The Chicks’ first new album in 14 years, Gaslighter, is out Friday (July 17th). Ahead of the release, the group formerly known as the Dixie Chicks performed “March March” on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
Inspired by the 2018 March for Our Lives youth protest against gun violence, the protest song feels just as relevant today as it did two years ago, and the Chicks inject that same tension, anger and yearning for change into their performance.
Before (remotely) taking the stage, the Chicks chatted with Colbert about what’s been going on with them for the past decade and a half, including their decision to drop the “Dixie” from their name.
“Well, it’s because of everything that’s going on in the world,” lead singer Natalie Maines said. “It was about time; we’ve wanted to change it for a long time, actually. We started using ‘DCX’ a lot and ‘the Chicks’ a lot whenever we could — we hoped it would catch on, but it didn’t. So, in the moment now, we just felt that it was right, and we didn’t even have to have much discussion about it. We just all wanted to do it right away, and so we did.”
The Chicks added that there were other contenders for the name, including “Puss in Boots” and “M.E.N.” (stemming from their initials: Martie, Emily and Natalie). Colbert also asked about the band’s infamous controversy — speaking out against then-President George W. Bush — and what it felt like to have to put their new album on hold for a month because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were really excited, and we are really excited, for our fans to hear the new album, but we were also following that up with a tour,” Maines said. “We were supposed to be on tour this summer, our first show was supposed to be June 6th. Both my sons have bands, they’re awesome musicians, and they were gonna open for us. But like the rest of the world, plans changed.”
Over on their YouTube channel, the Chicks uploaded a music video for one of the new Gaslighter tracks, “Sleep at Night,” and audio for another one, “Tights on My Boat.” And yes, that boat.