Pitchfork interviews Marr

Discussion in 'General Discussion archive 2012 (read-only)' started by matto, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. matto

    matto Member Premium

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  2. Uncleskinny

    Uncleskinny It's all good Moderator Premium

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    Nice, thanks.

    P.
     
  3. Amy

    Amy Active Member

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    "Marr has never been one to repeat himself".
    Odd, because to my ears that's ALL Johnny seems to do whenever the Press are within sniffing distance. Yet another history of The Smiths which doesn't credit Morrissey for half a second. Nice. Still, at least he admits that Electronic didn't set the world on fire. Loved this bit:

    "Thou shalt support the singer offstage and on. Be appropriate to the song, be interesting, and be a great guitar player-- but none of that showboating shit."
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  4. smiler

    smiler Junior Member

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    this^
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    C'mon, that's a bit unfair. Yeah, it's boring as hell to be faced with yet another interview that you feel like you've already read dozens of times, but the same is true of Morrissey's interviews. I feel like screaming whenever I hear or see him talking about the importance of "the singing voice", or about how he was so enthralled by pop singles in the 1960s, or about the artistic inadequacy of other pop stars, or about lack of record company interest having no impact on the size of his audience.

    It was pretty obvious that the person who wrote the article meant that Marr hasn't really repeated himself musically and I think that's a pretty reasonable claim. You mightn't like a lot of what Marr has done since 1987 and that's fair enough (I only like some of it, myself), but he's worked with lots of different musicians and tried his hand at a variety of styles, and I think that's in his favour. He's "taken risks", musically speaking, and been scorned by many for it; he's done what he's wanted to do without consideration for what fans of The Smiths might want and I think he should be respected for that, if not for the music itself. If only Morrissey could say the same his records might sound slightly more interesting these days. He's been writing the same song for almost thirty years (with greater or lesser success) to the point where the lyrical themes are so predictable, so tired, that he's descended completely into self-parody.

    And why should he "credit Morrissey" in the interview? It's not as though he's been under-credited over the years, is it? He wasn't asked about Morrissey or his contribution to the songs; the piece is about Johnny Marr and the music and musicians that have influenced what he does. Can you point me toward the last interview Morrissey's given where he's been falling over himself to praise Marr's post-Smiths output? More than that, I'm sure I saw Morrissey being quoted on the front page today as having said that his current crop of ham-fisted no-marks the best band he's ever played with. And that should be taken as an insult by anybody.
     
  6. Amy

    Amy Active Member

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    I just wonder how Marr copes with being asked the same things all the time, having to repeat the same anecdotes, day in and day out. He must be more bored of it than anybody, surely? Yet he still feeds the Press; he allows them to bring up Smiths topics over and over and write articles that are essentially pure nostalgia pieces. Sometimes he even brings up the subject of his own accord, trying to pre-empt the inevitable. It's just so tired. Moz does get whiny too of course, but he rarely discusses The Smiths. That's what will make the autobiography so interesting, if it ever materialises - we've missed out on Morrissey's side of the split all these years.

    I wasn't particularly taking aim at Marr's solo career (this time!). Of course the journalist was referring to musical repetition; I just thought it was an unusual phrase to use, given the nostalgic haze in which Johnny is usually considered by fans and music critics. The new Healers material is the most Smithsy he's sounded since '87 and I guess that could be considered repetitious, but if it sounds good (and it does), then I really couldn't care less. Johnny has written/played on some gems post-Smiths - 'Slow Emotion Replay' and 'The End of a Perfect Day' come to mind - but I'm not sure if I'd say he took risks, exactly (more like..hopped trends?).

    I agree that he didn't do what was expected of him and there is some honour in that, but I'm not sure Moz bowed to what Smiths fans wanted, either. He just didn't have Johnny's desire to experiment with dance music and synths, so consequently his musical direction didn't depart as much from the path he'd already staked out. Moz has dipped his toes in various genres over the year - everything from rockabilly to glam, punk, and...crooning. I don't think he really started to "stagnate" until he became fixated with 'muscular' music.

    Perhaps "credit" was the wrong word - that article didn't even mention Morrissey. Marr's chronology went straight from the early Smiths period to forming Electronic without a breath about the man who made it all happen; it's almost as if Moz has become the elephant in the room. Doesn't it strike you as a little strange that Andy Rourke and even Billy Duffy warranted a quick nod in the story of The Smiths, but Moz didn't? I wasn't expecting Marr to be full of praise about Viva Hate or the solo stuff, but to omit Morrissey from a discussion about The Smiths is pretty damn hard. It's like trying to talk about the Stones without Mick Jagger.

    That is a complete insult not just to Marr, but Alain Whyte as well. Either of whom could play his current guitarist(s) under the table. I'm surprised the audience didn't laugh out loud at the mere suggestion.
     
  7. joe frady

    joe frady Vile Refusenik

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    Thanks for posting. Good stuff.

    Johnny on Angie ~ "She wanted me to be who I wanted to be and she wanted to be with me to do that. And she was like, 'Hey, I like Johnny Thunders and Iggy Pop and the good bits of the Rolling Stones a lot.' "

    ...should've married Moz :doh:
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Yeah, I completely agree about the repetition in interviews (from either Morrissey or Marr), but I'd have to add that we've all seen plenty of interviews where Morrissey talks about The Smiths. I suppose the other thing to remember is that they both (though neither of them would admit it) have to accept the agenda that interviewers want to set - that is, if they want to retain a public profile in the mass media. If journalists want to talk about the old days, then Marr & Morrissey have to go along with that, to some extent, at least.

    True, Johnny Marr's never gonna be Radiohead, let alone John Cage: he's always just made pop songs, composed mostly on guitar, so he's limited in what he can do, but within that, he has played in different styles, both before and after The Smiths. Regarding the genres into which Morrissey has dipped his toes, post-1987 (rockabilly, glam and punk), he'd already done that with The Smiths (see, for example, 'Rusholme Ruffians', 'Sheila, Take A Bow' and 'London' respectively). For many years, after the demise of The Smiths, Morrissey retained Marr's '82-'87 trademark 'jingle-jangle' sound, despite having wide and varied tastes (that didn't include The Byrds or The Beatles). I hear no trace of Sparks or the New York Dolls or Jobriath in his solo records; instead, he followed a musical path that had been staked out for him - by Marr.

    The only other thing I'd say about him not mentioning Morrissey in the interview is just that the piece didn't really call for it: the interview was specifically about Marr's taste in music and how it has shaped how he plays the guitar; it wasn't a slight against Morrissey.
     
  9. Worm

    Worm Taste the diffidence

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    Yes, it was "Hangin' With MTV", hosted by John Norris. Slight correction: he said if his current lineup (Boz, Alain, Gary and Spencer) had been around at the same time as The Smiths, he would have preferred his solo lineup. Boz looked surprised and seemed-- I don't think I'm making this up-- genuinely touched.

    His preference has always been about his power to exert control over every aspect of his music, not about the quality of the players. You have to consider what he hasn't said as much as what he has. And the fact remains that he has, in the past, been effusive in his praise of Marr's ability to write and play. He hasn't been nearly as complimentary toward his solo band. All he'll say is that he prefers them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  10. Amy

    Amy Active Member

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    Boz has been "Johnny Marr" since 1991!
     
  11. Guernie

    Guernie Member

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    You're right on that Amy but is it nice to see Boz giving a bow to Marr . Like he knows Johnny had/has that special "magic" when it come writing with Moz. I do love Boz's writitng and he has helped push Morrisey's musical life along .
     
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