Q&A: Truly Madly Courtney

Artwork by MREYECANDY66

Recently we got The Girl With The Most Cake on the horn to talk turkey in advance of her show at the TLA on June 20th. DISCUSSED: Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Pete Doherty, Keith Richards, Julian Schnabel, Led Zep, Cheap Trick, Stooges, Jane’s Addiction, Marianne Faithfull, Celine Dion, Pussy Riot, Huggy Bear, Frances Bean, Twilight and smokeless cigarettes. Look for it tomorrow on a Phawker near you!

PHAWKER: Courtney thanks for coming on the blog today, the first thing I wanted to ask you about is this exchange on Twitter with Anthony Jeselnik, who is like the Jim Jarmusch of standup comedy, and Amy Schumer who I adore, who I think is the…

COURTNEY LOVE: [sounding groggy] What?

PHAWKER: I wanted to ask you about is this exchange….Can you hear me okay?

COURTNEY LOVE: Yeah. Exchange on Twitter with who?

PHAWKER: Anthony Jeselnik. The comedian.

COURTNEY LOVE: [perking up] The comedian?

PHAWKER: Yes. You Tweeted, “Hoes before bros, Amy Schumer is mine for the night. But then again you are fucking hot too xc.” And he responded with, “You are the most rock ‘n roll cunt of all time. You can have us both!”


COURTNEY LOVE’S PUBLICIST: Can we get the questions more on Philadelphia and the tour?

PHAWKER: [to publicist] Okay, are you going to be listening in and picking and choosing my questions the whole time?

COURTNEY LOVE: Your level is really low Jon, I can barely hear you dude.

PHAWKER: I will talk a louder, the reason its low is because we are on a three way with your publicist. OK scrap that question; let’s talk about music. You have retired the name Hole and will be performing from now on under the name Courtney Love, is that right?

COURTNEY LOVE: Yeah, I figured for this tour that was easier, more efficient and [guitarist] Miko has a place called Surf Lodge in Montauk [Long Island] and we are writing new songs and then we are playing a secret show, you know, I can’t say what day; we are playing a secret show at the end of the week here. We are like right on the water in Montauk and I am actually about to go see my friend Julian Schnabel who has, believe it or not, incredible guitars at his house, two Martins that are amazing. He’s an artist and a director but he also…[talking to someone in the room] Hey Miko!. [to me and her publicist] Hang on a sec, guys. [to Miko] I’ll be done with this in like five minutes.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: A five minute interview? This is news to me.)

PHAWKER: I’m sorry, did you say you are collaborating with Julian Schnabel on music? Is that what you are saying?

COURTNEY LOVE: No I’m going to go visit him. I’m not collaborating with Julian on anything. I was going to go visit him with Miko my guitar player. Julian has really amazing guitars at his house.

PHAWKER: Good to know.

COURTNEY LOVE: No, if I had ever done anything with Julian, he taught me a little about art, actually a lot about art and he tried to help me with my accountant one time and he is a really gifted filmmaker who I really think could handle me so someday. I would really like to work with him as an actress.

PHAWKER: So I wanted to ask you about the new Yves Saint Laurent campaign. You are widely regarded as the inspiration for the new line and the photos are amazing, I love the shot of you wearing that skinny, pin-striped suit and you are kind of like crouching down and strangling a guitar…

COURTNEY LOVE: Yeah, it was fun. [Hedi Slimane], the guy that designed it left fashion like seven years ago, he was designing Christian Dior Men and it got to the point where Christian Dior Men was being worn by women including myself because it was so well-designed and then he took off and he hated fashion and then he came back and the first shoot he did was I think of Pete Doherty, and then Marianne Faithfull, then he did three of me, for the, to shoot and then Keith Richards and then Frances, my daughter, then he went back to fashion and he’s so sort of powerful that it’s not longer Yves Saint Laurent, it’s just Saint Laurent, they wanted him back so bad he got everything on his terms. He gave me some killer clothes, I have to say.

PHAWKER: The NJOY electronic cigarette ad is hilarious, do you really use the electronic cigarette? Is it as satisfying as regular cigarettes?

COURTNEY LOVE: They want to kind of give you a choice, I can be in a restaurant or I can be dealing with lawyers in a tall building and I don’t have to go in the bathroom and then get a complaint and break a law. I can just fucking whip out an enjoy or an e cigarette and it gives me a choice. Because every time I’ve ever been to a deposition or some corporate meeting in a corporate building I always get complaints about smoking in the bathroom and these things are like great…they’ve help me cut down definitely, I haven’t quit. I’m not claiming that it does help you quit but I can stand inside, just like the video, in any social arena I want except for airplanes, they are not big on them on airplanes.

PHAWKER: How you would describe the new music that you are doing now compared to what came before.

COURTNEY LOVE: Well we wrote one yesterday that was actually very bluesy it was kind of like Black Keys meets PJ Harvey and then we wrote one the day before that, just Miko is really brilliant and it was like kind of almost a Zeppelin song, but like a pretty like a…I mean, it wasn’t as complex as a Zeppelin song, it was simple but really hard hardcore I mean that you have to have a real light touch to do, the songs that we recorded are coming out on the new single which is coming out not imminently but sometime before the first of the year. One is called “California” and the other is called “Wedding Day” and that one is really really hardcore, I think it is the best song I’ve ever written, I came up with that with Miko. They are complete opposites, one is like complete punk powerpunk but with like a really poppy, poppy, Stooges meet Cheap Trick. And the other one is like, I don’t know, it’s got this almost John Frusciante element to it, a little bit, and a little bit of Jane’s Addiction, early Jane’s Addiction California. But “Wedding Day” is…I don’t know…the people at K-Rock and Clear Channel really like “California” but the English people that I have played “Wedding Day” for, they have all liked them both but they liked “Wedding Day.” They are both A-side. I’m recording seven songs so I decided why don’t I just release the two excellent ones and leave the semi-okay or mediocre ones on the table. The standard the people hold me to is so much higher than everyone else, like a new band can get away with one good song and like six tracks of shit but older bands can’t do that. If you are a familiar voice, everything has to be really impeccable.

