The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde: Be yourself

By Zaki JufriEvents - 04 September 2012 8:30 AM | Updated 11:41 AM

The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde: Be yourself

Chrissie Hynde is the walking embodiment of rock-chick chic. At 61, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer still walks the walk and talks the talk – that distinctive shock of hair, the sprayed-on jeans, the swagger and of course that unmistakable voice that has mesmerized millions since 1979.

That voice -- intoxicating and smooth as velour, oozing seduction and perhaps doom in a single breath is displayed quite fully in the haunting 'I'll Stand By You' which express the struggle of Hynde and company went through together. When asked if she will ever get sick of singing it, Hynde jokes, "Not if I’m drunk and in a karaoke bar."

After steering the band through hard times (the deaths of founding members Pete Farndon and James Honeyman-Scott; numerous line-up changes) and the good – releasing a host of albums with seminal hits and what could be some of the best guitar-driven rock of the Eighties (‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’, ‘Back On the Chain Gang’), Hynde and the latest incarnation of The Pretenders delivered a new album ‘Break Up The Concrete’ in 2008 which sees the band taking on a stronger, rockabilly sound.

Chrissie and The Pretenders will be performing in Singapore during the F1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix 2012  (22 Sep, Gate 1 Stage; 23 Sept, Esplanade Outdoor Stage) and the band is "excited as hell".

"I look forward to meeting a cute guy; maybe a grease-monkey," Hynde quips.

We caught up with the charismatic front woman for a quick chat

The Pretenders has been around for decades, what has been the highlight of your career?

To still be able to make albums. That in turn enables us to go on tour which is the life blood of any band.

Is the band only reforming for one tour?

No. In fact, we’re planning to do more touring.

If you weren't a musician, you would...

Probably swinging from a rope...

Biggest challenge you faced in the industry.

I live outside of the industry, that's why I'm in a rock band.

Your restaurant,  The VegiTerranean closed down last year. Are you looking to do something similar in the future?

I didn't close it down. It collapsed in the economic downturn, despite being voted one of the top five restaurants of its type in America by Business Week.  Yes, I have plans for something similar in the future in that regard.

Advice for aspiring musicians.

Just be yourself.

Catch The Pretenders on 22, 23 September at the F1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix 2012. Tickets available at