The Chicks are everywhere about now, as they promote their first tour since dropping the "Dixie" from their name amid the Black Lives Matter demonstrations for social justice in June 2020. At the time, they said in a statement that they wanted to "meet this moment."
In an interview published Tuesday in the Chicago Sun-Times, Martie Maguire reaffirmed that the move was something the three members — her, her sister Emily Strayer and frontwoman Natalie Maines — had considered for a while before making it official.
"Even though we knew our fans knew us and knew our hearts and knew that there was no bad intention, we felt like we would make a strong statement as a band [by making the name change]," Maguire told the newspaper. "And we just couldn't do it fast enough."
The Chicks had long explained that their name, which included that reference to the Civil War-era South, was inspired by the 1973 song "Dixie Chicken," by Little Feat. And as Strayer told The Guardian in July 2020, the trio became leery of it amid the "racist rhetoric" being thrown around in 2016, when they began their last tour.
The Chicks have teased that their new concert tour, which was postponed due to the pandemic, will get political. But that's not surprising, since the women are known for speaking out, as they did in the 2020 protest anthem "March March." They were infamously shunned from much of the country music community when, in 2003, Maines slammed then-President George W. Bush on a London stage days before the invasion of Iraq.
While Maines acknowledged in the Sun-Times interview that the Chicks get labeled as "the first people of cancel culture," she said that she didn't think the group actually had been canceled.
"It's interesting that people aren't really catching on to the ridiculousness of [cancel culture]," Maines added. "I mean, I'm all for some people getting canceled. If you have raped or molested a lot of females, then I'm all for you being canceled."
Strayer added that someone, for example, saying they hate a politician is simply giving their opinion.
"To me," Strayer said, "that's different than, like, we found 12 racist tweets from five years ago before you got famous. I mean, people have to be accountable. But at the same time, it's the people with the pitchforks and the 'I'm going to go get 'em' attitude that is really upsetting."