Part 2 of Tighe Wall’s interview with the Gossip

    [Part 2 of 2]

    Here is the second and final part of the interview with Beth, Nathan and Kathy of the Gossip…



    Prefix Magazine:
    What are your goals? To become rich and famous?

    The Gossip: Part 2:
    Nathan: My goal is just to put out a really good record. I think we’ve got a few left in us.

    Beth: I want this to be all I do. I want it to take up my day. I want writing songs to take up my whole day.

    Nathan: I think that our formula’s so simple, we can’t really run out of ideas.

    Beth: I don’t know about that. Don’t jinx us.

    Nathan: I’m really excited to record the next record. I always get nervous before we do a record, and it always works our really well. My goal is to put out classic records that are non-dated. Records you could listen to 50 years from now.

    What if MTV came to you and said, “We want to air a Gossip video on MTV”? What would you say?

    The Gossip: Part 2:
    Nathan: The way I see it, see…I’m really anti-major label. So, I think that if you’re on an independent label, you can do whatever the fuck you want. But once you take that step…

    Beth: Like one of those subsidiary labels…

    Nathan: So all these bands that are on Interscope, they think they’re all punk and hip, but they’re the ones getting $500,000 advances and buying houses. We’re the bands playing on our friends’ labels, barely paying rent. We have to tour to make money, but they’re the ones buying homes in New York City…

    Beth: Guh!

    Nathan: I’m not dissing any certain bands, but they can do just as well and at the same time help the subculture and underground music by making it valid in the mainstream’s eyes. I want to see independent label music in big record stores and people buying them to the point where these bands can make a decent living. If a band like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs had stayed on Touch and Go, they probably would have sold just as many records eventually, and they would have help the label out so much. They’re cool, punk rock people. It’s frustrating to me, ’cause all these bands are getting these offers and going with them, and I don’t understand why.

    Beth: Every band we know, every band we can think of.

    Nathan: Every band we’ve ever played with has signed with a major label. It’s so weird.

    Some bands look at signing with a major label as being able to reach more people because of the better distribution…

    The Gossip: Part 2:
    Beth: That’s not true. It depends on the music scene. If it stayed really strong it could be like, “You know what, we’re in demand, we’re what people want, but you can’t have us.” The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs were so popular before signing with a major label.

    Nathan: They were being written about in Rolling Stone way before they signed with a major label. They still would have been in Alternative Press, they still would have been in Spin

    Beth: Probably for longer.

    Nathan: Probably for longer because it would have given them that cult status and made them a legendary band.

    Like a Fugazi?

    The Gossip: Part 2:
    Nathan: Fugazi’s a perfect example. They can sell out a 3,000-seat arena and they charge five dollars. How cool is that?

    Beth: There’re different ways to do it. It depends on where you are. Some people think that Kill Rock Stars is selling out. Some people would say that MTV is selling out, but I think Cat Power’s really cool and she’s just on Matador. Is Matador part of something else?

    Nathan: I think Matador UK.

    Beth: What is the deal with that? Like Rough Trade.

    Nathan: Well Rough Trade just sold their name.

    Beth: That is so awful, I don’t understand any of that. I would think that MTV would be a good thing because someone that had an important message could get on there.

    Nathan: I would love to see a fucked up guitar band on MTV.

    Beth: I would love to see a fat queer girl on television.

    Nathan: A really raw band, going wild. I’d love it; it’d be exciting. And I think 16-year-old kids would be excited to see that too.

    Beth: For me, other fat queer girls would love it. There’s so much more to it than that. There is a lot of stuff going on that people aren’t getting to see because they’re not showing the right things. There are kids whose only outlet is cable and they’re not getting to see things.

    Since MTV’s only showing reality based shows, MTV2 has become the place for MTV’s videos.

    The Gossip: Part 2:
    Nathan: The bar has been raised for MTV2, now they only play Madonna, the White Stripes and P. Diddy. But they play some Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs and all that’s stuff that’s indie but not indie at all. And the think is that everyone calls those bands indie and they’re not really at all.

    Beth: Indie has changed into a genre of music rather than what it is, and that’s annoying for me.

    Nathan: I’ve heard people say that Hot Hot Heat’s indie, but they’re on Warner Bros. They’re label mates with Harry Potter and Garth Brooks! There’s this band from Canada called the Organ that always talks about how they’re such an indie band. They’re on 604, which is run by the guy from Nickelback. It’s a subsidiary. Now indie is like this genre with sexy, skinny dudes with black hair.

    On another note…when you guys are on the road, who drives?

    The Gossip: Part 2:
    Nathan: We have a roadie.

    Beth: Well, I don’t have a license. Nathan did, but doesn’t anymore, so Kathy’s the only one with one. I had a permit when I was like 15, I just never went back to get a license. My mom didn’t get hers till she was 32. I dated a boy for three years because he had a car. I mean…I like him, he was really sweet.

    Nathan: You don’t want to diss him on here, he’ll read it…

    Beth: He was really sweet.

    What do you guys think of file sharing?

    The Gossip: Part 2:
    Nathan: I think it’s awesome, and I think it’s fucking stupid for Metallica to get pissed off. I mean, how much money do they have to make?

    Beth: I was on Napster a lot, and I bought the records anyways. Who fucking cares? The only bad thing is bootlegging. It’s an art and it’s up to the band to release it, not the person that recorded it.

    Nathan: I don’t mind people bootlegging us unless it’s like a crappy show.

    What’s your take on the new Clear Channel live recording system?

    The Gossip: Part 2:
    Beth: I think it should be in our contract: “No Clear Channel.” We played a show for them and it was hilarious. We didn’t make any money, but we had a guarantee so they had to pay us out of pocket.

    Nathan: It was awesome ripping them off. They were in charge of promotion and since it’s Clear Channel they didn’t hang up any fliers or anything.

    Beth: They got one billboard.

    Nathan: Yeah, one billboard on the freeway.

    Nathan, we’ve seen that you’ve got a lot of other stuff going on as well as the Gossip.

    The Gossip: Part 2:
    Nathan: I’ve got a lot of little ‘zines. I’m in other bands and do a lot of art and stuff.

    What about the Night Tapes?

    The Gossip: Part 2:
    Nathan: That was a really cool project. The basic thing is like, each tape had a theme with really obscure music, because I’m into really rare records, and so I made tapes so kids in Alabama who are 15 can hear rare music. They send me three bucks and I send them a tape of super-hard-to-find shit. Information about the bands and stuff and kids really loved it. I think I might do CDs now. It’s a lot easier. Each tape took 10 minutes. I worked well, I sent off a ton. I’ve met kids that are like, “Those tapes are amazing, they changed my life.” Apparently there’s some little online community about it.

    Beth, what’s with you and giving haircuts?

    The Gossip: Part 2:
    Beth: I have a punk-rock salon. In the spring, business is really good. Everyone want a new do? I crochet, too. Nathan said I knit, but I crochet.

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