Carrie Underwood Says Her ‘Cry Pretty’ Album Brings a New Kind of Drama
The "Cry Pretty" singer played WE Fest less than seven weeks before the Sept. 14 release date of Cry Pretty. It was the last U.S. tour date on her 2018 calendar, but that figures to change soon (her words, not ours). Speaking to Taste of Country before her 90-minute set, Underwood joked about the mounting body count on previous albums, confessed to allowing husband Mike Fisher and son Isaiah to have a heavy influence on her writing and dreamed big when it comes to females in country music.
What are fans going to notice immediately that’s different about the Cry Pretty album?
I think we cover a lot of ground. This has been my first experience co-producing, and I feel like we just threw the rulebook out the window and went where the music wanted us to go. There’s a lot of emotion on the album, a lot of soulfulness. We have a little fun, too, but it’s just something that I’m very proud of because I feel like I’m more in this album than I’ve ever been before.
Historically there has always been a fair amount of drama on a Carrie Underwood album. Can we expect a little bit of comeuppance?
You know, I don’t think I kill anybody off on this album (laughs). I know! It’s so unlike me. Everybody lives at the end. I think it’s a different kind of drama ... it’s a little more real-life and I feel like just me and where I am in my life. Having a kid and kind of just going through this crazy life that we go through. I’ve grown up a lot and I feel like “the drama” is more real-life.
Did your boys influence this album — Mike and Isaiah?
It’s impossible for them not to. When you go into write you’re drawing off of personal experiences and you’re talking about people that you know, or friends that are dealing with things. Your life influences your music for sure.
What’s more difficult: Taking the bad times and turning that into a song, or taking a really happy moment in life and turning that into a great country song?
Man, it just depends on the day. You just have to go where the day takes you, and I feel like if you walk into a writing session like, "I need a happy song about this" then that might not be what everybody else is experiencing, and that person that you’re writing with might be having the worst day ever and they were thinking of going in a completely different direction. You just have to feel the space out and be like "OK, where are we being led?" And then let the songs write themselves.
Maren Morris recently said you’re on her dream of collaborators. Who is on yours?
I would love to work with more females, to be honest. I feel like there’s so much talent and so many up-and-coming female artists that are absolutely amazing. I’d love some giant girl collaboration and get a lot of us up there doing our thing.
I feel like you can make that happen. You have some pull.
I know, but that’s the thing that’s hard, too. You can’t walk into a writing session and be like, "I wanna write a duet for me and so-and-so." It has to be the right moment — the stars have to line up, the right song, the right moment in their careers because they could have some total other things going on right now that a duet just won’t work with what they’re doing. It all just has to click into place.
Any collaborations on the album?
No. We have some guest musicians, but no straight-up duet-type of situations.
Your fans are begging to know more about an upcoming tour. You announced the festival in the Netherlands. Is more tour news coming?
Very soon. Like very soon. We’re not quite ... there are just so many things that literally we’re working on until the last minute until we can release it out into the world, making everything perfect. But very soon!
It was just announced you’re returning with Brad Paisley to host the 2018 CMA Awards for the 11th straight year.
It’s crazy. I still remember getting that phone call about that first year like, "They want us to what?!" Like it was just kind of crazy, and 11 years later we’re still doing this. The trick is to try to keep everything fresh and try to figure out just what we’re going to talk about and how to keep everything rolling — we want to be funny and we want to be timely and we want to be respectful and we want to make it a great show. There’s a lot of love that’s put into hosting the CMAs, and I hope people feel that above all else.
You guys are the best at it. An entire generation knows nothing else than Brad and Carrie as hosts of the CMA Awards.
That’s a little disappointing (laughs). Vince Gill, he’s such an amazing host. I feel like we need some — I don’t know. At some point they’re gonna can us and we’ll move on, I’m sure, but yeah it’s been really good.
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