MARTIE: I just feel like any song we write or song that's given
to us we need to put our own stamp on it and it doesn't really come to life until we three sit around with a guitar and a
fiddle and a banjo or a dobro and make it our own. So when songwriter's try to make their demos sound what they think "chickish"
is, we tend to not be drawn to those songs. So a lot of demos we hear are so far from what we think the Dixie Chicks sound
like because that's how we get our vision and then we make it our own. And Ready To Run, when we first wrote it, there wasn't
all that fiddle stuff and the arrangement wasn't like that. The harmonies. We hadn't really thought about much of the harmony
potential and then we three get our heads together it just comes to life.
1. Ready To Run
MARTIE: Yeah, I was really offended being the fiddle player
and all. No, I mean why are they going to take the fiddle out when they're not gonna, the banjo is so much and the steel are
so much more country. And even, there's no way I would have agreed to it if they had taken anything out. Yeah, we want to
stay intact, ya know, the music we do. But also we're not gonna go out and promote ourselves as anything but a country act
because we know we're not. And it would just be silly and farfetched for us to think that we're anything but that. Natalie
has a great philosophy for that. Why don't you tell 'em.
NATALIE: We'd rather be the rock stars of country music than
the lame asses of rock music. (laughter from all 3 Chicks). Which is what we would be.
MARTIE: So we're flattered
that other formats would want to get a hold of our music but we'd appreciate it if they leave us as we are.
I think it was actually VH-1 that first wanted to run the video but they wanted to take all that stuff out and since then
they've come back with their tails between their legs and now they wanna play it the way it is.
2. If I Fall You're Going Down With Me
EMILY: Well, he did sweep me off my feet but he wouldn't, he
is a cowboy I guess. He grew up on a ranch and he knows how to do all that stuff. He's more of a singing cowboy these days.
We did sing it at my wedding, amongst other songs that we sang. When we go back and watch the wedding video we are soooo out
of tune because we had one too many that night. But it was so much fun and it was a great tribute. I thought it was a beautiful
song and I really wanted us to sing it for Charlie.
3. Cowboy Take Me Away
EMILY: I wouldn't say I'm surprised. I'm just happy that they're
getting it and we've been able to get such a young audience back into country music. I think that was getting lost there for
a little while. A lot of radio stations thank us for crossing, making that bridge crossover to the younger audience and I
think we're one of the few people that are doing it. It's kinda rewarding cause you see them out there and you can tell they're
probably not your typical country fan but they're there along with their parents watching the same act and I think it's something
that can kinda bring the two generations together.
4. Cold Day In July
NATALIE: I think with that and Sin Wagon, we definitely got
our evil side out. Which I think is okay for us to show that we have one cause everyone does. And we do both those songs in
the live show and they get a huge response and usually new songs that people have never heard don't get that great a response
unless they're familiar with them and for those to be songs in our show that just, ya know, is brand new to their ears. They're
freaking out and we laugh that the label is so worried about Sin Wagon and our manager said 'I can't believe they're so worried
about mattress dancing which could obviously just be kids jumping on the bed and we have a song about premeditated first degree
murder on our record'. But we just also want to point out it's not a man hating song. It's a wife beater hating song so there
is a difference in our minds.
5. Goodbye Earl
EMILY: Well, in September we're coming out on the cover of
Texas Monthly and that has been one of my goals for the band for a long time. So I'm glad we're continuing to be a part of
Texas music. I really do think when we went to Nashville we knew who we were and we wanted to keep our sound the way it was.
And that was part of what I consider our success was that we didn't change to fit Nashville. We came out of Texas and we really
sounded like we sounded before we came to Nashville.
NATALIE: The entire Texas music industry is so much different
than Nashville and I think we came with that sort of bringing up and values as far as how we pursue the business part of it.
MARTIE: And just the other influences we had had. Ray Benson from Asleep At the Wheel. He is Texas as you can get
and we have a lot of his words of wisdom stuck in our brains. So yeah, I think growing up there your whole lives and Natalie
being around the Maines brothers and her whole family full of musicians, people who've done the Texas music scene and then
us playing all the clubs for year after year. I just think you can't help but have that Texas influence that you carry with
you the rest of your life.
6. Hello Mr. Heartache
EMILY: You mentioned Ray Price. That was a big influence. Just
all the old country along with bluegrass in our family was really big. Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Bob Wills, Merle Haggard,
Willie Nelson. All those kind of guidance. So I think it seeps into your blood and sometimes it comes out later when you're
not expecting it, whether you're writing a song or arranging a song for the album. Just certain note bends on the end when
we're all kind a wrapping our notes around each other. It's a very bluegrass country kind a thing to do.
I think we get drawn to the extremes too. It's so extreme with twang and just old traditional country. That... I love that
kind of thing.
MARTIE: Natalie tried to rebel from country in her teens but she couldn't get away from it.
That Lubbock accent just won't go away.
7. Don't Waste Your Heart
NATALIE: I've seen that movie about 600 times but on the 549th
it just dawned on me that when she says, when he tries to feel her up in the car, she gets mad and she throws the ring back
at him and says 'you think I'm gonna stay here with you in this sin wagon'. Sin Wagon. Hmmm, that's a good song.
