Going To Hell: A Dynamic Interview With Taylor Momsen Of The Pretty Reckless

Going To Hell: A Dynamic Interview With Taylor Momsen Of The Pretty Reckless

Last Sunday night, former Gossip Girl star Taylor Momsen arrived in town for an early show at House of Blues with her band, New York rock quartet, The Pretty Reckless. Earlier that weekend, she took a few moments (but obviously not many) to answer some questions about the band's live show, new album and more... 

There are times when I'm not overly fond of conducting an interview via email.  It takes away the ability for either side to ask a follow-up question and makes it easy to misinterpret tone - not to mention the fact that the questions typically end up getting filtered through a publicist before reaching the actual subject of the interview itself - if they even reach that person at all.

There are other times when the answers start out in a compelling fashion... but fall apart quick as the interviewee gets sick of typing.

Now, to be fair, there are times when an email interview allows the opportunity for ample thought and preparation (on both sides) and creates an intelligent dialogue - but, at least in my experience, those occasions are few and far between (Though there are exceptions).

It's always tempting to jump on an email interview opportunity because of the simple fact that it's easy - It's simpler and far less time consuming to copy and paste a brief email exchange and post it than it is to transcribe and edit a half hour recording of a phone conversation or an in person interview.  But, again, the quality level typically isn't as high and from time to time I end up with a good reminder of that fact.

This is one of those times.

What follows below are five "highlights" of the very brief email interview that I conducted with former Gossip Girl actress (she played "Little J") and current frontwoman of The Pretty Reckless, Taylor Momsen.

In keeping with the level of effort put into answering the questions below, I took the liberty of leaving the responses in the all caps in which I received them.

Also, The Pretty Reckless have an album coming out in 2014 entitled Going to Hell - and apparently they want you to buy it (not that anything below hints at exactly why you should).

Q.  I know that you were a music fan from a young age and that your first concert was the White Stripes.  What was it about the live music experience that hooked you?

Taylor Momsen: HOW THE VOLUME GIRATES YOUR PRIVATE PARTS.

Q.  Obviously your ability as an actress speaks for itself.  When you’re onstage with The Pretty Reckless are you ever playing a character?

NO.

Q.  People certainly have preconceived notions of you not just because of a character like Jenny on Gossip Girl but because of your having grown up as a child star too.  Is it important for you to kind of forge a new identity as you move forward now with The Pretty Reckless?

I’M JUST BEING MYSELF AND NOT CATERING TO ANYONE ELSE’S IDEAS OF WHAT I SHOULD BE. PRETTY SIMPLE.

Q.  I know you’ve cited a lot of males as your rock influences – but when it comes to developing your stage persona or expressing yourself onstage, performing live are there any female influences there?

UNLESS ROBERT PLANT’S A WOMAN, THERE’S NOT MANY.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: According to Wikipedia, Robert Plant is in fact a male... but we all know there's no trusting Wikipedia)

Q.  “Rock is dead” is kind of a popular cliché these days…  Any thoughts on the overall state of rock?

ROCK IS DEAD HAS ALWAYS BEEN A CLICHÉ EVER SINCE THE LATE 70s WHEN DISCO CAME AROUND BUT EVENTUALLY ROCK ALWAYS RESURRECTS ITSELF AS A SUPERIOR FORM OF MUSICAL EXPRESSION.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Taylor Momsen was born in 1993.)

*** This stellar interview was conducted by Jim Ryan @RadioJimRyan - (If you'd like to submit it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to insure that it is saved for posterity, please feel free to do so HERE)

(Jim also hosts "The Rock N' Roll Radio Program" Sundays at 6PM central on WIMS and WHFB - streaming at wimsradio.com and via the free TuneIn Radio app for the smart phone or tablet)

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    Jim Ryan

    Jim Ryan has written about music in print and online for a variety of Chicagoland publications for over fifteen years. In addition to duties filling in as Traffic Anchor on CLTV or in the helicopter on NBC 5, you can also catch him Sunday nights at 6PM central as host of "The Rock N' Roll Radio Program" on AM 1420 WIMS and AM 1060 WHFB (streaming at wimsradio.com and via the TuneIn Radio app for the smart phone or tablet). Jim has also worked locally for WXRT-FM, lives within walking distance of the Metro and is an avid White Sox and Blackhawks fan whose first live concert experience came at Comiskey Park in 1984 during the Jacksons' "Victory" tour.

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