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16 January 2022

Johnny Marr “I Always Wanted To Be Outside Of The Mainstream”

Johnny Marr
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Johnny Marr has spoken to Uncut magazine about his early days in The Smiths.

As part of a wide-reaching cover interview to promote his new upcoming album, Fever Dreams Pt 1-4, Marr talked about his formative influences: “I always wanted to be outside of the mainstream, it suited my mentality. The records were more interesting, the style was more interesting, the art was more interesting, the thinking was more interesting. In the 80s, being big and interesting was the prize. But being interesting and not mainstream was the priority in all my peers and my thinking.”

Johnny Marr went on: “When I put The Smiths together, I thought everything was going to sound like Miserable Lie. I had no idea I was going to write This Charming Man or There Is A Light That Never Goes Out. I was more than OK with that, but I grew into writing these pop songs that weren’t straight. That’s never really left me. I;m what is called an indie thinker.”

Later in the interview, Marr talked about how positive he remains about the music he made with The Smiths: “That’s one of the things I’m proudest of… nothing got in the way of what was coming out of the speakers – and there’s a lot to get in the way.”

The guitarist aso spoke about his time immediately after leaving The Smiths, when he became a musical gun for hire, collaborating with Talking Heads, Bernard Sumner of New Order (as Electronic) and The Pretenders: “I didn’t form a band after The Smiths because I had this great opportunity to work with people I really respected. In a way, I got to have my cake and eat it. I wasn’t hiding from anyone. I wanted to learn…. I think I’m good in groups because I’m life-or-death about it.”

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