Pretenders, Live in Studio 4A

Chrissie Hynde Voices Her Opinion on Rock and the Road

Chrissie Hynde

hide captionChrissie Hynde finishes off the song "You Know Who Your Friends Are" — a track from her latest album Loose Screw — in a—ive performance in NPR's Studio 4A in Washington, D.C.

David Banks, NPR Online
Cover for the new Pretenders CD, "Loose Screw"

hide captionCover for the new Pretenders CD, Loose Screw

Artemis Records
 

After 25 years in the rock-and-roll business, Chrissie Hynde sounds a bit weary of it all.

"I don't even care about rock," she says. "It probably doesn't have that many years left, really... It seems so unimportant."

But reservations aside, Hynde and the Pretenders are pushing forward with a new CD called Loose Screw. It has a bit of a reggae flavor that adds still more texture to Hynde's utterly distinctive vocals.

And so the lead singer for the Pretenders visits NPR's Scott Simon for a performance chat in studio 4A, joined by lead guitarist Adam Seymour. As the conversation touches on topics such as "women in rock" and drug abuse in the music industry, Hynde is ready with frank answers.

But it's also clear that Hynde and Seymour still love the music, and they still love the crowds. They've played small venues lately and that suits Hynde just fine.

"The smaller the show, the more personal it is," she says.

And what of life on the road?

"What's not to love about it?" Hynde asks. "And after you get used to the fact that it's going to destroy your marriage and all your personal relationships, and you've got nothing else..." And she laughs.

And she fends off a question about whether rock and roll is truly in decline.

"I'm also in decline," she says. "I'll do it for a few more years and then totally decline."

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