Taylor Momsen Says She Gave Up On Life After Losing The Pretty Reckless Producer

Albums that are the products of a creative process filled with tragedy and grief often help artists channel their feelings and give them a purpose to continue. That was the case for The Pretty Reckless’ Taylor Momsen when she lost her beloved producer and friend. In an interview with Kerrang, the musician shared the endless days and nights she spent mourning before the ‘Death By Rock And Roll’ album saved her life.

The band had scored their biggest gig to date with Soundgarden in 2017. After the tragic loss of their touring partner and friend Chris Cornell the band headed home to mourn and try to work on some songs. That was when they got the devastating news that their long-time producer, collaborator, and friend Kato Khandwala had passed away.

“When Kato passed, I fell heavily into depression and substance abuse,” stated Momsen, explaining the dark thoughts she had to face in light of the tragic news. “To be bleakly honest about it, I gave up on life. The scariest part was that I was content to fade into nothing, but as clichéd as it might sound; music saved my life. Writing is where I feel most free, and this song and album made me want to live again.”

She continued, “The title ‘Death By Rock And Roll’ is a phrase that Kato often used, and we all said it as a kind of motto – like a battle cry for life. When he died, that phrase resonated with me in a new way. And the first thing you hear when you push play – those footsteps – those are Kato’s.”

During the grieving period that felt like an eternity, the vocalist found solace in making music, as it reflected how she felt about the passing of her friends, both Chris Cornell and Kato Khandwala. The album-making process was a cathartic experience for the band, and Momsen credits the album, and more specifically the title track, with saving her life.

You can listen to ‘Death By Rock And Roll’ below.