Love: I was on tour in Australia, and it was namby-pamby, like House of Blues 2,500-seaters. That's where we're at -- literally, the oldies circuit. I'm in the middle of [Hole's] "Doll Parts" thinking, "Are we done yet?" I wanted to do something different and this is great. I didn't write any of it, which is new for me -- to let go.
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How would you describe the chemistry between you and Todd?
Love: Physically and psychically, we mesh -- we move and feel like a couple. I don't see a lot of men that are taller than me, or more light-skinned than me. I'm just as white as you can get, but he's actually lighter; he's see-through. I call him my translucence. I was listening to Todd play the other day, and I remembered when I used to date Trent Reznor, who is very talented and has his own thing, but Todd's is better. Me and Trent would f--- around at the old Sunset Marquis [in Hollywood]. There was a grand piano -- he would play and I would chanteuse it out. How fabulous that I got someone better than Trent!
Almond: With Courtney, it's as if I have this magnet on the inside of my spine that I didn't know that I had.
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Todd, how was Courtney a good fit for this role?
Almond: The character has this iconic quality about her; she wears her destiny on the outside. There are these two people who are deeply in love. But one belongs in Kansas City, and one does not. She belongs to some greater destiny. Courtney is all of those things.
Love: I can relate, to an extent. A boy and a girl that are the coolest in town, like Minneapolis, where I had a boyfriend who looked like a Botticelli painting. He was in a little band, and I made him come to L.A. with me, and he crashed and burned. He couldn't deal. It's infamous in Minneapolis local lore that I broke up this band -- I think they were called The Bastards. I took their drummer -- he was dumb, but he was gorgeous. We couch-toured. I was working at the Seventh Veil [strip club], bringing home the bacon. And he just couldn't deal with what I wanted. If I didn't make it, I'd f---ing jump off a roof. Seriously. I didn't have a plan B. So, I can definitely relate to her ambition. I understand this character's need to get out of Kansas City, but she's in love. This is real vivid, Kurt-and-me kind of love.
Todd wrote the piece, but did you two consult each other during its creation?
Love: The one contribution that I made to this is I sent Todd a clip of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks in 1982 on [Fleetwood Mac's] Mirage Tour. Lindsey and Stevie are singing "The Chain." They're the biggest band in the world, they're coked out of their minds, and they f--ing hate each other. She's at her great height of beauty. He's at his great height of beauty. He's got a voice like a choirboy, like Todd. And I sent that to Todd because it's opera. That is opera. [Hole's] Celebrity Skin is an opera. Every single record I've put out, except for America's Sweetheart, which sucked, has had a thematic situation. So I don't feel like I'm doing something that I shouldn't be doing.
This story first appeared in the Jan. 17 issue of Billboard.