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Home > Culture and Society

Never mind the questions, here are the answers: Chrissie Hynde

On a sunny autumn afternoon, Hannah Borno sat down and drank a pot of tea (no milk) with Chrissie Hynde. Questions were asked. Here are the answersÖ

3 December 2003

A. Someone told me that Morrissey said when I enter a room I enter it as a man and a woman. But heís a poet so Iím not quite sure what he meant.

A. I tried to get a band together for years. Everyone else in town was in a band, except me. I found it very hard when I went with The Clash on their White Riot tour. They were brilliant and it was a great tour and we were hanging out and doubling up in bedrooms and it was just fantastic. But every single night I was in the audience and Iíd look up at the stage with tears in my eyes.

A. Fantasy is bullshit. Donít fantasise, donít have fantasies. Have reality. Fantasy is nonsense, reality is good. Truth is good, fantasy is nonsense. To me itís just wasting time. Wasting your precious time.

A. The secret to my success is that I always surround myself with people who I think are better than me. I never have flunkies around me. I always make sure that Iím the worst, and I get musicians that are more competent than me.

A. I know Iím a band leader. When guys work with me, they know that because of me theyíre going to give some of the best performances of their life.

A. Thereís only one thing thatís as fun as playing in a band and thatís going at these multi-nationals and bringing them down! To destroy big business, that brings out the hippy in me like nothing else.

A. I can help PETA [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] only by being a celebrity. Pamela Anderson works for them, and Iím sure itís another motivating thing for her. I mean Pamela Anderson is huge, Iíd be a small-fry on my own, but because of PETA Iíll try to keep my profile up Ė as much as I can stomach it, anyway.

A. I pity those poor sad people who donít have belief, who are still meat eaters.

A. It didnít bother me being the odd one out, because I had something and they didnít. I chose to be the odd one out, I wasnít forced into it. And it meant I had something to talk about, I believed in something. That decision that I made when I was 17 changed the whole course of my life.

A. I said to her: ďyou know what? People are so fucked up that theyíre impressed that youíre a celebrity, they donít even care why. Why donít you use that for the animals?Ē and it was almost like I had fired a gun and this huge explosion went off in her head. Then I took a guy named Peter Cox, whoíd written Why You Donít Eat Meat, down to Paul and Lindaís place in the country. She met him and they wrote the first book together.

A. She wonít even use leather. Thatís really saying a lot.

A. You need to surround yourself with people with good values. That doesnít mean I donít associate with meat-eaters and atheists and stuff. I live in England! Theyíre all over the place. But I couldnít get too intimate with them.

A. Iím not a feminist, I donít believe in feminism Ė Iíve never expected to be treated differently because Iím a woman and I never have been. I donít particularly relate to people as men or women; not unless Iím trying to sleep with them.

A. Big business is bad. Little business is good. The best is just bartering.

A. You have a treaty which every other nation on the world is going to agree to, to cut the emissions of fossil fuels, and America doesnít sign it. Why werenít there riots in the streets of America? I thought that was very strange, but when I talked about the Kyoto treaty to a lot of Americans, theyíd never heard of it Ė because big business controls the media. Itís not just censorship, itís controlling it. Itís controlling whatís going out there. Maybe that is censorship, Iím not sure about my terminology here.

A. The Atkins diet is 100% morally wrong. I think itís one of the worst miscalculations of judgement that anyone could possibly have. Donít be a big fat pig in the first place would be my advice. Stop gorging yourself on dead bodies, and be like me! Youíll never be fat. Those people are destroying the world. Theyíre losing weight, but theyíre destroying the world.

A. Animal agriculture is the biggest pollutant of the environment. Not cars. Ask any environmentalist, go to a library, pick up a couple of books, see what the ramifications are of all the grain thatís fed to animals. See how much grain it takes to make one hamburger and youíll see the worst squandering of the worldís resources: itís destroying the rainforests, causing starvation.

A. I brought my belief system with me when I came into my life. It was obviously there when I was born. I always had an affinity with animals and with nature. My god consciousness was very high, and I always knew that a supreme being existed.

A. To learn you have to find a teacher, and Iím not a teacher. You need a guru, a spiritual teacher who can advise you. Someone you can go to and say Ďhow should I live?í and really get your belief system together. Donít come to Chrissie Hynde for it. Iím a singer in a rock band!

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