(2011 Jan) SuperSuper! #23 GR†LLGR†LL interview + oOoOO interview with Taylor Momsen

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(2011 Jan) SuperSuper! #23 GR†LLGR†LL interview + oOoOO interview with Taylor Momsen

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Supersuper! Magazine (#23, 2011)
Back-up links:
GG: https://cultofnow-blog.tumblr.com/post/ ... ersuper-23
oOoOO: https://cultofnow-blog.tumblr.com/post/ ... ersuper-23

Front cover:
GR†LLGR†LL interview: click to read
Words: Jade French

A master of the now-notorious Witch House genre, GR†LLGR†LL mixes shit up with his trademark skittered backbeats and ethereal visuals. SUPERSUPER caught up with him to chat about genre traps, being signed to label champions Disaro and the biggest question of all – Lil Wayne or Ginuwine?

SS: Would you still be making music if the Internet didn’t exist?

GG: I would. My visuals and music are my way of creating something to cling onto, like some people find a god, fitness or whatever! But I would probably never have been heard; I would have been too shy to put it out anywhere.

SS: Do you count yourself as part of the ‘Witch House’ scene?

GG: I I’m part of some kind of DIY movement, with people mixing a lot of stuff together into something that makes sense to them. The phrase ‘Witch House’ itself doesn’t say much to me, but people kind of stayed with it.

SS: How do you want people to feel with your music/visuals?

GG: In my head the visual and the music are pretty much tied together – I love contrasts. I’m interested in creating climbs of emotions, rather than a story, as it makes it possible for people to make out their own ‘beliefs’.

SS: What drives you to make music?

GG: My visuals and music are the fields where I feel totally free and can express myself, without borders or self-restrictions… it feels good to escape to another place for as long as it lasts. That’s something.

SS: Being signed to Disaro is a pretty big deal. How did it happen?

GG: I met Robert (Disaro) randomly on MySpace because we shared the same taste in a lot of things, and he liked my music. Disaro appealed to me because it didn’t feel like anything had to be labelled - I was free to do what I wanted.

SS: You covered Lil’ Waynes ‘Lollipop'… do you think he’s better than Ginuwine???

GG: I love Lil’s Wayne’s flow and his way of being - it kind of depresses and excites me at the same time. Between those two I’d say Lil Wayne, but overall R. Kelly is the ONE.

SS: What is the best song to get a party going?

GG: Anything my two friends /BORNWRONG put on when they DJ. DARLINGS!

oOoOO vs. Taylor Momsen interview: click to read
oOoOO vs. Taylor Momsen

Star of Gossip Girl and The Pretty Reckless, Taylor Momsen publicly eschews her mainstream profile in favour of cultivating an image of rebellion and ‘punk’ values. But are her claims to underground 4real, or mere pose? We sent 2010’s underground hero oOoOO along to find out!

“Easy for a good girl to go bad/And once we gone…” - Rihanna

oO: There is some dark imagery in (Taylor’s band) The Pretty Reckless’ videos, and some pretty dark lyrical themes too. Do you think the dark edge is gonna scare off some potential listeners who knew you through your acting, before they heard your music? Do you care if it does?

TM: I don’t know, I’m just trying to be myself… I’m doing my own thing, this is rock music and it might not be for everyone. I accept that, that people might get scared. I would think it’s weird, if people pretended to like the music but they hadn’t even listened to the album. I’d prefer for people to actually listen to the music, the lyrics, the melodies… Music videos are stimulating and my image might "scare" off listeners, but at the end of the day it’s about the music.

“It’s okay to kill your idols” – Courtney Love, Hole

oO: I’m definitely hearing a strong ‘90s grunge influence in your music. I actually listened to all that stuff as a young kid - although you’re obviously too young to have been directly influenced by Nirvana’s or Hole’s best records at the time they were coming out. Do you think that sound will have a big influence on the music that’s gonna made over the next decade?

