Exclusive Interview With Colosseum Headliner Shania Twain On Her One Year Anniversary in Las Vegas, New Album
Dec. 1 will mark one year since Shania Twain debuted her resident concert at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, and if you’ve missed out on the show so far, get tickets to her upcoming performances on select dates from Oct. 15-Dec. 14. The number one selling country female artist of all time has plenty to say as she reflects on the last year and looks ahead to making her first album since 2002’s “Up!”
The one year mark of “Shania: Still the One” is coming up on December 1. How does it feel now that you’ve got almost a full year completed, and does it feel different than you thought it would?
It’s great to look back on it now and it’s such a great feeling. I guess I feel relief that it succeeded. It’s always an anxious feeling putting yourself out there with such a huge commitment in front of you, and facing that, and getting through that, and landing on the other side of it which is where I am now. During the process, I was enjoying the creative outlet for sure. I really love developing ideas, and watching them play out. I think I could just do that for a living, with my job, just developing and creating ideas and then stepping out of it and not being the one in the spotlight. But the show is rewarding as well because people are happy, I’m enjoying the audience every night. The place I’m at out now is I’m enjoying the fruits of my labor to be honest. The people, their reaction, and my interaction with them, and not worrying anymore about whether it’s going to work or not.
You had several runs of Colosseum shows under your belt now. What has surprised you the most about the whole experience?
The surprise probably more than anything has been how interactive I’ve been able to be with the audience because all of my past experience on tour—even though I’ve always wanted more contact with the people and more one-on-one interaction with them—it’s just been the size of the venue and the set up. The stage is so far from the people, you’re high up above, it’s just not practical to have as much personal contact with people. In this room, I’m able to indulge in that more than ever before so I’m surprised by how much I’m able to do that and how fun it is. I always had fun with it, but I’m having a blast getting to know the audience, talking to them, and hugging them. It’s just a really fulfilling, personally satisfying experience for me.
Your sister, Carrie Ann Brown, works in the show with you as a back-up singer. How has her being up there every night helped or comforted you in this whole process?
She is a giant support for me personally. Having to take the personal me and whatever those issues are and were and will be in the future…we just all need family and friends. The fact that she is in the show is an ongoing support, so it’s not like she just was there and the show happened, and then she was gone. Having her there all the time as it’s happening is a big part of it. She is running the whole marathon with me, if you will, not just there for the training. That’s been amazing, It’s been a childhood dream. I always wanted her there with me and to have family and friends with me, and I was never able to manage that so this is really the first time this is happening for me in my life.
Since it’s been confirmed you’ve started work on your new album, I think fans are really curious about what kind of musical direction you’re going with next because so much has happened since “Up!.” What do you think will surprise people the most about this next disc?
It’s hard to say, but I’m writing different. My song direction is different, just stylistically. I think it’s just because I’ve been spending so much time writing by myself, whereas before I was writing so much in partnership with Mutt that that influence was split, and mutual. Now I’ve been left alone in my own, stylistically, so I think that will be the biggest difference. I think the sound of the record will depend a lot on the producer, and that will be more where the outside influence comes in, in the production.
Is it going to be a 50/50 country and pop mix, or what music direction as far as the genre?
I do think there will be a contrast there for sure. That is already just who I am anyway. Even if I was producing it myself I would maintain a level of contrast. I think that’s why it has worked so well to make the records that I make. The rock and country is something I am attracted to so I think that wide, broad spectrum of contrast is going to remain. I don’t think I would ever make a straight rock album. It just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t make that blend in there somewhere.
It sounds like it’s going to be 100 percent all you this time. Do you think it will be your most personal album yet?
I think so, yes, that would definitely be where my head is at. To really just talk in my songs and make it something meaningful for myself that I can appreciate it as a personal experience when I’m performing, probably more than ever before. I’d say that’s a good guess as far as the direction I am going to take it.
Can fans expect for a spring or summer release?
No release date in mind at all. I am really still in the stage where I’m accepting the fact that I’ve decided to make another record.
Would you consider extending your Colosseum residency after you fulfill the two-year mark?
It depends on what is going on with the new album. I’m at a stage in my life where I am really taking one thing at a time. Producing the whole show itself was a giant feat for me and now getting through the performance phase of it, being on stage again. The next step is making a record. I just haven’t thought that far ahead yet, I’m really more in the phase of the record.
You’ve said before that touring your shows around the world is all you were doing for so many years, and you love the Vegas deal because it’s so stationary. Do you see yourself ever doing dates out on the road again or do you just like being in one place?
I have enjoyed being stationary. It is nice to be able to have a show of such high quality that you couldn’t take, technically, anything as sophisticated as that on a traveling show because it wouldn’t be practical. To have the sophistication we have in that room at The Colosseum, it’s hard to not love that aspect of it. I’m also liking the stability of it. As a mother I really enjoy not traveling around everywhere all the time, so that’s also been a real luxury. It’s too early for me to decide. I’m in the phase where I’ve already decided to make another album, and that’s as many decisions as I can make for myself at the moment.
What are you loving about your time spent in Las Vegas?
I am enjoying the diversity of the place. We love the restaurants, we love the variety of the shows and the amazing talent that’s there. It’s very inspiring. We get out of the city, there’s a great zipline out there and a lot of beautiful landscape to take in. The other line I’ve integrated myself in is charity because I opened a school program at Tom Williams Elementary for underprivileged kids, so there’s a lot of reward there and depth for me in Vegas. There’s a lot of variety and it’s not all based around what I’m doing with the show. It’s a pretty well-rounded experience for me when I’m in Vegas.