Taylor Momsen: I grew up wanting to be Robert Plant and wanting to fuck Jimmy Page
If music goes in cycles, do you see the Pretty Reckless or any of your contemporaries bringing it back to rock 'n' roll?
I feel like it's starting in a slower way. I've been really involved with making this record so I'm actually kind of out of the loop with what's new. I don't really think it can be forecast; I think it just has to happen. Definitely at least acoustic guitar stuff has started to come back a little bit, and there are some [guitar-heavy] British bands, but it hasn't gotten completely plugged in yet.
You wrote a song, "Blackout," when you were eight years old that ended up getting performed by Heidi Montag.
Yeah, I started very young. Writing was my best friend. I traveled and was working at a very young age, and kind of lived this gypsy lifestyle where my notebook was my best friend.
Did you write mostly music when you were younger or did you write other things too?
I started writing lyrics and melodies before I learned to play an instrument. I was always writing songs, and then I started on piano and then switched to guitar, which was more plugged in. You know, learn a power chord, write a song.
What was the band, record, or song that got you started on rock music when you were younger and started writing?
The Beatles. When I grew up my dad had a big vinyl collection, and the first time I heard "Strawberry Fields" it changed my life. Then I got into everything else; that opened the door to all of it -- all the rock and roll that existed and I could get my hands on.
I know the Beatles did everything, but what got you into the harder-edged stuff you do now with Pretty Reckless?
Led Zeppelin was probably the first hard rock I got into. Like I always say, I grew up wanting to be Robert Plant and wanting to fuck Jimmy Page [laughs].
Don't we all? I really feel bad asking this, but I feel like I have to because of recent news: You were third in line for the role of Hannah Montana. What do you think your career would have been like if you'd gotten that role? Do you think you would be anywhere close to whatever the hell Miley Cyrus is doing right now?
Nah, no man. I am who I am. I'm a different person [than Miley Cyrus], so I would still be Taylor. Gossip Girl, Hannah Montana -- they're all just day jobs. I'd still be playing in a rock band and doing what I'm doing.
Pretty Reckless. With Heaven's Basement and Louna. $15-$25. 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 23, at the Varsity Theater. Tickets here.