Gossip in Portugal, 2007. L-R: Brace Paine, Beth Ditto and Hannah Blilie.
|Origin||Olympia, Washington, U.S.|
|Genres||Indie rock, dance-rock, garage rock (early)|
|Labels||Back Yard, Kill Rock Stars, K, Columbia (current), Dim Mak (former)|
|Associated acts||Le Tigre, The Blood Brothers|
|Past members||Beth Ditto
Nathan Howdeshell/Brace Paine
Gossip was a three-piece American indie rock band formed in 1999 in Olympia, Washington. For most of their career, the band consisted of singer Beth Ditto, multi-instrumentalist Brace Paine and drummer Hannah Blilie. After releasing several recordings, the band broke through with their 2006 studio album, Standing in the Way of Control (2006). A follow-up, Music for Men, was released in 2009. The band plays a mix of post-punk revival, indie rock, and dance-rock. Their last album, A Joyful Noise, was released in May 2012.
Formation and early history
Gossip was formed in 1999 in Olympia, Washington, with vocalist Beth Ditto, guitarist Nathan "Brace Paine" Howdeshell and drummer Kathy Mendonça. All three were originally from Searcy, Arkansas; Mendonça moved to Olympia to attend Evergreen State College and Howdeshell and Ditto followed. Howdeshell and Mendonça had been in bands together in Arkansas. The band coalesced when the three members were roommates in Olympia.
In 1999 the independent record label K Records released Gossip's first recording, their eponymous debut EP, The Gossip to coincide with the band's tour with Sleater-Kinney. The band played at the first Ladyfest in Olympia in August 2000 and was included in Time Magazine's article on the festival.
Their next release was their first album, That's Not What I Heard, released by the record label Kill Rock Stars on January 23, 2001. They followed it with the EP Arkansas Heat on May 7, 2002. Movement, their second studio album, was released on May 6, 2003. In November 2003, two months after the release of their first live album Undead in NYC on September 9, drummer Kathy Mendonça left the band to pursue a career as a midwife. Established punk drummer Hannah Blilie joined to replace her. The band then dropped the "The" from their name, continuing as plain "Gossip".
The first release featuring new drummer Hannah Blilie was the band's next album Standing in the Way of Control. It was released on January 24, 2006 on Kill Rock Stars and later in 2006 on UK independent label Back Yard Recordings. It was produced by Ryan Hadlock, owner of Bear Creek Studio and Fugazi singer/guitarist Guy Picciotto.
2007–2011: Mainstream success and moving to a major label
The album Standing in the Way of Control has since earned Gold Record Status in the UK. Gossip's first UK TV appearance was on BBC1's Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, where they performed "Standing in the Way of Control".
As reported on Pitchfork Media in March 2007, the group signed to Music With a Twist, a subsidiary of Sony Music Label Group, concentrating on LGBT music acts. During the summer of 2007, Gossip was a part of the multi-artist True Colors Tour 2007, which traveled through 15 cities in the United States and Canada. Hosted by comedian Margaret Cho and headlined by Cyndi Lauper, the tour also included Debbie Harry, Erasure, Rufus Wainwright, The Dresden Dolls, The MisShapes, The Cliks and special guests. Profits from the tour went to benefit the Human Rights Campaign.
Gossip is based in Portland, Oregon and has played with bands such as Sleater-Kinney, Le Tigre, CSS, Erase Errata, Mika Miko, Panther, Comanechi, and Mates of State. Gossip also opened for the Scissor Sisters for three dates on their November 2006 tour.
On June 24, 2007 Gossip closed the Glastonbury Festival, playing the final set on the John Peel stage during which Ditto gave a tribute to the late John Peel. Gossip also performed the following year, on the Pyramid Stage.
Gossip launched the Live in Liverpool album in the UK and the U.S. in April 2008. The album was produced by Rick Rubin and also features a DVD of their live performance. A new studio album called Music For Men was released in June 2009. The first single from the album, "Heavy Cross", was especially successful in Germany where it was certified triple gold for selling over 450,000 copies and was mentioned as the "most successful internationally produced single" of all time in September 2010. In January 2011 the single broke the German record for the longest selling track in chart history. By 14 January 2011 it had spent 82 consecutive weeks within the German Top 100.
