Taylor Momsen chatted with HungerTV about her upcoming album ‘Going To Hell’ to be released on March 17! ‘Our new record is very stripped down, two guitars, bass, drums, and that really allows the songs to be at the forefront and you get to hear all the players honestly as they sound. It’s much more of a band record.
The goal was honest and quality songwriting, finding the things I wanted to say & getting them across as honestly as possible. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so when you are writing it’s really about opening yourself up to it and waiting for it to come to you, you can’t push it or else it will sound trying, that’s the magic of it, it comes out of nowhere & when it does you feel lucky.
How do you find dark side of reality so inspirational? I don’t really see it as dark, I see it as real, and the fact is reality right now is pretty scary. Popular music seems to be really focussing on escaping, and everyone just wants to have a ‘good time’ kind of shit,
But I want to give people something to listen to that allows them to escape into a different world, something that really connects with them deep down, not just going to the club or focussing on escaping the fears of reality, I want to make something that helps them through that fear, not escape it.
DO YOU THINK PEOPLE NEED AN ESCAPE FROM DAILY LIFE?
There’s escape and then there’s hiding from your fears. I feel like rock, when done well, can empower a person, from Pink Floyd to Rage Against the Machine, it makes you feel stronger, like you can really take on life instead of the (dare I say it) the ‘YOLO’ mentality; how the fuck do we know if we only live once? And if we do, shouldn’t we take it seriously? Fun is important but it’s not entirely fulfilling, I want people to feel it deep down, not just inspire them to do another shot of vodka, but to inspire them to live a deep fulfilling life on their own terms, be unique and make your own statement
YOU RELEASED THE ALBUM ARTWORK A FEW DAYS AGO, AND MADE HEADLINES AROUND THE WEB. WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE ARE STILL SO SHOCKED BY A NAKED WOMAN?
That’s just tabloid bullshit to get views. I was trying to make a classic photo like the album covers I love, like ‘Wish You Were Here’ or Clapton’s ‘E.C. Was Here’. I honestly never thought about the nudity thing, I was trying to express that when we leave this world, you don’t take nothing with you but our soul.. think.. (to of course quote John Lennon).
DO YOU THINK THERE’S TOO MUCH DEBATE AROUND WOMEN’S SEXUALITY IN MUSIC?
I think there’s not enough debate about the kind of proper education that leads to compassion and peace. We should be talking about violence, we all are sexual. Sexuality is ubiquitous and beautiful, we shouldn’t be violent, that’s the real ugly thing in the world, whether it’s towards each other or nature, peace and love should be the goal, that’s why The Beatles were so important, that was their message.
YOU GAINED WORLDWIDE FAME WHEN STARRING IN GOSSIP GIRL, IS IT MORE LIBERATING CONCENTRATING ON A PROJECT THAT ALLOWS YOU TO BE COMPLETELY YOURSELF?
Of course, liberating is an understatement though I’m very grateful of all the experiences I’ve had.
IN PREVIOUS INTERVIEWS YOU DON’T GIVE TOO MUCH AWAY, IS IT A WORRY THAT THE PRESS ARE ALWAYS TRYING TO GET A STORY?
I just don’t want that to be the focus, celebrity is a strange thing, I want to be known for creating something people love, not for who I’m dating or what I had for breakfast today.
YOU’VE ALSO SPOKEN OF YOUR LOVE FOR STRIPPER SHOES, WHEN DID THAT BEGIN?
(Laughs) That was years ago to me now, I was a kid and expressing typical confused teenage sexuality, but it is really fun being that tall in heels.
HOW IMPORTANT IS FASHION IN ROCK?
I think the visual you portray can really help complete the vision of the music, whether it’s no image or a detailed one, I think fashion and rock have always gone together, it’s another expression of freedom.
ONE OF YOUR EARLIEST GIGS WAS THE WHITE STRIPES, HOW MUCH OF A FORMATIVE EXPERIENCE WAS THAT?
It blew my mind! They were so loud and raw. The songs were just so good, it definitely made an impact on me.
WHAT’S YOUR MAIN GOAL FOR THE PRETTY RECKLESS THIS YEAR?
To tour the shit out of ‘Going to Hell’ around the world and get it out to as many people as possible and of course to become the best band we can possibly be. Then, go right back in the studio, I’ve already written enough new songs to start the next record. But first, playing as many shows as we can.. I can’t wait.