Shania Twain Tells You What’s Up! (Part 1 of 2)

What’s Up!? Keep reading, and Shania Twain will tell you in her own words about her new album, due Tuesday (Nov. 19). In the first of two parts, Twain talks about the social direction of Up!, the songs no one will ever hear and the common thread that runs through her energetic music. Part 2 of Shania’s interview with the CMT Radio Network will be posted Saturday (Nov. 16).

In the meantime, there’s even more when CMT Inside Fame: Shania debuts Friday (Nov. 15) at 8 p.m. The program repeats Saturday (Nov. 16) at 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. (All times Eastern/Pacific.)

CMT: I’m hearing these sounds and textures that are very worldly. How do you make worldly sound country?

Twain: (laugh) Well, any of our songwriting is written on guitars. We sit down with guitarists and we write music. We don’t write country songs, we don’t write pop songs, we don’t write rock songs — we just write songs. We just write the best songs that we can. And only when we get into the studio do we get into the next stage of creativity, which is the production. And that can go any direction you want it to go. So we just got a bunch of Nashville musicians together, a lot of them who were on the last two albums and did a session. And that’s how you do it. So there’s no need to “countrify” anything or “popify” anything or “rockify” anything. We just simply got the appropriate musicians together [and said] “Here’s the song, jam it out.” And that’s how you do it.

CMT: There’s some chick power in this album. You’re making a social statement in this album. Was that a conscious decision?

Twain: Actually, there are quite a few songs on the album that have real social direction. I’ve just matured I think as a writer, and I feel more confident in talking about expressing deeper thoughts. I mean, I’ve always had deeper thoughts, but think I’m just a bit more confident as a writer now and just a bit more mature. These subjects are things that I feel personal about, and I just think make great songs because I think people can relate to them. I think they can really understand what I’m talking about and relate to them, and that’s always my goal — just to make music that people can relate to. I don’t ever really want to write songs that are so much about my own personal pinpoint opinion that nobody else gets it. I’m interested in only sharing my opinion and my thoughts if I think that a lot of people will relate to that, because I make music for the fans anyway. That’s why I make music.

CMT: I read in Entertainment Weekly about a tape where you record your own personal songs just for you. What do you think would happen if you recorded those journal songs?

Twain: I’m not really sure they’re all that good. You know, they’re just my own little — I don’t write them even in a song format. I just write musical ideas. For instance, if you were to sit and write a diary, it wouldn’t read like a book because it wouldn’t be in paragraph form probably. It wouldn’t have any flow. There would be no beginning, no end, no climax. It would just be a bunch of thoughts. And that’s what would happen if I did that with that music. It would not really have any direction. And I think when you put an album together, it’s important the whole album matters as a whole. So I’m not really sure it would be all that interesting. That’s what I think would happen. (laugh)

CMT: Is there a common thread you put through Up!?

Twain: Well, the optimism in the album, and the feeling — the uplifting feeling and the sounds and everything — are quite continuous throughout the album, because the intention was to make it very ‘up.’ So that I think is quite evident when you’re listening to it.

For Part 2 of CMT’s exclusive Shania Twain interview, click here.

For’s Shania Twain artist page, click here.