Courtney Love, from Hole to Montauk. (Photos via Getty and Surf Lodge)

Twenty years ago you probably could not have even hallucinated Courtney Love in a hammock in the Hamptons or mingling with Cindy Sherman at MoMA. But Love can be found in both those scenarios now, living in what seems like an in-between world of the past and present—a place where comfort exists, but not contentment. Love has made an earnest attempt to live in the now, but she gets drawn back in to the past frequently during conversation, and when I spoke with her yesterday she somewhat charmingly referred to adults like Barbara Walters as "grown-ups," as if she's still at the kids table getting away with things.Last night Love and her band kicked off a short tour, where she'll be hitting intimate venues in the northeast. Later this year her book is due to come out, and after that she plans to release a new album.

Below is our conversation—which was out of my control the moment it began. Speaking to Love is like trying to shoot a water gun into a gushing fire hydrant.

You've been playing some small shows in Montauk recently, how have those been going? Well, we wanted to write out in Montauk, so they gave us a week to stay there, and to be nice we played a few songs in return. It was a nice week.

Why did you want to write out in Montauk? Because I wanted to get out of the city—it was hotter than hell. And I'm not the best house guest, though I went to see Julian [Schnabel] out there, which was nice. You know he's got these little houses, but they were all full, and I didn't want to say 'Oh, can I stay here?' Besides which, the Surf Lodge has facilities, and people give us rides and stuff like that. And you know it was nice, it was a nice week. Sitting in a hammock in the sun, on the estuary, going to the beach—a lot of stuff.

So you're releasing new songs and you have your new band going on—how else are you separating yourself from the past? No I'm not releasing new songs and I don't have a new band. My guitar player, who I've been playing with for eight years, which is actually longer than I played with Eric Erlandson, who was in Hole from days back. And John's been in the band since '08, and Scott's been in the band since 2010. And then the tour was supposed to be a small tour with new material and then I made, I think a sensible but tough decision, which was that Harper Collins is releasing a book at Christmas and it would be kind of—I mean the book's good... it's a good book, so I'm sure it'll do well with that good marketing. But it was also a wasted opportunity to not put new songs out at that time so you know there's more marketing around it because as you know alternative rock is scarce, in terms of how I think this year there's been Queens [of the Stone Age], there's been Vampire Weekend, there's one more, and then there's Fall Out Boy—and that's the only four acts that have done well. And so you know, I really can't afford, in my mind, to release new material that's excellent and have it fall on deaf ears because no one knows it's out.

PULLqhclo.jpgSo I'm gonna release that at the beginning of the year, so this tour is just kind of to say that 'Hey, I'm alive!' Sheesh—[singing Pearl Jam in an Eddie Vedder voice] I'm still alive, hey I'm stil alive—you know it's not "We are the Nineties" it's not... I saw some Live Nation marketing that really pissed me off, someone told me in Boston, like [dramatic radio voice] "Courtney Love Sings the Hits" and then they named them and it's like 'Oh wait, I don't do 'Doll Parts' every night, I can't stand stand that song on some nights.' So it's just like, you know if I wanna do the oldies thing a friend of mine, who manages Metallica, The Black Keys, The Chili Peppers, Muse, you know endless successful bands, and he used to be my manager. He will allow me to keep Micko and have Melissa, Patty, actually he doesn't want Patty, and Eric, and do some Pixies reunion freakin' nightmare. And I told him just it's never gonna happen ev-er, not doin' it. So, that's not gonna happen ever, and I don't care if that's stupid, it's just not gonna happen—it's something that people do for money, and they're miserable. And if you wanna see true misery, watch that Pixies reunion documentary, it's like an absolute horror show, and I can't imagine that I would be any happier, and I don't like to not be happy, so I'd just rather play smaller clubs for now and just do the [singing] "ahhhhh I'm still alive" kind of tour. It's small venues, so it's not, we're not playing the city, not playing LA—tertiary markets they call it, like Silver Springs, Maryland.

When I spoke with Billy Corgan, he was saying, "Sentimentality is death," like "Nostalgia is death," and that seems to be something you agree with, but there's other bands out there... "Nostalgia is death?" Yeah, for him—I think that his values and my values are aligned in that way. You know, but he has a different skill set and he also has a different set of problems, but our values are aligned in that sense—I won't do it.

