“Set the Boy Free” – Johnny Marr: the in Depth interview by Fergal Kinney - Louder Than War

“Set the Boy Free” – Johnny Marr : the in Depth interview on the Smiths, his book, Bowie and Brexit - Louder Than War

Johnny Marr interviewed by Fergal Kinney

“I THOUGHT it was important” explains Johnny Marr down the phone on a Wednesday afternoon, “to let people know what really happened”. To borrow a phrase, it’s time the tale were told – the Smiths story is one that’s been documented within an inch of its life but often with varying degrees of accuracy and never from Marr’s vantage point.


Excerpt posted by an anonymous person:

Nice bit on the nearly 2008 reunion: " I’d thought anyway that if the Smiths were ever going to reform a big part of it would have been to make a new record, because on the one occasion – that I talk about in the book – that it may have nearly happened, I was one hundred per cent as excited about writing new songs as I was about playing in front of two hundred thousand people. Because I’m always led by new records I guess. I don’t know, weirdly, you are a nostalgia act when you do the big comeback, and usually no-one gives a damn about your new material. But, that wouldn’t be my mentality."
 
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Comments

Quando quando quando

Well-Known Member
I like your comment about "another edge". Truth be told I think Moz is still making great music. I loved World Peace. But (there is always a but) I think most artists are best when they are on the edge, e.g. alone with little hope of happiness, no money, or fighting to get away from a small town. Compare lyrics from Southpaw or Years of Refusal or World Peace to the poetry of The Smiths debut album or Meat Is Murder and there is no comparison. Same for solo Weller lyrics vs The Jam lyrics. Its a natural occurrence. That Moz is even making records amidst a deluge of manufactured X Factor Xcrement is a miracle all by itself. We should'nt ask for more.
I like your apprecation for WPINOYB cause it is an album I really love too. Some of the tracks on the bonus CD are great and could just have been on the regular CD too.

Southpaw Grammar was exceptional too cause it was different and not expected to be like that at all after Vauxhall. (Still greatest album Moz ever made, to me at least).

I must say I do believe we have a lot of common taste regarding Moz.
I like your comments about the artist(s) being lonely, feeling neglected, poor and desperate and due to this give everything they have and getting a great artistic result.
Maybe it is a romantic notion but I do believe it's true.
Cheers
 

Quando quando quando

Well-Known Member
I hope Johnny's book talks about The The and Matt Johnson. Dunno why he disappeared to make soundtracks to little known films. Mind Bomb and Dusk are classics and deserve more attention.
I also hope Johnny talks about the music he made for 'Inception'. My wife went into labour in the cinema halfway through that film. I blame the loud music! In fairness she waited for the credits to roll before saying "Now take me to the hospital."
I liked the first album from the The with Johnny Marr musically.
Now forgotten. (By me)
There was a single played on the radio with a mouth-harmonica tune.
I always thought this was Johnny Marr and the tune was his.
It was a sort of same melancholic but very pure tune as his beautiful guitar lines.
But I could be wrong though.

Are there any tracks of him playing mouth-harmonica?
Your wife seems to be a very stoic, sober and down to earth woman, ha.
Strong woman!
Cheers Acton
 

Ketamine Sun

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I hope Johnny's book talks about The The and Matt Johnson. Dunno why he disappeared to make soundtracks to little known films. Mind Bomb and Dusk are classics and deserve more attention.
I also hope Johnny talks about the music he made for 'Inception'. My wife went into labour in the cinema halfway through that film. I blame the loud music! In fairness she waited for the credits to roll before saying "Now take me to the hospital."
Even though he co wrote only one song on the album, I view 'Mind Bomb' as Johnny's 'VivaHate' in the way it is his first true success musically after the Smiths, and maybe the only one.
 

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><>
There was a single played on the radio with a mouth-harmonica tune.
I always thought this was Johnny Marr and the tune was his.
Are there any tracks of him playing mouth-harmonica?
Your wife seems to be a very stoic, sober and down to earth woman, ha.
Strong woman!
Cheers Acton
Marr plays harmonica on the record. The song you might be thinking of and if it was played on the radio was most likely the song 'The Beat(en) Generation' that Marr played additional harmonica on.
 

