THE PRETTY RECKLESS's TAYLOR MOMSEN On Singing 'Like A Stone' Days After CHRIS CORNELL's Death: 'I Could Barely Get Through It'
July 11, 2020
THE PRETTY RECKLESS singer Taylor Momsen, who has repeatedly named SOUNDGARDEN as one of her favorite bands, spoke to "Offstage With DWP" about the influence of the iconic Seattle alternative rock act on her music career and her songwriting approach. She said (see video below): "Their level of artistry and songwriting and musicianship is so above what I can even comprehend. It's so intricate, it's so detailed, it's so good and it's so smart that it takes a minute to understand SOUNDGARDEN. They're catchy, and everyone's heart the hits, but when you really investigate SOUNDGARDEN and get into it, it's like a religion — it's so in-depth and it's just superior to so much music that's out there.
"I've based my whole career and identity off of THE BEATLES and SOUNDGARDEN. They're two bands that I put next to each other, and I know that might sound crazy to some people. But they're so important. There's very few bands, I think, that needed to exist, and SOUNDGARDEN is one of those bands that there'd be a hole in the music world without their records."
Momsen also reflected on how the deaths of SOUNDGARDEN frontman Chris Cornell and longtime producer Kato Khandwala affected the making of THE PRETTY RECKLESS's new LP, "Death By Rock And Roll". Just days after Cornell's passing, Momsen, whose band was the opening act for SOUNDGARDEN's spring 2017 run of dates, paid tribute to the legendary singer by performing a cover of AUDIOSLAVE's "Like A Stone" at the Rock On The Range festival in Columbus, Ohio.
"That was a cover that we'd been doing for years, just because I love singing the song, but it certainly took on a different meaning at that show," Taylor recalled. "I could barely get through it. It was probably not my greatest moment. I was not in a very good place to be public, 'cause after that, I canceled all touring. I needed some time to clear my head, to process what had happened, or attempt to, so I went home after that. I couldn't get on stage and pretend that I was okay and that I was happy to be there. To put on a show and put on façade, I wasn't capable of doing that. So I left and went dark for a while to try to regroup. And then, unfortunately, as I started to put the pieces back together, I got the phone call that Kato, our producer, had passed in a motorcycle accident. So that kind of put the nail in the coffin. Not to get super heavy here, but I fell down a hole into such depression, substance abuse and a hole of grief that I didn't know how to get out of. And it took a while.
"To make a very long story short, it took music, rock and roll, to save my life again," she explained. "I know it sounds super cliché, but it's entirely true, 'cause I had nothing — I had given up on everything. I didn't know if I wanted to do this anymore, I just thought, 'What's the point?' And I turned to music, 'cause music, in my entire life, has been the one thing that's never let me down — it's always been my friend; it's always been my salvation. And listening to the records that I loved turned into me wanting to write — not even wanting to write, it just kind of became this outpour of writing without really… I didn't have to try to write this record; I kind of just poured it out. And then that led to figuring out how to record this album. So there was a lot of baby steps in trying to heal, but without music, I don't know how I would have made it through."
"Death By Rock And Roll", the fourth studio album from THE PRETTY RECKLESS, will likely arrive in early 2021. The LP will be released via Fearless Records in the U.S. and Century Media Records in the rest of the world.
Momsen recently confirmed in an interview 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.
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