Natalie Maines

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About Me

photo by Mark Seliger

A Little About Natalie
Name: Natalie Louise Maines
Born: October 14, 1974 in Lubbock, Texas
Home: Los Angeles, CA
Children: Jackson Slade (March 15, 2001), Beckett Finn (July 14, 2004)
Eye Color: Blue
Height: 5' 3"
Most Embarrassing Moment: "My top breaking on stage and my boob hanging out for a full song!"
Pet Peeve: People who chew gum
Favorite Dixie Chicks Songs To Perform: Cowboy Take Me Away and Sin Wagon
Natalie immersed herself in music as a child, and upon finishing high school had begun attending the prestigious Berklee School of Music. After making her professional singing debut at the age 3, the young Natalie devoted herself to forging a musical career, and by her mid teens she was proficient on both piano and acoustic guitar. Singing, however, was her first love, and indeed it was her vocal skills that earned her a scholarship to Berklee. In 1995, Emily and Martie successfully recruited Natalie to become lead vocalist for the Dixie Chicks.
Natalie's Instruments
Electric guitar: Fender Humbucker Telecaster (played during Lubbock Or Leave It and Sin Wagon)
Rickenbacker FG 450/12 (played during Lubbock Or Leave It on some A&A tour dates)
Bass guitar: Modulus Vintage J (played during Goodbye Earl)
6 string acoustic guitar: Bourgeois Slope D sunburst (played during The Long Way Around, Landslide, Everybody Knows, White Trash Wedding, Long Time Gone, Travelin Soldier, Mississippi)
12 string acoustic guitar: Martin HD12-40 Tom Petty Signature model (played during Wide Open Spaces)
Papoose guitar - Tacoma P1 (played during Truth No. 2)
Omnichord - Suzuki (played during Lullaby)

Interview by Nina Malkin

Did you fit in or stand out growing up?
I was a rebel who wanted to break the mold; it was sort of my one-woman mission. I had the half-shaved head, yet I was a cheerleader. It's kind of like what we're doing now: Hey, we can be country and still look how we want to look.

With your half-shaved head, you must have been a rock chick at some point!
I loved all the arena rock stuff in junior high I wore heavy-metal T-shirts. In high school I was more of a hippie free-spirit; I wanted to learn about the music and the politics of the '60s.

What do you listen to now?
In my CD player at home I have Lauryn Hill, Patty Griffin, Joe Ely and the Dixie Chicks new album.

What is it about country music you love so much?
Texas country has always been in me; my dad playing in bands in Texas was part of that. I think we redefined country for ourselves.

In what ways are you a country girl and in what ways are you a city slicker?
I'm a country girl in that I love the mountains, and I like the honesty and pride of people in the country, and in my regular everyday life I don't put makeup on . . .sometimes I won't even take a shower! Yet I'm a city girl because I do like to shop, I do like the finer things.

How did you know you had made it?
I think that the Grammys really said something. We genuinely thought we had no chance, it was no pressure, we just went to have a good time. I mean, Madonna was sitting a few rows in front of us, we talked to Will Smith, had our picture taken with Boy George it was just fun for us. So when we won, all the blood drops to your feet and you can't believe it. It was so cool because when I think back on it I can get that feeling all over again. And that was the feeling I dreamed of ever since I was a little girl.

Did you always want to be a star?
This is going to sound weird but I've always known it would happen. I kind of have premonitions about things.

What was the secret ingredient that you added that made the Chicks really click?
I think it was confidence or stupidity. Emily and Martie had been in the band for a while and wanted to change but weren't sure how, and I came in like, "Whew! Y'all are awesome players, I can sing, we're going to pick great songs, they're going to love us!" It boosted their confidence and kept us all determined.

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