You are on page 1of 83

About today's Corrie: "I don't understand how all those people could live in a small street and

all those people could go into a pub every single night and none of them have cars. I mean, can you name one street on the planet that you can go down now which isn't chock a block with cars "
Do you need a label to put out an album? "I'm old fashioned. I want to be institutionalised. I want to be behind the bars. I don't want to do anything, and I don't want to join a cottage industry and sell things from the back of a van." (20 !

"For the most part products are disposable, but just for that extra one song that changes your direction in life, the importance of popular music just cannot be stressed enough. Music is the most important thing in the world. "But because it's restrained by government or whatever it's passively sold as something that's not really that important. But it is and everybody nows it is, so we might as well all admit it!" "" thin there was #uite a trend towards those ideals, but now people are starting to realise you don't actually get anywhere when you have that attitude. "$here's been lots of really wonderful people on independent labels who have failed and disappeared and that's a shame. " don't really understand what being an independent group means. " don't feel part of this little thing, whatever it is. "%othing in the past is important really. " was alive. $hat's all. "f people really li e $he &miths ' and we do have our disciples! ' " don't thin they're interested in whether " had a job once or (ohnny owned a caravan! ")s long as we've been in existence we've used the flowers and it's interesting that in recent months #uite a few groups have also begun to do exactly what " do. *i e +cho and the Bunnymen and Big ,ountry! "$he songs are personal ' they're there to be discovered. $he words are basic because " don't want anyone to miss what "'m saying. *yrics that are intellectual or obscure are no use whatsoever. )bout middle'age"$hat's a long time off and something " don't thin about. But age shouldn't affect you. "t's just li e the si.e of your shoes ' they don't determine how you live your life! /ou're either marvellous or you're boring, regardless of your age. )nd "'m sure you now what we are!" 0 Morrissey, 1234

!ow does the new album differ from its predecessors "trangeways perfects every lyrical and musical notion #he "miths have ever had. It isn't dramatically, obsessively different in any way and I'm $uite glad it isn't because I've been happy with the structure we've had until now. It's far and away the best record we've ever made. %hat do you see as the high points #here are so many I wouldn't know where to start. Anyway & isn't it your 'ob to work those out If "trangeways is the perfect "miths album, where do the band go from here I e(pect when the dust has settled after "trangeways there will have to be some degree of rethinking because we can't go on forever in our present form. Inevitably certain aspects of the band would become tarnished so a slight read'ustment will have to be made & I think now is absolutely the right time to do it. %hen something becomes too easy and it's all laid out for you, one is robbed of the 'oy of achievement. %hen there's no need to fight any more, it'll be time to pull up the shutters on #he "miths. I don't think )*I have much to worry about & we're not planning anything drastic or supernatural & we'll still basically be people. It has crossed my mind to crystallise into a butterfly now and then but I don't think it's $uite the right time at the moment. Is it true that every record company in the land was $ueueing up to sign #he "miths And why )*I As far as I know every record company wanted to #A+, to us, but not really to offer us anything spectacular. )*I gave us a very concrete offer and at such times, when you 'ust want to get the whole thing over with, one tends to lose a certain amount of rationale and the whole e(perience becomes very draining and emotional. )*I made us the best offer, so we signed. All this talk of f- million signing&on fees is complete fabrication & it's a nice idea & in fact it's a .)/0 nice idea & but all complete fiction. I really can't tolerate the trite attitude that's surrounded #he "miths signing to )*I & the concept that it's like getting into bed with !itler is pathetic. #he indie scene in )ngland is very negative & groups within the indie movement come and go and you never even hear about them. #hey're never on #., never on daytime radio & half the time I've no idea why the independent movement bothers to e(ist. #hey seem to regard remaining isolated from the pop mainstream as being somehow morally virtuous & it's 'ust so self&destructive. 1o one even knows about these ethically wonderful songs, made by these people with tremendous moral strength and willpower, so what's the point I truly believe that to make any impact at all you have to get into the big, bad world of ma'or record companies, ruffle a lot of feathers and kick a lot of bottoms.

#he record industry regards #he "miths as a private concern & we e(ist in our own world, selling records to "our" fans and no&one else. 2rankly, we've always suspected the records are simply abandoned as soon as they start dropping down the charts. As a writer and lyricist I think I improve hourly & a lot of people say the first surge of "miths' records were the best but I really, really disagree. I make sure I write something every day and my flat is strewn with the debris of lyrics, finished and unfinished. I get ideas from almost everywhere but especially supermarket $ueues & I have a talent for eavesdropping and it's ama3ing what you learn while waiting to pay for your fruit 'uice. I go to the supermarket every day of my life and one time I was choosing some butter when this 3oom lens appeared from nowhere and on the end of it was a 4apanese tourist behaving like 5avid 6ailey. I nearly died on the spot & it's as near as I've ever come to chucking it all in and becoming a hermit. Another time I was shopping for some, shall we say, personal items & no I won't tell you which ones & when I was sei3ed upon by two fans. 0ou've got to be so careful & you never know who you might bump into in 6oots. I often wonder if we shouldn't e(plain ourselves more, especially as an astonishing number of people completely misunderstand #he "miths "humour". #ake "6igmouth" & I would call it a parody if #!A# sounded less like self&celebration, which it definitely wasn't. It was 'ust a really funny song & whenever I heard it on the radio it made me laugh and the same was true of at least half #he 7ueen Is 5ead. #he "miths do tease people & making them laugh, then making them cry & operating at opposite ends of the emotional scale. %hat we're ultimately hoping to do is make them laugh and cry at the same time. I wore 1!" spectacles, which I still do so it wasn't a mantle or a badge & and suddenly I saw all these people who didn't need to wear spectacles doing so in imitation of #he "miths and bumping into an awful lot of walls. 8ther bands have tours sponsored by +evi's & maybe we should find a large firm of opticians. It was much the same with the earplugs & I never needed a hearing aid but recently I caught a serious ear infection and literally went deaf for about four weeks. 1aturally I took this as retribution for wearing a hearing aid. It was hellish & four weeks of "pardon" 'okes at my e(pense. "omeone coined it as disability chic, through which #he "miths reached out to certain parts of the public who never felt they fit the perfect mould of "pop fan". #here are lots of people who want to be a member of the audience, want to get involved in the music and the lifestyle but don't feel interested in the constant chase for fashion perfection that most bands inflict on their audience. 2ashion has gone through periods of being completely redundant & mainly the fault of fashion maga3ines illustrating the things you can buy if you're dramatically, overbearingly rich, but are of no use at all to ordinary people living in humble places. I find with, for e(ample, Comme 5es 9arcons clothes, their style of being $uite basic but hellishly e(pensive is very interesting. "2ame, fame, fatal fame, it can play hideous tricks on the brain" & what tricks has it played on yours I still find it difficult when people come up to me in public places because I tend to get approached in lots of different ways and learning how to cope with them is a nightmare. :eople can approach me and be very emotional or openly hostile and

you're at a distinct disadvantage when they know everything about you and you know nothing about them & especially when I realise they don't like me very much. It's a very odd feeling & people come up to me and say the most unpleasant things & I'm not sure why they do it & the trick is to walk away & backwards and slowly. %hy don't you write songs for women I'd always believed, obviously erroneously, that I %A" singing and writing for everybody. 6ut after the thousandth person came up and said, "why don't you write songs for women " I had to confess I was wrong. I've always felt that I write in a universal language that's relevant to every se(, race and creed. 8h well, another myth strikes the dust. Can you imagine any circumstances under which you might possibly consider trendsetting 9ood gracious, no. 6ut then again, in doing what I do, it's almost unavoidable. I don't like anything new & I'm really not modern to any degree at all. #ake houses & I like old, dark properties, .ictorian or 9eorgian preferably, with very old furniture. I can't stand maisonettes. It's really nothing to do with coming from the north & southerners always regard having lived in the north as a strange medical phenomenon or the reason for having an unusual diet or peculiar haircut. 6ut I was never aware of people in the north sharing my views on furniture or housing. I do not think taste is something you automatically ac$uire by virtue of being born south of *ilton ,eynes. ""tyle" is such a loose word & I tend to find that I'm chained somewhere in the middle of this century. Almost everything in the art world that appeals to me is not even post&war.

Are you a grim person ;9uffawing with laughter<: 0es, I suppose I am really, I think it's an attitude that should be encouraged. ...1o, I don't really think so but people tend to look at my interviews and regard me as some kind of character from a 5ickensian soup kitchen. #here A/) plenty of things that do give me pleasure & although I can't actually think of any at the moment. I've been termed a manic depressive & usually by people who've never met me, but I am capable of looking on the bright side & I 'ust don't do it very often. 8ne of #he "miths' skills has been to take sub'ects which people might la3ily presume are dark and morbid and make them interesting, or turn them into the sub'ects of interesting songs. I'm hardly some kind of cra3ed remnant of total monolithic depression. Am I I do have taste above all, which is why I'm considered out of step with anything that could be regarded as slightly hip. And because I have taste, and I don't really blend in with the general colour of -=>?, people think I'm some sort of monument from the last century. 0ou seem worried by the general level of bad taste pervading in life, the universe and everything

