Yellowcard Singer’s Duet With Dixie Chick Winning Points With Parents

Ryan Key, Natalie Maines swap verses on 'How I Go,' which also features 25-piece orchestra.

Great news for the parents of Yellowcard fans: On their new album, Lights and Sounds, frontman Ryan Key sings an impassioned duet with a rather unlikely partner — the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines.

Maines and Key swap verses on the tune “How I Go,” which also features a 25-piece orchestra conducted by YC violinist Sean Mackin.

The collaboration isn’t as strange as it might initially seem. Maines and the guys in Yellowcard share similar political views: the Dixie Chicks bashed President Bush from the stage in London back in 2003 and YC hit out at the war in Iraq on the Lights and Sounds track “Two Weeks From Twenty” (see “Yellowcard Move To New York, Write LP About Hating Los Angeles” ). But according to Yellowcard’s label, Capitol Records, the duet wasn’t planned. The Dixie Chicks just happened to be recording at the same studio — Sunset Sound in Hollywood — when Maines ran into Key, who played her the song. Maines then wrote her own verses.

The fact that Yellowcard have recorded a duet isn’t all that shocking either. The band has been adamant that Lights and Sounds, due January 24, would be a departure (see “Yellowcard Finally Have A Concept For Their Non-Concept Album” ), a stance which has alternately alienated and excited fans.

And as is the case with all things Lights and Sounds, the announcement of a duet with Maines has rankled a lot of YC supporters — though Key could care less.

“I think it’s kind of freaking out people a little bit. I’ve noticed that in a lot of the feedback, it seems like some of the younger fans are like, ‘Oh, I don’t like that!’ ” he sighed. “But a lot of our older fans seem to really taking to it and find it interesting. So I think in a way that’s what we wanted. Not to alienate the younger fans but to try something completely different.”