BETH DITTO SOUNDS OFF
The impending release of the Gossip‘s new cd, Music For Men, on June 22 indicates a win-win situation for us all. First, we get a new Gossip CD! Second, it means frontwoman Beth Ditto will be doing lots of publicity for the release, and she always has something interesting (and usually funny) to say.
Of course, the more scandalous quotes always get the most attention, and we’re seeing that play out with Ditto’s comments about singer Katy Perry. News outlets are rushing to report what she recently said to UK gay magazine Attitude, which included calling Perry’s hit "I Kissed A Girl" a “boner dyke” anthem for “straight girls who like to turn guys on by making out or like faking gay.”
Ditto went even further, proclaiming:
I hate Katy Perry! She’s offensive to gay culture, I’m so offended. She’s just riding on the backs of our culture, without having to pay any of the dues and not being actually lesbian or anything at all. She’s on the cover of a f—ing gay magazine.
Another stop on the publicity rounds included an interview with ClashMusic.com, in which Ditto discussed the making of the Gossip’s first album in three years (and their first major label release) and her own emotional makeup.
On the title of the new CD:
I think people who are really down are really gonna think it’s funny, or they’re really gonna get it. It’s really ironic, but it’s really true; I think the idea of making a feminist record for men is really cool. Because we already know that we’re oppressed — men need to know that we’re oppressed.
On being perceived as an angry person:
I’m not angry. No, I always think that people think that women in music are always angry. I’m not angry. Rock ‘n’ roll music made by men is so much more over-the-top aggressive than when a women says ‘you’ and they’re screaming it, it’s like, ‘Oh my God!’ I’m like, ‘Have you heard rock music made by men?’ I always think that’s really interesting. I think if you ever met me you’d be like, ‘That person is not angry.’
On battling depression:
I think when you think about what the odds are for human beings, I think it honestly gets a bit depressing. I was just in another interview and he was telling me about this American radio guy called Michael [Savage] who’s like super right-wing and people are obsessed with him. I was like, you know, I don’t get as sad that that guy has a radio show as I do that there are people listening to it that are totally into it. I think that those things really make me sad — they honestly affect my daily life.
On the therapeutic power of making music:
I don’t try to think of the end of the world the way other people do because I spent so much of my childhood thinking about the end of the world and I don’t want to do that anymore. But a lot of people do and that gets me down. I also think that just existing is really sad; I don’t know if that’s chemical or what but yeah, I’ve had a couple of nervous breakdowns in my life. Totally fine. Not a biggie. But it’s all changed. I’m always like: ‘When’s the next one gonna be?’ (Laughs) But it’s been really strange because making music has really helped it.
Not limiting herself to the topics of music and mental health, Ditto recently talked to Black Book Magazine about one fashion and beauty.
On whether she’s helped redefine the concept of beauty:
Girls in general have really nice things to say — especially big girls. It’s mostly men who aren’t as open. I think men fear me sometimes. I played in Greece last summer and, I swear, when I went into the crowd, people actually ran away from me. But things like that make me really happy. You make a decision: if you are going to participate in the music industry and put yourself out there, you have to know that it’s all full of sh–.
On what she’ll wear when she marries her partner, Freddie:
I’ve thought about the dress! That’s all I want. I’d want a traditional dress, you know, like the Vivienne Westwood gown in the Sex and the City movie. Amazing! Traditional, but completely crazy.
And finally, the question that’s been haunting us all:
If "everyone was really drunk and there were no social inhibitions whatsoever," would Ditto rather make out with Michelle Obama or Madonna?
I wouldn’t make out with either one of them. I’m not really attracted to feminine. I only like butch.
Say what you will about Beth Ditto, but at least she’s consistent.
UPDATE: In an interview with The London Paper.com, Katy Perry responded to Ditto’s comments about her. She said:
I heard that she said something about me. I don’t want to get into a slanging war with anybody, so I don’t want to say anything bad about her. But I’m not impressed. I’ve learnt in the past year that one artist should never insult another artist’s music – it’s tacky.And with me, it always comes back to bite me on the a***!
I’ll write a song about it. So much of this stuff has happened to me in the past year and I would love to express it all through my music.
Oh great. Can’t wait to hear it.
— by Karman Kregloe