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The Pretty Reckless’s Taylor Momsen on Their New Album, Writing, and Selling Your Soul to Rock and Roll
By Ashley McFaul | December 15, 2016
With heavy drums, slashing guitar riffs, and gritty vocals, The Pretty Reckless is the definition of rock and roll- with lead singer and songwriter Taylor Momsen in the driver’s seat. The band released their first album in 2010, which scored them three successful singles. This fueled an exciting career of world tours and number one hits. In six years The Pretty Reckless have delivered three chart topping albums, ‘Light Me Up,’ ‘Going to Hell,’ and 2016’s ‘Who You Selling For.’
‘Who You Selling For’ hit fans in October 2016 and cemented the bands spot in rock history. The album’s first single “Take Me Down,” is the fourth consecutive number one single-breaking records as the first female fronted rock group to do so. A record formerly held by The Pretenders for nearly 30 years. The Pretty Reckless are also the only female fronted rock band currently on the top 30 charts.
Inspirer caught up with Momsen right after their final show of the ‘Who You Selling For’ tour and talked song writing, the new album, and breaking rock records.
You moved from acting to music almost a decade ago, was music always what you wanted to pursue?
I feel like music has been a part of my life since before I can actually remember. It’s always been, not only a part of me, but who I am. I have been singing and writing since a very young age, so in some ways it’s what I always have done.
Have you always been supported in following this path?
With any creative pursuit, I think there come some doubts and challenges, but for me, there was no other path.
Have you always loved to write?
It’s therapeutic and cathartic and it’s the only way I know how to express what’s going on in my head. Writing music is my whole world. I live in it 24 hours a day. I love it.
I’m sure being viewed as an equal in rock music is important, but do you feel as though it’s still a “boys club?”
I don’t see music and genre or gender specific. I write, record and play music. A good song is a good song. I understand the need for people to categorize things, I just don’t look at it that way. I see it as real or not real.
The Pretty Reckless recently set a record for having four consecutive number one hits from a female fronted rock band. How does that make you feel?
It’s definitely an exciting accomplishment, but also surreal. It still feels new and strange every time we hear one of our songs on the radio. Honestly I’m not sure what it means yet.
Your albums always have a raw element to them. How is ‘Who You Selling For’ different from other albums you’ve released?
Our writing process hasn’t changed much over the evolution of the band, but we recorded this one differently. We played together, live and whatever came out stuck. No tweaks, no overdubs- we just captured whatever was in the room at that very moment.
Is there one on the new album you feel the most connected to?
Each song is like a child and choosing your favorite is tough. But, our next single, Oh My God is especially close to me.
What inspires your songs?
Life experiences. A lot of what we pull from in writing comes from what we’ve seen around the world. It opens your eyes and broadens your perspective. It makes you think of things differently and see them through difference lenses. Basically you never know what will inspire you, you just have to leave yourself open to the universe so when an idea hits you can reach out and grab it.
What is life like being on the road?
We love getting to play our music for fans around the world. It can be tough to live on a tour bus with 12 people, but we sold our soul to rock n roll
What are your hopes for the future of The Pretty Reckless?
We are just going to continue to make music we love and share it with fans worldwide.
To keep up to date with The Pretty Reckless visit theprettyreckless.com or follow the on Facebook @theprettyreckless