It’s been over a decade since she topped charts with “Complicated,” but Lavigne, now 29, is just about to release her first self-titled album (available Nov. 5). Here, the pop-punk singer talks to TIME:
TIME: Why do an album called Avril Lavigne now?
Lavigne: It’s the fifth record and truthfully this record is just stylistically all over the place. It’s really diverse, all over the spectrum. It’s nostalgic, there’s summer songs, there’s an electronic feel, there’s a rock song, there’s ballads. We couldn’t really sum it up. I think with it also being styles from the past and exploring and trying new sounds, it felt like it was time for a self-titled record.
There’s a song on this album called “Hello Kitty.” Is that literally what it’s about?
It’s about Hello Kitty and my love for Hello Kitty—and it’s kind of flirtatious.
So it’s not completely about Hello Kitty.
No, it is. There are a lot of Hello Kitty references and some Japanese.
Do you speak Japanese?
I know some stuff that I say when I go over there and I’m onstage. I can say, “You guys rock!”
What’s the craziest Hello Kitty thing you own?
Well, I have two Hello Kitty rooms.
I’ve gotten a lot of Hello Kitty gifts from fans over the years.
What was it like to work with Marilyn Manson on one of the songs?
We’ve been friendly since I went to his concert in Toronto when I was 18 years old and we met backstage. I always really respected his music and his style. He’s really very smart. I wrote the song “Bad Girl” and I was in the studio listening to it and it made me think about him. I thought, ‘Manson would be awesome on this track.’ I called him up and asked him if he would come check it out and he did.
(MORE: 7 Controversial Band Names)
You also sing a duet with your husband, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger.
It was the first song we wrote together the first day in the studio. We weren’t together.
Was that when you met?
I always say, “We met in the studio,” but there are photos on the Internet of us together way back in the day, when Nickelback presented me with an award at the  MuchMusic Awards. It’s so funny how you forget things.
On day one in the studio we wrote a song and I’d asked him to sing on it. Then later on down the road, when we were together, with the song being called “Let Me Go,” I thought it was a little strange to be singing that. So we went back to the drawing board and put a twist on the song so that it’s about the journey of love through one’s life.
Do you work well together?
Yeah, it’s good. It’s challenging and it’s hard work anyway, making records, but being able to create together is really cool because we both do it on our own. To have that in common is nice.
What do you think of your couple nickname, Chavril?
I love it! One time we were both at the stove doing something, and my brother was trying to get our attention. He was, like, “Chavril!” We both turned around.