The Chicks called in to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Thursday (July 16) to chat about dropping the “Dixie” from their name, reflect on the Iraq War and more.
Citing “everything that’s going on in the world” as the reason behind the band’s recent name change, Natalie Maines told host Stephen Colbert, “It was about time. We had wanted to change it for a long time actually, and we started using DCX a lot and The Chicks a lot when we could. We hoped it would catch on but it didn’t, so in the moment now, we just felt that it was right and we didn’t even have to have much discussion about it. We just all wanted to do it right away, and so we did.”
Other personas they considered before settling on The Chicks? “One of the ones that came up was our initials, but spelled out as M.E.N., so we’d go from Chicks to M.E.N.,” Emily Strayer revealed with a laugh, while Martie Maguire added, “We had some names in the past that we would call ourselves kind of as our alter egos…One was Puss in Boots, but I think there’s already a band called that.”
The Chicks also reflected on their headline-making criticisms of George W. Bush and the Iraq War way back in 2003. While the band faced unprecedented backlash from the controversy — including boycotts, mass burnings of their records and death threats against them — at the time, Colbert pointed out that “obviously history has proven you right about being dragged into a boondoggle in Iraq under false pretenses, and all the chaos and the tragedy that caused.”
“It was kind of liberating to know that our audience knew who we were and what we thought,” Maguire replied. “We’ve always been very liberal and spoken our minds, but that was just the one moment where Natalie said that and a firestorm erupted. But yeah, it kind of felt like, ‘OK the cat’s out of the bag and that’s who we are. And how could we not be being patriotic to worry about the troops in harm’s way with the invasion?’
“It was just kind of ironic that people were saying not what she said, but that she didn’t support the troops,” she added. “I think if you ask people, I don’t even know if they know what she said. It was so innocuous.” (One day later, the band told Carson Daly on Today that they “don’t regret any of it” regarding their brush with early 2000s cancel culture.)
During the Late Show appearance, The Chicks also performed Gaslighter highlight “March March,” which they revealed was actually written “two couple years ago” despite its eerily prescient relevance to the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement.
Check out The Chicks’ full Late Show interview, as well as their performance of “March March” below.