Miranda Lambert Opens Up About ‘Four the Record,’ Marriage Critics and What Makes Her Cry
By her own admission, Miranda Lambert is the less demonstrative of the Shelton-Lambert union. While her husband puts everything short of his grooming habits on Twitter (he hasn’t yet, has he?) Lambert prefers to let her music do the talking. Her last album, ‘Revolution,’ did a lot of talking. And she did a lot of listening — to others calling her name at major country music award shows.
Ironically, Lambert now has to do a lot of talking to explain how ‘Four the Record’ is similar — but not too similar — to ‘Revolution.’ Even the self-assured Blake Shelton would have trouble scaring off butterflies before recording the follow-up to such a big album (and he will have to do that next time he enters the studio). This is why the two work so well together, Lambert has said. Each is just a morpheme of the more complex whole.
During an interview with Taste of Country, Lambert was open about her marriage to country music’s hottest male artist. She also talked about what makes her cry and which mentor on ‘The Voice’ is her favorite. (Sorry, Blake.)
Were you intimidated by the idea of trying to follow up ‘Revolution?’
Yeah. I mean, at first especially I was kinda like, “Oh gosh, what am I gonna do? How can I top what I’ve done?” But I also felt it was a challenge because I have to keep reinventing myself, you know.
You’re around enough people that may have gone through something similar. Did anyone give you any advice or tell a story that helped settle you down?
Every time anyone has ever given me advice it’s just been about being true to yourself. You know in some form or another that’s what people are saying, so I feel like that’s what’s been my common thread throughout my whole career. I wouldn’t say people have pulled me aside and given me advice, but I’ve learned just watching people like Kenny Chesney on tour, or George Strait or people that have obviously found their niche and are as big as you can possibly be. Watching the way they run their ships and watching them onstage kind of is advice in itself.
It feels like before recording ‘Four the Record,’ you managed to take all the success from ‘Revolution’ and all the expectations, and sort of bottle it up and forget about it to just really focus on the creative part of producing a new album.
That’s exactly what I did. I didn’t go into it with a plan, and I think that was the best plan … to not have one. I can’t obviously recreate ‘Revolution,’ and I’m not trying to. So I just felt like, you know, I went into it and let the music bleed and [kept] a really open mind.
And you didn’t play it safe, either. You certainly take some chances on this album.
Yeah, you know … If you don’t take risks, you’ll never get ahead, you won’t get anywhere past where you were, so it seems the right thing to do to just go in there and try something new.
What is one song on ‘Four the Record’ that you just couldn’t live without?
That was ‘Ain’t My Mama’s Broken Heart.’
That’s a great song. Have you been that girl before?
Yeah, oh gosh, yeah. I think we all have at some point or another. Mostly when we’re young. Especially crazy teenage love — you think the world is ending if you break up. I just love that song. I just thought it was so unique. When a song hits me like, “Man, I wish I would have written that,” then I know that it’s special.
Is your mom like the mother in that song?
Yes, she is. She’s very … she doesn’t care about what other people think like the woman in the song, but she definitely [gives me a kick in] my butt if I need it.
What is the worst way you’ve ever been dumped?
Via text message, which is pretty sad. But that’s OK. It didn’t really matter anyway.
How long of a relationship was it?
Oh, this was in high school.
What is one song on the album that will allow fans to learn the most about you?
There’s one called ‘Over You.’ And I wrote it with Blake, and we wrote it about his brother that was killed in a car accident when he was 24 and Blake was 14. So I think that’s the most personal song that as a couple we’ve ever put out.
That song is going to cause a lot of people to cry.
You know I cry every time I listen to it [laughs].
Is that a potential single choice down the road?
Yeah, it may actually be the next one. I think that would be awesome, and I love the song so much. It definitely shows a different side of me.
The song ‘Fine Tune’ is one that fans will either really love or be afraid of. Your vocal delivery is very unique. What did you use?
‘Fine Tune’ is one of those songs that I’ve had for a really long time, and it was written by two friends of mine [Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird]. The demo that they had had that filter on the vocal,and I think that’s what I loved about the song. I stowed it for like six or seven years. So I just figured it would take the integrity out of the song if I didn’t use that same filter on the vocal. I just think it’s fun. It’s fun to sing through it and it’s a fun song. Every time I play it for somebody, all the girls in the room are up dancing, so that’s a good sign.
As you made the album, did a theme emerge?
Not really because every song has it’s own personality. And somehow when you listen to all 14 they all go together, but each one is so different. It’s one of those records where if you just buy the single you’re not going to understand what this record is.
If you were a contestant on ‘The Voice,’ which mentor would you want to work with?
Oh gosh [laughs]. That’s a hard question. I would say Cee-Lo [Green] because he is hilarious and he’s fun, and he’s so passionate and he’s got so much soul.
Could you work with Blake in that way?
No, I don’t think so. I don’t know about him coaching me. I think we would go crazy [laughs].
What about being married has surprised you?
You know, I think that people say something changes when you get married and it really does. It’s just a feeling. It’s not like your life changes or anything majorly but it’s just kind of knowing wherever I am he’s somewhere else but I know he has my back. You know what I mean? It’s a settling feeling.
In ‘Ladies Home Journal‘ you said that only one person told you it was a really good thing and everyone else said it was going to ruin your relationship. That was shocking.
It was. Like hardly anyone was positive. As time went on more people came out of the woodwork going, “I love being married,” but it was so weird at our engagement party when only one couple were like, “We love being married.” Everyone else, whether they were joking or not, was sort of saying,” Oh God. Now everything is going to change,” like it was a bad thing. But we didn’t let it get to us.
Who was the one person?
Actually Gary Overton, the head of my label.
Who puts more pressure on you to have a baby: parents, friends or fans? Or the media?
I don’t really think you should let anybody pressure you into that. That’s a huge life decision, so no matter who was pressuring me I don’t think I would give into it. It’s like I think you know when it’s time, and it’s not time [laughs]. So that’s all I can say about it, you know.
We had a couple of fan-submitted questions. A reader wanted to know if you’d consider your own line of female hunting clothes?
Probably not — there are some great ones out there already. Rather than the hassle, I’ll just use their stuff.
Another reader asked: Since you’re kind of a tough chick, what makes you cry (other than the song ‘Over You’)?
Animals usually. Like animals that have suffered or whatever. I cry about [that].
Like that commercial, that Humane Society commercial always makes me cry.
Watch the Miranda Lambert ‘Baggage Claim’ Video