by Bianca Valentino
The Gossip’s guitarist Nathan Howdeshell is a man after my own heart. He believes in (and practices) the all-important art of DIY — he couldn’t care less about mainstream music or the industry despite The Gossip’s own mainstream accomplishments. He helps his friends and nurtures the underground music community releasing music on self-made label Fast Weapons just because he digs it and can; showcasing friends’ art on blog Art Throb, curating art shows and making zines because he can. Do you see there’s a theme and lesson here? Do-It-Yourself … because you can, anyone can, yes even you! Doing things yourself makes things happen, creates community, creates networks and lets you mould the destiny of what you love – music, art, zines, whatever. Things are put in your (very capable) hands. Most importantly though, doing things yourself is fun! Other things of common interest to Nathan and I include consciousness, spirituality and awareness — all of which can be connected to the punk and Riot Grrrl communities we grew up in and still have a strong affinity to today.
Nathan: This is perfect! I’ve had a purely Australian night.
I was with this woman named Jonnine who is the singer for that band HTRK. Do you know that band?
Yeah, I’ve seen them on your blog.
They are my favourite Australian band. I was hanging out with her all night long and now you’ve called – it’s funny I’ve had an Australian night. I was talking to her about how fucking sad I am about the floods and all the natural disasters in Australia. It’s terrifying! Oh my god, like neighborhoods wiped out! It’s like end of the world shit.
I had friends that lost their homes.
It is so sad. Where I live in Arkansas the same thing is happening there, there’s all these tornados. They’ve been showing up and wiping out entire cities. There’s like a 1,000 people that are homeless in like a second because of tornados just ripping houses out of the ground. I feel like the same thing has happened in Australia. It is so disturbing to me.
I know! Look at what’s happening all around the world; look at what happened in Japan.
Oh my god!
The world is ending!
The world is ending! Something is going on for sure, right? I’m not just paranoid anymore.
Totally not, there’s definitely something happening for sure. They reckon that in 2012 … you know the sun …
Yeah, I know. I totally believe that. The Mayan calendar is coming to an end which I completely believe — that’s exactly what I believe. The Mayan calendar is a 26,000 year cycle that they somehow created from the stars. Nowadays even the astrologers with amazing telescopes can’t figure out how they made it, how they mapped out this revolution of the Earth. With the Mayan calendar something happens every 26,000 years – either a great flood or you know how the comets killed the dinosaurs. December 21st 2012 exactly marks our 26,000 mark from the last ruin of a great empire.
No. What are those?
They touch on a lot of stuff to do with those kinds of things and a whole lot more. I’ll send links. There’s also this guy here in Australia called Max Igan that’s done some pretty interesting research and writing on those kinds of things, he has an internet radio show.
How amazing! I’m really into David Icke, Richard C Hoagland, David Wilcock and Daniel Pinchbeck. Any sort of esoteric, spiritual, science, string theory — I’m obsessed with that right now. More important than music, more important than art, I think what is happening right now with the combination of physics and spirituality … the things like you were talking about, the neutrinos from the sun affecting our consciousness, that shit is really incredible now. I think that is the most amazing thing.
Your right spirituality is such an important thing right now, that’s why I’ve been working on my project Conversations with Punx: A Spiritual Dialogue for the past seven years talking to folks in the punk community about their thoughts and feelings on, and experiences with spirituality and conciousness.
Amazing! I made a T-shirt that said “The sensitivity of hardcore” and that absolutely rings such a bell to me. Basically you have a music that is expressed so violently and physically combined with the mindset of faith and ultra-animal rights punk bands. That’s a really conscious-raising scene.
Definitely! I got into the scene when I was 15, over half my life ago, I always felt and knew there is a deeper aspect to the culture beyond the music. The community helped turn me on to so many different positive life-changing things. It helped me to become more aware of myself and the world around me and inspired me to contribute positive things.
Yeah totally! Your project sounds incredible. That’s so amazing because that’s really been on my mind recently. I think consciousness and this state of being is so attached to music. Music is a way for all of us, whoever – you go to a festival and there’s 200,000 people there: cheerleaders, jocks, there’s people that are total assholes, there’s weird trannies, total wild fags and lesbians and everyone is dancing to the same song. There’s so much to be said about that aspect of music.
I’m so happy I reached out to you. I could tell from following your blog that you were into a lot of what we’ve talked about. Within like five minutes there was a connection like ‘bam!’
[Laughs] Oh I’m sorry. I hope I didn’t blast into a ridiculous conversation?
No, not at all, these are the conversations I search for! That’s part of why I started the Conversations with Punx project, to connect like this with others and talk about real stuff that’s going on. Where I live I didn’t really have anyone to speak to about these things.
I’m really excited for the Conversations with Punx project. It sounds beautiful. We’ve finally got to a time where punk rock has become a culture or a counterculture that people are actually beginning to take seriously – like animal rights and politics. It took a long time for these to be seen as something that is serious you know. Didn’t people laugh at hippies for a long time too? I feel like maybe hardcore and punk rock and Riot Grrrl is all being seen as a really glued together legitimate community as well as maybe a massive musical moment.
I was so stoked when I found your blog and saw that you were doing zines, your own label and all that kind of stuff – it’s all totally DIY. I love that.