And there are a lot of bands out there that are still kind of doing—I guess, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden—I haven't seen them play live recently, but I'm assuming they're still playing the old songs... I play the old songs, of course I play the old songs, but you know I play the ones that I'm in the mood to play. I'm not gonna you know have—I dont wanna see a flag that says, "Courtney sings, 'Skinny Little Bitch.'" So I was vehemently against that, I was actually asked that at the beginning and I felt really violated, and I called this girl, who I thought was really cool at Live Nation, and I don't think she did it and I just kind of snapped her head off, but I don't think I'm gonna be seeing that kind of advertising anymore. I don't know—I don't think "nostalgia is death" is the greatest sound bite, do you?

Well, for that... Billy's pretty dramatic... trust me.

So you seem to be online a lot, do you have an online routine that you do in the mornings or whenever? Online a lot? No, I don't think I'm online a lot.

Well, you're on Twitter and Instagram. Maybe someone else is doing some of that stuff. I barely do my Instagram. Um—I do my Twitter like as formatted the way you're supposed to do it, the time of day you're supposed to do it. And I limit it to like no more than five to ten twitters a day because somebody who—I'm not supposed to know this—but, somebody who bought in and invested in Twitter early on told me some of the tricks, you know to get the most bang out of your tweets. You know if you're complimenting somebody, if you're complimenting somebody's product, complimenting someone's writing, if you want someone to see... like I really wanted people to see Russell Brand doing the, the way he handled the interview on MSNBC, I don't know if you saw that, did you see that?

Yeah, yeah I did. I mean, I'm gonna be doing a lot of press like that for the book and I just watched it about 20 times wondering if I had the acumen and loquaciousness to turn something like that on its head—you know, without insulting anybody he insulted them all and kept his composure, and it was just brilliant. And I mean I've known Russell a really really long time and in fact threw a party for him when he just came to town in LA when he was staying at my house, that resulted in his first movie, which was like playing Adam Sandler's best friend in this Disney movie, like I couldn't even believe it, like he got a Disney movie. And I remember getting through the crowd it was his Christmas present, and getting near the CA guys, you know that was fine, but then I got next to the Disney guys and I was really scared, the Disney guys were like kind of sleek—they all look like kind of mice. And I just felt like I was in the presence of scariness, and I ended up giving it to him a different time, I just ran away. Disney people kind of scare me, in that context... maybe it was me just being a paranoid freak. But anyway I gave him this party that kind of lifted his career up and I mean he'll be the first to say it. And I was so proud of, I knew that was in him and I was just awestruck, just absolutely awestruck by how well he handled that and only could hope that I could handle it half as well.

He does a lot of... I saw him once with David Lynch doing the transcendental meditation stuff that David Lynch does... Yeah, I know he's really into that.

Have you ever considered doing that? Because I think that, you know, that helps anybody with... Yeah, he runs an incredible program. He runs an incredible sobriety program for himself, a really good spiritual program for himself you know, because he's had a lot of problems. And, you know, I run a pretty hard core rigorous spiritual program, I don't do the AA thing so much. But then again, every once in a while I pop a Xanax on an airplane right, so you know there's that. But it's absolutely in moderation. So you know, there's also some life choices that no one can make, and Russell's is just to do complete abstinence and run that AA program, which he's very open about, I'm not telling you about anything that isn't a well known fact. But I remember the day of Amy Winehouse's funeral in London, I was hysterical, and I called him and he actually got me to go to a meeting, and I was much more... calmer afterwards, but in any case my point being that, then in response to—I don't even know if you asked me this question... but, this huge amount of mainstream press that's coming out, because right now I'm doing radio shows and you know whatever, Stern and stuff like that—those are places I'm comfortable, you know Tonight Show, Leno, Letterman, Kimmel, you know I'm comfortable on all those shows. And The View I'm comfortable on, but I finally did one with Barbara Walters and that was kind of scary.

Oh, really? Actually, yeah.

Was she scary? Yeah, she's kind of like a school... yeah, she's a little intimidating. Because every other time I've done The View it's been with either Whoopie or Rosie there, so I can do whatever I want, but if Barbara's there you get kind of stiff—I did anyway, you know.

I mean she's a very nice woman, a very very nice woman, always been very kind to me, always has a place for me, invites me to events that are way uptown that I have no idea what the hell they're for, you know St. Jude's you know, sometimes I go, I've gone to two things she's invited me to, but kind of UES stuff [laughs], you know that I enjoy doing and I enjoy giving to a good cause and whatnot, but all those grown ups kind of invite me to that stuff sometimes. Like the other night, last night, no the night before last we played MoMA, and it was Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons and a bunch of plutocrats—it was awesome actually.