2012–2016: A Joyful Noise and split
On March 12, 2012, their comeback single, "Perfect World", was unveiled on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show. Their fifth studio album A Joyful Noise, produced by Xenomania's Brian Higgins, was released in late May. Their music had evolved and became poppier. Andy Gill, writing in The Independent, welcomed the result whereas Pitchfork's review was more negative. A second single "Move in the Right Direction", was issued in May. During the summer, the band headlined various festivals.
The song "Heavy Cross" featured in the Dior J'adore TV Spots.
In an interview with Pitchfork in February 2016, Ditto confirmed the split of the Gossip. She intends to focus on her clothing line and new music as a solo artist.
Their style has been described as "a soul or gospel" voice with "a sort of funky punk soundtrack". The band stated a liking for rock bands like Birthday Party, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nirvana and The Raincoats but also for other genres such as dance and hip hop.
- Studio albums
- That's Not What I Heard (2001)
- Movement (2003)
- Standing in the Way of Control (2006)
- Music for Men (2009)
- A Joyful Noise (2012)
- Beth Ditto – vocalist, piano (1999–2016)
- Nathan "Brace Paine" Howdeshell – guitar, bass, keyboards (1999–2016)
- Hannah Blilie – drums (2004–2016)
- Kathy Mendonça – drums (1999–2003)
Former touring members
- Christopher Sutton – bass (2009–2012)
- 2010: nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding Music Artist" for their album Music for Men during the 21st GLAAD Media Awards.
- 2010 nominated for an ECHO Award, alongside groups such as Depeche Mode and U2.
- June 18, 2012, the single "Move In The Right Direction" was named BBC Radio 2's Record of The Week.
- Wilson, Cintra (2009-04-24). "(Mc)Queen Beth Ditto: The Gossip Fronter's Alexander McQueen Shoot & Interview – Music". Blackbookmag.com. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
- Abreu, Amelia (2001-02-08), "Southern Comfort", Dallas Observed, retrieved 2010-03-25
- Coble, Margaret (2001-02-13), "Hot Gossip", The Advocate
- Nugent, Benjamin (2000-07-30), "Olympia Ladystyle", Time
- Phillips, Amy "Pitchfork News "The Gossip Sign to Columbia", Pitchfork Media, March 8, 2007.
- "True Colors Tour 2007". Truecolorstour.com. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
- data base of Bundesverband Musikindustrie (German)
- press text released by media control (German)
- German Chart Blog 15th January 2011
- "Gossip reveal details of comeback album 'Perfect World'". NME. 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2012-03-13.
- "Gossip to release Mark Ronson-produced album 'Perfect World' in May". Digital Spy. 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2012-03-13.
- Gill, Andy (May 12, 2012). "Album: Gossip, A Joyful Noise (Columbia)". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
- Ryce, Andrew (June 4, 2012). "Gossip: A Joyful Noise". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- J'adore -Tv ad Youtube. Retrieved 15-8-2015
- "Meet Beth Ditto: The Coolest Woman On The Planet". independent.co.uk. 23 November 2006
- Fitzmaurice, Larry. "Gossip Q&A". Spin.com. 28 April 2009. Q&A: Gossip. Excerpt: "What bands influenced the new album's sound? Everything from the Birthday Party to house music and Siouxsie and the Banshees."
- Videtti, Giuseppe . "Beth Ditto interview". repubblica.it. 26 March 2011. Retrieved 13-7-2012. "At 18 I discovered Nirvana, Pearl Jam, The Raincoats and Siouxsie and the Banshees. The mainstream"
- Harper, Simon. "Gossip: Beth Ditto & co in conversation...". Clashmusic.com. 09/06/2009. Retrieved 1-10-12. Excerpt: "I think we just make music that we like at the time, and it’s not supposed to go into any certain genre or whatever. Yeah, we listen to a lot of punk, but we also listen to a lot of dance stuff and hip-hop and everything."
- Jillian, Mapes. "Beth Ditto Stays Radically Fat With New Clothing Line and Solo Career". Pitchfork. Pitchfork. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
- "21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards – English Language Nominees". Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- "Echo Award Show Diary". 2010. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
- "Radio 2's Record of The Week".