“I’ll have to stomach seeing my name on a marquee,” is how Chrissie Hynde describes the prospect of solo success, something she remains genuinely ambivalent about, from the sounds of things.
Not her music, that continues to be a delight, just all the other stuff that comes with it.
“My name is the bargaining chip,” she recognises today, talking about her forthcoming album 'Stockholm', her first solo album after more than three decades with the Pretenders.
“I never meant to go solo, in fact I swore I wouldn’t. But after thirty years, you’ve pretty much done everything you ever wanted to do.
“Then you have to do stuff you didn’t want to do, you start sorting through the dregs.”
Chrissie Hynde - "My name is the bargaining chip"
If this sounds pretty despairing, I should point out Chrissie’s voice remains upbeat, full of humour and delight at being back on the road.
“I swore I’d never go solo, but here we are.”
Here we are indeed, with Chrissie teaming up with co-writer and producer Bjorn Yttling for 'Stockholm', 11 songs that she’ll be showcasing in small venues over the next few months.
“I’d love to tour, but it’s a hard sell with 11 new songs,” she acknowledges. “I just really want these songs to get on the radio, because radio is where I learned everything from. It’s all in the grooves.
“I never wanted to take over the world, and I don’t want to disappear, but I don’t want to get too big either. I’m no kind of workaholic. I like to hang out, and do the least amount I can do to get by.”
She sums up her own approach, “I want to remain constantly bubbling under, never boiling over.”
Chrissie has been grooving with her own eternal rock chick schtick since long before the Mileys and Rihannas of the world started twerking their way to sales and controversy in equal measure. Chrissie remains typically unfazed by all this going on around her…
“It really doesn’t affect me. Women can wear and do what they want,” she attests.
“What I don’t like is when the media try and make out they’ve been forced to wear certain clothes. It’s the rock business. Everyone wears what they want.”
In the meantime, Chrissie’s plan, if it can be described as such is, simply, to stay in the game and, more importantly, on the road.
“Success means still being allowed to do it,” she beams.
“I don’t pay attention if I win or lose, staying in the game is the reward.
“All I ever wanted was to play rock guitar in a band.
“No one is more surprised than I am that I’m still here.
"It’s like that scene at the end of 'Papillon', with Steve McQueen on the raft, shaking his fist up at God, and saying, ‘Still here, you bastard.’
Chrissie Hynde's album 'Stockholm' is released on 9 June.
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