LeAnn Rimes Photo Gallery
Photos courtesy of Ed Haney
THE TRUTH IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER
Most bios for albums talk about the artist's achievements and accolades, but
you all can Google that. I don't want to do that at this point in my life. I've
been making music for eighteen years, but I've never felt like people really
saw me as a person. They saw me as a prodigy with a big voice. I felt like an
alien child. I don't want to be "LeAnn Rimes," a name in lights. I want people
who listen to my music to see me, know me, recognize me, as a normal human
being who can sing and write and, I hope, connect with me through my music in a
deeper way than ever before.
That's what this album is about for me. I took a step back from the years of
work and came back to the essence of what music means to me. I made this album
for me, for the pure joy of making music, and I think the power of that shows.
I looked as this record as making a film. Every song that I wrote and every
song I recorded by another songwriter fit the whole vision and story that I
wanted to tell. In this album, I'm speaking more honestly than I ever have,
from the truth and pain and love in my life and hoping that people connect with
I'm not just a voice-I have something to say. I met my husband Eddie under
complicated circumstances, and you can Google that too, but if you really want
my truth, just listen to the music. The experience of meeting him, falling in
love with him, and weathering the resulting fallout has taught me and changed
me. It opened me up to being myself and not what everyone wanted or expected me
to be. The last three years have been a time of taking things apart and putting
them back together on my terms. I'm grown up, but I still had a child in me
that hadn't been able to develop. Now it has. Writing songs from such a
personal space is part of that growth. I'm learning to let go of myself and just
feel the emotion of what I'm doing. On this album, I feel like people are going
on that journey with me. We're embarking on it together.
Spitfire covers a range of emotions that I've experienced in my lifetime,
from anger to love, from frustration to letting go. My co-producer and
co-writer Darrell and I talked about telling that story in chronological order,
but that didn't work sonically, so Darrell said, "It's the truth...in no
particular order." And isn't that what life is about?
Darrell Brown and I have been writing together for ten years. Over the years
he has taught me so much about the writing process. He's my writing soulmate. I
trusted Darrell to bring in some co-writers that he knew I could be just as
honest with. He brought in Dan Wilson and David Baerwald. I had faith in
Darrell, but I had no idea that when it came to songwriting I'd click with
those two the way we did. I used to be afraid to say what I was thinking. I
worried that if I threw out an idea that sucked, people would think less of me.
Now I just dive in! We all throw out ideas that suck, and then we find
something we all like.
With me and Darrell, David co-wrote "What Have I Done?" one of the most
soulfully transparent songs on this album, and he also co-wrote with us
"Spitfire" and "A Waste is a Terrible Thing to Mind."
My favorite moment of recording this album might have been working on
"Borrowed." I didn't know Dan Wilson at the time, but he'd written "Someone
Like You" for Adele. There are so many songs on that record that I love so
much. Explaining to Dan what I wanted to express in "Borrowed" was a special
moment for me. I went to a deep, dark place that I've never shared with anyone,
but one that so many of us have experienced: waiting around for someone to
call, watching TV, alone, lonely, wondering if it was going to end or was
already over. That period wasn't a memory I wanted to revisit, but I think I
had to face it. And to be that open with someone I didn't know was very
cathartic and a revelation for me as a songwriter. Dan also co-wrote with us
the song, "I Do Now."
When I first met Niko Bolas, who engineered the record, I told him that I
couldn't stand having the microphone hanging down in front of me. I always
wanted to sing with the microphone in my hand, but all the engineers I'd ever
worked with told me I couldn't do it. They'd say, "You won't sound the same.
It'll bleed." But Niko is fearless. He said, "Whatever you want, we'll make it
work." Somehow he figured it out. I stood there in the middle of everyone and experienced
live music instead of being in the booth. Holding a mic, I felt like I could do
whatever I wanted. I recorded "What Have I Done?" lying flat on my back.
We initially recorded with as simple a band as possible. We wanted acoustic
instruments and steel as the focal point. We added electric guitar on a few
songs, a little B-3, and background vocals, but we tried not to build too much
on the original tracks. Willie Weeks plays bass and upright. Steve Jordan is on
drums. Dan Tyminski is on acoustic, mandolin, and background vocals. Paul
Franklin plays steel guitar. Waddy Wachtel and Dean Parks are on acoustics as
I was lucky that Dan Tyminsky, who plays with Alison Krauss and Union
Station, was teaching himself "What Have I Done" on the bus while they were on
tour. Alison called Darrell to ask to sing on it. I was awestruck. She and Dan
Tyminsky sing backup together.
We experimented with a couple mixers, and we weren't getting exactly what we
wanted. Then we went to Vance Powell, who mixed the last several Jack White
records. I knew I loved his stuff. So Darrell played him some of the basic
tracks we recorded, and Vance said, "I have to do this." We gave him "Spitfire"
to try mixing first. It kicked down the walls!!
Al Schmitt, the god of all mixers, works down the hall in Capitol Studios,
where we were recording. One day he popped his head in and asked, "Can I mix
that?" He ended up mixing three or four songs for us.
Alison, Dan Tyminsky, Dan Wilson, Rob Thomas, Jeff Beck, Vance Powell,
Willie, Steve Jordan, so many people moved their lives around to work on this
record. Every time I reached out to someone whose work inspired me and they
said yes, I was blown away. Nobody had heard any of the music yet, but they
wanted to come create together.
As a kid, I used to get easily tired of working in the studio. I have a
short attention span. But now that I'm writing my own stuff and it has meaning,
it's a completely different experience. The people I worked with felt like a
family, and I didn't want our time in the studio to end. I don't think anyone
This album is a peek into my world; who I am, what I've gone through, what
my emotions are. It's an intimate conversation between myself and whomever's
listening. I hope I'm saying things that are hard for others to express. It
certainly took me a lot of work to get to this point. And it's still easier to
sing these thoughts than it is to say them out loud. The intimacy in my music
is just beginning.