It's something I'm very, very concerned about & but it's such a huge, uncontrollable monster that I can't imagine tackling it successfully. 2inding people with genuine, bona&fide taste is such a very rare thing nowadays. I believe that everything went downhill from the moment the *c5onald's chain was given license to invade )ngland & don't laugh, I'm serious & to me it was like the outbreak of war and I couldn't understand why )nglish troops weren't retaliating. #he Americanisation of )ngland is such a terminal illness & I think )ngland should be )nglish and Americans should go home and spoil their own country. "hopping centres are the worst & they're a boil on the face of the )arth. I regard modern architecture as more dangerous than nuclear war & it'll absolutely slaughter the human race. And as for council houses & they can only be designed for the purpose of eliminating the working classes from the face of the )arth. Are #he "miths the last conscience of )ngland It's an interesting statement and I suspect if you bullied me I'd agree with it. %e're always being advised to go abroad for -@ months to avoid all this awful, dreadful, nasty ta( but I couldn't go anywhere for -@ weeks, let alone -@ months ;which is why #he "miths have never done a world tour<. I could never live anywhere else & I absolutely adore )ngland, I really do. 1ot many people see what I see & so many romantic elements of )nglish life buried beneath the corrosion. I'm the only person I know how can take a day&trip to Carlisle and get emotional about what he sees. I do ob'ect to the level of ta(es I have to pay & every time I get a ta( demand and I look at the figures, I literally drop -- stone in weight. %hich makes me a very light person. 8ther pop people have similar reactions & mostly they cry, openly cry in the middle of the street. It is truly a terrible sight for onlookers to behold. Coming from a +abour background I still vote for them but my affiliations are obviously more confused than they used to be, although no more compromised. #hat's true of every aspect of my life even when I was unemployed and a hopeless medical case back in *anchester years ago. I would never attempt to obtain anything that wasn't e(actly what I wanted. %hether it was a 'ob, or books, or furniture, I could never make do. I find there are so many people who start out "making do" with certain things in their life and find out AB years later they are still "making do" and waiting for their lives to begin. If you don't have very strong principles it's "8 easy to fall into mediocrity. 1either 4ohnny nor I are compromisers which, plus the fact that we've never been prepared to do anything for money, means we've avoided many of the classic temptations of the "%hirlwind 8f :op". 6ut because it's never meant anything to me, it's been relatively easy to sidestep all the glamour and gloss and the whole facetiousness of the pop industry. 8bviously in some ways #he "miths have lost out, but in other, more effective ways, we've gained by remaining relatively secluded. 6ut the attaining of wealth must have made some impact on your personality !aving money !A" changed me in some ways but the intrinsic parts of my character which go to make me so remarkably interesting haven't changed at all. I'm still very humble and foolishly grateful & it only changes you to the e(tent that you know you're not going to starve to death ne(t week, but in the very serious ways it hasn't changed me at all.

%hen it comes to ruffling feathers I think I'm doing pretty well, don't you I'm certainly getting about & in fact there isn't really much left. #hat's another funcion of songwriting & if people double&cross me, I'll 'ust sit down and write a nasty song about them. 5o you miss living in the north I do, but it's 'ust not feasible to stay there at this time in my life. 8ld ladies still leave presents outside my house in *anchester & cards, fruit, flowers, fluffy toys & all of which are much appreciated. %hy do they do it #hey want to mother me I suppose. 0es, I am ready to be mothered & allcomers are welcome. All they need to do is make an appointment. #he whole 9racie 2ields, 9eorge 2ormby, 2rank /andall ;a well& known northern comedian< mentality is one I completely worship. I adore those old northern troupers and I'd love to be remembered as following in their tradition, but it seems doubtful I'll be remembered at all. %hen they bury me in church and chuck earth on my grave, I'd like the words "%ell at least he tried" engraved on my tombstone. %hat do you regard as the most upsetting e(perience of your life I don't drive because I cannot cope with the !ighway Code. I took a test -B years ago and failed on the !ighway Code & isn't that ludicrous I'd hate anyone to know that... although it's too late now of course. #hat was definitely the first ma'or shock I ever had. %hat was the second one I'll let you know when it happens. C *orrissey, *elody *aker, "eptember @D, -=>?

- What are your strongest feelings? "Music and fashion has become really bland. It doesn't mean anything anymore. Youth has no movement; everyone is just jum ing on each other's band!agon. I'd li"e to see that change." #ohnny - What does the !ord soul mean to you? "$omething that eo le are articularly afraid to e% ose. I don't "no! !hy; maybe they're afraid of intimacy & it's so rivate." "'nd it effects those eo le not directly involved( li"e house!ives. )hey may see a un" in $ainsburys and ta"e no notice( !hereas * years ago they'd have frea"ed out. Music dictates everything socially( and bands influence eo le in that society by !hat they say." #ohnny - 're you ever tem ted by that o!er? "We're obviously tem ted( because it's so o!erful( li"e films used to be. It effects eo le's lives so much and it's so tem ting to change eo le's lives. )hat's true o!er because eo le's lives are so isolated in this modern age. I thin" the best o!er you could have is to

get eo le to thin" about themselves !ith a reflective influence because eo le are so com lacent about everything." Morrissey "I feel sorry for the unters !ho fall for that stuff. +i"e most eo le !earing ',% loited' on their jac"et don't even "no! !hat the !ord means." #ohnny -./012

"I tremble at the o!er !e have( that's ho! I feel about the $miths. It's there and it's going to ha en." - Your finale tells that "-+ove Is #ust '2 Miserable +ie". 3o you believe it( that eo le are totally se arate( even from an ultimate state of love? "Yes. 4nfortunately. 5ut there's an o timism in admitting it... ,% lain? 6h I could tell you of years of celibacy !hen I just couldn't co e !ith hysical commitment because it al!ays failed. I su ose I'm unnatural in the general scheme of things( because I have these feelings." ")hese are des erate times. 5ut I don't thin" !e should join in !ith the des eration. We should con7uer it. I'm fed u !ith this de ressive attitude eo le have." Morrissey8 ")he 5ritish music ress is an art form." - 9arry 5ushell? ")here is al!ays an e%ce tion to a rule."

"We !ant to ma"e friends( !e !ant to have eo le around us. Isn't that !hat everybody !ants dee do!n? I'm sure !hen you !ere at school all you really cared about !as being o ular. 'll !e really care about is being o ular and that's !hy !e try hard to lease." #ohnny8 Well( !e !ere very conscious !hen !e started of not being reconceived. ,ven that sounds reconceived: When me and Morrissey got together to !rite a catalogue of songs it became immediately a arent that the songs !e !ere !riting needed bass and drums to ma"e them !or" - so the 'conventional' set u !as com leted. #ohnny8 "You confound eo le by using gimmic"s li"e having long unintelligible names and that's e%actly !hat !e're reacting against. -./0;2 - More arrogance from the man Morrissey? <erha s. =e's !ell a!are of his re utation for lac"ing in modesty( but doesn't intend to change his !ays. "It's not really arrogance(" he leads( "If you're not dramatically shy in this business( you're an overbearing bore. It's all 7uite confusing. I feel that if you have something the !orld could benefit from( then you should ut it in the front !indo! !ith a red light above it." "I really do e% ect the highest critical raise for the album(" he says calmly. "I thin" it's a com lete signal ost in the history of o ular music." -./0;2

+oo"ing u from under his mo of hair( #ohnny Marr agrees !ith him. "I'd really hate it if !e cut off our noses to s ite our face li"e they do. We'd just be closing doors on ourselves( !hen really !e !ant to be massive. We !ant to attain the highest osition ossible so !e have the o!er to get our music across( and ollute eo le's homes !ith it." "Well(" says Morrissey( "!hen you see that the money is there( that somebody has to have it( and that most of the eo le !ho do have it are totally brainless( it gives you some incentive to say( !ell( I'm having the money. 5ut there's this "ind of underhanded slur about being a o figure & that it's embarrassing in some !ay & but I feel that the "ind of eo le that hold this osition are entirely shallo! creatures any!ay." "I thin" you can do almost anything in this business and !al" a!ay !ith the height of credibility. If you have enough faith in yourself( and there is enough de th in !hat you are doing( then nothing should crush you. You could a ear on >rac"erjac" every night of the !ee" and still be considered the most intellectual grou imaginable." 's far as the ress see it !hat I do lyrically can almost be inter reted as obscene( !hich of course it never can be. I thin" it's a sad reflection on modern journalism that this thing constantly comes u . )o us it's just li"e as"ing about our veru"as or something. $im ly to concentrate on one small distasteful as ect really belittles everything else !e do." -./0;2

'll the intervie!s !ere becoming com letely redictable( because everybody !as as"ing me the same 7uestions. When it a eared in rint( it seemed as though I !as very boring and that I could only tal" about a limited number of things. )hat !asn't true; it !as just that I !as ans!ering the same 7uestions. I needed to ste bac"( so I've only done one in the last four months( !hich for me sho!s great restraint. - =as all that intros ective robing given you a better understanding of yourself( in a vague and general sense? In a very vague and general sense... it's difficult to say. )he other night( I !ent out for the first time in ages and somebody came u to me and said( "3o that funny dance that you do:" I felt com letely re ellent - as if I !as some character off a situation comedy; some stand-u comic !ith a !ooley hat and a tic"ling-stic". It seems( at times li"e that( as though everything has got com letely out of hand. >ertainly( in intervie!s( nobody as"s me about music - only as the s o"esman for a generation( !hich is 7uite a ealing( but 7uite strangulating also. I'm absolutely res onsible( I !ouldn't deny that. I admit that it has become difficult to confront these overbearing issues t!enty-four hours a day. 6bviously( though( I'd never go bac". "We've done a lot of !or" this year and achieved a great deal( much more than !e've been given credit for. It's been a most thrilling year and as four individuals( !e are closer than ever. 'lthough everything !ritten in the ress has been strong( it has become 7uite difficult to live !ith. I've been 7uite a!are for a fe! months that many journalists !ere trying to rise #ohnny and I a art in some !ay. We've !eathered that and !e've !eathered the most difficult bac"lash( !hich occurred in the beginning of the summer. I feel !e're 7uite im enetrable. ?or me( almost all the records have been absolutely erfect( but I can't deny that there are some that haven't aged so gracefully - "What 3ifference 3oes It Ma"e?" ... I

