(Picture: Rahav Segev/WireImage)
‘I’ve never been fired and I’m not a satanist,’ says rocker Taylor Momsen, clearing up some misconceptions. ‘That was a story that went around, that I’ve been fired from everything. I’ve never been fired in my life.’
The 20-year-old is addressing old reports that she was given the boot from teen soap Gossip Girl four years ago. As for the other one, apparently some people have taken the title of her band The Pretty Reckless’s new album, Going To Hell, too literally. ‘It’s a metaphor,’ she says. ‘It’s been around since rock began. Highway To Hell, Stairway To Heaven.’
What is her own vision of hell? ‘I don’t believe there’s a hole in the ground with demons in it but I could be wrong,’ she says. ‘Hell is all around us – it’s the way we treat each other and the way we treat the Earth. We already live in it.’
Aside from pointing out life is a living hell for many of us, Momsen is on perky form. I talk to her just as she’s finishing supporting Fall Out Boy on their British tour and she’s enthusiastic about her new album.
She urges fans to listen to it all the way the way through rather than download songs individually. ‘It tells a story and there are themes that run throughout that become obvious when you listen to it as a whole,’ she says.
That’s how she listened to music when growing up. ‘I listened to my dad’s vinyl record collection,’ says Momsen. ‘The Beatles, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who, AC/DC and then the 1990s stuff – Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam.’
Surprisingly, she cites Oasis as a big inspiration. ‘I’d love to write with Noel Gallagher,’ she says. ‘They wrote great songs.’ And meeting Liam Gallagher at a festival in France was a personal highlight. ‘He’s wicked cool. He was exactly the guy I wanted him to be – a total rock star. I haven’t met Noel yet but I hope I will.’
From modelling to music and acting, did she have any idea which direction her career would go in?
‘I don’t know if there ever was a master plan for my career when I was younger – for me the plan was always music,’ she says. ‘I always wanted to play in a band and when I found the right musicians to work with and started writing songs I actually wanted people to hear, I made that jump.’
When The Pretty Reckless released debut album Light Me Up in 2010, Momsen distinguished herself with her candid interview style. On one occasion, she announced her best friend was her vibrator; on another, she joked on New Zealand radio that she’d had sex with a priest (she was 17 at the time).
She also attracted criticism when she told me – for a Metro feature – that she never left home without her flick knife. Crimestoppers waded into that one, deeming her comments ‘naive and reckless’.
‘Oh yeah…’ she says. ‘Well in America, those flick knives aren’t illegal and you can buy them in truck stops. We tour so much, we’re always in truck stops and buying the weird s*** they sell in them becomes a fun activity for the band. Some of the things I’ve said have been taken out of context but you can’t control that.’
She seems a lot more circumspect these days. She won’t discuss her personal life and says if people want to get to know her, they should listen to the songs. ‘I definitely don’t try to cause controversy,’ she says. ‘I just do my s*** and people talk about it.’
For now, Momsen has the summer festival circuit to prepare for, while a return to acting doesn’t look likely. ‘The only role I’d say yes to is Thor in the Avengers films but Chris Hemsworth’s got that locked down,’ she says.
‘Thor is the coolest character. He’s the god of thunder, the god of lightning and he’s got that hammer. That’s the only acting job I’d want. I’m more about writing, touring and making records until I physically can’t do it any more.’
source: Metro News