:the naked truth:
The first time i see Bif
Naked in person, I'm petrified. At initial glance, the tattooed, leather-clad
rocker eminates a rebel girl persona that would amke any saccharine Briteny
Spears wanna be - as well as this journalist - want to run for cover.
" I was afraid you wouldn't find me," she says, gently grabbing my hand. We're surrounded by suits in the lobby of new yorks chic Paramount Hotel. "Can i buy you a cup of coffee?" she continues.
But wait, where is the aingst ridden rocker ready to butt?
"I love shopping. I'm a girly girl," she gushes in a bubbly, high pitched voice. Suddenly the 29 year old seems more like the girl next door than a 90's Joan Jett. "People assume I'm goth girl or a bondage girl because of the way i look. When i first strated getting tattoo's I was in a punk band and into that scene. But Ive never been a confrontationalist in my life and will never be." Yet, with in your face lyrics that delve into subjects like abortion and bisexuality, Bif is certaily not afraid to speak her mind.
This adopted daughter of two american missionaries dropped out of university of winnipeg in her first year to go on tour with a band called Gorrilla Gorrilla. That same year she changed her name from Beth Hopking to Bif Naked; Bif was a nickname for beth that she was given in highschool, and Naked had no real origin, but she thought it sounded " sexy and very punk rock".
" I discoverd my calling," she says joining the band. " I was a theater mahor so i got my stage performance bug out - but i did it through singing not acting."
Bif's lead singer on tour lifestyle quickly spiraled into a rock star cliche of VH1's Behind the music proportions. " I got married when i was 18," she says. " I wanted to be Stephen and Elise Keaton from Family Ties and have kids like Mallory and Alex." But she got divorced six months later. "My life was fucked," she recalls. " One major thing was drinking." In a effort to get control, Bif went straight edge five years ago: "it wasn't like i was physically addicted to drugs or alcohol, but once i stopped it was like the clouds lifted and everything started falling into place."
Falling into place is an understatement. After going solo in 1994, Bif released 4 songs and a poem, and Bif Naked, on her label, Her royal Majesty's Records. Her latest CD I Bificus. filled with ritious pop rock songs admittedly derivative of Courtney Love and Gwen Stephani, has made her an MTV generation Favorite. She toured with Lilith Fair , appeared on Buffy the Vampire slayer, and has a contract with the prestigious Wilhemina modeling agency.
"When i went to Wilhemina for a meeting I got up to offer coffee," she says. "I still think its all a mistake."
But after being in the music business for just over a decade, Bif is savvier that she lets on. "It;s lucrative," she says. "Brandy has a contract with Wilhemina and shes got a Cover Girl contract,"
Could Bif be the next cover girl? Her asparations do run high: "Someday I'll cut my hair and look like [Vouge editor-in -cheif] Anna Wintour. I'm a really young version of Anna...with tattoo's.