regret the roduction on that no!. 5ut that's the only regret( although I might seem li"e the "ind of erson that has many regrets." - =ave you realised that there's a limit to ho! far you can ush the ublic face of Morrissey? @smilesA ")here are no limits and I intend to ma"e full use of that fact. +ots of detractors have suggested that )he $miths have become too 'industry'( too o y. It al!ays seems that( once you are acce ted in artistic terms( then your records have no value. )hat's utter bosh to me. I "no! journalists !ho( one year ago( !ere madly dedicated - no!( they ma"e the most absurd( s!ee ing criticisms. When you get close to this industry( you see ho! it is orchestrated by utter a es. When you're a member of the audience( sitting in the stalls( the !hole idea of ma"ing records is ine%haustibly !onderful. When you get into the thic" of it( you realise that the !hole thing is s!am ed by oafs." ")han"fully( )he $miths became familiar through success( but I don't agree that !e !ere e%hausting any set formula. ,ven if !e !anted to be that !ay( I don't thin" !e could( because that's the ty e of eo le !e are. )his goes for every single member of the grou ( !e are not o stars and !e're not in any traditional mould. I find it im ossible to be flattered by o success but I don't "no! !hy. Maybe( I just have very high standards and I don't thin" !e've even begun to reach them( so it doesn't mean a thing to me !hen eo le come u and shout( "<henomenal: Bumber ;1:::". It doesn't mean anything( although it is im ortant to me that !e've reached this scale of success. I'd thin" it !as a !aste of time if !e !ere still in the osition around the time of "=and In 9love". )hen again( for the ty e of grou that !e are( I don't believe that our o ularity reflects ho! big !e are as a grou ." "I remember for a long time feeling totally charmless and unhandsome and I "no! there are so many others !ho still feel the same !ay. It's time that all those eo le moved in on this !hole shebang and if necessary retend to have charm. ?or too long this s here of entertainment has been dominated by the big mouths and the small minds." " When your ' rivate' life is magnified in such a !ay( you "no! that nothing !ill ha en to ma"e you shir" and shrin". It's a massive tra ( because I announced that I !as celibate... so no!( journalists tele hone me day after day( to see if anything has changed. I can laugh about it no!( but the laughter robably conceals a mass delirium. It's strange because eighteen months ago( nobody on the lanet heard that I !as alive. Bo!( to have your cufflin"s the subject of massive national concern is 7uite curious." - =ave you ever resorted to lying to ma"e something more interesting? I believe in that idea but I've never found it necessary. 5ut I'll certainly consider it for the future @laughsA: I thin" of myself and marvel at the fact that there is someone in o ular music !ho is not mute. I read other eo le's intervie!s and I'm fast aslee before I reach the end of the first aragra h - eo le ma"ing records are so dramatically dull; the eo le !ho are considered to be the heart of the music industry and the final saviours of o are so remar"ably dim. I feel it is 7uite irregular and virtually immoral for someone in my lace to be able to get from one sentence to another( regardless of !hat I'm tal"ing about. Cecently( I've been out to see grou s - considered to be the ulse of modern o ular music - and I've come a!ay laughing hysterically. I feel sad that so many bland creatures could be the centre of such intellectual robing.

- What's been your favourite moment this year? )here's been so many colourful moments and so many disastrous ones - so many nightmares. I'm ushed to tears very often( usually by our o!n erformances. 6n the last fe! dates that !e did( the cro!d !ere singing so loud( louder than myself( I !as dro!ned out to the e%tent that there !as no oint in me singing at all. I !as hysically moved to tears because of that. When eo le feel such tremendous( overblo!n emotion that they !ant to shout the !ords( hurl their bodies for!ard and lea on the stage - to me( that is the height of human emotion. - 3o you thin" )he $miths( as a band( ush themselves to the limit? )otally. I see them as very e%treme and in very ositive !ays. We never listen to everyone else. I thin" the only thing to do !ith advice is to ignore it because eo le !ill never understand the real you. )hey' re never there !hen your grou begins - they're never in your room !hen you're !riting lyrics. $o( I don't resume that they're going to understand my music and they don't. When eo le say erroneous things that are ositive( I don't mind. When they say erroneous things that are negative( I feel very strong about it. )here !as all that fuss about '$uffer +ittle >hildren' in the ne!s a ers( all these comments and o inions from eo le !ho "ne! nothing about the grou and nothing about music. I felt very sad and angry about that( so much just being headlines. Bobody had a roached me and there !ere long( inflated comments( "Morrissey says this..." and "Morrissey !rote it for this reason...". 'll of it !as totally untrue and I couldn't understand !hy nobody had as"ed me. 't one oint( someone from )he 3aily Mail rang u ( giving me the chance to give my side of the story. 6f course( they !eren't interested that I got on famously !ith the arents of the victims. $o( they !ouldn't rint the story. Well( that really u set me. #oining )he $miths !as li"e a urging for me - it's been li"e a life-raft. 6ther!ise( nobody !ould have cared !hat I said about anything( !hich is 7uite sad. It means that( if you're an anonymous erson( and you have very strong vie!s( you're considered insane and you're closer to an asylum than a "nighthood. 5ut !hen you cross over and you become 7uite famous( everything you say is 7uite interesting to eo le( then you're never considered insane. If I had stood in the middle of a Manchester housing estate and announced( 'I'm celibate'( I robably !ould have been shot. I find it very difficult to be com lacent. When somebody says something nauseating( I'm ready to attac" - I'm not inca able of violence and I'm not inca able of being undi lomatic. I'm not a delicate bloom by any means. I get angry !hen )he $miths are tal"ed about in such short-sighted terms( the very fundamental( nonsensical things." I don't do anything just to sur rise eo le. I'm not thin"ing( "Bo!( !hat !ill fo% them ne%t?". It's not a circus and I'm not some tra eDe artist. I thin" )he $miths are an irregular grou ( regardless of !hat !e do. - You've tal"ed before though of losing your e%citement for life. I mean... you're still very young. @I !atch him smile.A It's li"e !hat I mentioned before about things seeming so !onderful from a distance( but !hen you go to Come( you're bored and you !ant to come straight bac" home to $cunthor e. It's a bit li"e that. When you're doing television rogrammes every day(

intervie!s every day( being !his"ed u and do!n the country( you begin to get a headache. You just !ant to sit at home and do nothing( and you're made to feel that !hen you lose your Dest for these 'glamorous' activities( there's something !rong. - =ave you e%hausted most of your ambitions this year? Bo( because !e still !ant to ma"e lots of records and ultimately( that's the only thing that matters. 6ther things !e can do !ithout( they're not im ortant. - 3o you never feel you've given it all a!ay - e%hausted all your assions? I've given u a lot of my obsessions and some of that comes bac" to age( I regret to say. With almost everyone I've ever met in the music industry( they have music and success( but they also have their rivate lives - family or !hatever. )hey can s!itch off( do something that is totally unrelated to music. 5ut I've never done that( for me it's this !ay all the time( it's just music all the time. 5esides that( I never thin" of my limitations( I just can't consider them because I can't consider failure. I don't see that )he $miths have to change( it's just not necessary. <eo le have got so used to modern artists changing so much that they e% ect it. )o me( that just hints at massive insecurity. I have to say this again - I still feel that )he $miths have hardly begun( !e've just scratched the surface. We'll last for a very long time. 5ecause !e entered the industry !ith such a furore( eo le thought it stan" of hy e and imagine !e !ere a tem orary attraction. I thin" eo le are beginning to come to terms !ith the fact that !e !ill be around for a very long time. 'lso( I must say that the material on the second official +<( !hich !e're recording right no!( is stronger than ever. We're still using the traditional( fundamental instruments and "ee ing it very basic. We still get such dramatically assionate feedbac" from $miths' devotees and that ma"es me even more secure about the situation. I can't feel assionate about any one thing( besides )he $miths. It's li"e my most consistent fantasy throughout life - that !e're of some value( feeling that !e !ere here and !e did something. Bo!( I'm leased to say that I have. -./0;2

's a small child( he says( "I !as 7uite deliriously ha y. We had no money( but they !ere naively leasant times. 5ut as a teenager( I could never stress ho! de ressed I !as." "I lived a ho elessly isolated life(" he remembers. "I literally never( ever met eo le. I !ouldn't set foot outside of the house for three !ee"s on a run. )he o!er of the !ritten !ord really stung me( and I !as also entirely immersed in o ular music. I thought the marriage of both things !as the absolute erfect." ")here's a certain s irit that eo le no! crave because everybody is de ressed. We're moving ra idly into a s here that nobody !ants to go into. <rogress doesn't seem to be in any degree leasant. ,verything modern is 7uite foul." -./0;2

- 3o you regard success as a form of revenge( Morrissey? "6h absolutely and entirely a form of revenge( yes I do." - 'nd is it s!eet? "Cemar"ably s!eet. I li"e the taste( yes. More( lease:" - 3id you ever go in for s orts( at all? "Yes. I !as 7uite classically good. I've got an array of im ressive medals for various s orts. Which is the last thing eo le e% ect me to say - they thin" I hid in the sho!ers day after day. Which I certainly considered... I articularly li"ed running. 5ut then( I had to be a good runner( for reasons I'll leave unstated: I ran ferociously( every!here." - Why can't you buy decently-cut men's trousers any!here in the 5ritish Isles? "It's so difficult. )rousers in ,ngland are a dreadful roblem( I find. It's unfathomable." -./0*2

- 're )he $miths ast their best? "Well everybody tells me that )he $miths have ea"ed. I don't believe it( and I'm the one !ho "no!s. You robably !on't acce t this( but really( if I felt there !as a s ec" of truth in such a statement I !ould honestly admit it. )here is no oint just forcing your face on the 5ritish ublic. "I 7uite sincerely believe that the best is yet to come." What could you do outside )he $miths? "It doesn't really matter. )he im ortant thing is "no!ing !hen your time is u ( and getting out. Eery fe! eo le do. I li"e to feel that I'll "no!. $ome eo le !ould say that time is no! -laughs2( but I don't. I'm a mere child( really." You could go solo( !rite boo"s( ma"e films... "I !ant to do everything eventually( but not at once. $urely it !ould be more than the 5ritish ublic could stand if I too" on another career: "Bo. >ivilised measures of Morrissey are 7uite enough for anybody..." -./0*2

- =o! did the 'merican cro!d react to the $miths? "?or me to say it !as more fanatical than anything that's ha ened in ,ngland !ould seem someho! to decry or loo" do!n u on !hat ha ened here - !hich( of course( I never could. 5ut it !as certainly 7uite dramatic. 'nd I really don't believe it ha ens to everyone. "We !ent over there I thin"( !ith 7uite a humble nature and !e didn't e% ect any fanatical fervour or uncontrollable hysteria. )herefore( !hen it ha ened I !as rendered s eechless for months.

