The Pretty Reckless' Taylor Momsen on Marilyn Manson, Gossip Girl Rumors, and Jenna Haze | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


The Pretty Reckless' Taylor Momsen on Marilyn Manson, Gossip Girl Rumors, and Jenna Haze

She's a blonde bombshell, barely legal, and has a knack for causing media frenzies due to her provocative outfits and on-stage behavior. But, despite Taylor Momsen's rock n' roll exterior, the Pretty Reckless front-woman is actually quite sweet. In a recent phone interview, Momsen chatted with the New Times about performing with Marilyn Manson, befriending porn star Jenna Haze, and reveals the truth about leaving Gossip Girl.

It comes as no surprise that Taylor Momsen's musical sound and style is heavily influenced by male musical legends. Growing up, she survived on a healthy portion of classic rock -- her father had a rather extensive record collection -- including Led Zeppelin, The Who, and The Beatles. But, it was at the young age of nine that Momsen really figured out where she wanted to be in life, on stage with a guitar in hand. This epiphany occurred after going to see the White Stripes with her dad.

"It was loud..." laughs Momsen. "And fantastic."

Taylor Momsen has always been singer-songwriter, but something was lacking. As she explains, "I wanted to be the Beatles, not Elvis." At first, shopping for a band [and producer] was a process as most of the music industry was heavily pop music based. But, after meeting up with Kato [Khandwala] -- who introduced her to the rest of the band -- the pieces fell into place. And thus, the Pretty Reckless was born.

Prior to making her debut into the music world, Taylor Momsen is probably best known for her role as the rebellious Jenny Humphrey on the CW's teen drama, Gossip Girl. However, after four seasons, Momsen decided it was time to pursue her real passion in life, music.

"I was just stopping one thing and moving to the next." says Momsen. "I think it's a common misconception that I was fired from Gossip Girl. I wasn't. I asked to leave so I could enable the [Pretty Reckless] tour, and they were gracious enough to allow me to do that."

From befriending porn star Jenna Haze -- the pair met via Twitter and has since starred in the "My Medicine" music video -- to a sexually charged performance alongside Marilyn Manson, Momsen is no stranger to the gossiping ways of the media. However despite the 18-year old's head turning antics, she remains level headed about life in the limelight. For Momsen, it's truly about the music. She recognizes that the celebrity status is fleeting, and prefers to create something more substantial.

"You just take it like a grain of salt," explains Momsen. "It just comes with the territory. I rather focus on song-writing, or playing a show. Try to remind myself why I do this in the first place." 

As the Pretty Reckless headlining tour for its brand new EP Hit Me Like A Man comes to a close, they won't be taking any sort of break. In fact, the band has signed onto a four month American tour with Marilyn Manson.

"He's pretty much the real deal, ya know?" says Momsen of Marilyn Manson. "I've basically been a fan of his since, well, he's been making records."

Looking past all the tabloid chit-chat, Momsen brings a raw and gritty sound to the music industry that nowadays is so flooded with pop stars. Strip away the heavy black eye makeup, and underneath is a talented songstress just looking to pursue her childhood dreams of being a rock star.

The Pretty Reckless with the Hollywood Kills and Astari Nite. 7:30p.m., Tuesday, April 24, at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale,  Tickets cost $15, For tickets and more info click here.

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Betsey Denberg

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