While Taylor Momsen is primarily known as an actress and model she also knows how to rock on a stage The Pretty Reckless. ThisIsNotAScene caught up with her to discuss the band’s latest album, the perks and drawbacks of being a celebrity, business and label issues and working with former Ministry member Paul Barker…
Hi Taylor, thank you for doing this interview. You’re currently on tour with The Pretty Reckless in the US and you’re crossing over to Europe for a couple of Summer festivals. How’s the tour going so far for you?
Touring is awesome, it’s a privilege to be able to play for so many great people and regions, it’s one of the best parts of the job.
“Going To Hell” is as solid a record as they come. It’s been for a while out now. Have you had the time to reflect on it and are you still happy how it came out?
We work very hard to make the music the way we want it to be. I feel like this time I succeeded with getting the feeling down on tape the way it was supposed to be. There’s always little things you think about afterwards, but so far so good.
How did you go about the creative and writing process this time around? What were you and the rest of the band aiming for?
The writing is the most serious part because it’s the songs that will dictate everything. I like to delve in various arts to write so the process is really disappearing and getting away from distraction and reflecting and inventing new ideas. Ben and I write the songs, we go away and come back when we have a record’s worth of material we want to record.
Reportedly hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the studio where you guys were recording “Going To Hell”. How did this affect the recording process and how the album turned out musical-wise?
That’s a long story, but to give you an idea, it was devastating and definitely put a weight on our shoulders when finishing the record. Luckily, we had enough to work with and got back on our feet. The title track was written over that time…’In the dark’.
There was some business/label related issues with “Going To Hell” as well. Can you tell us what happened and what your own take on the whole issue is?
I think it was just the wrong match of label and artist, we have a great fit now and things have been going great, better than I ever imagined. We have a great management team in place, we’re all like family, so that’s the core of the world I live in.
You’re widely known as an actress, model and now as singer/guitarist for The Pretty Reckless. To which extent is your modelling/acting career a blessing or a curse as far as spreading the word on The Pretty Reckless and finding acceptance within the rock and metal community?
In the beginning there’s definitely credibility issues at the same time it was a good launching pad, but I think very quickly the fans turned to the music. I never hear about it unless the press is asking, the fans are there for the music and the band, now the press just has to catch on… I haven’t acted for over 5 years! :)
You’re pretty much in the spotlights all the time. How does the rest of the band handle this and how does this affect your private life (if you have any)?
I think most bands’ lead singers naturally get more visual recognition because they’re singing the songs. Whether it’s Bono, Debbie Harry or whomever, it’s the structure of any band I think. The band gets it….believe me no one wants more work, we all just want to write and play music.
How do you manage to balance three different careers (modelling, acting, fronting a band) in one? What’s your secret and which of the three do you find most satisfying and why?
I only have one career and that’s music, if there’s a modeling shoot that’s related to the band that’s cool, but all my fashion and visuals are just part of the world of my music.
You recorded some guest vocals on Paul Barker’s (ex Ministry) solo album. How do you look back on the whole experience? Do you have some collaborations planned? What can we expect in that regard?
I liked the song we came up with and am happy I did it, collaborations are cool if there’s a musician that would be right for a specific song, but it has to be organic.
With The Pretty Reckless you’ve done some high profile tours with Marilyn Manson and Evanescence. What is touring with them like and can you share some good tour stories?
What goes on the road stays on the road…but I will tell you that they were both great. I’ve always been a fan of Manson and Evanescence are strong force. Playing with acts of that caliber really teaches you to step up your game and pushes you to be better, which I like.
As a final question, what’s your outlook for the rest of this year, be it modelling, acting or touring/recording with The Pretty Reckless?
We’ll be on a world tour through at least January, stopping only to make videos and then I want to jump right into the next record. It’s going to be a crazy year.