Beth Ditto - The Gossip's Pen Pal Assistance

The Gossip found out about underground music thanks to their pen pals.

The three-piece group - made up of vocalist Beth Ditto, guitarist Nathan ''Brace Paine'' Howdeshell and drummer Hannah Billie - discovered the genre thanks to sending letters back and forth to their friends, which allowed them to find out about feminist punk rock movement Riot Grrrl.

When asked how underground music reached them, Nathan said: ''Mostly from pen pals writing to each other. That's how Beth and I found out about Riot Grrrl and that's what really got us started.

''There were a lot of mixtapes going around and I set up a show for Calvin Johnstone's band when I was still in high school.''

While the Gossip were formed in rural Arkansas, Nathan insists the group ''always feel a bit special'' when they perform in Britain because it was the first place to ''accept'' the band.

He added: ''London blew my mind when I first came here - there were so many radical freaks. Nowadays most of my friends are scattered throughout the world, but the British were the first people to accept The Gossip, so it does always feel a bit special here, especially for Beth.

''We felt like those free jazz cats going to Paris in the 60s. England always had their hands out, ready to accept us.

To read the full interview and listen to Gossip on Spotify for free, go to


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