"Meeting the eo le there !as an e%traordinary eye o ener because one is fed all these fi%ed im ressions of the 'merican music buying ublic and they didn't turn out to be that !ay. )hey turned out to be rational( incredibly sensitive oetic human beings." -./0*2

- 're you !illing to give yourselves over com letely to the industry to attain this mega success then? "Well( my belief no! is that because !e have such unusual control over the situation( all these things can be covered in a very s"illful and artistic !ay(" -eyes turning heaven!ard2. "$ee ho! I got out of that one: 6bviously( !e've avoided video for all our career - and it's aid tremendous dividends and it's been some!hat of a blot on the face of the industry. I al!ays said that !e could become successful !ithout a video and !e have done( so the oint has been roved(" - ause2. "I'm not leading u to saying !e're about to ma"e a video." - If you'd !ritten the song 'Ceasons )o 5e >heerful( <t III'( !hat !ould be in it? "I thin" it !ould have been an instrumental." - What if you'd been forced? "I'm never forced. I'd rather !al" the lan" than submit to any ressure. $o( no( it !ould have definitely been an instrumental." -./0*2

"I'm really chained to those iron bridges. I'm really chained to the ier. I'm ersistently on some disused clearing in Wigan. I shall be buried there( I'm sure( and I shall be glad to go at that oint." -Morrissey( ?eb ./0;2 "I'm not totally averse to violence. I thin" it's 7uite attractively necessary in some e%tremes. Eiolence on behalf of >B3 is absolutely necessary... obviously >B3 care about the eo le and that's !hy they do !hat they do. )hat's atriotism." -Morrissey( 3ecember ./0;2

"<ersonally( I'm an incurably eaceable character. 5ut !here does it get you? Bo!here. You have to be violent." -Morrissey( March ./0*2 <o s these days one had to be( by la!( blac". I thin" something olitical has ha ened and there has been a hefty ushing of all these blac" artists and all this discofied nonsense into the )o ;F... In essence( this music doesn't say anything !hatsoever." -Morrissey( $e tember ./0G2 ")o those !ho too" offence at -'<anic''s2 '5urn do!n the disco' line I'd say & lease sho! me the blac" members of Be! 6rder: ?or me( ersonally( Be! 6rder ma"e great disco music( but there's no blac" eo le in the grou . You can't just interchange the !ords 'blac"' and 'disco'." -#ohnny Marr( ?ebruary ./0H2

"I believe that everything !ent do!nhill from the moment the Mc3onalds chain !as given license to invade ,ngland & don't laugh( I'm serious. )o me it !as li"e the outbrea" of !ar and I can't understand !hy ,nglish troo s !eren't retaliating. )he 'mericanisation of ,ngland is such a terminal illness & I thin" ,ngland should be ,nglish( and 'mericans should go home and s oil their o!n country." -Morrissey( $e tember ./0H2

",ven the ,nglish language( I find( has been ho lessly muc"ed about !ith and everything is 'merican or 'ustralian. It's astonishing but it's so rife. 5ut because Margaret )hatcher is such a !ea" <rime Minister any influence 'merican business !ishes to have on ,ngland( it has. )hey've com letely ta"en over Be!castle." I thought that !as the #a anese? "Well( 'mericanI#a anese( they're all foreign... I don't mean that." -Morrissey( ?ebruary ./0/2

3o you ine for a mythical 5ritain? "<erha s. It's certainly gone no!. ,ngland doesn't only not rule the !aves( it's actually sun" belo! them. 'nd all that remains is debris. 5ut in amongst the debris shine slits of ositivity." If you aren't a racist( are you a atriot? "Yes( I am. I find travelling very hard. I miss ,ngland." -Morrissey( May .//.2

=o! accurate are your visualiDations on the finished song? Is it trial and error? )o be honest( the arts that I thin" !ill !or" almost al!ays do. 5ut in the rocess of gluing one art over another( ne! arts s ring to life. $o there is a fair amount of trial and error. I'm into e% erimentation( but that only feels good once you "no! you've got a really good song coo"ing. I don't believe in doodling around( !aiting for ins iration to dro through the ceiling. If I'm not hearing anything( I'll go for a !al" for .* minutes. 'ctually( I come u !ith my best melodies a!ay from the guitar( li"e !hen I'm in a ta%i( or ma"ing tea in the studio( hearing the trac" from do!n the corridor. )he ones I sing before I lay them are al!ays my favorites. -#ohnny Marr( .//F2

I'm trying to be o en to any ideas( so long as they're fairly melodic and they relate to !hat the singer is singing. I'll try any tric". With the $miths( I'd ta"e this really loud )elecaster of mine( lay it on to of a ?ender )!in Ceverb !ith the vibrato on( and tune it to an o en chord.

)hen I'd dro a "nife !ith a metal handle on it( hitting random strings. I used that on "$to Me If You )hin" You've =eard )his 6ne 5efore" @from $trange!ays( =ere We >omeA for the big "doings" at the start. 'nd I used it on ")his >harming Man" @from )he $mithsA( buried beneath about .* trac"s of guitar. -#ohnny Marr( .//F2

5ut in the beginning( it !as good to be in a grou that stood for and against certain things. We !ere against synthesiDers( the >onservative government( grou s !ith names li"e "6rchestral Manoeuvers In )he 3ar"(" the ,nglish monarchy( coc"-roc" guitar solos( and the 'merican music scene at the time. We stood for the ,nglishness of the Jin"s( )-Ce%( and Co%y Music( the arty 7uir"s that "e t those grou s from being huge in the 4.$. We !ere into the Colling $tones( the M>*( the <atti $mith 9rou ( 6scar Wilde( @ lay!rightA $helagh 3elaney( and certain actors. $ome things !ere really im ortant to us( and !e made no secret of our obsessions. Morrissey and I !anted to be a modern-day +eiber and $toller( !riting bubblegum bac"ing trac"s !ith intense lyrics. We !eren't minimalistic( but !e !anted to sound very home-gro!n( not li"e a olished major-label grou . I'm very roud of everything !e did( musically( lyrically( and olitically. It !as a really great time( but only a fool doesn't "no! !hen it's time to sto . -#ohnny Marr( .//F2

Eery much the ,nglishman abroad( he is untouched by +' life. ' handsome devil( he loo"s the icture of health. >harming( olite( elo7uent and funny( !ith no trace of a >alifornian t!ang( he s ea"s in lyrical Borthern !his ers. "It's fascinating to !a"e u and have no idea !hat's about to ha en(" he says. "I can't imagine standing at a bus sto at .F to eight every morning. )ea( boo"s( a sofa... that's a great !ay to live." -Morrissey( '/H2

"It's the 5ritish !ay to unish eo le !ho !on't lay their games. If you're absent from 5ritain for any length of time( you arrive bac" at =eathro! and scan the headlines of all those 5ritish ne!s a ers and get the general idea. -Morrissey( .///2

What are the advantages of being rich? Bone really. Which is !hy I find it sad to meet eo le !ho are totally geared to!ard finance. I "no! for a fact that it's 7uite meaningless. 6f course( it's easy for me to say that as I lounge here. 5ut it's true. You may be a billionaire( but if you contract cancer( you may as !ell live in a bedsit in 5irmingham. -Morrissey( '/*2 3o you !or" out?

Bo( not at all. I don't do anything. I'd never feel confident in a gym. I !heel a trolley around Waitrose. -Morrissey( '/*2

9irl afraid - "I had just got bac" from Be! Yor" and !as obsessed !ith +ittle Cichard. I just "e t thin"ing( 'What'd sound li"e +ittle Cichard on guitar?'( !hich is ho! I came u !ith it. "I started to thin" about iano melodies. ?or e%am le( 9irl 'fraid( !hich is an e%tra trac" on the =eaven Jno!s single; I started off laying ' idgin' iano in the studio one day and transferred it to guitar. When I !rote the song I !as conscious that it should have a fast Be! 6rleans iano art. It turned into a Jin"s-style( real GF's erratic drum beat bo ( !hich is fine but it started off as a iano art:" - #ohnny Marr $till Ill - "+oo"ing bac" on the first album no! I can say that I'm not as madly "een on it as I !as. I thin" that a lot of the fire !as missing on it and most of our su orters realise that as !ell. 'lthough having said that( '$till Ill' and '$uffer +ittle >hildren' and '=and )hat Coc"s' are all still great songs." "'$till Ill' came to me on the train bac" from +ondon to Manchester around the time of =and In 9love's release." - #ohnny Marr =and In 9love - "When !e did '=and In 9love(' that !as brilliant because it !as a fantastic iece of vinyl. 5ut there !as never a time !hen I ut my feet u and said( ''h( I'm ha y.'" ")hat song came about !hen I !as round my arents' house one $unday evening. I started laying this riff on a cra y guitar I "e t there. 'ngie - !ho's no! my !ife - !as !ith me and she "e t saying( ')hat's really good:' I !as anic"ing because I had nothing to record it on( so !e decided to drive to Morrissey's( because he had a ta e recorder. I sat in the bac" of the car laying the riff over and over so I !ouldn't forget it. 6n the !ay( as is her !ant( 'ngie

"e t saying( 'Ma"e it sound more li"e Iggy'. I !as just ho ing Morrissey !ould be in. Well( I "ne! he !ould be( he !as al!ays in. When !e got there he !as a bit ta"en abac"( it hadn't been arranged and it !as a $unday night-unheard of: =e let me in and I layed the riff and he said( ')hat's very good'. 'bout five days later !e !ere rehearsing and Morrissey !anted to lay the song. When !e heard the vocals to that !e !ere all li"e(!o!... ?rom then on it !as al!ays going to be the first single." - #ohnny Marr What 3ifference 3oes It Ma"e? - "It !as all right. I didn't thin" it !as a articularly strong one. ' lot of eo le li"ed it and it got to Bo. .F. It follo!ed ')his >harming Man' and !as art of that ea". It !as all right. It !ent do!n great live( and that's !hen I li"ed it. ,very song has to be !orth doing every single night. )here !as one stage !here I !as laying 'What 3ifference 3oes It Ma"e?' seven or eight gigs on the trot and I didn't li"e the feeling. I "ne! that this !as not !hy I had got involved in a band in the first lace." - #ohnny Marr