PHAWKER: I think we can all agree that rage is your metier, as it were, and you are very good at articulating it.

COURTNEY LOVE: What’s my metier?


COURTNEY LOVE: Oh yeah, I guess that’s my sales pitch, yeah.

PHAWKER: Do you disagree with that statement?

COURTNEY LOVE: No! I wouldn’t. I read Marianne Faithful’s biography and so Broken English which is like ‘78 or something had a lot of rage in it but she didn’t want to stick to that as her métier. It is my metier but I also have a soft, squishy side, as well.

PHAWKER: I understand that but hang on I haven’t gotten to my question yet, I’m curious if the reasons you were angry 25 years ago are different from the reasons you are angry today? Assuming you still are angry.

COURTNEY LOVE: Are you asking me this because I don’t have a Dylanesque arc where I become a Christian? [laughs] I haven’t released like 26 albums, I’ve only released one, two , three, four, five. They tend to be of the same theme because I am made of the same stuff so it is not a matter of age it is a matter of, I mean I really don’t know how to write a love song properly, that’s like a codependent Celine Dion/Dianna Warren love song. I don’t know how to do that, I’m not that interested in doing it, I’ve tried writing ballads and the ballad that I wrote with Linda Perry was an amazing, amazing ballad, really good but it was in the same theme as they always are, I’m comfortable where…you know sometimes I like to leave my comfort zone but generally I’m in a place where…it’s not Rage Against The Machine, you know, political, but it’s sort of, I don’t know, songs that no other woman has explored the same themes which I think is kind of odd, I mean in the 90s they did but in the last amount of years, I really haven’t noticed many women picking up the axe and grinding it.

PHAWKER: What about Pussy Riot? Do you have an opinion on them?

COURTNEY LOVE: Yeah, Pussy Riot is really not that good. That is a terrible, terrible thing that happened to them and as you can imagine from Newsweek to the New York Times I got asked to write about it and every time I went to write about it I came to the conclusion that two years in a gulag is better than having all your money stolen and it wound up being all about me and I don’t know, and I was like ‘I’m not publishing this it isn’t even sympathetic to them’ which of course I am sympathetic to them but I found a really good piece in the London Guardian where a band called Huggy Bear had, it wasn’t a church but they basically invaded this television show called The Word topless, and it was lauded as the greatest piece of anarchy since the Sex Pistols. That was back in the Riot Grrrl/Bikini Kill day. I think the date is about ‘92 or ‘93. So it was such a change, I mean you’re talking about Russia as well which is a whole different thing…but that just sucked I can’t believe that this happened to those girls. It just shows how much the culture has changed that they can’t pull a prank like that without going to jail? I mean, wow!

PHAWKER: Why do you think you are such a polarizing figure, my girlfriend is one of your great defenders and she thinks it is because you have committed the crime of being smart and spoken while having a vagina, do you agree with that?

COURTNEY LOVE: I would prefer to say uterus but yes and also because at an archetypical level, I’m a widow and a widow of a guy who is canonized as sort of a saint and that polarizes people, definitely. That’s definitely a part that I attribute that to.

PHAWKER: Is it true that Francis Bean was offered the lead in Twilight when she was like 13?

COURTNEY LOVE: When she was 15, let me clarify that. She was offered for her first lead in something else when she was 13 but she was offered the role of Bella when she was 15 and I actually wrote to Arianna Huffington because, who I am friendly with, because there was a person there questioning that. It was an offer, it’s really not a big deal. I know a kid in England who was offered the Robert Pattinson part that had no acting experience either but he comes from an extremely high profile family and is extremely good looking. Frances had been offered several films previously to that so it really was no big deal, she was 15 when that happened and I called an agent who is about the biggest agent in LA and also the father of her best friend and he was like, ‘what are you a fucking Momager?’ I was like, ‘No.’ He was like, ‘If she wants to act she can after she is 18 and then she can call me.’  She didn’t want to do it so it was like, she doesn’t want to do that. She went to summer camp for acting for three years and she was very very interested in pretty much every school musical because she is really really good but she is over it now, she doesn’t want to do it.

PHAWKER: What does she want to do? I just started following her on Twitter. She’s got great taste in music.

COURTNEY LOVE: She wants to be an artist or she is an artist. She is trying to figure out a way, I don’t want to violate her privacy, but she is just figuring out a way to differentiate herself because she is not leaning on her mother or her father and it is kind of an impossible task and she is trying to figure out a way to do it.

PHAWKER: What is the status of your relationship with Maer Roshan, the guy from The Fix, or formerly from The Fix, who wrote Courtney Comes Clean? I was wondering if you read it, and what you made of it, if the book was fair, if the book was bullshit.

COURTNEY LOVE: First of all I didn’t read it, Maer is a tragic junkie who ripped off a lot of people with that thing and recorded me surreptitiously and I have no comment past that. He was also fired I think. It is not a credible, it’s not something that I would give any credence to.

PHAWKER: What are you listening to these days, what are you excited about music-wise, old or new?

COURTNEY LOVE: I’m excited about touring, I’m so fucking bored I really can’t wait to tour, I’m so fucking bored you have no idea, idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Stick a guitar in my hands and I’ll be a much happier camper. And it’s hot in New York and I don’t have air conditioning in my house and fucking I just need to be on a [tour] bus.