Miranda Lambert reflects on the ‘hardest year’ of her life

Miranda Lambert attends the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards on April 15, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Matt Winkelmeyer/ACMA2018/Getty Images for ACM

Country music star Miranda Lambert continues to put her life experiences into her music and she wants fans to get her raw emotions directly from her sixth studio album, The Weight of These Wings. 

Lambert and Blake Shelton divorced in 2015 after four years or marriage, and it didn’t take long for Shelton to start up a new relationship with singer Gwen Stefani. Lambert is now reportedly dating the frontman from Turnpike Troubadours, Evan Felker, whose band is opening on her current tour.

READ MORE: Miranda Lambert’s foundation rescues over 70 dogs from Hurricane Harvey

Lambert’s The Bandwagon Tour lands in Toronto at the Budweiser Stage on Thursday night with co-headliners Little Big Town.

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Global News caught up with Lambert ahead of her Toronto show to talk about her music, her pets and what she likes most about Canada.

READ MORE: Issa Rae on ‘Insecure’ Season 3, Drake and Toronto culture

Global News: What will we see and hear on this tour, and how does it compare to previous tours?
Miranda Lambert: This one is one of my favourites that I’ve ever done. It’s so much fun and we probably look like we’re having too much fun up there and we’re calling it work. (Laughs) I’ve been friends with Little Big Town for a long time and we’ve been talking about doing this tour. This is the first time it’s come to fruition. It’s singing each other’s songs, singing together and it’s having our bands on stage together. It’s just unique and special. Neither one of us has ever experienced anything like it before.

What was it like working on The Weight of These Wings?
It was a long process. I spent a year making that record and it also happened to be the hardest year of my life. But it was therapy I guess, every phase of going through something hard was on tape, and I was writing about it so it took me through the entire process musically.

What made you decide to do a double album with 24 songs?
When you go through something really hard in your life, I feel like you have a lot to say and it takes you through different phases of emotions to get through it. And for me, that was 24 songs.

Is there one song that you’re extremely proud of or stands out the most to you from this project?
That’s like asking me my favourite dog. (Laughs). I can’t pick one.

What are some of the biggest things you’ve learned about yourself while working in the music industry?
I’ve learned how to find strength when you don’t have any left. When you think that you’re exhausted and can’t go another minute, I’ve learned that you can. I’ve also learned to trust my gut. I’ve been fortunate in this business to really stay true to what I want to say and to be honest. In the end, it’s always paid off even if it’s been a little bit harder of a road.

What’s your favourite part about working in the music industry?
A lot of times, the music business doesn’t feel like work. It feels like a hobby that you get paid for because that’s what it is. Some days, it is a lot of work and there’s a lot of sacrifice. You miss a lot of birthdays, weddings, funerals and time with people who are important to you. But the reward is sharing your art with strangers and that’s a bond with your fans that can’t break. It’s a lot of give and take.

Is there any fan interaction that stands out to you?
I get to meet them every night and just stand up there and look into their eyes. But when someone says to me that my art truly made an impact on their lives, that’s all I’m here for. That’s exactly what I want to be doing.

That probably feels really rewarding to hear.
It does, it really does.

What are some things that you need to have with you while on tour?
I like to have dogs with me. I have eight dogs so I bring a couple of the little ones with me. And Cheetos and Cheetos. (Laughs)

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Do you get to enjoy any downtime in the cities that you visit while on tour?
I have a few different times, Toronto being one of them. I had a few days off there. If we have a few days off on the road, I’ve been trying to really see the places we’re visiting. I’ve been everywhere and I haven’t seen a lot because it’s work days but I’m getting better about exploring the cities while I’m there and really enjoying what I’m getting to see.

Is there anything you plan to do while you’re in Toronto?
Hopefully rock the house, that’s my only plan.

What’s your favourite thing about Canada?
I think the people are just really kind and great. We have a Canadian on tour with us, Tenille Townes, and I think she’s a shining example of how sweet you guys are.

You’re a huge advocate for animal rescue and adoption which is really amazing. How many animals do you have now? I know you said you have eight dogs.
I have eight dogs, two kitties, five horses and two mini horses.

How many are on tour with you right now?
This weekend, I couldn’t bring any because I flew. And they can’t come to Canada unless I get them, basically, passports for dogs. But pretty much half the time, I have a couple of critters with me.

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[This interview has been edited and condensed.]

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