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Avril Lavigne on Pop-Punk’s Dominance and Where the Genre’s Icons Go From Here

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The pop-punk princess hit the road this year with Machine Gun Kelly, followed by a headlining trek and festival gigs. Below, she reflects on the experience and the current state of the genre.

There is so much that has happened this past year in the pop-punk scene, and I’m stoked to be making music. Being able to get back onstage has also been a lot of fun because I’ve been able to travel all over the world just this year through Canada, the United States, South America and Japan. The energy of a pop-punk show is really special, and it’s something that I found was missing in the last few years, and thankfully, it’s back.

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I think a lot of the resurgence of pop-punk in general started when Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker teamed up for [MGK’s 2020 album] Tickets to My Downfall, and that album was so successful. It introduced and reintroduced emo and pop-punk music to the world again. Now we’re seeing the return of pop-punk everywhere in terms of sound and fashion, and it’s all the things it was but just in a different generation now, and I love it. Most importantly, there has been a return of live guitars and drums that pushed pop-punk into the forefront of mainstream music.

It was awesome being a part of the When We Were Young festival in Las Vegas and being able to connect with some of my friends that I’ve known my whole life, like All Time Low and Travis Clark from We the Kings. It was also incredible to see the pop-punk genre reconnected with its original audience and also reaching a newer, younger demographic. Afterward, Hayley Williams from Paramore wrote me a really kind letter, saying some really nice things and thanking me for paving the way for young women like her. That was so cool to read. And for anyone looking to join the pop-punk world in the future, I’d say to you, “Welcome to the scene. It’s a wild ride.”

This story originally appeared in the Dec. 10, 2022, issue of Billboard.

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