"What 'William It Was Ceally Bothing' is about is... it occurred to me that !ithin o ular music if ever there !ere any records that discussed marriage they !ere al!ays from the female's stand oint - female singers singing to !omen8 !henever there !ere any songs saying 'do not marry( stay single( self- reservation( etc'. I thought it !as about time there !as a male voice s ea"ing directly to another male saying that marriage !as a !aste of time... that( in fact( it !as 'absolutely nothing'." - Morrissey "$ome @trac"sA may have been s ed u . I don't "no! !hether 'Wiliiam' !as though; I didn't thin" so( just because it !as so fast !hen !e layed it( !e can't have !anted it even faster:

)his >harming Man "6f all our singles I thin" I li"e ')his >harming Man' best( just because the rhythms are so infectious. $miths music really moves me." - 'ndy Cour"e

"' cou le of days before I !rote ')his >harming Man' I'd heard 'Wal" 6ut )o Winter' -by 'Dtec >amera2 on Cadio .( and I felt a little jealous. My com etitive urges "ic"ed in. I felt that !e needed something u -beat and in a major "ey for Cough )rade to get behind. )hat's !hy I !rote it in the "ey of 9( !hich to this day I rarely do. I "ne! that ')his >harming Man' !ould be our ne%t single. I did the !hole thing in one go into this ),'> 1-trac" ta e recorder that I used to !rite on. I came u !ith the basic chords and immediately overdubbed the to line and intro riff."

"I !rote )his >harming Man for a #ohn <eel session. I just lea t out of bed and !rote it. It !as the culmination of trying to find a !ay of laying that !as non-roc" but still e% ressed my ersonality. I felt !e needed something more u beat in a different "ey and !as miffed that 'Dtec >amera's Coddy ?rame !as getting on the radio and !e !eren't. )hat's !hy it's got

that sunny dis osition; my usual default setting !as Manchester in the rain. When !e !ere recording it( Cough )rade's 9eoff )ravis came in and said8 ')hat's got to be the single.'"

"I remember !riting it( it !as in re aration for a #ohn <eel single. I !rote it the same night as '<retty 9irls Ma"e 9raves' and '$till Ill'." "I don't !ant to be laying ')his >harming Man' !hen I'm... KK." - #ohnny Marr

=o! $oon Is Bo!? - "I had an im ression of !hat >reedence !ere su osed to be about( artly because I had already gotten into )he 9un >lub and heard 'Cun )hrough )he #ungle' from their second album. It triggered off some echoes of !hat I'd heard of >reedence. $o I made this demo( '$!am '( trying to ca ture the same vibe. It didn't have the tremelo figure on it( but it had the slide art in regular concert tuning. It !as 7uite a retty figure( but only hinting at !hat it became. It !as still 7uite assive( no!here near as intense as it got. I remember us laying it for a !hile and me really ho ing that !e could ma"e it sound li"e a $miths trac"( because the chances !ere it might not have. We "ic"ed it around until it did feel li"e us( but I could tell that it had something lac"ing. $o I sa! my o ortunity to thro! the tremelo art do!n that I'd been loo"ing to use for 7uite a !hile." "It !as my boyhood love of '3isco $tom '( >an's 'I Want More' and then tying the !hole thing together !ith the 5o 3iddley bo!( as it !ere. )hat !as the !hole thing." "I !anted an intro that !as almost as otent as '+ayla.' When it lays in a club or a ub( everyone "no!s !hat it is." "I've actually started using a digital delay line( just because for one song in articular I needed to use it. I just sent the effect straight through the ?ender t!in. )he song is the '5' side of the t!elve-inch 'William( It Was Ceally Bothing' and it's called '=o! $oon Is Bo!?' !hich is a '5o 3iddley' thing( so I had to have the vibrato. I sent all the signal through the ?ender t!in and just ut straight guitar through the Coland. I just stuc" a slide on and it !or"ed. I !as a little bit !orried because it !as difficult to lay. ?or the first time I'd done something really tric"y in the studio !hich I had to re roduce live. We've done lots of things !hich I'd never be able to re roduce live just because there are more im ortant things going on. )he songs have never suffered because I normally tend to lay them the !ay they're !ritten live and if an overdub turns out to be an essential art of the song maybe I'll s!itch to that. '=o! $oon Is Bo!?' is 7uite a difficult one as there are t!o com letely se arate guitar arts that can't be layed at the same time. What I do is change to a guitar !hich has the bottom four strings tuned conventionally( but the , string is tuned a third above the 5. I lay into the digital delay and ut it on hold to lay over it. I just ta"e the hold off !hen !e get to the other chorus bits and I can lay that !ith the bottom four strings and then the hold goes bac" on. I had to send the signal through the ?ender t!in because of the vibrato. )he only difficulty !ith using vibrato all the !ay through a song is that you've got to really get it in time and Mi"e the drummer has got to ride the beat. I !as really anic"ing before the gigs but it turned out 6J. It doesn't sound e%actly the same live as on the record but it is still as o!erful and still as atmos heric so I'm ha y !ith it."

"'=o! $oon Is Bo!' !as in ?L tuning. I !anted a very s!am y sound( a modern bayou song. It's a straight , riff( follo!ed by o en 9 and ?LmH. )he chorus uses o en 5( '( and 3 sha es !ith the to t!o strings ringing out. )he vibrato sound is fuc"ing incredible( and it too" a long time. I ut do!n the rhythm trac" on an , i hone >asino through a ?ender )!in Ceverb !ithout vibrato. )hen !e layed the trac" bac" through four old )!ins( one on each side. We had to "ee all the am s vibratoing in time to the trac" and each other( so !e had to "ee sto ing and starting the trac"( recording it in .F-second bursts. I !ish I could remember e%actly ho! !e did the slide art -- not !riting it do!n is one of the banes of my life: We did it in three asses through a harmoniDer( set to some !eird interval( li"e a si%th. )here !as a different harmoniDation for each ass. ?or the line in harmonics( I retuned the guitar so that I could lay it all at the .Kth fret !ith natural harmonics. It's doubled several times." "In M=o! $oon Is Bo!N the harmonic lic" is from +ovebug $tars"i8 that !as me getting one u on the journalists( utting a lic" from a hi -ho record into a $miths song. " "If you !ere to lay '=o! $oon Is Bo!?' on iano or acoustic guitar( it !ouldn't have the same im act as the finished article O the o!er of the record has a lot to do !ith the sound and the instrumentation and not necessarily the !ords and the chords. )hat's very satisfying for me because '=o! $oon Is Bo!?' is built on the guitar O unli"e oetry( sound is something that's beyond intellectual ideas( it's rimal and other!orldly. 5ut I !as ecstatic !hen the !ords came on to of the music. )hey are actually 7uite brilliant. )he contrast bet!een the t!o !orlds that Morrissey and I lived in !or"ed es ecially !ell on '=o! $oon Is Bo!?'. )hat's !hat made our song!riting artnershi so interesting; the intellectual( self-conscious analysis( and the street!ise druggy e%uberance." "'s a "id I !as fascinated by =amilton 5ohannon's '3isco $tom ' and 'Be! Yor" 9roove' by =ello( and I !anted to ma"e something !ith that stom . )he first decent am I got !as the ?ender )!in because the <atti $mith 9rou used it( and it had this amaDing tremolo. +ater !hen !e'd had a fe! hits( a revie! of What 3ifference 3oes It Ma"e said I'd !ritten a riff that !as instantly recogniDable( !hich fascinated me. 6ne night I !as laying for my o!n leasure and I suddenly got the riff. It all came together - the tremolo and the stom ing groove - for !hat became =o! $oon Is Bo!( although my demo !as titled $!am . 5ecause it !as a groove trac" it originally a eared as an e%tra trac" on a .K-inch( but o ular clamor forced its single release. I remember !hen Morrissey first sang8 'I am the son and the heir...' #ohn <orter !ent( ''h great( the elements:' Morrissey continued( '...of a shyness that is criminally vulgar.' I "ne! he'd hit the bullseye there and then. - #ohnny Marr

=eaven Jno!s I'm Miserable Bo! - "We !ent to 'merica to lay 3anceteria on Be! Year's ,ve and Mi"e got ill so !e couldn't do the rest of the gigs( and '=eaven Jno!s' !as !ritten in a hotel room !hile me and Morrissey !ere !aiting to go home. 'nd I !rote the music for '9irl 'fraid' the day I got bac"( so really !e !ere more concerned !ith !hat came ne%t. I don't really li"e '=eaven Jno!s'. Well( I li"e it but less than the others. I don't li"e the tune and the bac"ing trac". I don't li"e the rhythm or anything." "'=eaven Jno!s I'm Miserable Bo!' is a eriod iece to me. It's robably a lot of eo le's introduction to this strange band !ith the flo!ers or !hatever( but as a musical e% erience I'm not that "een on it." - #ohnny Marr

'cce t Yourself - ")he fundamental re7uest of $mithdom. $im ly acce t yourself( be yourself( rela%( don't !orry about anything as there's no oint." O Morrissey 5ac" to the 6ld =ouse - "M5ac" )o )he 6ld =ouseN I !rote !ith my !ife in mind." - #ohnny Marr

Ceel 'round )he ?ountain - "'Ceel 'round )he ?ountain' !as my inter retation of #immy #ones' version of '=andy Man'. It came from one of mine and #oe Moss' marathon CP5 record sessions one morning at >raDy ?ace. We !ent from listening to )he <latters( !hich I !asn't really getting behind( to #immy #ones. I remerbered hearing the trac" from !hen I !as a "id( 'cos one of me aunties or somebody used to lay it. $o I remembered the melody of '=andy Man' but then !hen I tried to lay it myself I got it all !rong( !hich !as useful really. I !as trying to do a classic melodic o tune( and it had the !orst "ind of surface rettiness to it. 5ut at the same time( #oy 3ivision !as influencing everybody in ,ngland. )hat dar" element -- it !asn't that I !anted to be li"e them( but they brought out something in the dar"ness of the overall trac". In a sense( 5ernard $umner !as one of the most influential guitarists and !riters of the '0Fs. )here !ould never have been a 4K or a >ure if it hadn't been for #oy 3ivision." -#ohnny Marr

