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the insider: taylor momsen

"i'm definitely going to be more covered up on this tour!"

by: liza darwin

February 19 2014

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It was only a couple of months ago when we stopped by Taylor Momsen's studio to check in on how the actress-turned-singer was doing wrapping up her album. But now, after a couple of setbacks and a brief sick stint, Momsen and her band The Pretty Reckless are ready to release their new record Going To Hell. It's been four years since their debut in Light Me Up, and as Momsen herself puts it, a LOT has changed since then. What, exactly? Besides branching out into directing, expanding her writing, and costume design (NBD), there will be some unexpected changes this time around. More clothing, for starters...but get the complete lowdown from Momsen here. 

You were sick for a bit! How are you doing?

I'm doing much better...I've never lost my voice before, so it was so scary. I had to communicate with text messages and writing stuff down on notebooks, and it was awful. But I'm better now and can't wait to get back on tour.

We need to talk about your new music video for "Heaven Knows," since it's awesome. How was it, co-directing? 
It was great. I don't like to go into too many details because I like the viewer and listener to interpret it themselves--it's all in there. We actually had to film it twice, though. We went to Miami and shot it, and then flew to LA and then went back...so it took a bit. I definitely have a vision and I want to see it through, whether it's the music itself or the video, so I'm very much a part of it. 

Since you're about to leave on tour, what can everyone expect?
Our performances are all about the music--there is no hype thing. This isn't a pop show, with lights and sets and stuff. It's good because it doesn't take much for everyone to get pumped up, the songs do it for us. 

What about your outfits? 
They're all custom-designed by me and one-of-a-kind pieces. The cross logo is definitely at the forefront. Again, if I have a vision, I like to see it through. You'll have to wait and see what they look like, but I'm going to be a lot more covered up on this tour. 

Do you do your own stage makeup? 
Oh yeah. We don't have a pre-show routine or makeup artists or anything...that's too fancy. I just do my makeup, put my clothes on, have a whiskey and go. I mostly just use whatever black eyeliner I can find at CVS. I'm really not that picky. 

Why did you decide to cover up this time around? 
I'm not a kid anymore! [laughs] I just want it to be more about the music. 

We came to visit you in the studio this summer, and now Going To Hell is about to come out. Are you stoked for everyone to finally hear it?
Yeah, it was quite the process to make this record [laughs].  It's the type of album that is meant to be listened to front to back; it's almost a concept record. There are some common themes that emerge when you listen to the whole thing, which doesn't happen if you just have a bunch of pop singles. 

What was the writing process like?
I don't write in the studio; there are two songwriters in the band and we write everything on the acoustic guitar and work it out. The order of the songs is very important; it's almost a concept record in a way. We weren't writing intentionally for this to happen, but it just turned out that way...everyone will just have to wait and see for themselves. 

Buy Going To Hell on March 18, and see The Pretty Reckless' tour dates here

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