Chrissie Hynde, the uncompromising and prolific founding member of the Pretenders, has been reflecting on the current status of punk.
Hynde, one of the most underappreciated figures in rock music, has been omnipresent in the scene since the late 1970s and has kept the Pretenders ticking over despite the ever-constant revolving door which is their line-up.
Having spent the lockdown being as creative as ever, Hynde launched her Bob Dylan cover series to fill the time while preparing to release their new album Hate For Sale. Produced by Stephen Street, who has famously worked with the likes of Blur, The Smiths and Babyshambles the album was originally due to be released on May 1st. However, this was inevitably delayed until July 17th due to the ongoing global health crisis.
The album marks yet another success for the band who, over the years, have continued to thrive despite the ever-changing landscape of the music industry and, more importantly, the sub-genre of punk. “Well, punk is just really deconstructing what’s out there a little bit, and bringing things back to basics, which is just a rock staple. I suppose you could make punk music with electronic. You can do it however you want, but as far as getting some instruments, it’s almost a deconstruction. Getting back to basics I think if I had to describe punk in musical terms,” Hynde said in a new interview with SPIN.
“I don’t know if it’s more relevant now than ever…But there’s a lot of everything at the moment, and it’s hard to keep track of it, for me anyway, because it’s in another format now. It’s online. Which is why I loved working with [Black Keys singer-guitarist/fellow Akron native] Dan Auerbach because even though Dan Auerbach is from the next generation to me, that’s how his head works. He still thinks in terms of that. And I think most people that go into studios and love the kind of music that we like, they are still thinking in terms of albums. There were tapes and CDs, and then different formats, but that side one and side two thing.”
She added: “And things change, but it seems to me people will return to what they really love, despite what the industry is trying to drive them toward. Because for whatever reason with the industry, things change. Like vinyl. They weren’t producing it anymore, but people like it because they like going into record stores and it sounds better. So, it came back, not because of the industry but because of people. People liked it, so they kept buying vinyl. And the band was delighted because they wanted their music to come out in vinyl.”
You can read the full interview over at SPIN.