Ritz Country 1035am

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Emily Strayer
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This is a 12 minute interview the Chicks gave on Ritz Country 1035am. It covered London, and was the UK's only Country station.

Host: Tina Stewart
Airdate: June 17, 1999

HOST: So here we are with the Dixie Chicks at their hotel. What do you think of the hotel? It's posh, isn't it, but you're used to that nowadays cause you're so successful, aren't you? Been doing any shopping in London? You've been here about a week now. Have you enjoyed yourself?

NATALIE: Ya!! We went to Harvey Nicks the very first day. Then today we hit Gucci and Josef and Dulce Gabana.

HOST: Buy anything?

NATALIE: Of course. Yes, the UK has gotten a lot of Dixie Chicks money.

HOST: Is it strange for you to be able to, I mean, obviously because you're kinda new, the cash hasn't really really started rolling in yet, but is it amazing that you can walk in somewhere and all of a sudden buy most of the things you see that you want.

MARTIE: I don't know that we can, but we sure do a lot of photo shoots where the clothes are free for the taking, so we end up not having to spend a lot of money all year on clothes. So when we finally go shopping we feel we can spend a little.

HOST: Is that how it works? So when you go, say for a shoot at a magazine, they line up the clothes for you to wear and then if you like them you just take them?

EMILY: Sometimes. Sometimes they're borrows but a lot of times we'll just, it's in the budget. So you take a few pieces home.

HOST: Oh how cool. Where do I sign up to be a singer?

EMILY: When you can't afford the clothes you don't get any and then once you can, you keep everything free.

HOST: Do you feel a bit, I mean, you've been at this for 10 years now so you've worked a long time to become an overnight success. Do you kinda feel like all this attention is long overdue?

NATALIE: No. I think more well deserved and the fact that we really worked for it and we know how to appreciate it. We look at this business as a business and we're business owners and we've all done every single job. Martie had to be the road manager at one point and I was the accountant and Emily was the tax girl and we still, every single decision, whether it's from a photo or an interview or, ya know, whatever song choice we're playing on the album. Every single thing has to go through us because we don't want to ever have any regrets and if something isn't a success we want to know that we only have ourselves to blame and we did what we wanted to.

HOST: Did you actually, you had albums out before this one or did you not?

MARTIE: Yeah. Early on we did three independent albums and they were kind of a learning ground. If you go back and listen to them, they're very bluegrass and cowgirl and we had a totally different image back then and I think when Natalie joined the group we definitely wanted to make an album and were hoping our first album with Natalie was on a major label and they came down to Austin Texas to hear us and they signed us that night, they wanted to sign us that night, so it's totally different making an album for a major label than doing it yourself because we self-produced it, self-financed it, hawked it out of our trunks of our car and at all the festivals and bars we played so this is a very different deal.

HOST: You really deserve all the success by the sound of it. Is it true that you used to actually busk on street corners and stuff?

EMILY: That first summer we were together years ago. Ya, that's how we made our money. I was 16 and Martie was 19 so you know making 100 bucks a night playing for tips on the street was great. It was better than working tab;es at the restaurant down the street. It started out small. We didn't have any expectations of anything this huge. Just little by little we set our sights a little higher and went from just loving being at the bar-b-que joint playing for people who are sitting down and being in the air conditioning to hoping to open that person, really neat artist, which we did get to do a few years later and now this album.

HOST: By the way, congratulations on the TNN awards. I forgot to congratulate you on that.

NATALIE: The TNN awards?

EMILY: The TNN Music City News Awards. The new vocal group or duo. I saw it in Country Weekly. We didn't find out.

MARTIE: They didn't tell us. No one told us. We've been out on the George Strait tour and a lot of things have been happening that we've been missing and two of us don't even live in Nashville and hear all the buzz.

HOST: Well, you won. That must be so nice. Oh, we won. Oh yes. Well I'll have my people call your people and we'll sort it out. (Laughter from the Chicks)

MARTIE: We do care more than that.

HOST: No, I know. I know. I imagine the very first time you went to an awards show, I can't even begin to imagine as a newcomer what it would feel like to go to a ceremony with all those famous people. I mean, Valium. I mean woe.

NATALIE: The first one we went to was actually one we weren't nominated for. It was the ACMs last year and that was cool. We were very much just star watching and 'oh my gosh, oh my gosh' and then we never would have thought 6 months later at the CMAs to be nominated for the Horizon Award and Best Group and especially to win it. It was awesome but I think the Grammys were the peak of even our success overall. We were so surprised.

HOST: Even more than the CMAs?

NATALIE: Ya, just because it's voted on by all the outside industries as well and we didn't know how aware they were of us. You just sort of stay in your country music world and even your personal world of everyday you're in a new city. You have to look at the piece of paper to see where you are and you just get in this routine of, you check into the hotel, then you do the show, and then you get on the bus and you go to the new city, and so to just step back and be at those awards with those people and we also were really wanting Wide Open Spaces to not go unnoticed in the awards shows cause up until the Grammys it had not been nominated. So we were very thrilled that Wide Open Spaces was nominated for album of the year. Then when we won that one, that was the most surprised I think we've been. It just took our breath away. Martie was chewing gum.

MARTIE: I'm thinking no way.

NATALIE: We were all sitting back, sticking out our stomachs watching Madonna and Bonnie Raitt. That was an amazing feeling.

HOST: Just to hear you say Madonna and Bonnie Raitt in the same sentence. Not that you're not fantastic but that must be such a buzz. And you're afraid you're gonna trip when you go up the stairs. What are you gonna say...

