Sunday, May 14, 2006
– Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines refused to back down Sunday from comments made three years while touring in London that she was "ashamed" to be from the same state as President Bush.
Maines also said the group was the target of a specific death threat in 2003.
Maines made the comments on "60 Minutes," 10 days prior to the release of the band's new disc, "Taking the Long Way."
"For what?," said Maines during an interview with Steve Kroft about backing off from comments made in London. Sorry about what? Sorry about not wanting to go to war and not wanting people to die?"
"We don't make decisions based on that. We don't go, 'Okay, our fans are in the red states, so I'm going play a red, white and blue guitar and put on my I Love Bush T-shirt,'" she said. "We're not like that because we're not politicians. We're musicians."
As for the threat, "It was definitely scary because it seemed so it wasn't just somebody wanting to write a hate letter. It was somebody who obviously thought they had a plan," Maines said.
"There was one specific death threat on Natalie. (It) had a time, had a place, had a weapon. I mean, everything," banjo player Emily Robison said. "This was at our show in Dallas. 'You will be shot dead at your show in Dallas' on whatever the date was."
"You don't know what people are capable of," said Robison. "It only takes one kooky person."
The FBI and the Texas Rangers were brought in, said Maines. "We flew in on a jet...and we went straight from the police cars to the stage and straight from the stage back to the police cars and back to the plane. So, you know, it was all surreal. But at that stage everything was surreal."
The band's new song, "Not Ready to Make Nice," appears to be a direct reaction to the fallout from the London comments.
Responding to the failure of country radio to embrace the song, Maines said, "Why do they need to stand up for us? They're not our friends. They're not our family, and they caved."
The original comments landed the Chicks in hot water with radio and fans. A number of radio stations refused to play the band's music and some music fans destroyed their CDs in protest.
Fiddle player Martie Maguire stated her displeasure with the state of country radio turning towards redneck themes.
"Since country music's turned into this redneck theme, it's become kind of a negative thing in my mind, where I didn't think it was negative before," said Maguire. "I think for a while, a lot of artists were doing a lot of great things...that were broadening the audience so that country was cool. So it makes me sad that it's kind of reverted back to a place that I'm not that proud of - and this is coming from a true country fan. I can't listen to the radio right now."
The Chicks will hit the road in support of their new release this summer.