Johnny Marr interviewed by The A.V. Club

Discussion in 'General Discussion archive 2012 (read-only)' started by goinghome, May 1, 2012.

By goinghome on May 1, 2012 at 3:11 PM
  1. goinghome

    goinghome Be work of art or wear 1

    Mar 31, 2007
    Noel Murray from The A.V. Club has spoken at length to Johnny Marr. The interview is online -

    Johnny Marr has no negative thoughts about The Smiths, seriously - The A.V. Club


    AVC: There’s a documentary about The Clash, made when Joe Strummer was alive, in which he talks about all the little things that led to the breakup of The Clash, and how he wishes he could go back to that person he was in his 20s and say, “None of this matters. The addictions don’t matter. The personality conflicts don’t matter. You are in one of the greatest bands of all time. Don’t fuck it up.” Do have a similar feeling about the end of The Smiths? What’s your take on how and why everything fell apart?

    JM: Well, I don’t think anything was fucked up. I don’t have that kind of perspective at all. I think it’s sad that four guys who were so tight went through such bitterness, that was encouraged by the behavior of some members of the band. Obviously, it was very emotional. The band was incredibly dramatic, and I’m philosophical about that because I think without that dramatic element, some of the music wouldn’t sound the way it does. Not all, but some. I think the only regrettable thing is that as adults, only Andy and myself get together and give each other a hug and make fun of each other and like seeing each other. To be honest, it’s unfortunate that The Smiths don’t have the relationship where they can sit around and even get complaints out, or philosophize. That’s unfortunate for four adults who are always going to have a tie to each other. And unfortunately lots of water’s gone under the bridge, you know? But I can only speak for myself, and say that I don’t have any negative thoughts about the times back then or the times now, or the people in it. I just personally feel a sense of pride, and an incredible degree of luck. All I want to say about that, on behalf of the other three members of the group, is that we worked very, very hard and we really, really cared...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2016


Discussion in 'General Discussion archive 2012 (read-only)' started by goinghome, May 1, 2012.

    1. Uncleskinny
      That's a terrific interview. Thanks for the link.

    2. singmetosleep
      Brilliant interview. Thanks a lot.
    3. Thesmithsmorrissey
      what's he on about when he says he "just took off all of the silly stuff that was put on the records during the ’90s"?
    4. Iona Mink
      Iona Mink
      Yes Johnny you are quite the peacemaker as you once again distance yourself from holding any responsibility.
    5. Amy
      Is this man ever going to stop talking about The Smiths? Or stop blaming everything on Morrissey for two seconds? How entirely unsurprising that he doesn't elaborate on any of this 'water under the bridge' stuff - that's because he started it. Johnny Marr, as much if not more so than anyone else, encouraged "bitterness" between the band members post-split by spending most of the 1990s telling anyone in earshot what a sad, pathetic whiny old sack Morrissey was, what a nightmare he was to work with and how Bernard Sumner or Matt Johnson or someone equally mediocre was a better singer/writer/God knows what else. He burnt his bridges long ago; he continues to burn them with every cryptic wink and nod about 'The Big Bad Wolf' of The Smiths story, and I'm amazed that Morrissey still gives him the time of day. You bit the hand that fed and now you're paying for it, Johnny. Does he seriously wonder why Moz doesn't turn up at his door with wine and chocolates?
    6. Worm
      Yes, probably as soon as people stop asking him about The Smiths.

      Stolen wine and chocolates, surely.
    7. Worm
    8. Amy
      Never, then :(.
    9. Worm
      The A/V Club will cease asking Johnny Marr questions about The Smiths when you and I cease rushing to any site who asks him the questions. Let's not pretend we're innocent. I mean, it's like complaining about tabloids. Someone wants to hear Johnny Marr talk about The Smiths. Someone wants to believe Rupert Murdoch sodomized bat boy.
    10. Amy
      But do you think he has nothing else to talk about? Or that no-one would want to read it if it didn't mention The Smiths? I'd be willing to skim over anything involving Johnny Marr because I'm a fan, and I always have that hope that he might say something new or at least slightly different from things he's said a thousand times before. He's nowhere near as one-dimensional as these endless Smiths interviews make him out to be, but you'd never know it. Maybe the journalists and the media portray him that way because that's what the public remember him for and that's what will sell copies, sure - but no-one is forcing him to sit and repeat all this stuff. He could just tell them politely that Smiths questions are pointless now and make them a no-go, like Moz did all those years ago. Without that, he'll be trapped in his own past forever, giving the same interviews in twenty years as he is today.
      I posted a chance for anyone to ask him a question about anything recently, via this link .
      The comments which followed were about pet names, masturbation, pictures of Noel Edmonds, gay sex and "Why did the Smiths brake up".
      This criticism is a little misplaced surely?
    12. Amy
      That's only based on the answers of a few flippant Solo-ers though, myself included. There might have been a fair few people on the 'kinder, gentler' forum :)rolleyes:) who had different questions to ask. I'm not sure fan questions and journalist questions should be measured against the same standard, though.
      Therefore your criticism becomes invalid. You are arguing against/ despite your own standards
    14. Anonymous
      He recently spent a lot of time remastering The Smiths' recordings so that they could be reissued. The technical term is, I think, "marketing".
    15. Amy
      Er, what? If I met Johnny Marr and was asked to interview him, I wouldn't seriously ask him if he and Morrissey had pet names, for Christ's sake. In fact I'm not sure what I'd ask him, but it wouldn't involve The Smiths because I expect he's as bored of saying all that stuff as we are of hearing it - and after 25 years, I think he's exhausted everything there could ever be to discuss about that topic anyway. Every single, minute aspect of The Smiths has been dissected, analysed, criticised and re-evaluated over the years. What's left but the legacy, really? Most journalists aren't going to take that into consideration if they need to sell papers, of course - I just think Johnny (and fans like myself) might prefer it more if they did. He's said on several occasions that he wants the media to stop 'living in the past', but perhaps he doesn't help by facilitating them all the time.
      You still haven't offered an alternate question though, just massive anger and criticism. It's fine to be very angry and critical, but my point is that without an alternative it's difficult to reasonably object to journalists questions. You need a counter argument rather than an angry put-down to dismiss an interview which is based on an interviewee who has a specific and notable historic career zone such as The Smiths
    17. Amy
      I'm not massively angry. You seem to be saying that because I'm not a journalist (and don't have a sheet of 15 questions ready-prepared for our hypothetical meeting), I can't object when journalists ask him the same Smiths-related nonsense over and over. It would be like Morrissey being endlessly questioned about celibacy and homosexuality - all it tells you is that the Press have run out of ideas. Now, someone earlier pointed out that the purpose of the AV Club interview is "marketing" and that's perfectly true, but this interview isn't an exception to the rule: almost every Marr interview is like this, follows that same line of questioning. As for the journalists, it's their job to dig deeper than the superficial, "Oh yeah, jingle-jangle Smiths guy" stuff in preparation for an interview, and at the same time gear the material towards the readership.

