"I wonder if they'll play this conversation in court," joked Maines as she spilled on the new album.
Natalie Maines appeared on The Howard Stern Show on Monday, where the radio host hoped to learn just how much her ex-husband Adrian Pasdar inspired the fiery lyrics on The Chicks' new album, "Gaslighter."
Maines and the "Heroes" actor were married from 2000-2017, before a messy legal battle followed in which he asked for spousal and child support. They settled the matter in December 2019. In addition to Natalie's divorce, both Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire split from their husbands in the time since the band's last album.
Stern noted that all three of them being divorced "has kind of created a fantastic new album," before asking Maines whether the lyrics were "an amalgamation" of all the women's experiences or mainly about her own divorce.
"There's other cowriters on the album as well, everyone is drawing on their own lives, but yes, I was definitely the one going through it at the time," said Maines. "We were writing it in real time as ... I was writing it as I was going through it in real time, which is revealing, but it was very cathartic and it was like therapy for me for sure."
With that knowledge, Stern specifically asked about the song "Tights on My Boat," where Maines sings about finding, well, another woman's tights on her boat. In the album's title track "Gaslighter" she also sings the line, "Boy, you know exactly what you did on my boat."
"I hate to disappoint, but that's not true. That's just fun," she said about "Tights on My Boat." When Howard brought up the "Gaslighter" lyrics as well, she added, "I didn't say there wasn't a boat involved, I'm saying there weren't tights."
Maines also confirmed she has an NDA when it comes to her divorce from Pasdar and while listeners can "assume" the lyrics are about him, she pointed out how the other two Chicks have also been divorced, and "there's other writers as well." As for the opening line of "Tights" -- "I hope you die peacefully in your sleep / Just kidding, I hope it hurts like you hurt me" -- she said it was written by Julia Michaels.
"So it's not true that it's all about me. But I was the one going through it ... but ... yeah, I wonder if they'll play this conversation in court," she joked. "Should we talk about it now or play it in front of the judge?"
"There's a whole First Amendment aspect to it and this is our art and you can't keep somebody from doing their art," she added. "But also I don't like to talk about what's personal and what's not because I feel like, there's not a lot of metaphors on this record and not a lot of flowery poetry. I do have two sons and I feel like that's already more than most kids have to have the world know. It's kind of uncomfortable to talk about, I feel like I've pushed the envelope already."
Maines said she did talk to both of her sons -- Jackson Slade, 19, and Beckett Finn, 16 -- "a bit" about the album before it dropped.
"I haven't played it for them. They've heard a couple songs and then they've heard the song we wrote for them, 'Young Man,' but ... yeah," she explained. "My youngest is 16 and it's that age where you let them come to you with what they want to talk about. My kids are great."
Another specific line Stern asked about was from "Sleep at Night," in which Maines sings about one woman's husband bringing his mistress to one of the group's shows. "Remember you brought her to our show at the Hollywood Bowl," read the lyrics, "She said, 'I love you, I'm such a fan' / I joked that you can love me as long as you don't love my man."
Seemingly confirming it was about her, Maines said, "I was just literally joking" -- before quickly adding, "I can't talk about this!" She also said she really hopes she doesn't wind up in court with her ex over the album, "because it took two and a half years to get a divorce."
Though there are some fiery lines on the new album, it does end on an uplifting note with the moving on anthem "Set Me Free." Speaking with Stern about her future, Maines said she's "not bitter at all" to love and is open to it in the future. That being said, she added she's "closed off to marriage."
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