Carrie Underwood has stormed the charts with her new album, Blown Away. In the second segment of a two-part interview with CMT Insider host Katie Cook, the “Good Girl” singer discusses her approach to making music, recording a song written by famed producer Mutt Lange, how husband Mike Fisher created her ultimate acceptance of Twitter and her motto for the upcoming tour.
Blown Away is your fourth album. Are you feeling more confident, like you really know what your fans want from you musically?
Underwood: I try not to think too much about what other people want from me. I feel like that’s somebody else’s job to be like, “Carrie, you’ve gone too far.” I don’t know statistics, and I don’t know what kind of songs people download more. I just know what I like, and I know when I’m singing what feels good for me to sing and what songs I’d turn up on the radio and which ones I’d change. So I kind of write for myself, I sing for myself, and if people like it, I guess they’re a lot like me.
You have a Mutt Lange song on the album. Tell us how this came about.
I do. Well, he submitted it. He sent it in. He’s really secretive and private about what he has. Lord knows how many songs he has stashed away some place, but I guess he had me in mind at some point.
Did he write “Who Are You” for you?
Honestly, I’m not really sure. I don’t know when he wrote it, but somewhere along the way he must have thought, “Hey, Carrie would sound good on this.” I don’t know what he thought but I’m glad whatever he thought, he thought it, because he sent it in. It was a nice last track. It really fit there nicely. … The great thing about that song is it can be whatever you need it to be. It can be about a parent. It can be about somebody that you love, guy or girl, whatever. It can be about God. It’s just about that rock, that person, that thing in your life that saves you.
Yeah, it’s a huge song. Bringing up Mutt, though, makes me think of Shania Twain. [Editor’s note: Lange was married to Twain, wrote songs with her and produced her albums.] And that makes me think of something I wanted to ask you after “Before He Cheats” came out. If you had a night of Shania karaoke, what song would you sing?
I love the classic Shania, the kind of original Shania. The “Any Man of Mine” kind of Shania. Those are always a lot of fun. Of course, I listened to her growing up. So, yeah, I’d definitely pick some of the early Shania.
I would love to see you doing karaoke. (laughs) There are currently only five solo females on the entire country singles chart. Do you wish there were more females in country music, or is there a competitive side of you that’s like, “No, we have plenty”?
A little bit of both, to be honest. I could totally lie right now and be like, “I totally wish there were more.” I wish it was more accepted. I’m sure at some point we all feel a little… “oppressed” isn’t the right word, but we’re all part of this boys club. So maybe a little out of place. But the ones that we got are killin’ it, so maybe it’s not about quantity. Maybe it’s about quality. If us five or so can dominate, then I’m OK with that.
It took you a little while, but you’re on Twitter now. What do you love and hate about it?
I like having that extra way to communicate with fans, and it’s a great information tool. I was checking scores for something one day and I couldn’t get it on my score checker app. I looked on Twitter, and I found scores to a game, so it’s a great informational tool. You can find out what’s going on in the world and what people think about it. People are not shy about telling you what they think about everything, It’s just a great tool letting people know what you’re up to.
But it did take you a while to get on there.
It did. New things like that scare me. I want to see them established and see what they are before I figure out if I want to be a part of it or not. I saw Mike do it. Mike did it for a year before I joined, and he really used it for good. He did not use it for evil. He used it for good. He put out positive messages and thanked people. Seeing him do it took the fear out of it for me.
Yeah, and like you said, it’s just such a good way to connect with people.
When I’m on tour especially, I think it’s going to be great letting them know like, “I had such an amazing night tonight. Thank you so much, Cleveland!” or wherever I’m at. It’s going to be really, really fun to have that immediate interaction before and after things happen.
Speaking of touring, you wrote on your fan page that you’ll be touring your face off in 2012.
Yeah, we’re planning on starting September-ish. Right now, we’re talking creative and trying to figure all that stuff out. We have some great ideas already, but I’m really excited to see what else we come up with.
The last tour was pretty theatrical. Lots of wardrobe changes.
Yeah, this album’s got more drama, and I want [the tour] to be a feast for the eyes and ears. I’m excited to see. We’re definitely going big or going home, and I think we’re going to go big.Read the first part of CMT Insider’s interview with Carrie Underwood.