THE PRETTY RECKLESS's TAYLOR MOMSEN On CHRIS CORNELL's Death: 'That Hit Me Extraordinarily Hard'
May 25, 2020
THE PRETTY RECKLESS frontwoman Taylor Momsen has reflected on how the deaths of SOUNDGARDEN singer Chris Cornell and longtime producer Kato Khandwala affected the making of THE PRETTY RECKLESS's new LP, "Death By Rock And Roll".
Momsen, whose band was the opening act for SOUNDGARDEN's spring 2017 run of dates, told Andy Hall of the Des Moines, Iowa radio station Lazer 103.3 (hear audio below): "[Chris's passing] hit me extraordinarily hard. Getting that tour, I'm such a massive SOUNDGARDEN fan, that was the highest of the highs for all of us. And it obviously ended not ideally. I had to take a step back and we canceled touring. I wasn't in a good place to be public, so I went home to kind of reflect on what had happened and try to process. And then I started writing again, and very soon after that, I got the call that Kato, my best friend and our producer, had passed on a motorcycle accident. And that was kind of a nail in the coffin for me at that moment in time. I sunk into this whole depression, and I wasn't entirely sure how I was gonna get out of it, or if I was gonna get out of it. Not to get too heavy here, but the short of it is that music saved my life again. I delved into music, and that's what really pulled me out of it. And this record is really the culmination of all of that. So it's all there in the record."
Asked how one knows it's time to get back to work after going through such a dark period, Taylor said: "You kind of don't. I kind of took a jump. I had written some stuff that I really liked, and that was the first hint of, 'Okay, I've gotta start doing something again.' And that in itself was a process. It was the first record that we did without Kato. We worked with a guy named Jonathan Wyman, who's a longtime friend of mine and the band's — a great engineer, a great friend, a great producer. And it's the first record we actually co-produced. He was a lifesaver in this scenario.
"I'd say this record is like a rebirth for us," she continued. "In one way, it feels like the first record in the sense that we really threw everything — physically, mentally — everything we had at it and in it. And now it's finished, and now I'm excited for people to hear it. Making the record was a part of the healing process."
Momsen has confirmed in a separate interview with Detroit radio station WRIF that RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello guests on "Death By Rock And Roll". Morello appears on a track called "And So It Went".
Morello joins previously announced guests Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron from SOUNDGARDEN. The song with Cameron and Thayil, called "Only Love Can Save Me Now", was recorded at Seattle's legendary London Bridge Studios, where seminal LPs like PEARL JAM's "Ten" and SOUNDGARDEN's "Louder Than Love" were laid down.
Momsen told The Pulse Of Radio about working at the historic Seattle studio: "In one way it was kind of like walking back in time. You come in and there's just all the PEARL JAM gold records and paintings and there's a wall that's covered in signed drumheads and pictures of people who've worked there. And then the studio itself is very warm and inviting, very comfortable. So it was very suited to what I was used to, but with all this added history to it."
"Death By Rock And Roll", the fourth studio album from THE PRETTY RECKLESS, will arrive in late 2020 or early 2021. It will follow up 2016's "Who You Selling For", which featured the rock radio hits "Oh My God", "Back To The River" and "Take Me Down".