      So if I had Marr at my disposal for a few hours, I'd say - right, you've got a new Healers album coming out, talk to me about that. I'd ask him what went wrong with the original incarnation back in 2003, and the real reasons why he shelved that project. I'd ask where this desire to be a "frontman" suddenly came from. I'd ask him what appealed to him in those years of being a sideman for other groups - the diversity/chance to meet new people/not having to shoulder responsibility when things went wrong? Did he take refuge in the session work so that he didn't have to get caught in the crossfire of inter-band arguments? Why exactly did he leave Modest Mouse? I'd ask him if he regretted any of his involvement in the 'Madchester scene' and that drug culture, I'd ask him if he regretted causing a rift with Morrissey through his blasé court defence, and I might weasel out his opinion on 'Vauxhall & I' and make him list his favourite vegan cheeses in descending order of preference. In other words, I'd ask ANYTHING other than Smiths questions. The minute he mentioned the first thing about Salford Van Hire and roadies on the phone and it all being a lot of pressure for a 23 year-old, I'd be out of there.
    18. Giselle
      It would be so, so great to hear it. Like two worlds crashing and colliding...
      Last edited: May 2, 2012
    19. nothappynotsad
      Did you ever consider that maybe he blames everything on Morrissey because *gasp* it just might have been Morrissey's fault that the band broke up and still have not reformed? Three of four Smiths seem to see it that way...but what do they know, right? They were just in the band and you, well, you have read Morrissey's interviews.

      Now what would be REALLY interesting would be if Morrissey could stop blaming poor marketing and music industry politics for his waning sales and chart positions for albums, singles, and re-releases...oh, and his re-re-releases too...and instead realize there is no one to blame but himself for the quality of music, or rather the lack of quality, that he's been releasing and his lack of a record contract.

      Do you hear Johnny Marr bitching about the failure of 'Boomslang'? Do you hear Johnny Marr bitching about the lack of a label for his new album? No. If anything, Marr is more of a serious "artist" than Morrissey could ever be. Marr records songs whether he has a contract to or not and he will release his new album without holding out for a check from a major label. Marr is willing to collaborate with other artists/bands as opposed to sitting around and doing nothing, while Morrissey just goes and charges $100 a ticket for the same show every night around the world to support his living out of hotel rooms. Morrissey doesn't care about the "art", he cares about the money, the praise and the blind adoration.

      And this has what to do with Joyce and Rourke? Yeah, Johnny talking shit made them bitter and want to sue Morrissey. Too bad they were already suing him a year after the break-up of the Smiths. The bitterness has always been with Morrissey. Morrissey didn't like Marr working with other artists. Boo hoo. Morrissey didn't like Marr leaving the band after he exhausted him mentally by having him manage the band almost exclusively because Morrissey couldn't keep himself from firing another manager. Boo hoo. Morrissey doesn't want to pay his bandmates their share for performance royalties because they weren't his co-writer and not seen as equals. Boo hoo. Morrissey is treated like any other sod when the courts go after his assets when he refuses to pay the judgment against him. Boo hoo. Morrissey has to be one of the biggest crybabies in all of music. If anything, fans are lucky Marr cleaned up Morrissey's messes and wiped his ass for as long as he did.

      Yeah, like Morrissey hasn't done the same crap for the last 25 years. He keeps saying the exact same thing in different ways, and people eat it up like it's profound. The same goes for his music as well. At least Marr isn't a dick about things like Morrissey is and has an assistant tell the journalist what is and isn't allowed by penalty of walking out of the interview.

      He was until it was fairly obvious that he was gay and having gay sex.

      Why would you think Marr would give a damn to listen to a Morrissey album?

      Someone get Amy a job at Rolling Stone immediately!

      No you wouldn't. Fact.

Share This Page