Inimitable queen of rock Courtney Love believes that rock and roll is “pretty much close to dead,” unless we see another movement like grunge or Britpop from the ’90s.
“[Rock and roll] is pretty much close to dead, unless there’s some great saviour art direction; unless there’s a new Oasis or Nirvana and people buy into that and it gets as big as Kanye [West] is,” said Love in an interview with Dazed.
She added that she’s not sure young people would even recognise subversive rock anymore. “It’s got to be innovative, it’s got to touch that many lives, and kids – millennials – have all been raised, with very few exceptions, on rap, and so I don’t know if they’d recognised it even if they heard it.”
Adding to her long-held feminist comments on the music industry, Love also spoke about how hard it still is for women to be taken seriously in music.
“I always took myself really seriously, but sometimes I’d be at a venue and the guy would call me ‘sweetie’ or ‘honey’ when we were doing drums and stuff. I’d carry the drums in myself so people wouldn’t say I was a bitch.”
Of the scarcity of female music stars, she said, “There’s maybe 30 if you count pop stars. Think about that, on the planet. Rockstars, I don’t know, I’ve never really sat down and counted female rock stars. There’s a few, there’s 10… 15… but throw a TV out on the balcony, the same stuff that Keith Richards did, the same stuff Jim Morrison did, the same things that Bono did – that we all forgot about – I think I get judged by a double standard a lot.”
Love added that women musicians are often held to a higher critical standard than men, too. “I talked to Dave Grohl about this, this month, that he doesn’t have to change his sound and I kinda do, and after hearing the latest PJ Harvey record I’m like, ‘God, this woman never stops evolving, she’s so amazing and fantastical.’”
She added some advice for women in the industry. “I think with women, unless you are autonomous, unless you can play that piano, play that guitar, unless you really learn to do it yourself, you’re interdependent. And if you’re going to be interdependent, do it with people you trust and who can last the long haul with you.”
Love’s last album was 2010’s Hole record Nobody’s Daughter, but she continues to make music (as below). Recently, she paid homage to her respected contemporary PJ Harvey with a cover of her song To Bring You My Love from her 1995 album of the same name.
Watch: Courtney Love – You Know My Name (2015)