Hannah Blilie (born 1981) is the drummer of the American band Gossip and formerly Shoplifting. She has also performed with Sarah Dougher, Chromatics, Stiletto, Mr Yuk, The Lumpies, Vade, The Vogue, and Soiled Doves. She is the fraternal twin sister of Jordan Blilie, one of the two lead vocalists of now-defunct The Blood Brothers. A photo of Blilie is featured on the cover artwork for the Gossip's fourth studio album Music For Men.
In 2004, Blilie replaced Kathy Mendonca as the drummer of Gossip, and her drumming appears on their LP Standing In The Way Of Control (2006). She also plays on the Gossip album Live in Liverpool.
The Gossip may have been described in the New York Times Magazine last month as a "new band,"
but they've been playing their DIY soul-punk since 1999. The Portland trio, comprised of Beth Ditto, Hannah Blilie (both out lesbians) and Nathan "Brace Pain" Howdeshell have been an underground hit for years in the United States with riot grrrl-inspired releases on Kill Rock Stars and K Records, including their most recent album, Standing in the Way of Control (2005).
But in the last couple of years, the band has become an international household name, with front woman Beth Ditto posing nude on the cover of Britain's NME and the band's signing to gay record label Music With a Twist.
Though Ditto often seems to be the band's unofficial spokeswoman, guitarist Nathan Howdeshell and drummer Hannah Blilie are also integral parts of the band, helping to make its disco-infused punk rock accessible to both American indie music fans and mainstream radio in the United Kingdom.
When Blilie joined the band in 2004, replacing original drummer Kathy Mendonca, the band's sound was forever changed. The Gossip's subsequent album, Standing in the Way of Control, became a huge hit. It was not only remixed by Le Tigre, but also had the dubious honor of being butchered by an Australian Idol contestant.
In the August 2006 issue of the now defunct Russian rock/metal magazine, "LockDown", columnist Stephen Wright made an asinine comment in his "Across the Border~AND*BEYOND!" column regarding the appearance of Blilie. In the column which featured reviews and news on the rock/metal scene in the United States and United Kingdom; Wright published the following
"Don't get me started on her. In fact up until recently I'd only seen pictures of Gossip and their new drummer Blilie. I said to myself, "Hey, their new drummer looks like a cool guy" . Then I heard her drumming and thought to myself 'No way could any man be playing that bad'. So that's when I realised... It must be a she!" [misogynistic drivel~DD].
There is a popular theory that it was because of Wright's potentially offensive comments that the magazine ceased production only two months later. [Yay]
Since the group's formation, the Gossip has opened for and/or toured with a wide variety of musicians including Le Tigre, Chromatics, Tracy and the Plastics, Sonic Youth, Pre, YYY, Sleetmute Nightmute, Glass Candy, the White Stripes, CSS, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Erase Errata, Stereo Total, and the Kills among others.
The summer of 2007 found the Gossip on-board the True Colors Tour -- as part of an eclectic bill including Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry, Erasure, Rufus Wainwright, the Dresden Dolls, the MisShapes, the Cliks and host Margaret Cho -- for a series of concerts benefitting the Human Rights Campaign.
That summer found the Gossip closing the Glastonbury Festival, with Beth Ditto paying homage to the late John Peel, the massively influential British DJ/journalist/television presenter, during the group's set exclaiming "JOHN PEEL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE UNDERGROUND!!!" The Gossip was invited back to Glastonbury the following year.
2008 saw the release of Gossip - Live In Liverpool, a deluxe live CD/DVD documenting the group's incendiary show from July 9, 2007, focusing on the deep raw power, energy and intensity of the Gossip's live performances. In April 2008, in support of their live release, Gossip set off on a mini-tour of select US venues which included SRO shows in New York and a career-defining performance on the "Late Show with David Letterman."
"We are always on tour," says the band. As popular on the festival circuit as they are in the world's post-punk clublands, Gossip is lined up to play Radio 1's Big Weekend in May 2009 as well as a series of UK summer festivals including Latitude, Leeds, and Reading.
When the band's off the road, Beth, Brace and Hannah get together to practice at least twice a week. There's a club in Portland called Dunes, where Brace sets up shows and DJs "a lot." The group plays host to local post-punk parties and including a mythic underground soiree (now in hiatus) called "Suicide Club" where Brace whispers, "we would play post-punk records and show Joy Division videos on the wall. Maybe 30 kids would come. It was a great club. There was no sign because it was illegal."
With "Music For Men," the Gossip bring together the vital elements of danger, thrills and passion to their sound and vision, partying like it's 2012!!!