The Chicks Talk Divorce And How It Changed Their Songwriting Process
The Chicks made an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show on Monday (June 6) to discuss their upcoming 2022 tour and how divorce brought their creativity to new heights. After scoring 13 GRAMMY Awards, Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire, and Emily Strayer have revealed their secret songwriting recipe – honesty.
Following Clarkson's recent divorce from ex-husband Brandon Blackstock, Clarkson has found that songwriting has become difficult. She told the legendary trio that she is now tiptoeing a fine line when pulling from real-life experiences. Therefore, she asked The Chicks what it was like to be vulnerable while also navigating family and fame post divorce.
The "Since U Been Gone" singer turned to the right band, as their 2020 record "Gaslighter" touches upon several sensitive topics. The multi-platinum artists did not think twice about leaving their roller coaster-like emotions on the table while penning tracks such as "Sleep At Night," "Tights On My Boat," and the tear-jerking ballad. "Set Me Free."
"I definitely wanted to be very blatant and, like, literal with this one," said Maines about the 12-song collection. "But yeah, I was still … I wasn't, like, beyond all the emotion like I am now. And then there's the stress of, 'Oh my gosh, now my kids are gonna hear this.' And then, now my son is on tour with us, he's in the band, and I'm like, 'This is kinda weird.'"
Strayer did not hesitate to point out that musicians can't beat around the bush if they want to connect with their fans.
"There's no way around it, when you write falsely, it doesn't work," said the multi-instrumentalist. "You have to be real … It's weird, the more specific you are, the more it's universal to other people."
In 2017 Maines filed for divorce for "irreconcilable differences" from Hollywood actor Adrian Pasdar, but she was not the only one in the group to go through a sticky split. All three hitmakers eventually underwent a divorce, and it became an additional way the group bonded.
Clarkson questioned if the common ground advanced their friendship, and if they leaned on each other for support. Clarkson acknowledged that her female relationships "really helped" her in the midst of the separation from Blackstock.
"We all went through divorces," Clarkson said. "How did you each find strength? And not just music – I think it's therapeutic – but, like, your female friendships? I feel like that has really helped me."
Maguire quickly agreed with Clarkson and declared that she found comfort within Maines after hearing about her marital issues. The artist also confirmed that she kept her divorce from her first husband, Ted Seidel a deep secret for quite some time.
"I remember when you first came down in the studio in Nashville and said, 'Guys, I just want to tell you I'm getting a divorce,'" Maguire recalled looking at Maines. "I remember thinking, 'Well, I'm getting a divorce. Now she says she's getting a divorce. Now I can't say I'm getting a divorce.' I was feeling like everybody was gonna judge me because I thought I was first getting the divorce."
Maguire continued to mention that hearing the news about Maines made her feel less alone. At the time, Maines was divorcing her then-husband Michael Tatabay.
"I was like, 'Guys, I'm getting a divorce,' and Martie's like, 'I'm having a horrible marriage," said Maines with a smile. "We were divorce buddies."
The Chicks are set to kick off their nationwide tour in St. Louis on June 14 and will wrap in August. The ladies will hit legendary venues across the nation, from the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, and Blossom Music Center in Cleveland, OH.