The Chicks’ singer Natalie Maines, a devout listener of Howard Stern and passionate fan of his Wack Pack, appeared on Stern’s SiriusXM show on Monday morning to talk about the trio’s new album Gaslighter, the busted relationship that inspired it, and the band’s recent name change.
“I know you think we’re horrible at naming things,” Maines told the host, “we should have gone by ‘Howard.’” She also arrived with a new song of sorts: her own version of Stern’s theme “The Great American Nightmare,” originally recorded by Rob Zombie. Stern will debut it ahead of Tuesday’s broadcast.
Here are five things we learned from Maines’ interview on The Howard Stern Show.
The Dixie Chicks received criticism for a part of their former name — and it’s not the part you think.
“The flak we always got for our name was for ‘Chicks’; it really wasn’t ever for ‘Dixie.’ ‘Dixie’ made us uncomfortable at a certain point,” Maines says. “We didn’t think it was representative of us. We weren’t from Dixie, the area that was called Dixie. It was just sort of a word. I didn’t think about all the history behind it or how the word came to be, or how it might make black people feel. Our name wasn’t any sort of statement, but changing it was a statement.”
The incriminating tights left behind in Gaslighter‘s cheating song “Tights on My Boat”? Not real.
“I hate to disappoint, but that’s not true. That’s just fun,” Maines says of the titular leggings. But while the article of clothing discovered on the boat may be artistic license, the vessel itself is true. “I didn’t say there wasn’t a boat involved,” she clarifies, “I’m saying there weren’t tights.”
Fans don’t need to scrap their old “Dixie Chicks” T-shirts or memorabilia.
Prior to dropping “Dixie” from their name, Maines says she and her bandmates Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire consulted with Black Lives Matter leaders. Among the things they asked them was if they needed to scrub their old moniker. “Anytime we have to do a new pressing of an old album, does it now say ‘The Chicks’?” Maines asked. “They say no… People know who we are and what’s in our hearts. We didn’t have the name Dixie Chicks because we’re racist.”
The Chicks are looking for a new label.
With their contract at Sony fulfilled by Gaslighter, the Chicks are essentially free agents, open to all potential record deals — but they likely won’t self-release their next album. “We’ll allow Sony to put an offer out there. We’ll field offers and weigh it against [releasing albums] ourselves, which I don’t think we would do.”
When the Chicks joined Beyoncé to perform on the 2016 CMA Awards, the backstage vibe was “weird.”
“We hadn’t done any country awards shows since the controversy… We don’t know a lot of people in the business. It felt weird. People weren’t saying, ‘Oh hey, oh hi,’ like they used to when you walked by in the halls.” Still Maines says collaborating with Beyoncé was “the single greatest working week of my professional life. To see the power she has as a female and as a black female was incredible.”