Courtney Love Uncut

Courtney Love Uncut
Her tabloid rep will forever precede her, but Courtney Love's legacy still looms large in the music world; even today it's difficult for young female rockers to make it through the press gauntlet without inviting comparisons to the fiery iconoclast. A new solo album, Love's first since 2004's America's Sweetheart, was supposed to be released this spring, but has since been pushed back to the fall. Undeterred, Love and her band are currently following through on a planned tour — with stops in both Toronto and Vancouver — that finds the singer-guitarist digging into her eclectic past.

How's the tour going?
It's good. Right now we're actually recording. And Wednesday we're going to resume touring. But the recording is challenging. We were supposed to do this small venue club tour, with new music out, but then, since my book comes out at Christmas, I decided it was a better time to put [it] out then.

So you're not playing any of the new songs on the tour?
No, we can't. It will leak and it will get on YouTube... no, you can't play new music till it's released. We have a record company, we have everything we need. This is a major Christmas book, so it's just a better time to do it.

The recording that you're doing, is this for that new album? Or are these songs for further down the road?
Well one of the songs is for the single. We don't have a full album cut yet, but we're getting really close. Two other songs are for the album.

Who are you working with these days?
I'm working with Micko [Larkin, guitar] who I've been working with for eight years, which is actually longer than I worked with Eric Erlandson, and Shawn [Dailey, bass], and Scott [Lipps, drums] — my band.

These are the same people you went out with for the Nobody's Daughter tour?

In 2012 you recorded a song with James Iha. Was he involved with the album at all?
The song is going to be on the album. We used James Iha's recording studio. He's asked me if I wanted to do a song with him, yesterday actually. If he's got a good riff it could be fun. Apparently he's big in Japan — I don't know. He sold his studio, so we're not using that. We're actually in Electric Ladyland, where U2 is right now so it's kind of a lock down situation.

Is the record going to be more of an aggressive rock record or are you looking at other things sonically?
No, I'm going hip-hop [laughs]. No, it's a rock record. The music so far, there are two really fast songs, they're faster than anything on Nobody's Daughter. Then there's right now a really beautiful, almost a "Jane Says" but different song called "California." I can't explain it. It's a beautiful song. And then there's this Irish waltz song that we're supposed to do tonight, that I have to sing.

You mentioned the book that you've got coming out at Christmas — does this cover a different period than Dirty Blonde, which came out back in 2006?
Well that was an ephemera book. So it's an actual book book and it covers my life. I didn't do what Patti Smith did and take a little piece.

Did you co-write it with anyone?
I tried writing it myself but I just hated it so much so I hired a co-writer.

Who was that?
I don't even want to say.

And you've got a TV show in the works for the fall?
No I changed my mind. I was offered a film and film trumps TV any day.

You were part of Yves St. Laurent's recent Saint Laurent Music Project. Do you enjoy modeling work?
Of course, yes. I've been shooting with Hedi [Slimane, photographer] for the past nine years, every year, so it's really easy. They're like mini-movies and I really love the clothes. If you have a good photographer it can be really fun and fast. I don't like doing it from noon to midnight cause I know when I've got the shot cause I've been doing it since I was 13.

Finally, Nirvana's In Utero is getting the deluxe reissue treatment this fall. Were you involved in putting that together? Can you tell us anything about what might be included with it?
No. I mean I was involved with it. But that's not what this interview's about.