Jeff Kravitz, FilmMagic One of the most widely-debated hot-button issues in…
- Posted on Oct 29th 2010 10:50AM by Jody Thompson
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The duo will take the stage at the hallowed venue -- a working church -- on Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 November -- and say the UK is a "sanctuary" for them.
Talking to Spinner as they took a break from packing, Maguire and Robison said they relished coming to Britain following the outcry in the US over their anti-Iraq war and anti-George W Bush comments in 2003, explaining, "it's always been a safe haven in a way."
During a gig at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire 10 days before the invasion of Iraq, frontwoman Natalie Maines said, "We don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United states is from Texas (the Chicks' home state)."
The comments lead to the band receiving death threats and the public destruction of their albums by people who felt them "un-American."
But talking to Spinner from their home in San Antonio, Texas, Robison says, "We don't factor it into decision making anymore, I do think it's gone (the backlash) in that way, though some people just can't let go of it. I think we really hold onto that (the fact British audiences widely supported the statement), so it's always been a safe haven in a way.
"You don't have to wonder... like when we play the Deep South. For me, it's always in the back of my mind, is that going to come up? I don't like what it does. There are certain individuals that still think it's a big deal."
As for the difference Dixie Chicks fans could expect between the original band's live show and that of the Court Yard Hounds, Maguire says they're still finding their feet.
She explains, "It's ever evolving. Obviously, there are a lot of similarities in our playing, I guess the audience will have to tell us that! But we feel like we're a new band in so many ways, we're still getting our feet under us and just trying to figure out what the stage show is, but it's kind of dictated by the audience."
As for British audiences, Robison says they love them, even if they didn't have the "yee-hah" factor she said they attract in the US.
She enthuses, "I think that's why we've always made a point to go to Britain. It doesn't always pan out for us financially (to come over) even with the Dixie Chicks, but we always really, really want to work that territory, and not just say, 'oh there's not really any country music over there,' 'cos we've never felt like a country band and limited by genre.
"We just feel so much support over there and that the fans are really true fans."
Maguire adds, "Court Yard Hounds music is different from Dixie Chicks music and we're interested to see who it reaches, who that audience is. I think there's a little bit more of a 'songwriter' aspect to it, even though we wrote for the Dixie Chicks, it was always a 'big, bigger, biggest' element to it, whereas this is more intimate than we've ever done. It's more Seventies rock, California country."
Dixie Chicks haven't released a studio album since 2006's 'Taking the Long Way' and went officially on hiatus in 2008, so Maguire and Robison decided to record and tour as a duo as fellow Chick Maines is taking a break from touring to spend with her family.
Court Yard Hounds self-titled debut album was released in May and sold a quarter of a millions copies in the US, and is still in the UK's Country Artist Chart Top 20 after debuting at No. 1.
However, Maguire and Robison insisted the Dixie Chicks were still a going concern, albeit one on the backburner -- for now.