Icon Vs. Icon recently conducted an interview with THE PRETTY RECKLESS frontwoman Taylor Momsen. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Icon Vs. Icon: Even with ten years under your belt, THE PRETTY RECKLESS is still pretty young in the grand scheme of things. What do you think the key to longevity is for a band in this day and age?
Taylor: "That's a complicated question, because I think it depends on where you're coming from. We are in a modern paradigm where everything is so quick and accessible. It's the age of singles and it's almost like we are in the 1950s again. Our band is sitting over here making records that are capturing a moment in time and really meant to be listened to from front to back to take you on to journey. For us, we don't record anything that we don't love. Well, at least we try not to! [Laughs] We look at everything and say, 'Am I going to hate myself in five, ten, fifteen or twenty years from now for this, or is this quality enough to release into the world?' That's how we look at it. We try to look into the future and see if we are going to be satisfied further down the line. That's how we do it. Like I said, it's time, it's effort and it's a 24/7 commitment of constantly pushing yourself, questioning yourself and trying to better yourself. That's really all you can do."
Icon Vs. Icon: When you went into the process of making "Who You Selling For", did you have any goals or aspirations for the album from a creative standpoint?
Taylor: "This is always kind of been our motto, but I think we went a little further down this path this time around with 'Try not to try.' Our goal was to really capture the human element and the performance of the players, whether it be Jamie playing drums, a guitar solo, a riff, a bass line or a vocal. Whatever it is, we really tried capture a moment in time, even if it includes an imperfection, because that imperfection adds a human element to the music that I think has been lacking for awhile in the modern age of music. Today, everything is done with computers, fixed and appears pristine, but do you lose a bit of the human element which is the soul of music, which is what I love. We really try to leave things untouched. There are no overdubs and it is very much a band in a room jamming. For this album, we brought in outside musicians for the first time, which was a lot of fun for us. The keyboard player, Andy Burton, was a delight. Warren Haynes, who is featured on 'Back To The River', is one of our favorites and he was absolutely amazing on that song and elevated it to a whole new level. We also brought in background singers for the first time. That was super fun for me because I got to work with three legends! There were Janice Pendarvis (David Bowie), who has worked with everyone! Jenny Douglas-Foote (P!nk) and Sophia Ramos (Rod Stewart). It was a very organic, honest experience in the studio, to let the songs come and take us where they were going to take us that day."
Icon Vs. Icon: You've been working with the other guys in THE PRETTY RECKLESS for ages. What do you feel you bring out in each other creatively?
Taylor: "We'll push each other really, really hard. We are our own harshest critics by far! Every day it's a conversation of 'We suck, we suck, we suck…' back and forth between all of us. [Laughs] By constantly beating yourself up, hypothetically, it pushes you to be better. We'll do it to each other and we all do it to ourselves and I think that's what makes us a good unit and band. I also think it's one of the reasons we have worked for so long. We have been together for almost ten years now, which is crazy. Despite the harsh language that is thrown around on a daily basis, we are still the best of friends! [Laughs]"
Read the entire interview at Icon Vs. Icon.