How do we do it? How in the world do we redesign women? Here’s a thought. You can light all those tired, old gender constructs on fire and destroy any leftover clichés about what women used to be. Like the ones about how we’re running the world while we’re cleaning up the kitchen, how we change our minds like we change our haircolor, and how we are capable of breaking every Jell-O mold.
The brand new video for “Redesigning Women,” from the brand new country collective of The Highwomen — made up of Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby — makes the kind of bold statement you’d expect from such a supergroup.
“When we win, we all win,” Morris had said at a Country Music Hall of Fame listening event last month. And Hemby added that when she was asked to be part of the band, she was quick to say yes. “I worship the honky-tonks they walk on,” she’d said.
The group talked to CMT.com about what it was like collaborating on the video that so aptly captures their camaraderie.
CMT.com: That bonfire looks like it was a legit party. Were you all acting, or was it literally just a great time for all of you?
Highwomen: Anytime there is a bonfire with Tanya (Tucker) and Wynonna (Judd), there is a party. And yes, we were all genuinely having a great time. We had drinks and four wheelers and all of our friends there. It was a thousand degrees and everyone smelled like bug spray and the stars were out on a summer night. It could not have been a more perfect day.
Where was it shot, and who was directing things?
It was shot in Leiper’s Fork in the middle of a field. Volunteer firefighters from the Williamson County Fire and Rescue Squad were on hand to show us how to put on the uniforms. Elizabeth Olmstead, our amazing director, made sure we had plenty of water (and wine) on hand, and she would make us go and sit in an air-conditioned car in between takes. The bonfire was the best payoff at the end of the day, because we got to burn a lot of random and hilarious household items.
Did the four of you together come up with the video concept to bring the song to life? If so, what inspired the imagery?
The video was the brainchild of Elizabeth. She was driving and listening to the song in the car, and immediately thought of her best friend. She knew that if she heard this song, they would both laugh, say inappropriate things, and mumble “Hell yes” at the line in the chorus where the lyric says “Making bank, shaking hands, driving 80.” She nailed it conceptually and captured the camaraderie we share as women.
How did you recruit all the other women in the video?
We were so lucky to have had such an all-encompassing group of women in the video. We just started making phone calls. That’s it. Everyone is an artist, has her own voice and sound. They are all our friends and it made the video even more fun having them be a part of it.
Putting a girl group together is such a no-brainer — and a very welcome addition to country right now — but it must come with challenges. Were you ever reluctant to combine your art and collaborate for this side passion project when the four of you are all successful as solo artists?
We each love what we do and there are many sides to our creativity. Art is meant to be shared, and there is nothing more exciting than collaborating with people you love and respect musically and personally. There’s power in numbers. And we feel that every time we get together.
“Redesigning Women” was written by Natalie Hemby and Rodney Clawson.
Check out some of the behind-the-scenes photos from the video shoot: