On national slurpie day, (7/11) Broken Records Magazine spoke to the amazingly talented, breathtakingly beautiful and extremely funny and kind, Kristin Chenoweth. Kristin opened up about her upcoming album, Some Lessons Learned, the experience making the record, and how we are now new best friends.
Broken Records: You’ve had an extremely diverse career and obviously there is so much ahead of you still. What did you feel that you wanted to accomplish with Some Lessons Learned?
Kristin Chenoweth: First of all, thank you for that. The diverse career is something every actor really wants. We want to be able to do different things. This was more of an accomplishment for myself because I grew up singing country music and gospel music in church. I might have my degree in opera performance, and I’m known for that and for musical theatre. When I signed on with Sony, I said ‘Look, I know you guys want certain things from me, but you have to put it somewhere in writing that you are going to try to do this record.’ I didn’t know much about the record business then, and I still kinda don’t, but I’ve learned some, and they said ‘ok.’ I guess I feel really glad that I am smart enough to do that. Now I’m getting to do it. It’s the stuff I played for my parents and family. That makes me feel really happy, because it goes back to the days when I worked in Opryland when I was 19, and I just didn’t want to leave. I loved, loved it there so much. It might be twenty years too late, but I’m doing it.”
Broken Records: Not at all. Especially at the age of 19, to sing at the Opry! Opryland is huge.
Kristin Chenoweth: It makes me sad that Opryland doesn’t exist anymore, because there’s a mall there. You gotta love the mall. I’m too upset by it. That was such a part of history. Looks like I’m going to get together with the Grand Ole Opry, and do a set there. It’s all coming back full circle. That is what I’m about: learning and growing. The glass is half full. I’ve had some great times and a great journey so far, but now it is half empty. I’m starting over in a way. It’s exciting, and it’s a challenge. That’s one of the things that I really want to do.”
Broken Records: Cool. I wish you the best of luck and hope this record does a lot for you.
Kristin Chenoweth: Thank you so much.
Broken Records: I know on the album, you had the opportunity to have some amazing writers on it. Did you personally get to sit down with them, were the songs written for you, or were they written prior, and then you selected them?
Kristin Chenoweth: Even though I didn’t sit down and write the songs, with the exception of two, I felt pretty strongly that these songs, for a moment, they might have. I put my own stamp on them.
Broken Records: While they weren’t written for you, in a roundabout way, they ended up being for you anyway.
Kristin Chenoweth: Yeah, because none of the songs have ever been picked. They’ve been sorta out there, but some of the songs like Diane [Warren] had four songs and she told me she wasn’t giving them to anybody else. I feel like they were mine to begin with.
Broken Records: It was a really interesting pairing having to work with Bob Ezrin in the studio. You’ve got some country for you, and obviously you do a ton of Broadway, and you have him doing albums such as Pink Floyd. How was it working with him and were there any funny stories with you two in the studio?
Kristin Chenoweth: Sometimes I want to bop him on the head, and I’m sure he wants to do the same thing to me. In fact, I know he does. You wouldn’t put us together. It started because of Diane Warren. That’s how I met Bob. Then, when I started to sing, and he started to look at me through the glass and talked to me while I was singing, and look at me and gesture and motion. I knew that he was my person. He knew that I was his too. Bob just believed in me so much. You can’t buy that!
Broken Records: I’m sure it helps that you have a great track record behind you.
Kristin Chenoweth: He taught me to rock out, singing this country music that I grew up singing. He gave me the confidence to go for it! Bob is just so good!
Broken Records: Some Lessons Learned is a heck of a title for an album. I know that it’s also a song. What is it about this song and title that really fit you?
Kristin Chenoweth: I didn’t do that many covers. I did two. It’s funny, I may look a little younger than my age. I’ve been hurt like everybody else, and I’ve done the hurting, and I’ve had learned some hard lessons. Hopefully, we learn from these lessons. I knew that something existed, and I wanted to record it. When it came to the title, it just seemed so natural, because I did learn a lot, but I’m sure I have a lot more to go, because it’s called life. I look at someone like Taylor Swift, who I think is just incredible, and I think she has the voice, and the talent and the look. I just can’t wait for what’s going to happen to her. She’s going to learn a lot from her own life, and because of that music comes to mean stuff even deeper.
Broken Records: You don’t look at day over 25.
Kristin Chenoweth: Thank you very much. You’re my new best friend! We’re best friends till death do us part.
Broken Records: Speaking of someone like Taylor Swift, she’s 21 and has reached the pinnacle of everything in music (multi-platinum, ACMS, Grammys, CMAs). You name it, she’s won it. You look at someone like yourself who has accomplished everything as well. Where do you think someone like Taylor has to still go? They say once you’ve gone up, there’s nowhere else to go but down. Do you feel that way?
Kristin Chenoweth: I think that she has nowhere to go but up in a different way. I think she’ll cross over and do some other country music. I’d love to see her on Broadway. I think she has nothing but good things ahead of her. So far, she has such an amazing head on her shoulders. All I can say, is that I can’t wait to see what she’s going to give us.
Broken Records: What’s next in your line-up of things to do? TV? The big screen or Broadway? Any chance of doing a tour for your new album?
Kristin Chenoweth: Yes, everything you said! I’m going to be doing a new show on ABC called “Good Christian Belles.” I’ve played everywhere in the world, but I haven’t done a tour, because of my schedule. I know how important that is to do, to support an album. I’m going to be doing that. Broadway is so very much dear in my line-up because I’ll be reviving a show from the 1960s. My next year is going to be kinda hectic, but I absolutely love it, and I’m very lucky.