)he =eadmaster Citual - )he nuts and bolts of )he =eadmaster Citual came together during the first album( and I just carried on laying around !ith it. It started off as a very sublime sort of #oni Mitchell-es7ue chord figure; I layed it to Morrissey but !e never too" it further. )hen( as my life got more and more intense( so did the song. )he bridge and the chorus art !ere originally for another song( but I ut them together !ith the first art. )hat !as unusual for me; normally I just hammer a!ay at an idea until I've got a song. It's in o en 3 turning( !ith a ca o at the second fret. 'gain( it !as heavily overdubbed. It !as a very e%citing eriod for me - realising I could hijac" .G trac"s all for myself. I !rote ')he =eadmaster Citual' on acoustic. It's in an o en-3 tuning !ith a ca o at the Knd fret. I fancied the idea of a strange #oni Mitchell tuning( and the actual rogression is li"e !hat she !ould have done had she been an M>* fan or a un" roc"er. I "ne! retty much !hat every guitar trac" !ould be before !e started. )here are t!o trac"s of Martin 3-K0( and the main riff is t!o trac"s of Cic"enbac"er. I !asn't thin"ing s ecifically of the 5eatles' '3ay )ri er' -- even though it sounds li"e it -- but I did thin" of it as a 9eorge =arrison art. )he Cic"enbac"er belonged to <hil ManDanera of Co%y Music; I'm told that it !as originally o!ned by Coger Mc9uinn. 'll the guitars are in o en tuning( e%ce t for one of the chorus guitars( !hich is done on an , i hone in Bashville tuning( ca oed at the Knd fret. I've got an , i hone >oronet !ith one ic"u ( and I string it !ith the high strings from a .Kstring set. It's a really Dingy( trebly guitar. I used that on a lot of things that eo le thin" are .K-string( li"e the end of ')he =eadmaster Citual'. ?or my art( ')he =eadmaster Citual' came together over the longest eriod of time I've ever s ent on a song. I first layed the riff to Morrissey !hen !e !ere !or"ing on the demos for our first album !ith )roy )ate. I nailed the rest of it !hen !e moved to ,arls >ourt.

')he =eadmaster Citual is one of my favorite guitar trac"s.I !rote it over a eriod of t!o years( al!ays loo"ing for the ne%t section I needed. I sa! the Cadiohead version( yeah. I sho!ed ,d 6'5rien the chords( but maybe he !as loo"ing out the !indo!: - #ohnny Marr

Cusholme Cuffians - "Cusholme Cuffians came about because my arents used to lay 'Marie's )he Bame' by ,lvis <resley and I li"ed the chord change." ")hat !as blatantly done. Morrissey said to me( '+et's do a song about the fair(' and for some reason my association !ith the fair !as to ull out that ,lvis riff. We tried( but !e couldn't get a!ay from it."- #ohnny Marr

Bo!here ?ast - ")he album 'Meat Is Murder' I still rate very highly but again stuff li"e 'Bo!here ?ast' could have been done better." "It's not stood u as !ell as 'Cevolver' but there's some great songs on it. 'Bo!here ?ast' is a great song." - #ohnny Marr

)hat #o"e Isn't ?unny 'nymore

"6n $miths songs such as "=o! $oon Is Bo!?" and ")hat #o"e Isn't ?unny 'nymore"( I turned the K" ta e over and learned to lay the arts bac"!ard." "I layed the art( turned the ta e over and learned it bac"!ards( layed the bac"!ard art !ith the ta e the right !ay round then turned the volume u and do!n. )he intro is a Martin 3-K0 acoustic !ith +e%icon Ceverb on." "')hat #o"e Isn't ?unny 'nymore' !as al!ays one of my favorites. It just fell through the roof. It !as one of those lovely times !hen the feeling just falls do!n on you from the ceiling some!here and it almost lays itself. It gives an almost esoteric feeling." "When you go out live you !ant to give eo le at least a general im ression of the !hole thing( but if you're on your o!n( you end u com romising a lot of the chord inversions and inflections that !ere there in the overdubs. You generally end u being reduced to laying that big-sounding first osition chord. With my one-man band a roach I managed that fairly successfully for a !hile( but other times it didn't really !or". ?rom a guitar oint of vie! ')hat #o"e Isn't ?unny 'nymore' could have been absolutely incredible live( but in the end it !as only good." -#ohnny Marr

"'Well I Wonder' I really li"e as !ell. It's one of those things that a modern grou could try and emulate but never get the s irit of. It's so sim le."

"I remember the start of the record because I moved bac" to Manchester very deliberately- to get the atmos here right for the instrumental trac"s I !as !riting. 'nd that !or"ed out immediately because 'Well I Wonder' came out of that( !ith the rain and everything. When !e did it I "ne! it !ould be o ular because it had that real sense of yearning in it." "I thin" @the outroA is an ' minor sha e ca o'd( I'd have to listen to it." -#ohnny Marr Meat Is Murder - ")hat !as a riff I'd been laying around !ith for a fe! days before. Ceally nasty( in o en 3. I didn't "no! the lyrics but I "ne! the song !as gonna be called 'Meat Is Murder' so it all just came together in the ta"e." "I thin" 'Meat Is Murder' is in o en 9 tuning(or o en 3(it might have a ca o on the second fret."- #ohnny Marr

5arbarism 5egins 't =ome - "I came u !ith the riff the day that )roy )ate came u to Manchester to meet !ith us. It !as almost because our first ro er roducer !as about to arrive that I thought !e needed a ne! song( maybe( and it !as a sunny afternoon. We layed it in the daytime( !hich !as unusual because there !ere these machinists !or"ing do!nstairs on the floor belo!( and !e !ouldn't !ant to be !or"ing stuff out at high volume. )here !as no drums there( it !as just me and 'ndy jamming li"e !e used to !hen !e !ere .; or .*. I "no! a lot of fuss has been made and 'ndy is( 7uite rightly( roud of that bassline( but( ersonally( harmonically I don't thin" it comes any!here near 'ndy's other stuff. 'Bo!here ?ast'( ')hat #o"e Isn't ?unny 'nymore'( ')he =eadmaster Citual'( all to!er above it. It !as one of those things !here it !as a good idea at the time( but later( as !e layed it( I didn't thin" it really re resented the band. )he overall thing( all of it( !as a little bit corny." "5arbarism 5egins 't =ome is a bit naff. I don't li"e the tune - there's no emotion in it." "With '5arbarism 5egins 't =ome(' a lot's been made of the fun"y as ect of the bassline( but that trac" har"s bac" to !hat I !as doing !ith 'ndy before )he $miths. I guess it came out of this love of retro "ind of #ames 5ro!n records( and things li"e Ci Cig P <anic and )he <o 9rou . )hat eriod of anemic( underfed !hite fun". It's me and 'ndy being to!nies in Manchester( li"ing a bit of the 'merican Bo-Wave thing. #ames >hance( I guess." -#ohnny Marr

)he Queen Is 3ead "I'd done the rhythm trac" for )he Queen Is 3ead( and left the guitar on the stand. )he !ah edal just ha ened to be half o en( and utting the guitar do!n made the guitar suddenly hit off this harmonic. We !ere bac" at the des" laying bac" the rhythm trac" and I could still hear this harmonic !ailing a!ay( so !e ut the ta e bac" onto record !hile I cre t bac" into the booth and started o ening u the !ah-!ah( thin"ing '3on't die( don't die:' ,ventually I o ened u the edal( and 'Wooooohhhhhh:' Je t it going( too. 9reat accident.

?or the frenDied !ah-!ah section on ')he Queen Is 3ead(' I !as thin"ing 'GFs 3etroit( li"e the M>* and the $tooges.

)he album's title trac" !as artly ins ired by )he M>* and )he Eelvet 4nderground. ' Eelvets outta"es album called E.4. had just come out( and I loved 'I >an't $tand It'( mostly because it had this s!inging CP5 guitar. I'd !anted to do something bombastic li"e that for a !hile( and ')he Queen Is 3ead' !as the right lace to dro it.

I had )he Queen Is 3ead( the trac"( in my mind for a long time. I "ne! the song had the title( and I "ne! that !as !hat the album !as going to be called. )o me( it !as the M>* laying 'I >an't $tand It'. I'd al!ays felt let do!n by the M>*. When I !as younger( eo le !ere going '6h( the 3olls( the M>*( the $tooges' -but !hen I first heard the M>*( it felt a little too gungho( too "ind of testosterone-mad for me. I !anted to deliver !hat I imagined the M>* to be energy( coolness. It !as Morrissey's idea to include ')a"e Me 5ac" )o 3ear 6ld 5lighty' and he said( 'I !ant this on the trac"'. 5ut he !asn't to "no! that I !as going to lead into the feedbac" and drum rolls. It !as just a iece of magic. I got the drum riff going and 'ndy got the bass line( !hich !as one of his best ever and one that bass layers still haven't matched. I !ent in there !ith all the lads !atching and did the ta"e and they just !ent( 'Wo!'. I came out and I !as sha"ing. When I suggested doing it again( they just said( 'Bo !ay: Bo !ay:' What ha ened !ith the feedbac" !as I !as setting my guitar u for the trac" and I ut it onto a stand and it !as really loud. Where it hit the stand( it made that note of feedbac". I did the guitar trac"( ut the guitar on the stand( and !hile !e !ere tal"ing( it !as li"e( 'Wo!( that sounded good'. $o I said( 'Cight - record that:' It !as going through a !ah-!ah from the revious ta"e( so I just started moving the !ah-!ah and it !as getting all these different intervals( and it definitely added a real tension. I loved Morrissey's singing on that( and the !ords. 5ut it !as very M>*. Morrissey has a real love for that music as !ell. I remember him laying the Camones as much as he layed $andie $ha!. )he record com any !ant to ut out some rarities( so !eNve s o"en about the longer versions of )he Queen is 3ead8 the eight-minute one and another one !here !e layed for .K minutes. It sounds li"e >an or something. )he song ')he Queen Is 3ead' I really li"e. I used to li"e the M>* and )he $tooges and it's as good if not better than anything )he $tooges ever did. It's got energy and aggression in that "ind of garagey !ay. O #ohnny Marr

