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The Pretty Reckless’ Taylor Momsen Shares Her Backstage Secrets

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Taylor Momsen.
Indira Cesarine

The Pretty Reckless have had a crazy year. Not only did the rock band open for The Rolling Stones at their May 11 show in Las Vegas, they are now on the road as the supporting act for the European leg of AC/DC’s 2024 Pwr Up Tour.

In an exclusive interview for Us Weekly’s Backstage Pass, The Pretty Reckless’ frontwoman, Taylor Momsen, dished on what goes on behind the scenes in the band’s dressing room ahead of each show. “It used to be a party for sure,” the Gossip Girl alum, 30, shared. Now, “It’s the exact opposite — it’s very chill, no guests allowed.”

As for the pre-show vibes, “We just play music and hang out,” she explained, noting there are “definitely candles going, and a good rock and roll playlist (playing)” which includes Soundgarden, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Nirvana.

Before hitting the stage, Momsen and her bandmates — guitarist Ben Phillips, bassist Mark Damon and drummer Jamie Perkins — keep things simple by following a routine: “We start with attaching the monitor pack, which is a bit tricky with my clothing,” the singer shared. “Then, the band hangs out the side of the stage and I do some stretches.”

Taylor Momsen Reveals the Song She Plays to Get in the ‘Headspace’ to Play with the Pretty Reckless
Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Next, “Our guitarist inevitably plays the first four notes of ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ by Pink Floyd on his guitar from backstage,” she continues. “That’s the cue for our monitor engineer to play ‘Slaves and Bulldozers’ by Soundgarden in our in-ears monitor.”

“We all listen to that until it’s show time,” Momsen told Us. “That song really gets me in the headspace to go out and do it.”

Though Momsen admits it’s tough to pick a favorite song to perform (“I love them all obviously,” she explained) there is one that she finds to be the most meaningful. “’Make Me Wanna Die’ — which was our first real release and our first number one (song) in England — always feels so good and so natural to play,” she said. “I love that I wrote a song 15 years ago that still holds up today.”

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After playing everywhere from Glasgow to Buenos Aires, it’s hard for Momsen to nail down a craziest performance — but one sticks out as the most memorable. “In Argentina a bunch of girls came on stage and danced to our song ‘Goin Down’. Let’s just say some clothing came off,” she said. “Apparently, a father in the audience didn’t like the nudity and called the authorities.

“The show was shut down and we had to get out of the country … quickly,” she added.

Following the concerts — which IS the party, Momsen insisted — the only way to decompress is with “a nice cozy bed, some cookies and sleep,” she explained. “If it’s a big show and we want to celebrate then (we do so by) just hanging with the band and cranking more music.”

Momsen — who quit acting to pursue a career in music — wouldn’t change her path for anything. “It’s great being in a band with your best friends for 15 years,” she told Us. “(We) never have a bad time hanging out together.”

Tickets for AC/DC’s Pwr Up Tour are available now.

With reporting by Travis Cronin

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