True grits - Page 2

The Gossip's Beth Ditto is cooking with meat - and mixing riot grrrl gospel with punk rock panache
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SFBG: What did you want to accomplish with Standing in the Way of Control?

BD: We had a goal of finishing it. We hadn't put out a record since 2003. Our old drummer was busy all the time. It was obvious that her heart wasn't in music anymore – she wanted to be a midwife, and she was in school all the time. We toured very seldomly, and we had to say no to all these things we wanted to do.

SFBG: Will you be touring now?

BD: That's where I'll be for the next year – on the road, in a van. I'm excited about the West Coast and Europe, but separately – I can definitely not do three months consecutively again. Time home is really important for me. My best friend just pointed out to me, "Beth, you need to be grounded." By grounded, she means being around all of my shoes instead of 10 pair. It drives me crazy. And all of my makeup. I need to be around all of my clothes. Leaving my sweetie [Freddie Fagula] is really hard.

SFBG: How many pairs of shoes do you have? That's very Imelda-like.

BD: I know it is! I don't know. Sometimes I'm afraid to know. I'm a high punk femme!

SFBG: Any good gossip?

BD: I burnt some oatmeal cookies. I cook with meat. I'm so meat-and-potatoes – I was raised so Southern. I make chicken and dumplings and cornbread and biscuits and gravy. When it comes to vegetarian things, I'm not a good cook, but I will sure eat the hell out of it.

I had this one person in a band say to me once – we were going out to eat somewhere – "Do you guys eat meat?" I said, "I'll eat anything. I'll eat dirt." And he turned around and looked at me and said, "Well, meat is murder." And I said, "No fucking shit! Just turn around and drive the car!" Like I didn't live in Olympia for four years. "Oh, thanks, you're really clueing me in." This particular person was just so self-righteous.

SFBG: What did you think of Walk the Line?

BD: Being Arkansan, my Aunt Mary picked cotton with Johnny Cash when they were kids. She used to say to my mom, "Well. He ain't much. He just that old Cash boy."

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