TM: I fucking hope so… I hear a lot of ‘80s influences in the pop music today but it would be cool if the ‘90s rock stuff came back. Soundgarden are doing stuff again, and that’s a good sign. Everyone is their own person - you can try to contrast a rock image with a pop sound and it can be labeled ‘rock’, and that’s not necessarily right. I don’t think that there is a lot of genuine rock music around – although there is a lot of rockabilly fashion, which I think is really cool. We have to start somewhere, but bringing back rock music would be rad and welcoming.

“We’re so trendy we can’t even escape ourselves”– Kurt Cobain, Nirvana

oO: Do you consider The Pretty Reckless’ sound to be pop music? Do you think distinctions like pop or rock or goth or grunge have any meaning at this point, when artists are blending genres together so much anyway?

TM: I don’t really know what the hell a genre is… I’m a singer/songwriter, The Pretty Reckless write songs, and some of the songs could be said to have a rock n’ roll aesthetic to them but each song is to its own. This is the first record we’ve made and it’s very diverse, and while everyone should be able to listen to it, it’s up to you how to interpret and classify it in a category. Us as a band classify it as “rock n’ roll”, but at the end of the day we’re singer/songwriters - you can even find things you relate to in pop songs.

“Doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting different results, is the definition of crazy” – Albert Einstein

oO: Some people complain that nothing new ever happens in music any more, and that new artists are just continually recombining elements from the past. Do you think there’s any truth in that?

TM: I think that’s just how music is… you know when somebody does something great because you look to what they’ve done and take influence from it. Even The Beatles had influences from the past - there are always people who have come before you, which I think is a good thing. You just have to find a new way to take the influence and make it your own, and keep it unique.

“Everything’s The Same (Ain’t Nothing Changed)” – Billy Swann

oO: Do you think there was ever a time when the new wasn’t just people redoing what had already been done before?

TM: Uhh… the person who invented notes started something new, I suppose… What makes you original comes down to the way you say it and the way you bring it. In the musical scale, there are 12 notes, and with those 12 notes you have to figure out what you want to do with them, how to re-arrange them and be original. It’s all up to your decisions.

“I don’t think anything’s underground anymore. And I think that’s a good thing. Everything is up for grabs” – Colin Greenwood, Radiohead

oO: A lot of underground musicians have been incorporating elements of mainstream music into their work lately, using conventional elements from pop (that would have been considered pretty square a decade ago) to make fresh-sounding tunes. The mainstream always ends up pirating everything from the underground eventually, but have you noticed any current mainstream acts just blatantly ripping off more underground artists (like how Rihanna’s ‘Rude Boy’ video totally steals from M.I.A., for example)?

TM: No, I haven’t really, I don’t pay attention to that stuff. As I said before, we’re all exposed to the same things - influence is influence. It’s just how it is, we all learn from each other.

“Red carpet and rebellion/Makes ya wonder at the established ones” – Brody Dalle, The Distillers

oO: There was a time when rock, punk, and ‘underground’ music all existed in opposition to mainstream values, especially consumerism - but that doesn’t seem to be the case today. I’m pretty sure Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix would never have wanted to spend money on Chanel or Alexander Wang, but I know you’re really into high-end fashion (and so am I). Do you think there is anything that could still be considered as rebellious in music today? What would it be directed at?

TM: Well, I disagree with that. Rock has always been a part of fashion - it’s just how it is, it’s one entity. In the ‘60s, a lot of fashion designers used the organic style of rock musicians and mused on it and made it a trend. Fashion and rock n’ roll just blend, and it’s been like that for a long time.

“It’s only rock and roll” – Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones

oO: I saw an interview with you once where you said you “believe in rock n’ roll." Can you explain why rock n’ roll is so important to you, or would explaining it just be a pointless, un-rock n’ roll thing to do?

TM: No, I’m not going to explain anything - "Rock n ’Roll” represents freedom - freedom of the heart and freedom in life. It’s a very liberating thing.
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