The Dixie Chicks held nothing back in a recent interview with Allure.
Covering the popular publication’s new issue, the trio opened up about the controversy that changed their career and their place within the country music community.
As fans may recall, the group was essentially banned from country radio following comments lead singer Natalie Maines made during a Dixie Chicks’ concert in London in 2003.
“Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all,” she told the crowd. “We do not want this war, this violence. And we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”
After Maines criticized President George W. Bush while on foreign soil, country music fans became outraged and boycotted their music. Some even went as far as burning Dixie Chicks albums and crushing their CDs with heavy-duty equipment.
“I do not like when artists get on their soapbox — it’s not what people are there for,” Maines told Allure. “They’re there to listen to your music.” However, “the politics of this band is inseparable from the music.”
Knowing what she knows now, would Maines do it all again?
“Oh, that’s an interesting question,” Maines said. “I have no regrets, but the responsible part of me doesn’t want to put people through shit.”
The Allure reporter said she looked directly at her bandmates, Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer.
“I feel like you might’ve said something smarter or different,” Strayer added.
“Well, I always wish I had said something smarter!” Maines replied. “But when I think back, it’s like that movie Sliding Doors, right? Where would we be today if I hadn’t said that? That’s interesting. I really don’t know if I would take it back.”
When asked if they still felt like they were a part of the country music world, Maines was quick to share her thoughts.
“No, absolutely not,” she said. “When we started doing this music, I liked the people in our industry. We always waved that country flag when people would say it wasn’t cool. And then to see how quickly the entire industry turned on us…
“I was shocked that people thought that we were different than what we were,” she added. “I always felt like we were so genuine.”
Now, 17 years later, the Dixie Chicks are back in the spotlight with a new single and a brand new album on the way. According to research conducted by Rolling Stone Country, “Gaslighter” is off to a great start at radio. In fact, one programmer told the publication, he’s gotten nothing but good feedback about the track.
“For me to be a gatekeeper and say you shall not pass because of something that happened almost 20 years ago, that’s crazy,” Dan Zuko, who oversees WCOL in Columbus, Ohio, told Rolling Stone Country. “You have to give it a shot. You can’t ignore a cultural event like this, the Dixie Chicks back on country radio.”
It appears his listeners feel the same way.
“I haven’t seen a single negative piece of feedback,” he said.
So will “Gaslighter” be a hit? It’s too early to tell, however, the initial radio airplay is a good sign for the Dixie Chicks.