It’s one of the most surreal moments I’ve had during my time at MTV News. I was backstage at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas in Los Angeles on Sunday, waiting in a hallway for my scheduled interview with the Killers, when all of a sudden I was whisked into a side room by KROQ’s Ann Ingold (you “Loveline” listeners might know her as “Producer Ann”). Without any idea of what was going on, I was told these words: “Courtney Love will talk to you.”
“Courtney Love!” I screamed to myself. Before I had a chance to react, I was face-to-face with an icon of ’90s grunge. For someone like myself who worshiped Nirvana and everything surrounding them, this was a big deal.
To the best of my recollection, the interview started with Courtney (who clearly hasn’t been watching MTV or checking out our Web site) saying, “MTV still has news? I miss the ’90s and Kurt Loder … this isn’t going to f—ing air.” It was love at first bleep!
But what was most striking about the conversation was the refreshing sense of talking to an artist completely unfiltered. These days most artists are accompanied by a battery of publicists and managers and handlers who make demands like, “You can’t ask [artist] about being a new parent, even though they had a baby four days ago.” So you try your best to skate around the issue and acknowledge the elephant in the room.
With Courtney, that wasn’t the case. She talked at length about the songs she’s been working on with her new band, and when I asked her what’s happened in the last four years that would influence her music, she responded, “Well, I went to rehab.”
She was mind-numbingly honest. She talked about Billy Corgan (“He sh–s gold.”) and her daughter, Frances Bean (“She’ll kill me if I talk about her on TV”) — we’ll have more from the conversation in the coming days.
After the interview was over, she asked me, “What was your name again?” I responded with, “Matt Elias,” and reached out for a handshake — only to be pulled in for a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I couldn’t believe it …