Thursday, June 2, 2011

Taylor Momsen Talks Pretty Reckless and Shutting Up Critics

Taylor Momsen parties too much. She got fired from her hit show. She's frail and partakes in activities that a typical 17-year-old never should. We've read those headlines before, and have seen photos courtesy of paparazzi who flock the former Gossip Girl star in New York City like, um, pigeons to the pigeons lady in Home Alone 2. Well, Momsen has a message to writers, critics, and cynics: shut up and listen to her music.

That notion was essentially played on repeat during an interview last week with the actress-turned-rocker, who will tour Europe this summer with her band The Pretty Reckless. While the teen has lived sort of a rock n' roll lifestyle for a few years now (in print anyway), she's actually a rookie in the music scene. Reckless dropped their first album "Light Me Up" just over a month ago, and has received considerable radio airplay and buzz. A good reason why? The album is pretty fn good. Filling a void that's been missing after Courtney Love slayed us with Hole in the mid-90s (not last year), Momsen's powerful vocals and rawness could bring us to a new era of women rockers. This generation already has its Madonna (read: Gaga) so why shouldn't they have their own Love.

I caught up with the pretty face who melts faces by phone last week, and asked her about silencing the critics, being labeled "a bad girl," and whether or not she's done with acting altogether which is totally possible. Rock and read on.

With all that has been written about you in the papers and blogosphere how awesome is it to get some props for your music?
It's definitely something to overcome, but every musician has his or her own challenges. The reception to the record has been amazing. I just want them to give it a chance, and ignore the rest. Come to the show...

It seems there has been such a drought in terms of female-fronted rock acts. Would you agree?
I think there's been a drought in rock music in general. I tend to not think of it as all female. Most of my influences are males. I think definitely there's been a lull in rock music. It's just time to come back to it with us and a lot of other bands on the rise.

How happy are you that the album is actually out now, and people can hear what you worked so hard on?
It was the hardest thing for me. I worked on it for two years. I am really relieved that it's finally come out and I can let the music speak for itself. You can talk all you want, but at the end of the day if the record is not good, it doesn't matter. The reception has been great. We went from playing a 100-seat club to a 3,000 venue, and once the record came out, we've started seeing fans singing every word.

What was the songwriting process like for you?
It wasn't really a direct process. As a writer, you're open for anything to inspire you. If I knew where the inspiration came from, it'd be a lot easier to write the record. But, it's a constant process.

I'm curious. You modeled for Madonna's clothing line. Did you have any interaction wit her? Did she give you any advice?
Not really. It was a job task but I'm not really one for advice. I take my own advice.

Do you have any regrets?
I don't really like to look back. It's a waste of time. I look forward. I'm exciting to tour this summer in Japan, Europe... Ireland, Russia,'s a world tour really.

Your role as a rock star will likely take time away from acting. Will you go back to it at some point?
I don't know... maybe at some point. It's certainly not what I think about. It's something I enjoyed and it's a big part of my life since three years old, but I'm really happy doing what I'm doing. I won't say I'll never act again but music is what I think about.

I realize you just released your first but have you thought of the second album yet?
It will be a rock progression but in a different way. I'm just really excited and can't wait to get back on the road. We leave Wednesday...

Are there any misconceptions about you that you'd like to get off your chest?
I don't know... probably most things that are written are misconceptions or done in a negative light. They have no idea what I'm really like and you're not going to find it out from an article or an interview. Buy the record if you want to know what I'm like. Hear the record... that's my heart and soul there. Judge what I'm actually putting out there. You can't change what people write. I work 24 hours a day, and I'm really luck to be able to do what I do.

Well, they probably throw you under the bus because you're so young...
Yeah. I don't care. I don't read [what they say]. I don't even have a computer.


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