I Jno! It's 6ver - "I'll never forget !hen @MorrisseyA did that. It's one of the highlights of my life. It !as that good( that strong. ,very line he !as hinting at !here he !as going to go. I !as thin"ing( 'Is he going to go there? Yes( he is:' It !as just brilliant." - #ohnny Marr

Bever =ad Bo 6ne ,ver "6n )he Queen Is 3ead( 'Bever =ad Bo 6ne ,ver'( there's a line that goes 'When you !al" !ithout easeIon theseIthe very streets !here you !ere raisedII had a really bad dreamIit lasted KF years( seven months and KH daysIBever had no one ever'. It !as the frustration that I felt at the age of KF !hen I still didn't feel easy !al"ing around the streets on !hich I'd been born( !here all my family had lived - they're originally from Ireland but had been here since the ?ifties. It !as a constant confusion to me !hy I never really felt ')his is my atch. )his is my home. I "no! these eo le. I can do !hat I li"e( because this is mine.' It never !as. I could never !al" easily." - Morrissey

"I can never divorce that song from the emotion that ins ired it( !hich is totally ersonal. It goes bac" to !hat I !as saying before about !here the sadness comes from. It's me( being in my bedroom( living on a housing estate( on a dar" night( surrounded by all that concrete and trying to find some beauty through Ca! <o!er and #ames Williamson. )here's a certain "ind of gothic beauty in 'I Beed $omebody'. I !asn't loo"ing to co a riff; I !as loo"ing to co a feeling. )he atmos here of 'Bever =ad Bo 6ne ,ver'( and retty much the !hole +<( for everything that can be said about the ressure I !as under at the time as #ohnny in )he $miths in '0*( really that music could have come out of my bedroom !hen I !as .G." O #ohnny Marr

)he 5oy With )he )horn In =is $ide - "'fter that I started getting turned on to >hic( )he ?atbac" 5and( )he 6hio <layers and War. If you listen to ')he 5oy With )he )horn In =is $ide'( the rhythm art from verse t!o on!ards - that chic"-a-chic" art - it's ure Bile Cogers. )hat !as the first time I used a $trat on a record. I got it because I !anted a t!angy =an" Marvin sound( but it ended u sounding 7uite highlify.

)hroughout the set( me and #ohnny used t!o tunings8 one in ? shar and one in ,( 'cos of Morrissey's range. 6ut of four or five gigs( this guy got it right once. I'd say( Cight & )here Is ' +ight )hat Bever 9oes 6ut. <ass me the one in ? shar . =e'd ass me the , bass( and I'd be a tone out." -'ndy Cour"e "If !e needed some songs fast( then Morrissey !ould come round to my lace and I'd sit there !ith an acoustic guitar and a cassette recorder. ')here Is ' +ight )hat Bever 9oes 6ut' !as done that !ay." "Morrissey !as sat on a coffee table( erched on the edge. I !as sat !ith my guitar on a chair directly in front of him. =e had ' $ony Wal"man recording( !aiting to hear !hat I !as gonna ull out. $o I said( 'Well( I've got this one' and I started laying these chords. =e just loo"ed at me as I !as laying. It !as as if he daren't s ea"( in case the s ell !as bro"e." "We recorded ')here Is ' +ight )hat Bever 9oes 6ut' in .F minutes. I !ent on to add some flute overdub and strings and a cou le of e%tra guitars( but really( the essence and the s irit of it !as ca tured straight a!ay( and that normally means that something's gone really( really

right. I have a version of that ta"e !ith just the three instruments and the voice on it O it absolutely holds u as a beautiful moment in time. )he $miths !ere all in love !ith the sound that !e !ere ma"ing. We loved it as much as everyone else( but !e !ere luc"y enough to be the ones laying it." "I didn't realise that ')here Is ' +ight' !as going to be an anthem but !hen !e first layed it I thought it !as the best song I'd ever heard. )here's a little in-jo"e in there just to illustrate ho! intellectual I !as getting. 't the time everyone !as into the Eelvet 4nderground and they stole the intro to ')here $he 9oes' - da da da-da( da da-da-da( 3ah 3ah: - from the Colling $tones version of '=itchhi"e(' the Marvin 9aye song. I just !anted to ut that in to see !hether the ress !ould say( 6h it's the Eelvet 4nderground: >os I "ne! that I !as smarter than that. I !as listening to !hat )he Eelvet 4nderground !as listening to." -#ohnny Marr

$ome 9irls 're 5igger )han 6thers - ")he song( as it !as( just faded in( so i thought !e had to do something a bit more interesting. 5asically( I ut all the reverb on the drums u so it sounded li"e it !as coming in from some large hall( then faded it do!n really 7uic"ly. )hen I too" all the reverb bac" off and faded it u again. )he effect !as su osed to be li"e the musics in a hall some!here( it goes a!ay( then it comes bac" and it's nice and clean and dry. ' bit li"e o ening a door( closing it( then o ening it again and !al"ing in."-$te hen $treet "6ther times( I'd dro off a cassette of some music at Morrissey's house. =e lived about t!o miles a!ay( and I'd ride round there on my Yamaha 3) .H* and ost them through his letterbo%. '$ome 9irls 're 5igger )han 6thers' !as done that !ay. 'll the music for that came in one !ave !hile I !as !atching telly !ith the sound do!n." "$ome things just dro out of the heavens( and '$ome 9irls...' !as one of them. It's a beautiful iece of music."- #ohnny Marr

9irlfriend In ' >oma - "'ctually( @$trange!aysA is my favourite $miths album. We s lit after !e recorded it and they !ere good sessions. 6ne or t!o of the songs are acoustic-led( !hich I really li"ed - no! that !as an organic record." "6ver the last fe! years I've heard '9irlfriend In ' >oma' in sho s and eo le's cars( and I'm al!ays sur rised by ho! good it sounds." - #ohnny Marr

$to Me If You )hin" You've =eard )his 6ne 5efore - "I find a blue note !henever I can. I try to find the oignancy in any "ind of lic". Bot to get too oetic here( but I find a distinct lac" of oignancy in most guitar laying I hear. It's as if eo le feel that by virtue of being a guitar layer( they have to have this s!ashbuc"ling( gung-ho a roach to music( an overblo!n( vulgar a roach. I'd refer a fe! notes layed in the right lace on one string. ?or e%am le( I li"ed the melody at the end of "$to Me If You've =eard )his 6ne 5efore(" but it just felt a little too accom lished. I !anted it to sound li"e a un" layer !ho couldn't lay( so I fingered it on one string( right u and do!n the nec". I could have layed it !ith harmonics or my teeth( or something clever( but the oignancy !ould have gone out of the melody."

")he stuff that !asn't acoustic !as mainly led by my 1** .K-string; in fact( a lot of the songs I $tarted $omething...( <aint ' Eulgar <icture and $to Me If You've =eard )his 6ne 5efore - !ere !ritten on that guitar. It gave a really big sound. I !anted to ma"e sure my main guitar arts really counted and stayed on the record. 6ften( before( I had changed the main foundation at a later date( but that didn't ha en !ith $trange!ays." "I'm trying to be o en to any ideas( so long as they're fairly melodic and they relate to !hat the singer is singing. I'll try any tric". With the $miths( I'd ta"e this really loud )elecaster of mine( lay it on to of a ?ender )!in Ceverb !ith the vibrato on( and tune it to an o en chord. )hen I'd dro a "nife !ith a metal handle on it( hitting random strings. I used that on '$to Me If You )hin" You've =eard )his 6ne 5efore' for the big 'doings' at the start." -#ohnny Marr

"'$trange!ays' has its moments( li"e '+ast Bight I 3reamt )hat $omebody +ove Me'. +ast time I met Morrissey he said it !as his favourite $miths song. =e might be right." - #ohnny Marr

I Won't $hare You - ")here !as this auto-har lying around in the studio. I remember it sitting in one of the !indo!sills as you !ent do!n the stairs( and one day #ohnny dusted it do!n. It had been sitting around for ages so he tuned it u and started laying these chords. It sounded absolutely beautiful so !e recorded it there and then. ' fe! days later Morrissey came in and ut his vocal on to . It !as one of those trac"s that sent a little chill do!n your s ine."- $te hen $treet "I didn't realise it !as the same chords as ''s"' at the time and I'm glad I didn't because I might not have done it. I !as just ma"ing a tune that sort of resonated !ith the day." "I just heard a really lovely tune first off. I !as ha y that !e had another unusual little 'star in our gala%y' or !hatever. )hat's !hat it !as li"e( this other little thing that just beamed do!n. )he lyrics !ere brought to my attention by somebody( even before !e got out of the studio. )here !ere raised eyebro!s and( 'Whadya thin" of that then?'. 5ut it !as all in a days !or" for me really( still is. If I !as bothered by it I'd say( 'Well I ain't anyone's to fuc"ing share( me" but that's really the truth. If( in fact( that sentiment !as directed to!ards me then 7uite rightly I feel 7uite good about it. It's nice."- #ohnny Marr

$ho lifters 6f )he World 4nite - "You can hear Bils +ofgren's influence on me in the solo on '$ho lifters 6f )he World 4nite'. )hat's all done !ith false harmonics( !hich is a steel layer's techni7ue8 you touch the strings !ith a right-hand finger an octave higher than !here you're fretting( and then luc" the string !ith your thumb." "I thin" of them as guitar brea"s. I li"e the one in '$ho lifters' -- that !as the first time I used harmoniDing layering. <eo le have said it sounds li"e 5rian May( but I !as thin"ing of stac"ed Coy 5uchanans."

