Backstage Axxess recently conducted an interview with THE PRETTY RECKLESS frontwoman Taylor Momsen. You can listen to the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the lyrical themes on the band’s new album, “Who You Selling For”:
Taylor: “This record is very personal, but there’s no message or theme. It’s just a collection of songs that were written around the same period of time, so it very much captures a moment in our lives.”
On the songwriting process for “Who You Selling For”:
Taylor: “We write separately and then sometimes together, but for both of us, as far as isolation to write, I go away and have a house in New England. I have a tiny little creepy Stephen King-esque house. I read, paint, and I sculpt, and try to keep my mind open to any ideas and see where my mind takes you and go down the rabbit hole of writing, which isn’t the most pleasant, but it is what it is. Ben [Phillips, guitar] does the same thing, then we’ll bring the ideas together. There’s no real process. It’s different every time. Sometimes I come in with the whole thing and he’ll go ‘If you change, this and this, or this will be better’ or vice-versa. There’s no real process. It’s hard to explain. Whatever it is, it works.”
On if she’s a fan of blues musicians like Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson:
Taylor: “Of course. Rock and roll started with the blues. Without the blues, there would be no rock and roll. I love the blues. I love the story of Robert Johnson going down to the crossroads and selling his soul for rock and roll.
On bringing in outside musicians to help record the album:
Taylor: “We had the songs and for the first time, we wanted to make a very organic, honest record. Nowadays, with computers, everything can be fixed or manipulated, overdubbed and made to be perfect. What I think is missing in music now is that human element of really hearing the players behind it and not having be everything perfectly lined up. The mistake is what gives it its power and what gives it feel. So we wanted to very much have that vibe in the studio. We had songs that were going to require outside musicians, so either that meant we did it ourselves and then overdubbed a piano or overdubbed a keyboard and did that type of layering, or we bring in outside players and set up like a band and jam. So we chose the latter, obviously.”
On how the band’s current tour is going:
Taylor: “It’s been great so far. It’s been really fun. It’s great to be back out playing new material. We’re slowly adding more and more of the new record to the set. I wanted to let the record sit out there for a little bit for people to hear it. I wanted people to hear it before they heard the stripped-down, ruckus rock and roll version of it. You can expect a loud, ruckus rock and roll show.”
On what is the hardest part about touring with her male bandmates:
Taylor: “Nothing. We all have the same struggles, like getting enough sleep and staying healthy. The basic human elements like trying to find a shower that is clean enough to shower in. It’s no different for me than it is for them.”
On if it’s easier fronting a rock band versus being a model/actress:
Taylor: “It’s freeing. I never really liked that side of things; it was never my choice. I got put into it at a very young age. When I was old enough to make my own decisions, I quit and I haven’t looked back since. We’re literally talking about a child. I can consider myself a writer first. Getting to write songs, then record them, then play them live, there’s no greater job, at least in my mind.”
THE PRETTY RECKLESS recently broke a record set by 3 DOORS DOWN and has seen its first four mainstream singles hit No. 1 on Billboard‘s rock chart. The band’s new song, “Take Me Down”, topped the chart, following in the footsteps of “Heaven Knows”, “Messed Up World” and “Follow Me Down” from 2014’s “Going To Hell” album. That broke the group’s tie with 3 DOORS DOWN and put them in a position to tie or break the next record, five No. 1 singles, which is owned for now by Canada’s THREE DAYS GRACE.
THE PRETTY RECKLESS also now have the most No. 1 singles by a female-fronted rock act.
“Take Me Down” is from the band’s third studio set, “Who You Selling For”, which arrived on October 21.