Johnny Marr: “I just wanted to be in a band who work all the time”

The former Smiths man reveals a handful of details about his forthcoming new album.

It’s fair to say that Johnny Marr is one of the most productive guitarists in present day music. If he’s not working alongside Pharell Williams and Alicia Keys on the soundtrack for a Hollywood blockbuster, he’s playing shows alongside Jake Bugg with a unbeknown broken hand. That’s not stopped him putting together a second solo album, either. Less Johnny Marr; more Johnny Marr-vellous.

Having released his debut solo album, 'The Messenger', just last year, you'd be forgiven for thinking this might be a little soon for the songwriter, but he's got his own ideas about being proactive...

“It was always my idea to be as quick following up this first album as possible. Even before I did 'The Messenger', I wanted this part of my career to just be quick, have some energy and not be too delayed. Nowadays, it's all about campaigns and optimum times. I didn't want to do things like one of those bands who it seems like every time they put a record out, it's like the releasing of the Titanic and everybody has to come and watch. I just wanted to be in a band who work all the time; you do the shows, you write songs and you do it again.”

Johnny Marr: "I just wanted to be in a band who work all the time"

“I didn’t want to do things like one of those bands who it seems like every time they put a record out, it’s like the releasing of the Titanic.”

Unsurprisingly, Marr's constant touring since the release of his solo debut has served as much for inspiration as the other elements in his life. “It's a big part of what I do. The shows are pretty high energy affairs; I play a lot of up tempo songs as that's the kind of band we are. I wrote some of the songs on tour, so that did seep into the way I was thinking and the way we play. That's another reason for not going away for too long: I wanted to get back into the studio and capture that excitement.”

Needless to say, as a man constantly in demand, it is still hard to find time for everything. For Johnny, setting aside a slot in his schedule was key for the birth of his second album. “I didn't want to go away, but you really do have to dedicate some time to it. I'm lucky that I'm so busy but I was doing the Spiderman film at the same time, so I had to try and carve out whatever time I could between doing that stuff and then also, me and my band went to South America. In between the movie, and South America, every other available second I was in the studio.”

Johnny Marr is set to release his new album later this year. Catch up with the title track from his debut solo album 'The Messenger' below.

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