Miranda Lambert Lets Her Music Speak for Itself: ‘All You Have to Do Is Listen’
After releasing her 2016 double album The Weight of These Wings, country superstar Miranda Lambert stayed quiet. After a very public divorce from fellow country icon Blake Shelton, she knew that fans would be looking for a heartbreak album, and that every reporter she spoke to would ask her about the split. However, Lambert wanted the music to speak for itself.
In the second installment of an interview with writer Holly Gleason for Hits Daily Double, Lambert opens up about that decision: "When the music was out, people had listened, I got on the phone for the first interview. First question was, 'How do you feel about Gwen [Stefani]?'" Lambert recalls. "I hung up. I told [manager] Marion [Kraft], 'I can't do this.'"
The country star goes on to say that she wanted the emphasis to remain on the music, and in fact, everything she had to say about her divorce was in the album. "I knew [doing press] was going to be hell, and I'd already been through hell," she continues. "It was hell putting it on paper, putting my words on paper. So I didn't want to rehash. I'd finally gotten to a place where I wasn't sad anymore. All the sad moments were there, all the truths were right in those songs. All you had to do was listen. I didn't need to say anything."
In the first installment of her chat with Gleason, Lambert explained that the more stories emerged about her personal life, the farther they drifted away from the truth, and in the second portion of the interview, she admits feeling stifled by the persona that celebrity projects onto her. "[Manager] Frank [Liddell] sends me texts sometimes that say, 'I am so sick of people telling me what you are. Giving me these songs for you, and they don't know anything,'" she continues. "They don't mean any harm by it, but it's frustrating not to be seen. I feel less trapped by it now, though. I just wanna be known as a good songwriter, you know?"
Part of feeling less pinned down into a box has come from Lambert's ability to showcase different sides of her personality in different songs and on different albums. "I['ve had] this swagger, as you said -- "firecracker," "firebrand," "little pistol" -- all my career, there are these quotes. And I am that. I'm proud of it," she notes. "But ... I feel like the first time people really heard me was "The House That Built Me." It completely showed the other side of me.
"That language they use for me: "Firebrand," "firecracker," "pistol," whatever that all is -- it's great," Lambert adds. "But I don't like the corners."
When it came time to write and record music for The Weight of These Wings, the "firecracker" that people believe Lambert to be would have put out angry music, but the country star is more than just one persona. "I think lots of people expected a revenge vibe," she comments. "I've heard that a couple of times, but really, this is the opposite of that."
Lambert also finds an outlet for other facets of her music with the Pistol Annies, the country supergroup that also includes Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley. "Pistol Annies is such a relief," she says. "It makes me more brave, because when there's three of us, we can say whatever we want. It teaches me why writing alone is so much more pressure, and so much harder. That right there, paper and pen, scares me to death. But I know there's a resolve. You sit your a-- in a chair, and you're gonna wait, and it's gonna come. Deadlines are hard for us, but they're also good. I know it.
"And [working with the Annies] is fun," she adds. "It's a slumber party with songwriting."
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