When Miranda Lambert released the double-disc The Weight of These Wings in 2016, she didn't hold anything back. Fresh from a highly-publicized divorce with Blake Shelton, Lambert was used to seeing her face on every tabloid – a harsh reality while she was still mourning the end of her four-year marriage.
While Lambert began dating Anderson East, the wound was still fresh. As she prepared to do interviews in support of The Weight of These Wings, the Texan realized people were suddenly interested in much more than her music.
"When the music was out, people had listened, I got on the phone for the first interview," Lambert recalls to HITS Daily Double. First question was, 'How do you feel about Gwen?' I hung up. I told [my manager] Marion [Kraft], 'I just can't do this.'"
Not that Lambert was hiding from the truth. The singer-songwriter bared her soul on The Weight of These Wings, admitting things no one – not even her co-writers – initially thought she would be open to sharing. But while she was willing to embrace all of her emotions on The Weight of These Wings, that didn't mean she was necessarily ready to talk about them, so she boldly refused to do any interviews to support her sixth studio album.
"It was going to be hell, and I'd already been through hell," Lambert acknowledges. "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."
Lambert knew that refusing to do press to support a record, something nearly unheard of in the music industry, especially for a female country artist, was a risk. But for her, the risk was greater of doing interviews that would have focused on things besides her music.
"It would've been taken out of context," Lambert says. "It would've set up some expectation that couldn't be met. I was very publicly going through this thing, and there wasn't an explanation to be given."
Lambert's debut single from The Weight of These Wings, "Vice," which include the lyrics, "Another vice, another call / Another bed I shouldn't crawl out of / At 7:00 AM with shoes in my hand / Said I wouldn't do it, but I did it again / And I know I'll be back tomorrow night," was only part of the narrative, at least from Lambert's perspective, of what led to the demise of her marriage.
For Lambert, the only way to move to the other side of her pain was to write about that, using The Weight of These Wings as her own therapeutic tool, which she was unconventionally sharing with her fans.
"I remember telling [my producer Frank Liddell] right before I started writing, just the beginning of some turmoil ... We were having drinks at [Nashville's] Red Door, and I remember saying. 'I'm about to feel a lot. I'm ready to feel every bit of it, and I'm gonna use all of it.' And he said, 'I'm in.'
"I didn't even know really what all it was gonna take to come out of it, but I was gonna feel it," she continues. "And I was gonna come out alive. Hungover a lot, maybe, but I was gonna get through it. Alive and feeling like death, but it was OK. It was true."
Lambert's lack of press for The Weight of These Wings certainly didn't hurt her. The record was certified platinum, for sales of over one million copies, and she held onto her role as the ACM Female Vocalist of the Year, becoming the most-awarded country music artist in history.
Still, all of that pales in comparison to what the 34-year-old says is her most important role – to write and record songs that matter.
"I want to be the Dixie Chicks for this next generation, if that's what's meant to be," Lambert concedes. "To put it simply, I want to write and make music that moves people, to give them freedom to be who they are. I want to kick those doors open. Until I don't have a turn anymore, I want to write and find great songs."0comments
Purchase The Weight of These Wings at MirandaLambert.com.
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