Between the release of "Baggage Claim" -- the first single off her upcoming fourth album, "Four the Record" -- and the debut from her side project Pistol Annies, Grammy-winning country ass-kicker Miranda Lambert has had quite the month. Yet Lambert, who married "Voice" judge and fellow country star Blake Shelton back in May, finds the time to watch her hubby's show every week.
"I watch it ['The Voice'] as a fan," Lambert tells Billboard.com amidst promo for Pistol Annies. "I don't let him [Blake] tell me anything about it because I love watching it as a viewer."
Lambert's lucky she has some time before "The Voice" season two kicks off -- the "House That Built Me" songstress is hitting the road for September and October, with Pistol Annies playing a set in the middle of her solo shows. She dishes to Billboard.com about her all-girl trio and their "housewife"-tinged debut, "Hell on Heels," out this week (Aug. 23).
Video: "Hell on Heels," Pistol Annies
Billboard: How did you come together with Angaleena Pressley and Ashley Monroe for Pistol Annies?
Miranda Lambert: Ashley and I have been friends for a long time. We started at Sony at the same time and became friends and wrote songs together. She actually helped me write some songs at my house in Oklahoma, and she introduced me to Angaleena's music on Myspace. I fell in love with it immediately. We called her at midnight and asked her to send us all her stuff, and she did. Then we asked her to be in a band, and she met us the next week and immediately, we just had this crazy connection talking about songs together.
This is a definitely different dynamic for you, especially live -- new voices to harmonize with, new songwriting ideas. How has that been so far?
Lambert: It's another great outlet. I've made a niche for myself in my solo career as a little bit of a rocker chick. With this project my country roots really come out. We're three country girls who are writing about real life situations. We'll all from different places in the South but we all come from the same background. We're excited to start doing our on shows -- not where it's just Miranda Lambert. Part of being in a band is that all the pressure isn't on just you. We really are just three girlfriends having a blast.
There's definitely a strong Southern family, domestic type of feeling on "Hell on Heels." Were you particularly inspired by that?
Lambert: Whether or not we set out to have this role of housewife type of music or not, it just kind of came out that way. It's just real issues that women deal with it. Our theme, through my music and through Pistol Annies', is empowering women and talking about things that no one is actually saying. It definitely comes from experiences we've all had.
You've always been very outspoken in your lyrics. Does it feel like Angaleena and Ashley are on the same page as you with that approach?
Lambert: Absolutely. I think that's why we get along so well and why we have such chemistry writing. They're just as outspoken as I am -- especially Angaleena. She's a coalminer's daughter from Harlan, Kentucky and she's just born with that 'speak your mind' kind of thing about her, and so was I. Ashley's been through a lot in her life, even though she's just 24.