I saw her write it down in her book. She keeps a little book of kinda hooks and song titles and as things comes into her head.
That was on the list. Every time we'd go back to her book that would be on the list.
NATALIE: And I was reading that
we were gonna write a song one day and I was reading off all my ideas and I did them all. And she goes 'well, let's write
Sin Wagon'. No offense, but I sort of looked at Emily like 'are you sure you can go there'.
EMILY: Are you sure you're
up for the challenge? I can go there.
NATALIE: I'm not wasting this good title on a puddy-paw song and her and Stephony
Smith just tore it up. Stephony Smith thought of the mattress dancing and Emily was there the whole way.
don't know where I'll be crashing. I think that was my line.
NATALIE: It was fun. That was another one that came together
really quickly. Cause I think everyone...it's okay for us to say it cause it's all in fun. We're not really bad girls. So
it's funny cause even the goodest girl, the most good girl just has that wild side and you got to let it out occasionally.
8. Sin Wagon
MARTIE: I don't think in our wildest dreams we figured we'd
be here. But ya know, it doesn't feel a whole lot different I think whether you're playing to 50,000 people or a couple people
on the street corner. You tend to pick out those faces that are really into it and you meet their eyes.
for yourself because it's a whole lot different to me.
EMILY: It's different to me.
NATALIE: Give me 50,000
compared to 5 any day.
MARTIE: But I'm more nervous in front of a few people.
EMILY: The tips are much better.
I think the biggest thing for me is when my parents come out and they're sitting on the side of the stage. You get to do it
for them more than you're doing it for yourself. You're kinda like, thanks for all the banjo lessons and just seeing the shock
on their face and we did play Dallas this year. We played that show just for all those people that you knew had been watching
us grow little by little by little out of the Dallas music scene. It really, that hit home to me. It's when you're home that
you reflect on all that kind of stuff. I rarely on stage, look around and go 'Oh my God. What's going on. this is awesome'.
I'm just getting into the music but's it's always upon reflection that you realize how much has happened this last year. It's
9. Without You
NATALIE: I think that one happened as a lot of them do without
any sort of thought, cause we loved the Ranch version and when the Ranch came out that was our bus CD.
NATALIE: So, we loved that song and we actually had Keith Urban, the lead singer for the Ranch, come and play guitar
on it. And a lot of it, I think, we did like their version.
Anything that happened other than that was by chance. I know
our dur- dur -dur. That came in our pre-production that idea and that was pretty cool. It's one of those things when we put
the three part harmony and the instruments it just happened that way. It wasn't like we could make the song better. We already
liked the song just the way it was. Except for the 'you gotta dance, you gotta dance'. That was out. (Emily laughing)
10. Some Days You Gotta Dance
NATALIE: That's the one that I hope is not a single because
it'd be hard to sing that every night. But it's one of my favorite songs on the album just because vocally I feel like this
album I did get to go beyond my limits where as Wide Open Spaces was, that whole album, was really easy to sing and this one
there's a lot of things that are to the extreme. I got to really belt like that and scream and some heavy metal and then I
get to sing really soft and emotional and something with a little more soul on Heartbreak Town or I'm gonna Let Him Fly. So
I enjoyed the songs on this album more just cause I got to push my limits and that song definitely pushes my limits. I had
to sing it a million times to figure out how to reach those notes without hurting myself. And I did it and I can do it over
and over. I found that place in my voice and now we try to do it in a soundcheck sometimes and I don't remember where I did
it. I kinda start practicing and figure out where I sang that cause now it hurts.
11. Hole In My Head
EMILY: We'll adjust. I think for the most part the George Strait
and Tim mcGraw stuff was pretty much our regular set but we're playing some lilith Fair dates and we're trying to incorporate
some of the new album stuff since they're not as familiar with our previous album. But really it's just a matter of doing
our singles and getting to show off on an instrumental and do a song called Roanoke and Wheelhouse that we do in the set.
And I don't think we ever gauge it to where we hold back who we are. I just think we have certain songs that may hit different
12. Heartbreak Town
EMILY: We didn't want it to have just one meaning and so we
did a kind of conceptual thing with the packaging in that it means a lot of different things even within the songs on the
album. There are a lot of references to the word fly, unintentionally. And we didn't realize that until after we recorded
that Martie came onto the studio one day and said, we had been talking about Sin Wagon and we said we might want to think
of some options. Martie said why not FLY. It's the last song on the album. It's the last word on the album. I'm gonna let
him fly. And then we really started thinking about it. And I'm gonna let him fly kind of mirrored a lot of stuff that's going
on in Natalie's life. And Martie had written another song, Cowboy Take Me Away, that had a line 'fly this girl as high as
you can in to the wild blue'. She said she wrote that with me and my husband in mind. And I do kinda feel like I've been carried
off this year and I'm in love and all that. I'll fly away in the song Sin Wagon. So it just really fit.
13. Let Him Fly
Return to Radio Show Transcripts page