There is no doubt that New York natives, The Pretty Reckless are a force to be reckoned with. The band , which is compromised of Taylor Momsen, Ben Phillips, Mark Damon and Jamie Perkins, just wrapped up their 3rd headlining tour, Going To Hell and are taking the rock world by storm. They released their 2nd album, Going To Hell last year and are preparing to open for Nickelback on their No Fixed Address tour, starting next month.
With a sound reminiscent of early GNR and Nirvana and several hit singles (“Going To Hell”, “Fucked Up World”, “Heaven Knows”) under her belt, Taylor Momsen is proving that she is more than just a pretty face. The Pretty Reckless is now the only female fronted band to top the mainstream rock chart with their first two hits, their newest record sold over 35,000 copies in the first week and reached #5 on Billboard’s top 200 chart. The band has the right amount of grit, soul and chemistry to be the next Guns N Roses and set the world on fire. And they will.
Ben and Taylor from The Pretty Reckless recently took time during their break after wrapping up their Going To Hell tour with openers Adelita’s Way for an interview with us to talk about everything from how the band formed and the writing process for Going To Hell to their upcoming tour with Nickelback and Taylor’s advice for girls trying to make it in the music industry.
You guys just wrapped up the Going To Hell Tour. What were your best and worst experiences on this tour? What has been your favorite song to play live?
We’ve been touring on this record for over a year now, been to over 14 countries and toured the U.S. and Canada twice. This last run was a long one, over 3 months in the U.S. Canada and the UK. We’re a bit tired at the moment, but it’s really been a big year for us. The best part of this touring cycle was watching it grow. We started last year in America playing to mostly clubs and we ended this run selling out theaters and larger venues in America. The show got bigger and that’s always fun. We love every song but the heavier ones are definitely what we look forward to the most.
What was the writing process like for both of you on the album?
Writing is always the best part, you get to create something from nothing. It’s constant, we’re always writing. This record was written over the course of a year, it’s arduous but the pay off makes it all worth it.
How did The Pretty Reckless form? Do the two of you remember what it was like playing together for the first time and where you were?
We were all introduced through our producer Kato. The first time we played together was in a rehearsal space, we played Light Me Up and Since You’re Gone which we’d already written, it immediately sounded good. We all looked at eachother and said “well this works” and we haven’t looked back since.
You played “House On The Hill” live for the first time at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus. Can you tell us more about the inspiration and meaning behind the song?
The songs really mean whatever they mean to the listener. There’s many different ways to take each song and we investigate all of them while writing so there’s definitely lots of layers to the lyrics. HOAH started as a song about humanity, but I think it gets more personal than that. It’s quite simple.
Ben, when did you start playing guitar and what is your set up like onstage?
I’ve been playing guitar literally my whole life, probably since around 5. I didn’t get serious til I was in 4th or 5th grade which is when I got my first electric guitar. Currently I’m using Gibson 335’s through Wizard amps. A few pedals are used but generally its a really simple set up.
Who are some of your main influences musically?
We’re all Beatle people, it’s the common denominator for all of us. After that it’s pretty much the greats, Zeppelin, the Who, Floyd, ACDC etc.
What was it like touring with Guns N Roses and what were some of the most memorable moments on that tour?
We only did a few shows with them, but it was a great time. Axl is awesome, he sings for 3 hours a night, it’s pretty amazing. We actually met him before in Paris at an after show, it would be a memorable night if any of us could remember it
You also recently announced that the band is set to open for Nickelback on their upcoming No Fixed Address tour.
We’re psyched to go out with them, they’ve accomplished so much in so little time, something like 60 million records? We’re opening so fans can expect a punch-you-in-the-face set of songs. We really just play our songs with LOTS of lights
Taylor, what advice do you have for girls who want to make it not only in the rock genre, but in the music industry in general?
Do it only if you HAVE to, it’s a tough business and the only thing that keeps you sane is the love of music. If you love it so much you have no choice, then do it, otherwise do something else. And make your own music, don’t let other people make it for you, there’s too much of that in this business
Lastly, If you were stuck on a deserted island and could only listen to 3 songs, what would they be?
If I were stuck on a deserted Island and only had three songs to listen to, I’d drown myself after the first hour
Feb-14 Allentown, PA – PPL Center
Feb-15 Manchester, NH – Verizon Wireless Arena
Feb-17 Ottawa, ON – Canadian Tire Centre
Feb-18 Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
Feb-21 London, ON – Budweiser Gardens
Feb-22 Toronto, ON – Air Canada Center
Feb-24 Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena
Feb-25 Louisville, KY – KFC Yum Center
Feb-27 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
Feb-28 Moline, IL – iWireless Center
Mar-02 Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
Mar-03 Sioux Falls, SD – Denny Sanford Premier Center
Mar-05 Omaha, NE – Centurylink Center
Mar-06 Minneapolis, MN – Target Center
Mar-08 Winnipeg, MB – MTS Centre
Mar-10 Saskatoon, SK – Credit Union Centre
Mar-12 Calgary, MB – Scotiabank Saddledome
Mar-13 Edmonton, MB – Rexall Place
Mar-15 Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE PRETTY RECKLESS:
The Pretty Reckless Site: goingtohell.me/hell/