EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: THE PRETTY RECKLESS Singer Taylor Momsen on Marilyn Manson Tour & New Album
Published: February 25, 2012 - 9:08am
Taylor Momsen, actress turned singer who starred on the hit TV series Gossip Girl, feels she's found her rightful place as the front-woman for the rock outfit Pretty Reckless. I recently spoke with her about the band's upcoming tour, new music and making this career her number one priority for years to come.
The Pretty Reckless are an alt rock band from New York consisting of Taylor Momsen (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Ben Phillips (lead guitar, backing vocals), Mark Damon (bass) and Jamie Perkins (drums). The band's debut album 'Light Me Up' is loaded with many hits including 'Make Me Wanna Die', 'Miss Nothing' and most recently the somber track 'You'. They are about to hit the road again in which they'll be direct support of shock rock icon Marilyn Manson's upcoming tour.
Lead singer Momsen, who writes all the songs for the band as well as singing and playing guitar, is stoked for the tour and excited to be a part of a musical act with one of her favorite musicians.
Taylor: I'm so excited. I'm such a fan of Manson's and I've been a fan forever. I'm really excited to open for him and just…to see his show every night.
Keven: Are you worried at all that some of his more hardcore fans might be a bit apprehensive of The Pretty Reckless and their vibe?
Taylor: We don't really think about it that way... We just toured with Evanescence, Guns N' Roses and we held our own. We just put on the best show we can and if people like us, awesome -- if they don't, I can't really do anything about that. It's not my problem [laughing].
Keven: Do you feel like the band needs to adapt to a darker tone for this Manson crowd or will there be success in doing your own thing?
Taylor: No, we are what we are and he is what he is. We're different bands and I think that's the best way to tour. You gotta have your own thing, be original and hopefully people will like it.
Keven: Do some of the frustrations from your acting career fuel the angst in your songwriting?
Taylor: I write what I know and that's all I think you can do. The goal is always to just write a good song and at the end of the day if it's not a good song, people won't like it. I always joke that if I knew where my inspiration came from, then I would lose it [laughs]. You just always have to keep writing and raise your standards. I mean, my standards have definitely gotten higher since the last record.
Momsen went on to say that she feels when it's time to release new music, it's "gotta be better than the last record" She also confirmed that the band will debut new material in March and those new songs will make their way into the band's setlist when they hit the road for the latest tour. You can see details and hear track previews for the forthcoming EP 'Hit Me Like a Man' HERE Momsen says that "it'll give fans a good taste of where the next record's going... my fans know that the bar has to be raised"
Keven: Regarding raising the bar, your debut is such a powerful album, so do you feel pressure trying to top it in terms of popularity?
Taylor: I want to get better and I want to grow [as a musician]. It's always a lot of pressure. I put a lot of pressure on myself but pressure makes it fun. It's like competing with yourself and if you're not doing that, then what are you doing?
Keven: You've said before that you feel most comfortable when you're focused on music, is it safe to say that this is going to be your main creative outlet for the next few years?
Taylor: Yeah definitely. My goal is to keep writing songs and making records as long as I can. This is what I want with my life.
Keven: Was there any particular inspiration for the band's latest track turned music video 'You' [which you can watch below]?
Taylor: I was in a very sad place when I wrote that song. I don't like to talk about the songs too much, I like to let them speak for themselves. Then people can interpret and relate to them in their own way. That's really important.
Keven: The first song I heard from your band, 'Make Me Wanna Die', was during the credits to one of my favorite films Kick-Ass. What did you think of the movie and which upcoming films are you looking forward to?
Taylor: Oh yeah, I loved it! It was really cool to have the song at the end of a movie I liked... kind of surreal. This year? I'm super excited for The Avengers. I'm a big fan of those films.
Momsen closed out by saying she isn't one for receiving or accepting advice, but if she were to offer a few words to those trying to make in in this industry she would tell them, "work and don't stop. That's the best advice that I've gotten from everyone whether it was said or not. You can't stop. I'm not really one for advice, I'm just about hard work."
You can learn more about The Pretty Reckless' upcoming tour by visiting their website HERE. Below you can find their latest music video for 'You':