:bif bam thank you mam':

 Looking past the pierced and tattooed surface to get to the Naked truth.
  Bif Naked has been sober for three years. This, despite playing
  in bars night after night and often receiving cases of beer as partial
  payment for performances. Bif, who is now 28, says she just decided
  to quit. "I had had enough shitty relationships, it was just time.
  About six months later I quit smoking, which I loved. I think
  about it every day and I always will. But I made a decision to
  just not do it and just to be a straight edge.
  To make this change, Bif drew support from one of her closest female
  friends and a man in her life who didn't drink. This experience
  likely helps her to understand the legions of young women who write
  her fan letter saying how much they depend on her. "It is like
  being a role model and when you're forced into that position you
  do have a responsibility not to fuck around. Whether you like it
  or not. I didn't have fans that young until I'd already quit drinking
  and I'm relieved. I was a very loud drunk in front of a bunch of
  14-year-old girls. It's just not cool."
  Bif credits her fan mail for helping to keep her in check although
  she says it can be overwhelming at times. "They look to me to validate
  some of their behaviour and the only thing I can do is just be honest
  and go 'Well that's not what i'd do.' So I owe it to them to be
  everything that they expect, but also within the boundaries of my life choices."
  It's no wonder that the underage crowd has plucked Bif out of the
  seemingly endless stream of female solo artists. Young women look
  up to Bif because she is a real person. Her pierced and tattooed
  surface does not give a complete picture. She believes in the notion
  that women can be strong and in control, but do not have to give
  up the frivolous things in life. For example, after a seven-week
  tour of the Austria, Germany and Sqitzerland, she ran out of the
  Helena Rubenstein lip-gloss that she had bought while in Europe.
  She went everywhere in Canada looking for it, "I even went to
  and they always follow me around like I'm a shoplifter." Unfortunately,
  Bif has has to resort to her old standby--"Anything by Guerlaine
  with a matching nail polish".
  Outside the folk stream, few mainstream singers are willing to cover
  absolutely any topic. From huge political and moral issues like
  abortion, to personal experiences like adoption and divorce, no
  subject is off limits to Bif. "I guess I've never been the kind
  of person who believes in hiding anything 'cause everyone is the
  same. Nobody talks about periods, I will, I don't care. I get
  mine, they get theirs, whatever. With me being adopted I don't
  think any subjet is taboo. The society we live in is prudish and
  a lot of things aren't discussed that should be."
  Being the focal point of the band, and being female has put her
  in some strange situations. "I've been doing it for so fucking
  long I don't even remember what it was like before. I guess before
  I was in high school. I don't know, I've always been the sunger
  of a band so I think no matter what gender you are, if you're the
  band's ainger you're always going to be the center of attention.
  Unless you're Eddie Van Halen or something like that," she says.
  Then she described something that would never have happened if she
  had been a male singer. "We played a summer show--this was when
  I was still drinking--and I was wearing our band's t-shirt and threew
  it to the crowd. Every time I go back to the same city today, this
  one guy who has a photograph of that--and I'm in my fuckin' bra--big
  whoop, the guy thinks he' so powerful. But every time i go there
  he gets this really evil look on his face and goes 'Aha look what
  I have,' and always tries to intimidate me with this picture of me in my bra."
  Because she has been performing for so many years, Bif has watched
  the number of female artists increase, and doesn't have the respose
  you might expect when discussing this trend. "It was better before.
  Now there's so many female singers that it's really not taken seriously.
  People think it's the opposite, they think that now women are being
  heard. In my very personal experience I find that I'm not taken
  as seriously as I used to be when I was 20, when there were very
  few women." She cites the same evolution with any trend, notably
  grunge. "Any 35-year-old with a skateboard had a band, so now it's
  like 'Oh you're a folk singer.' No actually, I'm trying to be a rock chick."
  Despite this, Bif finds no fault with Sarah McLachlan's annual showcase
  of female musicians, Lilith Fair. "Sarah is in a difficlut position
  as the figurehead of a festival that she started out of the goodness
  of her heart. She can try her damndest to be innovative and include
  all different style of music, but you can't please everyone. No
  matter what she does she's going to get shit on. I don't think
  she's trying to exclude hard-ass chicks from her roster. I just
  think it works out the way it works out"
  She also credits McLachlan for the amount of work she devotes to
  running a festival of that scale. "Even on my level with touring
  in Europe and here, there is a lot of politics involved with the
  amount of bands on your show or who's going to support. I mean
  there's a lot of business bullshit that is a part of everything.
  I can't imagine the stress that she and her co-workers are constantly
  under when they plan those things."
  On her tours, bif has noticed major distintions in what is popular
  in different parts of the globe. she says Europe is the most unusual,
  but again realizes that everyhing moves in cycles. "it's very,
  very eye-opening to go over there and not hear a rock song on the
  video channel. It's Aqua, the Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls and
  that's fucking' it. For us, female artists are the dime a dozen
  schlock that's coming up, and over there it's all techno artists.
  It'll happen again with the next trend of music. It happened with
  grunge, it happened when Rancid became popular, suddenly punk rock
  was this thing. It's a really weird business to work in," she says.
  Unlike many artists, Bif is not opposed to the business side of
  the music industry and is more than happy to be part of it. "ani
  DiFranco didn't sign with any big labels cause she has her own fuckin'
  company. That's the bottom line. Anyone who wants to help you
  make your art is a good person, it doesn't matter if they work for
  a record company. Record compaies are not the enemy. In the most
  perfect world, their motivation is because they believe in whatever
  seuced tham about you working in that medium."
  She believes that artists or musicians who feel they are being exploited
  by the industry would do better as independents. "Even though people
  think they're making art--like many really self-righteous artists--if
  they're going to be self-righteous artists--they really have no
  business in the business of music. They should say in the piano
  bar and stay true to their whatever. Everybody becomes a commodity
  and it's hard to find your balance."
  Six years ago things were entirely different but, as her audiences
  continue to grow, Bif is finding her ground. Now people come out
  to see the show and aren't surprised to find her on a bill. "You
  always get the odd drunk, no matter what band you play in there's
  going to be an idiot, but at my shows now, that bullshit is really
  limited or does not happen," she says. Hecklying, Bif believes,
  is inevitable, but she tries not to let negative people get to her.
  "It's just like being a comic, There's always going to be some rotten
  apples and you just have to take them with a grain of salt. God
  forbid you're premenstrual. It can be kind of upsetting and you
  always take it peronally. But fuck 'em, you can't change his mind."