Taylor Momsen doesn’t sugarcoat descriptions of her music with deep and insightful words. She just cuts to the chase. It is what it is – rock and roll.
I sat down with Taylor at her Atlanta show back in April, and she talked with me about her music and its evolution. It was clearly a personal topic to her, but she doesn’t like to talk about the meaning of the songs.
“I like to just let the music speak for itself, and let fans interpret the music for themselves. I think that’s what makes music interesting.” Taylor says, “I don’t know what Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were actually thinking about, or what it meant to them, but I know what it means to me.”
Taylor Momsen’s Musical Evolution
If you’ve followed Taylor’s career at all, it’s not hard to see how much she’s changed over the years. Evolution is unavoidable as an artist, and it is perhaps the most daunting part of it. It’s easier with your first album. You have no expectations to live up to, but you do with your following albums.
“The biggest thing that has evolved is what my standard of great is.” Taylor reveals. “From writing the first album to going into the second one, the song writing has definitely evolved. Before I was just competing with other people, and now I’m competing with myself. So the bar of what I consider to be great has definitely been raised.”
The Song Writing Process
Taylor reveals that every song has a different writing process. She’s constantly looking for things to inspire her, and sometimes it starts with a lyric or a melody… and sometimes just a simple E-chord.
“There isn’t really a process which is what really makes it so torturous.” Taylor says. “Every song comes from a different place. It is very song-driven though, we’re not writing for a sound or a concept or anything. With every song, it’s just write a good song. Okay… now write another good song.”
Taylor Momsen’s Style
When you’re talking with Taylor, you can’t help but notice her distinct vintage style with a hint of goth. Like most girls, Taylor loves to express herself through fashion, and she just loves what she loves.
“I don’t really have a fashion icon. I love the 60’s, and I love vintage. I tend to shop most at thrift stores and vintage stores. I like finding one-of-a-kind pieces that can be worked into something new and interesting. I tend to repeat outfits a lot… just because if I like it, why the f*** can I only wear it once.” Taylor reveals. “I don’t like that Hollywood rule.”
Geeking Out With South Park And Sleep
While Taylor and her bandmates have thousands of fans who make a point of buying her merch and coming out to her shows, one can’t help but wonder – what does the band geek out with on the road? What are they a fan of? Taylor is straight with me. Sleeping.
“Sleeping is key and rare.” Taylor says. “It’s a 24 hour a day job when you’re touring – between interviews, soundchecks, shows, fans, and everything. It kind of never ends. We watch a lot of movies, play guitar, I’m of course writing the new record. It’s definitely been interesting learning to write on the road… Trying to find privacy in a bus of 12 people.”
It’s not all work and sleep though, Taylor also reveals that they have their fair share of drama on the bus, and they also enjoy watching movies and episodes of South Park.
Most Memorable Pretty Reckless Fan Experience
When I ask Taylor about her most memorable experience on this last tour, she sighs and sits back. “Where to start with that one? We’ve definitely had some memorable ones…” she smiles.
Between Taylor, her personal assistant, and her tour manager – the tale of how one fan got in the car with the band and crew was told. As they were rushing to get away from paparazzi at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, Taylor and about 20 other people with their group crammed into a car and took off down Sunset Strip. They were trying their best to avoid photographers. A few moments later, they all started asking each other who this girl was that was sitting on Taylor’s manager’s lap. No one knew who she was…
“This super hammered girl just jumped in the car, and she could barely keep her head up.” Taylor recalls. “We were like – you just have to get out of the car. We’re sorry, but you need to leave. She was trying to come back to our hotel. We literally got pretty far before we realized though. It was so chaotic and there were so many people. We had a lot of our band and crew’s friends with us, so we just didn’t think about it.”
What became of the fan? They’re not exactly sure.
“We just left her on the corner. We couldn’t turn around, we were getting chased.” Taylor explains.
The Pretty Reckless Atlanta Show
Fans at the Atlanta show seemed a bit tamer than that fan. However, it was an interesting and diverse crowd of fans that showed up at the Atlanta show. There were young girls, whose parents patiently waited in the back of the venue while sipping on their tasty beverages. There were college-aged guys and gals, a few that had too much to drink (and were trying hard to keep it down), and there were even a few lesbians making out in the middle of the venue. Despite the diversity, all of these individuals created a perfect sea of fans that existed harmoniously when Taylor performed. It was all about the music…. and it probably didn’t hurt that Taylor is damn sexy too. It wasn’t hard to feel like you were back in the 70’s at a small club, soaking up the time era that you missed out on and so desperately wanted to experience.
So what’s next for The Pretty Reckless? They just finished playing a number of shows opening for Marilyn Manson, and are going to be in the studio working on the new album until they head out to South America for a number of shows at the end of July and beginning of August. You can keep an eye on their schedule and new album release date news on their website at http://www.theprettyreckless.com/.
Interview/Article By: Emma Loggins
Photo Credit: Emma Loggins