Quando quando quando

Well-Known Member
Marr plays harmonica on the record. The song you might be thinking of and if it was played on the radio was most likely the song 'The Beat(en) Generation' that Marr played additional harmonica on.
Oh thank you so much Ketamine Sun ! :thumb:
I knew he played the mouth-harmonica on Still ill.
I like it when he plays it.
 

kissmyshadestoo

Cheeky Defendant
"Mind Bomb" is stunningly "current" for having been recorded almost 30 years ago.......the lyrics to "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" are just as relevant now as they were then.
 

Ketamine Sun

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wish Marr didn't need to act defensive when he makes a statement of 'loving Morrissey' in the above photo it's followed with the line 'I had a girlfriend who was the love of my life' and in the Guardian interview when asked ' Was he in love with Morrissey? He seems to sharply reply “No, because I was in love with Angie." Now, I don't blame him for this kind of reaction because he knows how the media or public can misread or twist things, I'm just saying it sucks that he needs to do this or defend himself like that.
 

SeniorLife

Those who don't know, don't know, they don't know.
I like your comment about "another edge". Truth be told I think Moz is still making great music. I loved World Peace. But (there is always a but) I think most artists are best when they are on the edge, e.g. alone with little hope of happiness, no money, or fighting to get away from a small town. Compare lyrics from Southpaw or Years of Refusal or World Peace to the poetry of The Smiths debut album or Meat Is Murder and there is no comparison. Same for solo Weller lyrics vs The Jam lyrics. Its a natural occurrence. That Moz is even making records amidst a deluge of manufactured X Factor Xcrement is a miracle all by itself. We should'nt ask for more.
Spot on.

This is true for most artists. When they are writing lyrics either trying to get 'out' of the dreary, poverty-stricken life they are in---that is when they come across as most poignant. It's harder to come off as genuine when you are holed up in 5 star hotels and have millions in the bank. The urgency/desperation is not there. It's something that just can't be forced.

That doesn't mean good music can't be written, but it is a testament when comparing, say 'Never Had No One Ever' compared to 'Oboe Concerto'. Both well written lyrics, but when listened to, 'Never Had No One Ever', you can't help but feel it.
 

notawoman

Member
"Mind Bomb" is stunningly "current" for having been recorded almost 30 years ago.......the lyrics to "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" are just as relevant now as they were then.
Funny you mention that song, one of my all time favorites and one reason (besides my very little knowledge of the english language in that time) why I got first into The The before into The Smiths.
I also like Johnnys colaboration with Billy Bragg on his album Don´t try this at home.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
I hope Johnny's book talks about The The and Matt Johnson. Dunno why he disappeared to make soundtracks to little known films. Mind Bomb and Dusk are classics and deserve more attention.
I also hope Johnny talks about the music he made for 'Inception'. My wife went into labour in the cinema halfway through that film. I blame the loud music! In fairness she waited for the credits to roll before saying "Now take me to the hospital."
You are in luck.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I hope Johnny's book talks about The The and Matt Johnson. I also hope Johnny talks about the music he made for Inception.

You are in luck.
So why doesn't he use that to promote his book? After all Moz didn't use him to promote his.
 

Surface

Vegan Cro’s parents regret the condom splitting
So why doesn't he use that to promote his book? After all Moz didn't use him to promote his.
Because the majority of people associate him mainly with The Smiths and not The The? Jesus there are some odd questions appearing on this site.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Duh. Because that is what journalists know is newsworthy.
Moz avoided this trap quite cleverly by not giving interviews about his book. He knew people would buy it anyway. Marr's book is also selling very well before publication. There are massive billboards everywhere. He doesn't need headlines at someone else's expense.
 

Quando quando quando

Well-Known Member
Personally, I always thought Johnny's 2nd album with The The was the best one. This track has Johnny playing some great harmonica and a very Smith-y guitar:
Thanks a lot.
Such a simple tune, played so very well.
It sounds like my nephew could do it. And he is 5 years old.
That is part of his great talent too.
A master of simplicity, no redundancies.
 

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