Keith Urban spoke with Hits Daily Double recently and in the interview talked about Nicole and how their marriage has effected his music.
You’ve always had a strong undertow of pro-female songs, like “Stupid Boy,” “Cop Car” and Ripcord’s “The Fighter” with Carrie Underwood. Are you a feminist?
I love Joseph Campbell. He talks a lot about the women-power movement, how the whole thing got so extreme and women got very hardened over by it. The pressure of it all made women tough, and I want to support the purity and beauty of women, that feminine piece of it, so the beauty doesn’t become hardened into something that paves over what’s special. People, especially women, talk about being thick-skinned, and I want to say, “I’m so sorry. What happened?” To be raw and vulnerable, that’s the beauty of it.
A lot of those really simple, tough lines in “The Fighter” are straight from early in my relationship with Nic. I had such a learning curve in our marriage! When she’d get scared, I’d think she was angry; then I’d get defensive, go tearing out the driveway at 90 miles an hour. And that’s when it all gets pear-shaped. What she needs, and it’s all in the song, is for me to stay, to be close, to hear her. Get Closer: the album title alone was literally from this new awareness I had with this reality of how to react. When things are tough or upsetting, it’s about pulling her close. That’s what she needs, and I had to learn it.
It was like that with “Stupid Boy.” Sarah Buxton had put out an album and I was listening on the bus. I said to Nic, “I need a song like that.” And she said, “Why don’t you do this song?” And I was thinking it was a woman singing. Nicole was so clear: “You’re the stupid boy. Sing the whole song, and then at the end put it out there.”
It sounds very powerful.
First and foremost, my marriage with Nic informs everything. Nic is so unbelievably open; she doesn’t keep things in or bottle them up. She’s really a great communicator. Because of her, if I open up, every day, I’m listening and growing and learning. If I’m a better man, it’s because of her.
To read the entire interview go here.