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Chrissie Hynde on Songwriting

Musicradar.com interviewed Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders on a variety of issues, including the new rockabilly-themed album (Break Up The Concrete), the early Pretenders aura and, of course, songwriting. From the interview, here’s some quotes on the latter topic:

On songwriting

Let’s talk about your songwriting. Does it come easily to you? Do you have a process?

“I can go months or even a year without thinking about songwriting. I’m not very ambitious. Songwriting isn’t my life; it’s just something I do. It was a way for me not to be a waitress. [laughs] So when I know I have to make an album, I sit down and see what’s in my head. That’s it, really. No process. I’m not a tortured artist. I’m not even an artist.”

When you do write, how do you demo material? I imagine you’re kind of old school, just a tape recorder and you singing and playing.

“I don’t even do that. I just remember the songs and play them to the guys live when we’re in a rehearsal room. I have my lyrics sheet and chords written down and that’s it. I don’t know how people work all these computer programs and whatnot for songwriting. If it helps them, great. But for me, I go by memory.”

That’s very interesting… so many different “methods” (or lack thereof) to songwriting… Chrissie certainly turns all the “hit-making” song crafting philosophies on their head with that simple “No process” statement… But hey, one method isn’t “better” than another… I think… so long as the Muse is with you I guess…

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