Interview: Shania Twain explains why her upcoming tour really will be her last

Yahoo! News - Canada
By Nick Patch, The Canadian Press
March 6, 2015

TORONTO - During her two-year residency and revitalization in the desert, Shania Twain arrived at a crossroads that's familiar to many who venture to the Las Vegas Strip: she couldn't decide whether it was time to quit.

"I thought the Las Vegas show would be my farewell moment onstage," Twain said during an interview in Toronto on Wednesday.

"I wasn't officially saying that, but that's what I was thinking in my head. I thought: 'Well, I'll finish on this high. I got through it, it's been a success, it would be a great way to say goodbye from the stage.'

"But as I got closer to the end, closer to the last show, I thought: 'Oh, it's gone by so fast.' And I still felt a lot of momentum. So that's when I decided ... on putting a travelling show together and carrying on that momentum."

But Twain's upcoming 48-date tour her first in more than 10 years will be, she insists, her swan-song sojourn.

The Timmins, Ont., native last toured in 2004. The years that followed found Twain adrift in much-publicized personal turmoil, sparked by the dissolution of her relationship with ex-husband and creative partner Robert (Mutt) Lange. Their split was announced in 2008 and Twain went on to marry Swiss executive Frederic Thiebaud in 2011.

The notoriously reclusive Twain could have drifted farther from the spotlight, but instead she gradually opened up with a reality TV show, an intimate memoir and, finally, her glitzy Vegas revival.

There in the plush Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Twain took the opportunity to embellish her catalogue of smash hits with eye-catching excess, including: a flying motorcycle; two horses; a 13-piece band; and a series of eye-candy sets, including a Wild West saloon and a cozy campfire.

It's too big a production to take on the road, so Twain is starting from scratch with her celebratory new tour.

"I'm going to have family around," she vowed in her interview, as a friendly Thiebaud sat nearby and scrolled on his phone. "My husband will be there and I'll bring my son (Eja) out for a lot of it, and my sister will certainly be there.

"I guess," she added, "it's a goodbye party."

Here, she quickly clarifies.

"I'm not saying goodbye to music. I'm not retiring. I want to make a lot more records and write a lot more music," said Twain, clad all in black with one of her chunky studded heels tucked beneath her leg.

"It's not a farewell to my career it's just a farewell to that one element of my career."

In fact, Twain is partly stepping away from the stage to shift her time toward her long-gestating new music.

"I want to be spending more time doing other things creatively," she said.

"I've missed spending time on (writing).... I'd really like to focus on new music and of course I'd like to get this record done."

She's released only one new song in recent years: 2011's "Today Is Your Day," which hit No. 14 on the Canadian chart despite a minimal promotional push.

But she has, if anything, too many new songs, and is currently whittling them down. She's finally found producers, hinting coyly: "They're a little bit unexpected."

Twain also notes she's writing "different types of melodies" now.

"It's very self-expressive," she said of her new music.

"At this point, none of it is co-written. It's all just me at this stage. So no outside influence at all and that really makes it very, very direct and very personal.

"I'm determined to get it out while I'm 50," added Twain, who has the landmark birthday in August.

"The pressure's on."

But the advantage of her forthcoming milestone is that she feels increasingly at peace.

"The older I get, the more I'm accepting of certain things," she said. "It's a weird thing, aging, but I'm just getting more settled in myself."

She allows that if she winds up regretting the finality of this tour, perhaps it could be extended.

Certainly it's clear that Twain's final tour was the culmination of much internal wrangling, so much so that she wasn't sure whether to announce publicly that this would be it.

"I'd already decided in my mind, but I didn't want to rush into making that announcement. And I thought maybe that I'd make it partway through the tour or maybe not at all," she explained.

"But I think it would be worse to not tell people, and then have that be it, and they didn't take the opportunity to see the show.

"I think about Michael Jackson. I was always a fan but I never saw him live, and now I never will. And as a fan, I know how that feels.

"So I'm serious about (this) and I just think it would be unfair not to share it."