Singer Natalie Maines talks on motherhood, the future of the Dixie Chicks and why she can't go back to country music in the Time Interview.
Natalie Maines is a singer song-writer. She’s best known as the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, who are best-known for their album Taking the Long Way, which won lots and lots of Grammys and sold lots and lots of copies. And I’m super glad to say she’s here with us today, she’s got a new album called Mother. Natalie, thanks for coming.
Okay, so the last time you were in Time Magazine, you were on the cover, it’s almost seven years ago to the say since that happened and then, what you been doing?
I’ve been being a mother, raising my two boys, Slade and Becket with my husband Adrian.
The new album’s called Mother. Why did you, is it because of the break that you took for motherhood that you called it that?
I felt like it was a word that everyone would have some sort of emotion about ‘Cos everyone has a mother, so whatever emotions your mother conjures up for you. You know, I just felt it would make people feel something.
In the Time story, one of the things you said was that what shocked you about the controversy over your remarks at the London concert was that people seemed to be asking you to change who you were. And I wonder if seven years on, and having seen, having been through motherhood and, and different things, if you still hold that view, that you can’t change who you are.
I mean, I recognize things in myself I wanna change and I work on those, but that particular circumstance or incident isn’t one of the things that I feel proud that I spoke up and that I, you know, exercised my right to free speech, and I think it’s very scary that so much of the country criticized me for doing that.
It did at the time cause a huge ruckus, and I’m sure you get asked about it all the time. And for a while you had to have quite serious security. I mean, there was, it was quite alarming, though.
Appropriately. Has that all died down now or is it still?
It has, I do worry a little bit, that being out, you know, I’ve sort of disappeared so I wasn’t on people’s mind, so it crossed my mind do I wanna get back on people’s minds? Will this lead to something scary? I hope not.
Since Taking the long way, which was, as we’ve discussed, an enormous success, there hasn’t been another Dixie Chicks album. How come?
After the Grammys that night something just felt like the ending of a chapter to me, the ending of a battle. And I was victorious, and I was walking away. So, country music is not something I’m dying to get back into.
According to what I’ve read, which may or may not be true, since it’s on the ever-reliable Internet, you are actually more of a holdout that Emily or Marty. They would actually like to get back to making music and reform the Dixie Chicks, and you’ve been the reluctant one, is that true? I mean, they have kids as well.
I know. We’d have to ask them. But, yes, they would probably be up for it before I would be. But they understand.
Do you think if the country music establishment had stood by you more when you did make those remarks that you would be less reluctant to return and make another album?
Yeah, probably. That definitely had something to do with it. It never felt like I fit into that country genre before I joined it, and then when we were so accepted I thought, oh, it’s not what I always thought it was. It’s not so close-minded and conservative. Here they are accepting me. Well, they thought I was something else, I guess, I never, you know, tried to hide my politics or my liberalism, but I don’t know, I guess people see what they want to see, so it was really sort of a disappointment to me to see that all the stereotypes that I thought of as a child about country music, they really were, they really were there, are there.
Natalie, thanks so much.