'Gossip Girl' star Taylor Momsen talks her debut single, upcoming album, and why she doesn't like pants

Actress Taylor Momsen is best known to audiences as Gossip Girl‘s rebellious Jenny Humphrey. But the 16-year-old is hoping that soon people will also see her as a rock star. Momsen and her band, the Pretty Reckless, are set to drop their debut album this summer and have recently released their first single, “Make Me Wanna Die,” which is on the Kick-Ass soundtrack. EW chatted with Momsen about this new career path.

EW: Your band, the Pretty Reckless, has a song (“Make Me Wanna Die”) on the Kick-Ass soundtrack.

Taylor Momsen:
It’s a tragic love song. It’s Romeo and Juliet—can’t live without your lover so you die. It’s the Pretty Reckless’ first single. We just shot a video for it, but I don’t wanna say too much. It fits the song. It’s very dark.

EW: How’s the album progressing?

TM: It’s coming out this summer. We wrote it as a record, so every song is part of a bigger thing. I don’t know—I just want people to hear it!

EW: Who would you say is your biggest musical inspiration?

TM: The Beatles did everything first, and they did it the best.

EW: You’re often compared to Courtney Love.

TM: I don’t wanna be Courtney Love—I wanna be Kurt Cobain. He’s brilliant and his songs are genius. The Hole records are great. Everyone always compares me to Courtney Love because they think we like dress the same and we both have blond hair, wear lipstick and dresses. But I’m sorry, don’t a lot of girls dress like that? I look at Nirvana. I don’t look at Hole.

EW: How do you imagine juggling music and acting?

TM: I’ve been acting since I was 2. I don’t dislike it by any means, but it’s a job to me. It can never be as personal as music, because you’re playing a character and saying someone else’s words. Music is who I am.

EW: Your GG costar Leighton Meester is also trying to launch a music career. Ever talk about it?

TM: No. I’m not really close with my cast. We’re all cordial and nice to each other, but we’re not really friends outside of the set. And we’re doing a different thing: She’s putting out a pop record, which is awesome.

EW: I heard Jenny is going to be MIA for the beginning of next season.

TM: I’m gonna be on tour. But as far as next season goes I don’t really know what’s going on. I don’t wanna talk about that because it’s up in the air. At the end of the season, you’ll see.

EW: I saw you perform in New York City last year, and you seemed to have forgotten to put on pants. What was up with that?

TM: I don’t really like pants, man. I like tights. I’m not really a pants person.

EW: You’re a rocker now—you can choose not to wear pants.

TM: And I do! I choose not to wear pants.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter @EWMusicMix.)

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B.o.B is No.1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, Usher and Ke$ha chase behind
The Roots enlist Joanna Newsom, John Legend, Jim James for new album
Johnny Depp directs an arty video for Babybird: Watch here

Comments (66 total) Add your comment
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  • wtfnyc

    You’re 16. Put on some d@mn pants.

  • dawn

    leaving gossip girl? good career move girl!

    • Miss Talk

      Leaving? She’ll get fired AND will be replaced. Good riddance.

      • Celia

        I hate to say it, but I agree. She seems like the one on-set who would ruin everyone’s fun just because she thinks she’s supposed to be all “serious.”
        Plus, Jenny doesn’t have a big role anyways. She won’t be missed.

      • Mel

        She is NOT leaving the show! She is going to be on Warped Tour and the tour doesn’t finish until the end of summer. Gossip Girl starts shooting in the end of June or early July. She wont be on the show for maybe 4 or 6 episodes but she will come back to the show.

  • XOXO

    your interview made me so LOL, it’s like you’re interviewing a tv character not a real person, she’s such a caricature!
    she used to be so cute…

  • ld

    Ugh. I am so tired of seeing the intricate details of girls’ asses through their tights. They do not function as pants.

    • *lg*

      to quote Blair “TIGHTS ARE NOT PANTS!” Girl if you want to wear tights, put a damn skirt on.

  • ashley

    I was fully prepared to hate her song based on the fact she’s a 16 year old actress on a horrible show, but I’m pleasantly surprised. She’s pretty good! It will be interesting to see where she goes in the future.

