Wednesday, February 9, 2011

M Is For Music Interview with Taylor!

The Pretty Reckless fronted by Taylor Momsen have already received critical acclaim with their debut album “Light Me Up” being released in the UK and Europe back in Summer 2010 and show no signs of slowing down with Taylor and co. gaining more and more fans by the minute. Their debut single “Make Me Wanna Die” went to #1 in the UK Rock Chart and has also been used in Film and TV including ‘Gossip Girl' which Momsen stars in as the character Jenny Humphrey.

M Is For Music caught up with Taylor ahead of the bands album being released in the US to talk about the record, what its like for a female fronting a Rock band, her influences and the forthcoming Pretty Reckless tour. It’s clear for anyone to see that Taylor has a real passion for music so have a read and enjoy!

Hi there Taylor, thanks for taking the time out to speak to M Is For Music. How are you today?
I’m great, how are you?

I’m brilliant thank you, it’s lovely to talk to you. Can you start off by telling us a little about The Pretty Reckless please?
Yeah, it’s my band and our first record is “Light Me Up” which is out in the UK right now.

The album, “Light Me Up” will be released in February in the US could you tell us a little bit about how the record came together?
Yeah I wrote the record for about a year… A very long process and recorded it whilst I was still in Gossip Girl but it was great, I’m very proud of it and its coming out in the US now so I’m very excited about that as well.

What has inspired you to write the album?
Everything! I mean inspiration comes from everywhere, it’s kind of hard to define it but yeah, everything. My life, my relationships, what I know.

How would you describe the albums sound to US fans that might not have heard it yet?
It’s a Rock n Roll record… I don’t know exactly how to describe it, the very songs in Rock n Roll, it’s very much about the song. The songs came first before the production and everything else.

Do you have a favourite track on “Light Me Up”?
It’s hard to pick a favourite song but “Make Me Wanna Die” was the first song written for the record so that holds a special place in my heart.

You will be touring the States in February, do you prefer touring to recording?
No, I love it all! I love writing, I love recording and I love playing the record it’s the whole process I love everything about it. Yeah, I can’t pick a favourite.

Have you got any funny or interesting tour stories?
A lot but I can’t tell you! [Laughs]

Are you sure?
Yeah I’m pretty sure! [Laughs]

Okay! You’ve been quoted as saying that all your Rock idols are men Do you feel there are not enough female Rock stars?
I think there are a lot of great female artists. I don’t think there are very many female fronted bands in Rock n Roll so I think there could be some more yeah… Like Janis Joplin is amazing and Joni Mitchell so there are definitely a lot of great female performers though.

Is there anything you would say to any female singers that want to start up a Rock band?
If there’s nothing else you can do [laughs] but if there is something else you can do, so it because it’s so difficult. It’s one of the hardest industries.

You have listed some of your favourite bands as The White Stripes, Oasis, Nirvana and The Who. If you could collaborate with just one of your idols who would it be and why?
Hmmm… I mean my all-time favourite band is The Beatles for their genius, I mean I guess I’d love to write with Paul McCartney that would be awesome, John Lennon’s not a possibility anymore but Paul McCartney would be amazing to collaborate with.

Would you ever try and contact Paul and see if there would be any chance of collaboration?
I don’t have his number but feel free to give it me if you have it! [Laughs]

Haha, I wish...
Or Noel Gallagher. I’d love to write with Noel Gallagher. I’d do a song with all of Oasis but I’d love to write a song with Noel.

You write all your own songs, how important is songwriting to you and would you ever release a track that you hadn’t written yourself?
I mean, it’s the most important thing. I’d sing a song if it was good but songwriting is so personal that I can’t imagine singing something apart from a cover that I didn’t write. It’s the most important thing to me, it’s why I love music and I love writing songs.

What do you think of artists that don’t write their own songs?

Well I mean, Elvis didn’t write his own songs y’know and that’s okay so I think there are still some great artists that don’t write their own songs but songwriting is so important I couldn’t ever eliminate it… I started writing songs very young and that’s what I love and I definitely have an appreciation for artists that write their own songs.

You play Jenny in Gossip Girl, do you think you’re role in the show has been an advantage or disadvantage to The Pretty Reckless?
I think it’s probably both, you know it’s definitely a challenge to get people to listen to the music and see outside of my character. Jenny Humphrey is the character I play and I’m very different from her so it’s a challenge in that light for sure. But there are also people that know me from the show and gave the music a chance who are now fans of the band so it’s a catch 22 y’know?

I know that you had “Make Me Wanna Die” played on one of the episodes of Gossip Girl…?
Oh yeah, they played it on one of the scenes so that was fun!

So how would you feel if your music was used for a programme such as Glee and what do you think of them sort of shows?
Glee… I’ve never seen Glee but its doing really well so it would be an honour y’know.

You have also been quoted saying you would like to sing forever. Would you choose singing over acting and modelling?
Music is something I could never give up, I love all three of my careers I’ve been doing them a very long time but writing music and music in general is something that I couldn’t live without, so that I something that will never go away… Whereas with my other two careers I don’t know but my music is my focus, the one thing that will last forever for me.

Who are your favourite current bands or artists?
Let me think… I don’t listen to a lot of current music. The last record I go, not current but brought was a DMX record. The best of DMX. I listen to mostly a lot of old classics so… Soundgarden getting back together that’s cool, I’m excited for that.

Being an Oasis fan have you heard Liam Gallagher’s new band Beady Eye yet?
I haven’t heard it but I’m excited… Have you heard it?

I’ve heard little snippets of it, their really good.
Cool! Yeah I’m excited for that, I haven’t heard anything yet though.

Will The Pretty Reckless be performing at any festivals this Summer?
I hope so, yeah I think so… Not entirely confirmed yet so nothing I can say to print yet but we’ll definitely be coming back to the UK this Summer and hopefully playing some festivals for sure. We did V Festival last year so I’m excited to be coming back and to do some more.

How does the live crowd compare from the US to the UK and Europe?
Well, the UK crowd is amazing I mean it’s insane! Everytime we go out, all over Europe we have the best fans. I haven’t been in the US since “Warped” [2010 Tour] so ask me in 2 months how it compares! [Laughs]

Finally, if M didn’t stand for Music what would it stand for and why?
Erm… I don’t know. Momsen [laughs], I don’t know, I have no idea!!

Well, good luck with the tour and the album and the rest of 2011…
Thank you so much. Bye!

The Pretty Reckless’ album “Light Me Up” is out in the US today, 8th February.


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