on my path and not worried so much about what other people said I couldn’t do I would have probably been all right. But anything I was gonna do after 'Missundaztood' was gonna be a failure. After something that big, anything is gonna suck to people."
The truth about her debut: “I loved ‘Can’t Take Me Home.’ The only thing I didn’t like was I didn’t have a say. Back then in Atlanta, it wasn’t about the artist, it was about the producer and especially new artists."
After loading her discography onto my iPad, I surprised Moore with a few tracks I wanted her to discuss.
"That was dark. I hadn’t been at my house in a really long time since Carey [Hart, now her husband] and I had broken up. I had to go there one night and I had to crawl through the doggy door because I didn’t have a key. Just walking through the halls, it was like a museum. It was just crazy. I went to the studio the next day and told Tony Kanal from No Doubt, and he was like, 'That’s a song.' "
“Just Like a Pill” (“Missundaztood”)
"This was with Dallas Austin. In Miami, we wrote this. The first thing that comes to mind with this? When I used to be on drugs, I should write a song about it. When you’re young, you think your ideas are so clever. I loved the video, I . . . loved it. Still one of my favorites. I dyed my hair black. My hair has to match my heart --so dramatic."
“Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)” (“I’m Not Dead”)
"This is me. this is absolute me. Go away, come back. Get off me! Get back on! That’s a fun song live."
“Hell Wit Ya” (“Can’t Take Me Home”)
"What is this song?! [Starts singing along] I can’t even remember what the . . . chorus is! Oh my gosh. . . Shakespeare. This was with Kandi [Burruss]. I was like 2 years old. I was so mad at my ex-boyfriend during this whole record."
“Trouble” (“Try This”)
"I love this song too. I recorded this in a tour bus when I was running down the road. That’s my punk rock moment. I won a Grammy for it! Best rock vocal. Then they dissolved the category the day after. It’s like 'Really? This is hard for me to not take that personally. Could you have waited like a week?' "
“I Don’t Believe You” (“Funhouse”)
[After introducing the record as a favorite] "I’m learning so much about you. This is the song we cried to [she played the track for Hart during a separation]. It’s the most heartbreaking song I’ve ever written. I’ve never been there before. I’ve never been in that much pain before as I was that night. That was tough, that was the darkest."
“Whataya Want From Me” (“Greatest Hits … So Far”)
"Adam Lambert. He killed this song [it appeared on his 2009 debut]. That was fun. I always liked this song, I just didn’t want it on the record. ['Funhouse'] was very much about my problem with Carey and I didn’t want to dilute it with my problems with other people (laughs)."