    • Cassie

      i agree

    • onlymystory

      I think the thing I hate the most is that while I can’t stand Taylor as a person or an actress, her song is dang good. In fact, Make Me Wanna Die doesn’t just feel like a good song compared to current hits but its remniscent of 70s/early 80s punk. I hate to give her props but haters need to listen to the song first. It’s kind of ridiculous how good it is.

  • Joseph T

    HAHA, god she does not come across well. I almost feel bad

  • dan

    Haha…was this interview posted verbatim??? She is either the most direct interviewee or she comes off as a total bitch / over privileged in this interview….Ahhh to be 16 again and think you know everything there is to know…

    • hc

      She always comes off as sort of a brat in her interviews. “I like tights.” Seriously? Like every other girl out there. How rockrrrr of you. The sooner this girl fades into obscurity the better.

    • Zoey

      She does come off as a little snob. You’re not Lady Gaga, so put on some damn pants. And remember how Kurt Cobain ended up, honey.

    • Keith

      Better to be direct and honest than a prefabbed pop starlett like 95% of the lame pop industry is now. She’s REAL. That’s a win in my book any time.

      • Cassie

        Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • Kanisan

        What I mean is, I feel like I etceunnor people that use slogans to escape confrontation. People who minimize or ignore things by using a motto on a problem for it never to be resolved “because at least we have our health” and “in the big picture, isn’t this a small problem?”I live with an extreme mantra dropper who never discusses anything. It just seems like they hide behind these sayings as form of not ever really having to deal with anything… of course “things could always be worse!”

  • Lilly

    “we dress the same” erm NO TAYLOR. Courtney signatured her style BEFORE U WERE EVEN BORN. so yeah, ur COPYING her style. So shut up.

    • Keith

      erm…NO Lilly. That’s now that Taylor said. If you read the article, what she said is “Everyone always compares me to Courtney Love because they think we like dress the same”…she’s saying what OTHERS are saying…THEY think her and Courtney dress the same…she never said *she* thinks they dress the same. She’s not trying to copy her, she doesn’t even like her! She’d rather be compared with Nirvana, not Hole.

  • Drew

    Leighton ftw

  • Aly

    I dont see why people dislike Taylor. I mean she is so different from all the other teen stars and the girl can sing. I don’t get why people criticize the way she dresses and acts…she is young and she is trying to portray a different image. She doesn’t want to be like all the teen Disney stars and i give her props for that.

    Seriously if you watch her live performances you will be shocked…in a VERY good way

    • ld

      Because she looks like a baby hooker? And it makes us uncomfortable, like we will be arrested for looking at child porn? Girl needs to cover her thighs for real.

    • lalala

      I don’t dislike, I think she’s a decent actress, and I’m sure she’s a decent singer as well. Maybe I’m old or something, but a 16-year-old that smokes and is wearing pretty much lingerie up on stage because she likes to, it seems like she’s growing up way too fast.

    • henry

      The reason I dislike pretty much boils down to this direct quote she gave when asked if she was going to lend a hand like other celebrities to help Haiti after the earthquake: “Um, right now I’m trying to just finish my record and getting through the last season of Gossip Girl for right now. So not so much thinking about that.”

      • annoyed

        Wrong choice of words but she doesn’t HAVE to help at all, sure it’d be very nice of her but she’s only 16 and isn’t as rich as the other stars who helped Haiti. I’m sick of people and their stupid expectations of her. Get over her.

  • JD

    Well if she don’t want to be compared to Courtney then stop dressing like her. Its that easy.

    • annoyed

      YEAH because that makes SOOO much sense. STFU. why would she change her style because of what other people say? this is by far the stupidest comment i’ve read so far.

  • Nicole

    She seems awful. Really.

  • Chappel

    I don’t watch Gossip girl or know anything about this actress but if she’s citing the Beatles as her main musical influence that’s a big plus in my book.

  • KM

    Wow. Like everyone else has been saying, she comes off really bad in this interview. She sounds like a jerk. This interview just me off to her.

  • Chuck Bartowski

    Taylor Momsen? Didn’t she play little Cindy Lou Who in THE GRINCH? Maybe that’s why everyone is uncomfortable with her look now. Yikes!

    • annoyed

      She was like 4. Are you seriously going to judge her because of that? SHE GREW UP. So does EVERYBODY.

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