: Bif says violence global issue :

    Singer/songwriter releases new emotionally charged album

    Cam Fuller
    The StarPhoenix
(article sent in to me by zee lovely carrie)

    Bif Naked stops Friday at Prairieland Park Centre Hall

  Her voice sounds like it's been beaten up and thrown out of a window from
    the show last night, but the words behind it are as honest ever; Bif Naked
    is speaking about world events, her personal life and her new album.
    Fittingly, it's called Purge.

    "I say welcome to Belfast, welcome to Israel,'' Bif says about the recent
    terrorist attacks in the U.S.

    "This is the tip of those things. It's a global issue. Our planet is
    (expletive), and it's not just the environment, it's the environment of
    violence occurring between humans.''

    North America has finally been jolted out of its complacency, Bif suggests.

    "Unfortunately, it's a big (expletive) wake-up call.''

    There's probably a song in there, but for now we'll have to make do with the
    ones on Purge and Bif's previous albums like I Bificus. It's a pretty good
    selection. Purge, for instance, is an emotionally charged album which sees
    Bif taking on everyone from former boyfriends to her real-life stalkers.

    "I have three in Canada. I don't know how many I have in Europe. I have two
    in the U.S. she says quietly. In her position, "you become a nut magnet in a
    way.'' But, she adds, "me being stalked is nothing compared to the lady who
    works in the muffin shop down the street being stalked by her ex-husband.''

    Bif has never had a problem opening herself up in her songwriting; one of
    the best-known tunes from her early career is a song addressed to the baby
    she never kept. It wouldn't be a Bif song if it didn't hit close to home.

    "Certainly, there's a degree of vulnerability that comes along with it.
    You're airing your dirty laundry in a way. But that's part of what drives
    you. It's therapeutic. It's your thing, it's your art,'' she says.

    One of the strongest songs on Purge is the first single, the incendiary I
    Love Myself Today, a morale-boosting self-affirmation tune that sees Bif
    stretching her vocals into Annie Lennox territory.

    >From album to album, Bif says, "my only hope, honestly, is that we're better
    songwriters, and I hope that I'm a better singer.''

    She's quick to credit guitarist-engineer Doug Fury and producer Peter
    Karoll. Peter, for instance, "knew my capabilities better than I did. I
    compare it to a horse and a trainer,'' she laughs.

    "This record was a lot of labour, so it's a miracle baby.''

    As on all her albums, Bif spent hours on the liner notes, hand-writing all
    the lyrics, expressing some personal philosophies and giving advice. The
    comments range from the bizarre ("thank-you for acrylic paints that are more
    viscous'') to the profound ("be your own boss. Be the boss of your own
    secret feelings. Be yourself. Be thankful for your life and your full belly
    and your shelter. Be nice. Just be''). Her list of thank-yous alone could
    take up several pages. It includes fellow band members, spiritual leaders
    (Pierre Trudeau is listed in the same sentence as Buddha and Jesus) and even
    NHL players, including Eric Lindros.

    "Oh, that bastard. He drank all the beer backstage in Toronto,'' she says.

    Just your average heavily-tattooed, hockey-lovin