When you talk to Pink, you know you’ll get honesty.
Her candidness – coupled with endearing self-deprecation and searing humor – is undiminished as she releases the ninth album of her 23-year career, “Trustfall.”
The new release, out Friday, is perhaps Pink’s most stylistically diverse creation – frisky dance-pop songs laced with a rock edge (“Never Gonna Not Dance Again,” “Runaway”) countered by introspective heart-tuggers (“When I Get There,” “Long Way to Go”). As she puts it, the new record is about “the roller coaster of life.”
Pink, 43, also welcomes a few guests on the album: The Lumineers, First Aid Kid and previous duet partner, Chris Stapleton, on the album closer, “Just Say I’m Sorry.”
To support “Trustfall,” Pink will embark on a massive stadium tour – the “Summer Carnival” with Brandi Carlile, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo on certain dates.
Pink (real name Alecia Moore) talked to USA TODAY from her California home about how her husband, Cary Hart, and their kids Willow, 11, and Jameson, 6, influenced her new album, as well as what “Trustfall” means to her.
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Question: I thought the first song on the album was going to be in the carefree vein of “Never Gonna Not Dance Again” and instead you’re reducing us all to a puddle with this sweet piano ballad, “When I Get There.” Is it an homage to your dad?
Pink: Yes. I lost my dad (in August 2021) and eight months later I lost someone very, very, very close to me. So within a year, I lost two of my favorite people. “When I Get There” is beautiful because it’s simple. It sort of distills down that (thought of), I wonder where you’re at and if everything’s OK. One of my favorite lines is, “You’ll watch me as I make my mistakes.”
How much did the loss of your dad, coupled with the rough bout of COVID-19 you and your son endured in 2020, color this album?
The album was a three-year process. With the pandemic and my dad’s passing and then any time your kid is sick, it distills down what is important. And when a parent passes away, it’s like this suitcase you’re going to be unpacking the rest of your life, which also makes you think about well, who am I and who do I want to be and what’s keeping me from that? And then, what are my priorities? My priorities are to live an authentic human experience and be completely transparent about it and to love and cuddle with my kids as long as they’ll let me.
You named the album – and a song – “Trustfall.” What is a trustfall to you in your life right now?
Leaving the house, dropping your kids off at school, going to work, going to the movies, going to a mall, voting in an election, having an opinion, owning a vagina. Everything feels like it requires so much trust and I feel like we’re falling backwards and we don’t know when the ground is coming. Trustfall is life to me. I just celebrated my 17th wedding anniversary, which are not words I ever thought would fall from my lips.
On the flip side of that, tell me about “Hate Me.” Is that pointed at someone specifically?
Oh, come on! I just said I was married. (Laughs.)
Did you write it after a particularly bad fight?
Yeah, that was a bad one. “Hate Me” is sort of the female experience to me. This will be a polarizing statement, but men tend to villainize women and it’s usually the women who take care of them and take most of their (crap). I felt in a way my father did that to me and my husband does that to me sometimes and I will not stand for it. I will not be the villain in your story. You will not be a victim around me. You will take accountability for your life and your choices and I will take accountability for mine.Can you tell I feel things really deeply? (Laughs.) Can you imagine being my husband?
What was his reaction to the song?
That night I played him the song. We weren’t even speaking and he giggled and said, “You’re welcome.”
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Let’s go a little lighter. “Never Gonna Not Dance Again” – first of all, what’s up with the double negative in the title?
Does it drive you crazy?
Yes, as a writer, it makes me a little crazy.
That makes me so happy. (Laughs.) That’s my vernacular! But (the song) was a direct response to one day I was on the beach with my children and I was in a bathing suit and not very happy with my body and my kids asked me to run and play. I didn’t because I was self-conscious and I’ve never forgiven myself for that. I feel I wasted a real opportunity – a piece of their childhood and what could have been a beautiful memory. And during COVID I thought well, if the world is sliding sideways off its axis and we’re all gonna die anyway, I’m never gonna not dance again. You can care so much and then you can just not.
A couple of years ago you decided to stop showing your kids on social media, but you seem to be more open to it now. What changed?
I say things sometimes in anger and disgust and then walk it back. As far as the kids go, I am meticulous and an overthinker and I observe. Willow came out and sang in front of 40,000 people last year at BottleRock (festival in Napa Valley) because she wanted to. If you ask her if she wants to be a singer, she’ll say, “Oh God, no. Hold on, I’m learning Morse code really quick.” She’s her own bird. But for her it’s a fun thing she likes to do with her mom. She doesn’t care about cool … Now Jameson, that’s a kid you’ve got to watch. I think he’s going to be a DJ in Vegas and get in a lot of trouble. That kid is delicious.
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