Country Music Star Miranda Lambert Discusses 'All Kinds of Kinds,' Pistol Annies And 'SVU'
“Locked and Reloaded,” country music star Miranda Lambert continues her tour with friend and fellow musician Dierks Bentley and, lucky for fans here, they’ll be stopping by Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Sept. 6. With numerous awards under her belt in 2013 alone, a highly successful fourth studio album “Four the Record” still topping charts and her all-female country music group called Pistol Annies creating a song for “The Hunger Games” soundtrack, Lambert continues to see her music and name gain even more praise.
What fans may know less about, however, are Lambert’s humanitarian efforts. Most recently, she raised funds by performing in a benefit for Oklahoma tornado victims with husband and country singer Blake Shelton and organized for specific care for animals affected by the tornados. She also brought attention to the issues surrounding rape by starring in a “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” episode. Although she’s come a long way from her “Kerosene” days, the Texas-born Lambert admits she still enjoys riding four-wheelers, baking and wearing cowboy boots.
ALIVE: What is it like being on the Locked and Reloaded Tour? How is the energy between you and Dierks Bentley?
Miranda Lambert: We have a lot of fun musically. Since we have toured together before, it’s great to be on the road with a good friend.
ALIVE: Your career has been on fire this year (and for the past few years, for that matter). You were 2013 female vocalist of the year, entertainer of the year, had single of the year, and all of that from the Academy of Country Music. You also won awards from CMT, including female video of the year. What does it feel like to achieve this much in a single year?
ML: It’s amazing, all of the things that are happening. I am so appreciative of my fans being supportive of me and my music. It never gets old [celebrating] these milestones.
ALIVE: Tell us a little bit about getting your start in the country music world and how it prepared you for your eventual country music career.
ML: My dad was a songwriter. At home, my parents played a lot of country music, so from early on in my life, I was surrounded by music.
ALIVE: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Pistol Annies, the debut album (“Hell on Heels”) and why starting this group was important to you?
ML: It started very simply by Ashley Monroe and myself hanging out one night. We have been friends since we both were signed at Sony early in our careers. We were just girlfriends hanging out. It was a very organic project that was just a way to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously. The songs wrote themselves.
ALIVE: Your last solo album, “Four the Record,” came out in 2011. Tell us about the making of that particular album. The first single, “Baggage Claim,” had quite a bit of success. What was the inspiration or motivation behind this album?
ML: Every album of mine reflects the time and life I have been living [during the] year living up to it. I like to write what I know and what I experience, but also what I hear my family, friends and fans go through. “Baggage Claim” was a bit of a departure in terms of groove and sound, but it was fun to experiment a bit on that record. And we sure did that.
ALIVE: Can you talk about the progression of your music, lyrics and overall style since your first album in 2001 to 2005’s “Kerosene” all the way to today? How do you think you’ve grown? How has your music changed or matured?
ML: On stage, I am a performer first and a storyteller second. My music and lyrics are a reflection of every part of me. I love the color pink and cooking and baking at home, but I also love riding around on my farm in my four-wheeler and being outdoors with my animals. When I wrote for “Kerosene,” I was in my late teens. The things that I knew then are what I felt at that time. I was 19 years old and had all the thoughts that a young girl at that age would have. As I have grown up and matured, my songs have become more reflective of who I am at those times.
ALIVE: What is your favorite song to perform to date?
ML: It changes all the time. Currently, I love performing “Over You” and “Mama’s Broken Heart.” Those are my last two singles, and they are both feel-good songs for me, but in different ways. My new favorite is “All Kinds of Kinds” from “Four the Record” as it feels like such a wonderful moment with fans singing along, raising arms and swaying. [It’s] very interactive as, I think, everyone can relate.
ALIVE: In terms of side projects, you were a guest judge on “Project Runway.” What was that like? Did you learn anything new about your personal style?
ML: I always loved watching “Project Runway,” and when they reached out to me, I agreed immediately. I feel that my personal style has been evolving over the years. But I still feel most comfortable in jeans, a t-shirt and a pair of cowboy boots.
ALIVE: In May, you and your husband, Blake Shelton, performed a touching tribute on his show, “The Voice,” for Oklahoma tornado victims. Why was it important for you to do this and perform in honor of these victims?
ML: I saw first-hand how much devastation the people and animals of Oklahoma had to deal with and, since we have a farm near Tishomingo, Okla., I wanted to help my fellow Oklahomans. I was also able to assist in bringing some mobile pet units with the help of my foundation, MuttNation Foundation, to work with the community.
ALIVE: You also made a debut acting move by starring in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 2012. How was your first acting experience?
ML: I have been a huge fan of “SVU” for many years and have regular watching marathons while I am on the road. I am not that interested in acting, but always felt that if I ever tried it, I would love for it to be on “SVU.” I was lucky that the director and the cast and crew were amazingly supportive and helped me with my acting debut every step of the way.
ALIVE: What’s next for Miranda Lambert?
ML: More music, of course. I’m working on my next album and [have been] writing for it. With any luck, it will make it to my fans in early 2014.