Most people have an impression of Alanis Morissette as a feisty 20-something pouring her heart out in songs like "You Oughta Know." Today she is on the other side of that image, a married 40-year-old mother of a 3-year-old son who has found her place in the world.
The singer/songwriter will bring her "Intimate and Acoustic" show to NYCB Theatre at Westbury on Saturday night, where she will share stories and perform songs that have become anthems for a generation.
How is the energy of your current production different from a full band show?
It's more vulnerable and intense. Certainly there's more pressure on my vocals. I can't hide behind a wall of sound. The onus is on the storytelling and the lyrical content because there's less distraction. It's a little more delicate and emotional in some ways.
How do you connect with the crowd?
I like to think they are my kismet peeps. These are the people that are sensitive, thoughtful, fragile and powerful like I am. I feel like they are my friends.
You recently turned 40. Was it very symbolic for you?
There have been two personas in my life -- the slightly more careful, measured and fearful day-to-day woman and the part of me that's writing art where I have no fear, I'm fully direct and autobiographical. For me those two parts of myself have been blending into one now. I'm making decisions based on what I'm excited about and not what I think I should be doing.
What's the direction of your next album going in?
I don't know yet. I have about 12 general ideas for songs and seven journals full at this point. Usually a record consists of two journals. There's a lot of stories to tell and commentary. In terms of the sonic landscape, we are still carving that out.
You've always been a symbol of female empowerment. Do you feel a strong sense of responsibility because of that?
I feel joyfully responsible. I think it's appropriate and I feel up for being the person to look to if things are hairy. That doesn't mean that I'm perfect or always nailing it but I'm up for the conversation of how to return to who we really are.
The public has seen all the different shades of you through your youth. What kind of impact has that had on you?
There's a great planetary empathy that I feel and a relatability. It has kept me going because just the ego gratification of being famous and people knowing my lyrics is not enough to sustain doing this for the rest of my life. Being serviceful is inspiring enough to do it until I'm dead and after.
Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of your 33-million-selling album, "Jagged Little Pill." Are there any plans to celebrate?
We are in talks with different production companies of putting a couple of TV specials together. We are also doing a musical for Broadway about "Jagged Little Pill." At some point I'm going to do a one-woman show where I really get into the actual stories but for the musical there will be some fictional element using all the songs. Additionally, I'm finishing a book that I've been writing for a long time, which will be out next fall. There are tons of transparent stories as well as insights and revelations in there.
What made that album such a landmark?
There was a readiness in pop culture and the general consciousness to hear the kind of a narrative I was writing about -- being transparent about emotions like anger and despair. It was a convergence of a bunch of stars aligning at the same time. I can only take a tiny bit of credit.
Have you spoken with younger people who are hearing it for the first time?
Yes, I love interacting with young people who are just discovering it because they are listening in a different context. It's not 1995 for them, it's 20 years later on the planet. A lot of times when I speak with young people, they are coming at it from a different place because the consciousness has changed. I feel very heartened by the new generation.
Will you be doing more acting in the future?
Sure, but I'm leaning more toward comedy these days because my songs can be so intense. I just did a movie called, "The Price of Desire" -- the life story of Eileen Gray who created modernism in art in Europe. The film was entirely in French and it was lovely being able to do that. Now, I'm ready for a comedy.
What are your personal goals moving forward?
Finishing this book will be a big deal for me -- to be a bona fide author. I've been doing a lot of keynote speaking and I'd like to take that to a whole other level.
WHO Alanis Morissette
WHEN | WHERE Saturday night at 8, NYCB Theatre at Westbury
INFO $96-$106.50, 800-745-3000, livenation.com