Gossip Girl star Taylor Momsen to bring reckless band to Columbus

October 28, 2013
Taylor Momsen, former actress on ‘Gossip Girl’ and lead singer of The Pretty Reckless, who is slated to perform Oct. 29 at A&R Music Bar. Credit: Courtesy of Danny Hastings

Taylor Momsen, former actress on ‘Gossip Girl’ and lead singer of The Pretty Reckless, who is slated to perform Oct. 29 at A&R Music Bar.
Credit: Courtesy of Danny Hastings

The Pretty Reckless’ lead singer Taylor Momsen is ready for the band to break out of the shadow of her previous long-term gig.

The former “Gossip Girl” actress believes the days of the band being defined by her old show instead of its music are over.

“I think that tide has definitely turned. The show’s over. It’s been over for years,” Momsen said in a one-on-one interview. “I feel like the interviews have switched from about me and the show to about the band.”

The band is slated to make a stop in Columbus Tuesday at A&R Music Bar, located at 391 Neil Ave.

The success of the band’s debut album might speak to its individual identity as 2010’s “Light Me Up” charted in the U.S. and overseas, even reaching No. 1 on the UK’s rock charts for six consecutive weeks.

Soon after the band finished up its worldwide tour in support of the inaugural record, it began recording the follow-up and upcoming album, “Going to Hell.”

The music video for its title track, “Going to Hell,” was released Oct. 16 and has more than 1 million views on YouTube, but has not come without its share of controversy.

The racy video has been criticized for its sexual yet biblical notions, including a semi-nude Momsen in an Eve-like pose holding a snake and an apple.

Momsen, familiar with the media attention, doesn’t give any merit to the negative feedback, and she said the scenery was well within the boundaries of the message.

“I don’t think about it and I don’t read it,” Momsen said of the criticism. “It was based around the seven deadly sins. It was just based around the song, so it isn’t a big deal.”

Controversy aside, the band looks to deliver another successful record with its sophomore effort.

The new album, which is slated to be released in early 2014, is still going to capture the essence of The Pretty Reckless, but it will have a different sound from “Light Me Up,” Momsen said.

She also said “Going to Hell” will have a more stripped-down feeling for the band. They have gained a tighter bond from the years of touring and displayed that continuity in the studio.

“It’s a lot heavier than ‘Light Me Up’ was,” Momsen said. “It’s just two guitars, a bass, drums and vocals. It’s what we sound like.”

Besides Momsen on vocals, The Pretty Reckless also includes guitarist Ben Phillips, Mark Damon on bass and drummer Jamie Perkins.

She also likens the new album to a classic record to play from start to finish — similar to a Pink Floyd album, Momsen said.

She said she wants the fans to be able to view the album as more of an experience than most others.

“Every time you listen to it you hear something new,” Momsen said. “Like you can find new message or meaning behind it each time.”

PromoWest Live marketing director Marissa Luther was positive about the upcoming performance in light of past experience with the band.

“I think this is the third or fourth time the band has played the venue and all the other times seemed to go pretty well,” Luther said. “The fans seemed like they have a good time with them.”

For anyone who has never heard The Pretty Reckless live, Momsen said fans should prepare for an old-school style of rock concert.

“It’s a loud guitar driven ‘ruckus-y’ rock and roll band,” Momsen said. “What you see is what you get.”

Doors are set to open at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $15.

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