November 28, 2016
Story by Lauren Gutierrez
“What got me into rock and roll was my dad’s vinyl collection,” said Taylor Momsen, frontwoman for American rock band The Pretty Reckless. “Started with The Beatles; it was the first band I ever heard when I was an infant.” She liked 90s music like Nirvana, Sound Garden and The White Stripes but also liked the classic stuff like Pink Floyd, The Doors and Bob Dylan. Momsen emphasized, “I fell in love with [classic rock] at a very young age. It kinda stuck.”
Momsen was always musically inclined, playing the piano at age three and switching over to guitar at age five when she got one for Christmas. Around this time, she was put into acting but, as she got older, she felt it just wasn’t her thing. Today, while she plays multiple instruments, she said the guitar is still her “go-to.”
“I was always writing and playing and singing since I can remember, so that was always what I think I was meant to do,” Momsen explained. “So when I got to be a teenager, I got to make my own decisions; I was old enough. I quit acting and focused solely on music. I’m much happier now.”
“When I met Mark [Damon] and Jamie [Perkins] it immediately clicked and 10 years later here we are,” said Momsen of her bandmates with whom she has just released Pretty Reckless’ third studio album, “Who You Selling For.” “Take Me Down,” one of the songs in the album, is their fourth single to hit number one on the Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs. The Pretty Reckless has broken the record for most number one songs in a row on the rock chart by a female-fronted band.
Talking about her writing process, Momsen said, “There is no process to writing, which is what makes it so torturous. The only constant thing when you go to write a record is to try to keep your mind as open as possible, you never know where inspiration will come from.” She added, “You just have to wait for something to just spark and hopefully that will lead to a good song.”
The Pretty Reckless has a signature soul, blues and rock ‘n’ roll feel to their music. “Who You Selling For” was co-written by Ben Phillips, the lead guitarist, and produced by Kato Khandwala, who has worked with artists like Blondie, My Chemical Romance and Paramore.
Momsen, who has grown into her own with The Pretty Reckless, said, “The more experiences you have, the more you have to say, the more you can write about. I think it’s just kind of a natural progression; a natural evolution. We all really push each other to be better constantly. I think that is necessary and helps a lot.”
The Pretty Reckless will be performing at The Depot on Wednesday, Nov. 30 @ 7:00 pm. Tickets available at http://depotslc.com/event/the-pretty-reckless/
lauren [@] laurengutierrez [dot] com