MARTIE: It's almost like at our level we feel like we have nothing to lose, ya know. Nobody really knew who we were. When you'd hear a shout from the upper deck of the balcony we wouldn't even turn around thinking it was for us because usually it was for Will Smith or who else was in the audience that people knew, but a couple of times we got a Dixie Chicks from the balcony. You're afraid to turn around 'cause you want to be sure.

HOST: Is Vince Gill standing behind us or...

NATALIE: One of the coolest things was a lot of the people when we did win. We're winning country album of the year and a lot of people in the audience still didn't know who we were. And that was another thing that was cool was we always like, ya know, to draw attention as far as just letting one more person know who the Dixie Chicks are and maybe be intrigued. You know, maybe Sinbad went out and bought our album after that. He liked our pants.

HOST: Speaking of pants, an awful lot of our listeners at the radio station got very excited when they found out a couple of weeks ago that you were going to be auctioning off your pants. Course, pants over here means underwear.

ALL 3 CHICKS: ooooooohhhhhhhhh (Laughter)

HOST: So they got all excited poor guys and it turns out it's just the trousers that youre auctioning. You dont have any plans to auction underwear I don't imagine.

EMILY: I wouldn't do that to anybody.

HOST: Alright. Marriage. There's been a recent marriage. Emily, was it a mad rush your wedding night?

EMILY: Well, leading up to the wedding we were in the studio so at least I was in one place being able to plan it all. But the wedding night, Martie and Natalie crashed the honeymoon suite and we ended up having like a little slumber party with some people from the reception cause it was all kind of in one place. Our room was out at this ranch so there's no escaping these two. We're attached at the hip.

HOST: On her wedding night?

NATALIE: Her husband knew what he was getting when he married her. He got three chicks for the price of one.

HOST: He's a lucky bloke really isn't he. Marrying three Chicks and one girl. Congratulations to you by the way. Are you already panicking about how you're going to handle married life with your busy schedule?

EMILY: Not really. I haven't put too much thought into how things would change from here cause he is very aware of what this business is all about. He's a musician as well.

NATALIE: Plus she's had a good example of what not to do by me. (Laughter)

EMILY: We were busier last year than we really are this year so he knew me through the worst of my busy schedule. So he's prepared and it doesn't make it any easier for any of us but at least we know our guys are prepared.

HOST: What about you then Natalie? Did you get married before you hit it really big?

NATALIE: Umm, Yes. I guess really big, yeah.

HOST: Do you suppose the strain of the fame and everything had something to do with it.

NATALIE: No. Mine was more of I never should a done it and it took me a little bit of confidence to stand up to that and realize that. It was only 18 months and we all think that there should be a rule if you don't make it to 2 years it should be erased. (Laughter from all the Chicks)

HOST: That's the way life works. Once you break away from the old and you start all over again in your new life you forget that it ever even happened. You're not the same person that went through any of that. We get fresh starts all the time.

MARTIE: Well, old mother hen being me told her not, that she was too young to get married and I really felt like that. I was afraid for her to get married at such a young age. You got married when you were, what 22?

NATALIE: 22. But my point of view was she was too young to get married too. She was 25 so why was I going to listen to her.

MARTIE: And it had nothing to do with the person she was marrying. It's just, it seems like over here people get married a lot later and I think that's a lot smarter because, I don't know, your 20's are just such a discovery time and you're still trying to figure out who you are.

HOST: I agree. I thought that was the trend in America too, actually lately, isn't it?

MARTIE: Probably more so, seeing as though Im almost 30 and half of, about 50%, of the people my husband and I know that are married, are either divorced, or got married at one time are divorced or separated. So that's bad statistics.

NATALIE: I think people in big cities don't get married as early. They have other things going on and you just grow up in sort of a different atmosphere.

HOST: Oh yeah. I mean if you're in the country, it's the simple things anyway. Yeah, just get married this weekend. There's no corn growing or anything. (Laughter from the Chicks)
The new album Fly. Is that fly as in the insect fly or...

MARTIE: It has a multi meaning and we mainly, I think, I came up with it because of this one song that's on the album called I'm gonna let him fly. And I felt like that song was so emotional for me knowing what Natalie was going through and it was very emotional for her. And so I thought Fly. What a great way to end the album with that song. Then all the meanings of fly. We just started thinking well, gosh, our career has kind of taking off this year and we're chicks and ya know. Then we started noticing how songs within the album had the word fly.

EMILY: Or references to that. Just the tying of wings and not letting someone be themselves and just, and it wasn't until afterwards that we figured this all out. Which was kind of doo doo (Twilight Zone music). Very weird.

HOST: The feet. Tattoos. Oh, they're real are they? So that's true. Oh look, little chicken feet tattoos. So these are for different milestones that you set for yourself. Are you going to keep getting more and more do you think or have you pretty much reached...

MARTIE: Oh no. They're for #1 singles, gold platinum albums and #1 albums. And we're kind of scared 'cause we already have 6 and they're very small but I think twice as many of these and we're going to be the tattooed ladies.

NATALIE: But we'll never stop. The pact was throughout our career so we hope to have covered feet.

HOST: I think most people I've talked to say that you will and that just shows how much faith they have in how successful you're going to be. I love your album so much. I've listened to it about 340 times. Honestly, it's no exaggeration and I can't wait to hear the new one. I'm just really glad to meet you. Thanks for talking to us. Have a great concert in London and hopefully this will be the beginning of great following in the UK for you girls.

MARTIE: Thank you to y'all for spreading country to the UK. I know there's not a lot around here and we appreciate y'all.

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