Yeah, I've been to some shows there, it's pretty fun... Well, we didn't even have to be good, because they wouldn't know the difference. [Laughs] we actually were good but we played covers, including "Under My Thumb" just to see what it would feel like for a woman to do it, and we did a pretty obscure Leonard Cohen song, and then we just did "Malibu." You know what, because they don't even know what—Cindy Sherman doesn't know what "Malibu" is I don't think. I didn't ask, but I did ask Jeff Koons, and he'd never heard of it—he's, you know, off making horses with smiles.

So I had a really good conversation with him, he's really nice—it's like the third time we've ever talked. But in any case, plutocrats, young artists—and they were great, they were a great audience, they didn't talk. Montauk they all talked, Naomi Watts sat like three kids in front of us, the first song had 'shit' in it, the word 'shit' in it, and I was like oo-ee ouch. I remember like looking at the kids and covering their ears, then they were just sort of talking, it's really rude when people do that, but at MoMA you could've heard a pin drop, so it was nice.

[Publicist interrupts to say one more question]

Since we're a New York website, we've been asking everyone that we interview this: do you have any tips for... [Publicist interrupts] Courtney: No wait, what's your question? I was waiting for the New York questions.

Do you have any tips for new New Yorkers or New Yorkers in general, just any tips for living here. Yeah, I have a great tip, I have a great tip, and you know who told me this tip? The former editor of Page Six, his name was Richard Johnson. And when I first moved back to town in 2009, I had lunch with him at Le Bernardin, I didn't know where he was gonna pick—low profile, high profile—he picked high profile. So I was like, okay what's this about? You know, I gotta get this relationship with Page Six on track because this is stupid, I don't like reading crap about myself everyday, and it worked, you know it's been on track ever since.

But he gave me THE best piece of advice for New York City—he said, 'it's a thirteen mile island, you only want to live in three miles of it, never declare a fatwa on somebody that you can't resolve within a day. And that includes divorces.' I thought that was an incredibly brilliant piece of advice, you know don't start fights in Manhattan that you can't fix, basically... it's too small. You know you're gonna run into that person again, in LA or in rock n' roll, everyone's always slamming each other, you can't do that in New York. We're all crushed in together, we're all gonna see each other all the time. It's best not to pillage somebody, from a reporter's point of view to... you know... I'm actually a really big fan of your site, I put it up before I put up the Daily Beast in the morning, and so that's why I agreed to talk—you can be snarky, but I kinda like that, not evil snarky like Gawker, which is evil—I think somebody might lose their life because of some of the stuff Gawker does.

I mean, they really, really hurt people. It's never happened to me, but I've seen friends in the media just really, really hurt by them. People who've said things in private and had those things exposed and I really don't like Gawker, I don't like the Gawker group... but you know I kind of can't help it, I read Jezebel sometimes, because it's pretty well done and I am a feminist, and xoJane—I love Jane, and she's a dear friend—but sometimes it's a little, 'I peed on a guy and you know its all good!!'

So anyway, that's my great piece of advice about New York, never, ever start a fight. There's a girl, she was an "it girl," and she stole a lot of clothes from me, and at one point I was standing with my friend who manages Florence and the Machine, and this girl walks on the red carpet at Palazzo de Chupi, which is Julian's big palazzo, and she's head to toe—I mean head to toe—in my clothes. Shoes, dress, accessories, and I went, 'Oh my God, blank is in my clothes.' I looked around and everyone had split because they thought I was gonna strangle her—I don't strangle people or hit people anymore, I'm far too old to do that stuff anymore, I mean honestly. But I mean she'd done it to so many people and burned so many people, I don't even think she lives in the city anymore. You can get booted off the island [laughs] so you gotta behave.

Do you like New York more than LA, or do you have a preference? I'm 50/50... no I'm 33.3 percent on London, LA, and New York. I love New York for what it is, it's a great place to hunker down, it's a great place to keep my head down, and just do stuff and you know walk around and not get bugged. I love LA for what it is, I love London for what it is. So you know I'm just learning about the Hamptons because I started going out there about two years ago, because I have friends who live there in the summer now. It's not really my thing. I like upstate a lot—you know Rhinebeck and Hudson Valley, but no, I love the city, and for right now I wouldn't dream of living any place else. And the other thing is, that I really want to clarify Jen before we get off the phone is, I have lived in New York since 2009. I've been here since 2009, so that's nearly five years. I have lived, I have been a New Yorker, with a New York State... not driver's license, but identification card. Let me just clarify that I am a New Yorker, not by my birth, but I am a New Yorker now.

You're an actual New Yorker now. Yeah, I'm a professional, official New Yorker.