source: Blabbermouth May 25, 2020
THE PRETTY RECKLESS’s TAYLOR MOMSEN On CHRIS CORNELL’s Death: ‘That Hit Me Extraordinarily Hard’
The Pretty Reckless frontwoman Taylor Momsen has reflected on how the deaths of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell and longtime producer Kato Khandwala affected the making of The Pretty Reckless’s new LP, “Death By Rock And Roll”.
Momsen, whose band was the opening act for Soundgarden’s spring 2017 run of dates, told Andy Hall of the Des Moines, Iowa radio station Lazer 103.3 (hear audio below): “[Chris’s passing] hit me extraordinarily hard. Getting that tour, I’m such a massive Soundgarden fan, that was the highest of the highs for all of us. And it obviously ended not ideally. I had to take a step back and we canceled touring. I wasn’t in a good place to be public, so I went home to kind of reflect on what had happened and try to process. And then I started writing again, and very soon after that, I got the call that Kato, my best friend and our producer, had passed on a motorcycle accident. And that was kind of a nail in the coffin for me at that moment in time. I sunk into this whole depression, and I wasn’t entirely sure how I was gonna get out of it, or if I was gonna get out of it. Not to get too heavy here, but the short of it is that music saved my life again. I delved into music, and that’s what really pulled me out of it. And this record is really the culmination of all of that. So it’s all there in the record.”
Asked how one knows it’s time to get back to work after going through such a dark period, Taylor said: “You kind of don’t. I kind of took a jump. I had written some stuff that I really liked, and that was the first hint of, ‘Okay, I’ve gotta start doing something again.’ And that in itself was a process. It was the first record that we did without Kato. We worked with a guy named Jonathan Wyman, who’s a longtime friend of mine and the band’s — a great engineer, a great friend, a great producer. And it’s the first record we actually co-produced. He was a lifesaver in this scenario.
“I’d say this record is like a rebirth for us,” she continued. “In one way, it feels like the first record in the sense that we really threw everything — physically, mentally — everything we had at it and in it. And now it’s finished, and now I’m excited for people to hear it. Making the record was a part of the healing process.”
Momsen has confirmed in a separate interview with Detroit radio station WRIF 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.
Momsen told The Pulse Of Radio about working at the historic Seattle studio: “In one way it was kind of like walking back in time. You come in and there’s just all the Pearl Jam gold records and paintings and there’s a wall that’s covered in signed drumheads and pictures of people who’ve worked there. And then the studio itself is very warm and inviting, very comfortable. So it was very suited to what I was used to, but with all this added history to it.”
“Death By Rock And Roll”, the fourth studio album from The Pretty Reckless, will arrive in late 2020 or early 2021. It will follow up 2016’s “Who You Selling For”, which featured the rock radio hits “Oh My God”, “Back To The River” and “Take Me Down”.
source: Alternative Nation Jul 11, 2020
Taylor Momsen Drops Singing For Audioslave Bombshell
The Pretty Reckless singer Taylor Momsen was opening for Soundgarden on their final tour before Chris Cornell died by suicide in Detroit. Momsen discussed singing an Audioslave classic shortly after Cornell’s death, and how she struggled with substance abuse in the wake of the tragedy.
Momsen told Offstage With DWP about Soundgarden influencing her, “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.”
She later said about covering “Like a Stone” after Cornell’s death, “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. 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.”