Bif Naked
Bif Naked
Wow!  Has it been six albums already?  Bif Naked's newest release "Bif Naked Forever: Acoustic Hits & Other Delights" came out on December 6th, 2012.  It retells her life in music, with her favorite picks from her career yet plus three new songs.  They are perfomed how they were originally written; on the acoustic guitar with long time friend John Dexter playing along her side.   The first single So Happy I Could Die expresses well the overall vibe of this album as Bif explains: "Music and art give me hope, and this record has been made with warm love and deep feelings that I so enjoy sharing with my beautiful fans."  We extend more on that during our interview together; read on!  For more info about this artist and tour dates, visit:
Interview by: Valerie Bastien
Valerie: You released your 6th album “ Bif Naked Forever: Acoustic Hits & Other Delights” after 20 years in the music business. Why did you feel now was a good time?

Bif Naked: I am very certain that any time is a good time for an artist to release acoustic versions of loved material. The shows we played were always filled with requests for the songs to take home. It just felt like an okay time.

Valerie: Explain how you picked the songs for this album.

Bif Naked: We all picked favorite songs and we actually recorded almost thirty songs for this record but many of them were too sad in an acoustic way. Only me and my teenage-
goth-angst really cared for these dark versions. LOL!

Valerie: The new single I'm So Happy That I Could Die presumably talks of gratefulness although it bares a hint of irony when we know about some of your health concerns and struggle with cancer that have been highly publicized. First of all, how are feeling nowadays? Would you like to expand on the meaning of this song to you?

Bif Naked: After my cancer I was feeling very optimistic and well.  My divorce was underway and my kidney started to die.  As a result my medical team decided to repair my broken heart, lol! I had a surprise heart surgery ten months ago and I knew on the operating table I would be able to croak happy. This song really is about the same irony that “I Love Myself Today” was about... but this is really more timely as I was most certainly facing death again.  It feels like it’s kinda’ my thing, sometimes.  I feel grateful and pretty loveydovey every day.

Valerie: When I interviewed Chuck Billy a few years ago and asked him about the role of music in his recovery he said that while he was ill, he dropped music completely to put new priorities in his life; family and getting healthy. Was your reaction the same or different in similar circumstances? Explain if music was of any comfort in difficult times.

Bif Naked: I had not choice but to make a record during chemo. Like many working women during breast cancer, you still have rent, you still have to fix the brakes on your car and you still have to pay for childcare or busfare. The world does not stop for you. I started volunteering during my cancer treatments and still do. I wish I could do this full-time. I believe in my heart that someday I will.

Valerie: Tell us about your wonderful friend and musician partner John Dexter who plays with you on “Bif Naked Forever...”; how did you reconnect?

Bif Naked: I love life and how it puts you together with what you need when you need it whether or not you know it. Timing gives me goosebumps! John and I work very well together and we both have the same thoughts and sense of humor; it is a complete blessing being his friend and a true privilege working with John.

Valerie: There are other new additions to your old hits on this album. For instance, Nobody Knows and The Only One. Tell me more about these songs.

Bif Naked: Nobody Knows is actually an older song that was never commercially released before. I love singing it! I love this song as it is, like my running theme, about my first boyfriend from the eighth grade. A lot of my song imagery is about him... here we see it in the Dodge, and him running away with me, lol! The Only One is such a love song for me, that I am terrible to sing it live... warbling my pitchiness way as I will bawl if I think about the words. I love writing despair and I love writing songs like this. I co-wrote this with Ryan Stewart who played the beautiful piano line first and I just started putting the poetry to it.

Valerie: Talk about a song on this album that you found yourself rediscovering with a new meaning after all these years.

Bif Naked: I have to say it is a tragedy to sing Chotee every time. I re-live the utter sadness of the story. I love singing it acoustically because the words can be listened to a bit more clearly.

Valerie: I heard that you have started writing your autobiography and that you will be releasing it shortly; what were the happiest moments to write about and described in your book?

Bif Naked: Writing my memoir is extremely heart-wrenching. First of all, I am extremely sensitive to the perils of others that are described in my book... I have been in some extremely dangerous situations and my childhood and adolescence were somewhat unjust... but I simply cannot possibly write my essays and stories without putting my optimism and knuckleheaded positivity on everything. Perhaps it’s just a coping technique but the very bad things that happened to me are things that I now find terribly funny in the retelling. I was basically quite a little moron. A very lucky little moron that I didn’t wind up dead.

Valerie: You have been involved with different social causes and you've taken up more life challenges than anyone should. What do you wish we can learn from your experience?

Bif Naked: I most certainly hope that I also continue to learn. I want to strive to do better to be better at compassion... be better at expressing love and at loving without judgment and loving everyone like a beloved. If I can inspire just one person in this world to try just a little harder to be more compassionate toward others then I can croak happy.

Valerie: Did you get any new tattoos lately to celebrate this new stepping stone in your life?

Bif Naked: I am currently in the process of finishing the Taj Mahal across my entire back.

Valerie: How will you be spending the next few days?

Bif Naked: Every day is the same: Do The Work, whatever it is. Then give thanks and eat.

Valerie: On behalf of, thank you for taking the time to answer our
questions! Keep rocking!

Valerie Bastien is a vocal coach, teacher, musician and freelance journalist.
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