Johnny Marr interview in Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant; mentions Smiths split

‘Bij alles wat ik deed stonden fans en journalisten te luisteren of het wel genoeg op The Smiths leek’ - De Volkskrant

Some interesting comments by Marr on The Smiths split. Please note: these are (amateurish) translations from a (journalists) translation in Dutch.

"The best decision I ever made was running away from The Smiths. I never regretted it, it really was done. Always when somebody calls again: gee, what a shame, I think: dude, you should know. The chemistry between Morrissey and me had worked out. We weren't friends, the only thing that tied us were shared musical preferences. When we could no longer find each other in music, it was done."

"I initially laughed at Morrisseys sarcasm and was touched by his strong anti-macho texts. But after five years of references to Oscar Wilde and sixties films, I was slightly done with it. I myself read J.G. Ballard and William S. Burroughs. I loved dystopian literature. Morrissey was actually more romantic."

"Morrissey and I were different in almost anything. Always. OK, thanks to his lyrics to Meat Is Murder, I stopped eating meat, but otherwise I've never attached much value to his opinions. All I can say is that The Smiths stood up for the rightless and the oppressed, the marginalized ones in our society because of their sexual orientation, race or descent. That is what The Smiths stood for. And we called ourselves leftwing. Morrissey engaging himself with disseminators of hatred is horrible, but I have felt so far away from him for so long that I can't really worry about it. What he does, says or sings, doesn't interest me. And please note: even he can not rewrite our history. I do not recognize anything in him what we once stood for as a band. "
 
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Comments

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
So much truth here but it's still one of the saddest things I've ever read. To think it would end like this.
Some of it is suspect, though - they weren't friends? What a dagger that is. And what bullshit too.
 

butley

Well-Known Member
You only have to listen to The Draize Train to realise how lucky Maher was to find Morrissey. The Draize Train is faux funky cack. Morrissey created The Smiths let’s be honest. He crafted Johnny’s clever little riffs into masterpieces. Without Morrissey The Smiths would be as interesting as...as Johnny Marr is now. You really can’t diss Oscar Wilde you fool.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
"Morrissey was actually more romantic."

This shouldn't be a revelation to anyone who payed attention over the years. Even his whole attitude towards Marr was really romantic. This whole "We two alone against the rest of the world. We are exclusive, nobody is allowed into our little world. Nobody can do us any harm."
 
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Anonymous

Guest
He's not dissing Oscar Wilde. He's dissing five years of references to Oscar Wilde.
When he just got the Oscar Wilde and 60's films references then he didn't pay much attention. Also when he had his head so deeply in dystopian literature like Burroughs why didn't he use that instead of letting a singer destroy his band with silly romanticism? Nobody forced Johnny to search for a singer. He could've done it all by himself. But, of course, at the time it suited him quite well.
 

Cornflakes

"A bit iffy" ★★☆☆☆ - AV Club
So much truth here but it's still one of the saddest things I've ever read. To think it would end like this.
Some of it is suspect, though - they weren't friends? What a dagger that is. And what bullshit too.
I read that as Johnny saying they weren't friends prior to working together, so their relationship was fundamentally based on their shared musical project, with nothing to fall back on when that ended. Still fairly brutal, but I don't think he's saying they weren't friends as in they resented each other's company.

I don't find this extract sad at all. The situation is sad, but I'm glad that Johnny isn't not wasting his time trying to protect Morrissey or bat away questions about it and glad that he is trying to protect the Smiths' legacy. It's a pretty seaworthy legacy, but these are choppy waters.
 

butley

Well-Known Member
You only have to listen to The Draize Train to realise how lucky Maher was to find Morrissey. The Draize Train is faux funky cack. Morrissey created The Smiths let’s be honest. He crafted Johnny’s clever little riffs into masterpieces. Without Morrissey The Smiths would be as interesting as...as Johnny Marr is now. You really can’t diss Oscar Wilde you fool.
But did Morrissey continually reference Oscar Wilde for 5 years? Really?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
"All I can say is that The Smiths stood up for the rightless and the oppressed, the marginalized ones in our society because of their sexual orientation, race or descent."

Really Johnny? And how do you think people knew that the Smiths stood up for all of that? I tell you how. By the lyrics which you didn't write, by the interviews which you (for the most part) didn't give and by the overall image of the band which you (largely) didn't create. Because, as good as the music was, it hadn't a voice.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
"All I can say is that The Smiths stood up for the rightless and the oppressed, the marginalized ones in our society because of their sexual orientation, race or descent."

Really Johnny? And how do you think people knew that the Smiths stood up for all of that? I tell you how. By the lyrics which you didn't write, by the interviews which you (for the most part) didn't give and by the overall image of the band which you (largely) didn't create. Because, as good as the music was, it hadn't a voice.
This is absolutely true. I think he still does for the most part. He probably sees religion as a long time oppressor and distorter of human beings
 
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Anonymous

Guest
"All I can say is that The Smiths stood up for the rightless and the oppressed, the marginalized ones in our society because of their sexual orientation, race or descent."

Really Johnny? And how do you think people knew that the Smiths stood up for all of that? I tell you how. By the lyrics which you didn't write, by the interviews which you (for the most part) didn't give and by the overall image of the band which you (largely) didn't create. Because, as good as the music was, it hadn't a voice.
It wasn't just Morrissey's lyrics though. It was their visual image: the necklaces, the bouffant hairdo, women's blouses. Also the gigs they played the Red Wedge show, the Jobs for Change festival in 1984, Glastonbury. Even Johnny's avoidance of macho guitar posturing - it all went into what the Smiths stood for.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
I read that as Johnny saying they weren't friends prior to working together, so their relationship was fundamentally based on their shared musical project, with nothing to fall back on when that ended. Still fairly brutal, but I don't think he's saying they weren't friends as in they resented each other's company.

This is how I also read it in the Dutch version. Morrissey ad Marr found each other in their desire to form a traditional guitar band without synthesizers, in a period when the synthesizers were the big hype in music. It doesn't sound like they ever found many other common interests or shared views on society, apart from vegetarianism then. And so when Marr's musical intérêts or curiosity started to shift, there wasn't any common ground left on the basis of which they could continue their friendship.

It may be very sad, but we all know that Morrissey and Marr have hardly been in touch with each other since the Smiths break-up. Marr also sounds very detached from everything happening in the world of Morrissey these days. Good for him.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I don't know, I hope he is true as I really like him and his new album is very good. However it sounds like he wants to distance himself from Morrissey because it might smear this lovely career... I really hope this is not the case
 

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