Chrissie Hynde, of The Pretenders Fame, Goes SoloBy: Brian Powell - June 5, 2014
Next Tuesday, Chrissie Hynde, formerly of The Pretenders, will release her first solo album of her career, entitled “Stockholm”. And while Hynde’s name may be the only one on the front cover, this album was definitely not composed solo.
“It’s a goddam awful phrase [solo album]. I never wanted to be solo, and I said a thousand times I never would, so it gives me a cold chill to see my name out there on its own,” opined Hynde.
Despite her personal opinion on going solo, that is exactly what Hynde has decided to do after nearly 30 years of work with The Pretenders.
Hynde’s musical journey first started in 1973 after she decided to move to England to work for the weekly music magazine, NME. While working her supposed dream job, Hynde began playing with all sorts of rock bands across London, the most notable being The Clash and The Damned. It wasn’t long before one of Hynde’s albums caught the attention of a music producer, and thus The Pretenders were formed.
The success of the initial band was in question almost immediately, though, as two of the band’s original members succumbed to drug overdoses in the early ’80’s. Not letting anything prevent her from achieving her dreams, Hynde continued The Pretenders by populating the band with multiple different members and pieces over the years, constantly adapting to her changing circumstances.
“Stockholm” is a continuation of this evolving and adapting model.
To produce said album, Hynde partnered with Bjorn Yttling, formerly of the band Peter, Bjorn, and John. Surprisingly, Hynde had no idea who Bjorn was before she decided to work with him on this album.
“I didn’t know the guy. I didn’t know what band he was in. My attitude is: You never know until you try it. But I’m never going to go through someone’s back catalog. I met him for a coffee and when I had some time I went to Stockholm.”
Hynde took the same blank-slate approach toward composing the songs for her new album: “I had made a conscious decision to go in empty. I’ve never written a song out of a notebook. I’ve filled hundreds and I’ve never used any of them.” Hynde went on to explain that Bjorn “played me a few bars or a riff or a top-line melody and then I went crazy.”
Part of Hynde’s going crazy involved inviting two of her more famous friends to collaborate on the album with her – tennis great John McEnroe and music legend Neil Young.
“By the time we were recording it, I’d grown to really like messing with Bjorn, so I thought I’d just ring Neil and ask if he’d play on it. I know him, but it’s not something I’d normally do. You know, you don’t call God and ask him for a favour.”
While Hynde would love to do a tour to support her new album release, she has enough experience to realize her limitations: “Who’s going to want to see a vintage artist play 45 minutes of new material?”
Considering the mixed reviews Hynde’s album is receiving, she is perhaps more wise than she knows.
One can purchase one’s own copy of “Stockholm” when it hits shelves next Tuesday, June 9th.
Image via YouTube