• Johnny Marr Q&A - theartsdesk.com

    theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Johnny Marr - theartsdesk
    The former Smiths guitarist reflects at length on a life of musical wanderlust

    Top interview.

    Excerpt:

    Had things changed by the time of the final Smiths album, Strangeways Here We Come, in 1987?
    We were very serious about what we were doing, and there was a weightiness about the group by then, which makes sense. Weíd made a lot of records. I think we transcended being a pop band at that time. We meant something different. We were established and Iíd say heavy - which Iím pleased about. I donít play any records that I make, but Strangeways was always my favourite, because I think that itís a brave record. There was an atmosphere that needed to be captured on that record, that I wanted to capture, and the way to do it is to leave some things open, and not to cram it with too much stuff, and I think that takes a certain sense of purpose, and bravery. So the production doesnít have tons of overdubs, and the songs breathe a little bit, and it has a slightly unresolved atmosphere. There is space in it, and that was a conscious thing. I knew that the record was good at that time.

    ...

    But at that distance, how do you feel about the way things ended? Is there still any sadness attached to it?
    ErrÖno, itís so long ago, itís just part of my life story now. It would have been so much better if it had happened in a different way. But we were all very young, still. And there was a lot at stake, and so you can always look back 30 years later on a break-up and see that it was a shame the way things happened. But thatís understandable.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: theartsdesk.com - Johnny Marr Q&A started by Uncleskinny View original post
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. realitybites's Avatar
      realitybites -
      Have never seen this pic of Johnny before...



      One of the best JM interviews I have ever read. Worth a look.

      Love this...

      Strangeways was always my favourite, because I think that it’s a brave record. There was an atmosphere that needed to be captured on that record, that I wanted to capture, and the way to do it is to leave some things open, and not to cram it with too much stuff, and I think that takes a certain sense of purpose, and bravery. So the production doesn’t have tons of overdubs, and the songs breathe a little bit, and it has a slightly unresolved atmosphere. There is space in it, and that was a conscious thing. I knew that the record was good at that time.

      Atmosphere is how I always described it as well. There is a mood that Strangeways captures. It is my fave Smiths album precisely because of this.
    1. BrummieBoy's Avatar
      BrummieBoy -
      A /fantastic interview/overview. Everything seems to have come together for Johnny. He seems to have been on a genuine journey of exploration, challenging his comfort zones. He's vegan. A mod. Beautiful wife. And he's on the verge of greater success. We saw him in Brum on St Paddy's Eve and the reception was ecstatic. He's playing Wolves Civic and we hoped to go but it sold out too quickly. His live versions of Smith's songs are a wonderful democratization of Morrissey's lyrics, using the voice as just another texture in the mix, derailing the hegemonic status of vocals, revaluing the overall gestalt of 'the band'.

      "when you’ve had a lot of success, you can be waiting around for people to finish their meetings with their interior designers"

      He must mean Bryan Ferry....
    1. Orson Swells's Avatar
      Orson Swells -
      Quote Originally Posted by BrummieBoy View Post
      derailing the hegemonic status of vocals
      Yes, he certainly does that.
    1. Uncleskinny's Avatar
      Uncleskinny -
      Quote Originally Posted by realitybites View Post
      Have never seen this pic of Johnny before...



      One of the best JM interviews I have ever read. Worth a look.

      Love this...

      Strangeways was always my favourite, because I think that it’s a brave record. There was an atmosphere that needed to be captured on that record, that I wanted to capture, and the way to do it is to leave some things open, and not to cram it with too much stuff, and I think that takes a certain sense of purpose, and bravery. So the production doesn’t have tons of overdubs, and the songs breathe a little bit, and it has a slightly unresolved atmosphere. There is space in it, and that was a conscious thing. I knew that the record was good at that time.

      Atmosphere is how I always described it as well. There is a mood that Strangeways captures. It is my fave Smiths album precisely because of this.
      I think Simon Goddard was spot on when describing (a) Last Night I Dreamt and (b) Death Of A Disco Dancer as total highpoints. Both of them.

      P.
    1. Guernie's Avatar
      Guernie -
      Love the depth that the article gives to Johnny's long trek to "The Messenger". Thanks for posting Uncleskinny .
    1. celibate's Avatar
      celibate -
      Glad Johnny mentioned the Legendary John Peel...The Smiths had great support from his evening show,
      heard him say in 1984 e few times, he got lots of letters to play The Smiths, which John always did , and when a new single was released well 1 out of 2 it was John Peel who played it first

      I think Morrissey thinks the sameas Johnny about The Smiths, it was a 5 year rodeo ride, with giant succes,
      but they split, and 'cause Morrissey and Johnny early got their own carreer they went their own way, so they
      both are proud of being main part in that band, but time never stopps, and now it's about 30 years the first Smiths album came out [not gonna check the real release date, doesn't matter in this item] and Morrissey and Marr have more than 20 years a carreer of their own. Nice intervieuw.



      Johnny remember me?

      ' and they say he's mentall' 1989 Parkpop the Hague, The The
    1. Johnny Barleycorn's Avatar
      Johnny Barleycorn -
      Quote Originally Posted by celibate View Post
      Glad Johnny mentioned the Legendary John Peel...The Smiths had great support from his evening show,
      heard him say in 1984 e few times, he got lots of letters to play The Smiths, which John always did , and when a new single was released well 1 out of 2 it was John Peel who played it first
      As a matter of slight interest did Morrissey issue any tribute regarding John Peel after his death?
    1. celibate's Avatar
      celibate -
      Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Barleycorn View Post
      As a matter of slight interest did Morrissey issue any tribute regarding John Peel after his death?
      Me thinks as usual He sended [ or let it do it] His condoleances with some flowers

      As a rethoric quenstion, does the BBC radio of musicbussines do anything to honour John Peel?

      No Morrissey did nothing if I go through my memories quickly.

      I write in general it would be great to have a festival day, a sorta ; 'the John Peel festival'

      It's sad that that great radioshow hoster, who gave lots of band the airtime on His show
      so they became a hype, or big, not only The Smiths had great support from John Peel show, as you know...

      It's not Morrissey but the UK/BBC who already forgotten John , so think it's not fair to
      put that in Morrissey's pocket.

      ' and they say he's mental'...BBC, ITV, MTV praise John Peel
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