"'lso( you can leave @a !ah edalA on( o ened slightly !ithout even touching it -- that gives you a com letely different tonal range. )he '$ho lifters' brea" !as the first time that I really discovered that. 'nd if the filter is o en in just the right lace( you can get a harmonic to sing li"e a bird." -#ohnny Marr

=alf ' <erson - "I remember #ohnny and >raig !ere both laying acoustic guitars( !hich !e set u se arated !ith one in the left and one in the right s ea"er. )hat !as ut do!n together( very sim ly( !ith just a fe! overdubs on to ."- $te hen $treet "6ne @./G1 $tratocasterA I "ee constantly high strung in Bashville tuning( !hich is the to t!o strings the same and bottom four li"e a .K-string set !ith the lo! strings ta"en off. It's a good tuning for coming u !ith ne! stuff 'cos you "ind of feel li"e you're laying bac"!ards. I used that on loads of $miths stuff - You #ust =aven't ,arned It Yet( 5aby( =alf ' <erson..." ")his is a ./GK , i hone >oronet. $hortly after I got it I ut it in 'Bashville )uning'( !hich means utting on an electric .K string set -the bottom four strings are an octave higher than standard2. It feels li"e your laying bac"!ards because the higher strings are at the bottom. I used it to double a lot of the Cic"enbac"er ar eggios on $miths records( most notably on 'William It Was Ceally Bothing'( it's also the main guitar on '=alf ' <erson'."- #ohnny Marr

<anic - ")he influence of )-Ce% is very rofound on certain songs of )he $miths i.e. '<anic' and '$ho lifters'. Morrissey !as himself also mad about 5olan. When !e !rote "<anic" he !as obsessed !ith 'Metal 9uru' and !anted to sing in the same style. =e didn't sto singing it in an attem t to modify the !ords of '<anic' to fit the e%act rhythm of "Metal 9uru". =e also e%horted me to use the same guitar brea" so that the t!o songs are the same:::" "'<anic' came about at the time of >hernobyl. Morrissey and myself !ere listening to a Be!sbeat radio re ort about it. )he stories of this shoc"ing disaster comes to an end and then immediately !e're off into Wham's 'I'm Your Man'. I remember actually saying '!hat the fuc" has this got to do !ith eo le's lives?' 'nd so 'hang the blessed 3#'. I thin" it !as a great lyric( im ortant and a licable to anyone !ho lives in ,ngland. I mean( even the most ardent disco fan !ouldn't !ant to be subject to that stuff !ould they?"- #ohnny Marr

6scillate Wildly

"Initially the very notion of instrumentals !as motivated by me. I suggested that '6scillate Wildly' should be an instrumental; u until that oint #ohnny had very little interest in nonvocal trac"s. )here !as never any olitical heave-hoing about should !e-shouldn't !e have an instrumental and it !as never a battle of o!ers bet!een #ohnny and myself. )he very assum tion that a $miths instrumental trac" left Morrissey u stairs in his bedroom stam ing his feet and "ic"ing the furniture !as untrue: I totally a roved but( obviously( I didn't hysically contribute."

- Morrissey

"Morrissey !as very( very reluctant to use synthesiDers or anything electronic. )he only !ay #ohnny and I could get around that !as by tra ing guitar notes into these e%tended infinite reverbs that !ould hold for a long( long time then use the fader to bring it in at the right moment. It sounds li"e a string-ty e effect but really it's just guitar notes. )hat's the !ay '6scillate Wildly' !as built u . #ohnny !as still !or"ing !ith guitars but !e !ere trying to stretch the ossibilities and sounds of !hat !e could do !ith it."- $te hen $treet ")here !as never any lan for it to have lyrics. It !as al!ays going to be an instrumental and Morrissey encouraged me all the !ay." "We did it really 7uic"ly in just one evening( but it came together so beautifully." "''slee ' !as another one !or"ed out on the u right I inherited !hen I moved into to the house in 5o!don( the same iano I !rote '6scillate Wildly' on. It had a leasingly eerie 7uality about it. You could only lay certain things on it. Weird( doomy music( !hich suited us fine."

"'<lease <lease <lease +et Me 9et What I Want'( I did in a eriod of about four to five days !hen I !as living in a flat in ,arls >ourt. )hat !as done !hen !e needed a follo!-u to '=eaven Jno!s I'm Miserable Bo!'." "I thin" the mandolin !as suggested by the roducer #ohn <orter( I had the tune and he thought the mandolin !ould be good. )he music !as !ritten because I !as thin"ing about my childhood in 'rd!ic" 9reen." ")here's a sad song by 3el $hannon called ')he 'ns!er )o ,verything' that my arents used to lay( and it struc" a chord in me because it sounded so familiar. )hat song !as the ins iration for '<lease( <lease( <lease +et Me 9et What I Want'. I tried to ca ture the essence of that tune; its s oo"iness and sense of yearning." -#ohnny Marr

4nloveable - "It !as very deliberate. It !as right !hen I got a !hite $trat. I used it on that and I used it on ')he 5oy With )he )horn In =is $ide'. 5ut '4nloveable' !as the first time I deliberately used that $trat sound for a $miths song. I remember scratching my chin and thin"ing( =mmm o"( >an I get a!ay !ith this? You can articularly tell on that end. I used it on the outro of '$ome 9irls 're 5igger )han 6thers'. 5ut '4nloveable' !as the first of that !hole ro! of songs." -#ohnny Marr

Were you good at s ort? Miraculous. It !as the only thing I !as good at and I used to love it com letely. )he .FF metres !as my raison d'etre. Yes( I !on everything. I !as a terrible bore !hen it came to athletics. I !as just the ty e of erson everyone des ises so I've carried on in that tradition. ./0*

're you in love? If I said no( that !ould seem too star". I have to be. I thin" everybody has to be other!ise !here do you get the energy from to go on( in life( and strive for certain things? )he things that stir me are schools and buildings and I'm 7uite immersed in the ast and in the history of this country and ho! things have evolved and I get 7uite assionate about certain eo le in des erate situations.

.*. 're you frightened of gro!ing old? Bo( not to any degree. I !as never ha y !hen I !as young so I don't e7uate gro!ing old !ith being hysterically unha y. )o me old age doesn't mean doom( des air and defeat. )here are lots of eo le I "no! in considerably advanced years that I find fascinating.

Why did you join the $miths? +i"e Morrissey( I feel that my life !as leading u to '=and In 9love(' and from then on things began to ha en. My life began. )hat record set the standard. When #ohnny layed me their first demo ta e( I thought it !as the best thing I'd ever heard( both musically and lyrically. It !as a once in a lifetime o ortunity and too good to miss( so I lea t at it as 7uic"ly as ossible.M# '0;

=o! good do you thin" the $miths are? We are the best band in the !orld( there's nobody better. We have otentially vast amounts of status and !e're getting better all the time. We are all very good at !hat !e do. I've been lyaing guitar since I !as nine( but !hen #ohnny started getting good on it( I s!itched to bass and no! I'm very good indeed. )he $miths are follo!ing their natural ath... O 'C( ./0;

We have a very traditional line-u . It's nothing s ecial but it's very s ecial. We are four individuals; !e just sim ly o en our hearts and o en our mouths. If that isn't enough( !e might as !ell go home. We don't have any meta hysical lan - there is nothing gimmic"y that !e !ant to ro e eo le in !ith. We are four individuals( na"ed before the !orld - eo le !ill either react( or not. - ./0;

"I am 7uite leased that !e have become successful !ith Cough )rade( though( rather than any major record com any -- it seems to increase the value of snubbing the industry. 5y not doing videos( by not aying for album romotion( by not ta"ing advertising s ace... all that's rather uni7ue." - ./0; With all these intervie!s and media attention( do you feel you've been overe% osed? "It seems I've been e%tremely overe% osed because of the nature of the intervie!s. )hey get very ersonal( even if you do just one big intervie! !here it gets embarrassingly ersonal( you seem entirely overe% osed. It's a dilemma( I don't "no! 7uite !hat to do."

"I al!ays found young eo le to be uncommonly satisfied and lacid. If I ever got angry and dissatisfied as a child it !as because there !as never any angst from anybody. <ersonally I !as very unha y but in general( the reason I felt strange !as because no-one else !as saying( "I'm really miserable( I can't stand being nine years old( !hen are things going to change?" - ./0;

=o! does your real mother feel !hen you tal" about your unbearable childhood? "$he ta"es it very seriously and reads my intervie!s religiously. I "no! it u sets her sometimes but it's not something she doesn't already "no! about. We have loughed through it several times( many years ago. 5ut I really can't hel it( if somebody as"s me a 7uestion( I ans!er it( I can't lie." - ./0;

$uch as? 6h( ne!s a er cli ings li"e "?ish ,ats Man". <robably the most im ortant 7uote !as from 9oethe8 "'rt and +ife are different( that's !hy one is called 'rt and one is called +ife." 5ut strangely( !henever I've returned to the house and the room I just couldn't ma"e the remotest connection bet!een ho! I felt( ho! I !as and the room. It sounds dramatic( but at one oint( I thought I could never ossibly leave the room. It seems that everything I am !as conceived in this room. ,verything that ma"es me is in there. I used to have a horrible territorial com le%. I !ould totally des ise any creature that ste ed across the threshhold and !hen somebody did( or loo"ed at my boo"s( or too" out a record( I !ould seethe !ith anger. I !as obsessive8 everything !as chronologically ordered - a lace for everything( everything in its lace. )otal neurosis. My sister only ever o ed her head around the door. 5ut no!( it's totally foreign. It's strange ho! things that seem to mean so much( ultimately don't matter." - ./0;

3o the $miths li"e their record com any?

I thin" !e're mismanaged in many !ays. We haven't had much record com any assistance. We're not really in the traditional mold( and I thin" they find us slghtly roblematical. ,verything !e've achieved !e've done by ourselves.

")he $andie roject !as a tremendous success. I felt( at that time( that !hat !e !ere doing !as the absolute envy of the entire industry. It !as )he $miths( these relative ne!comers( and $andie $ha! at the other e%treme. #ust the !ay !e came together( the combination !as almost erfect; it had virtually never been done before in the history of music. I "no! that( if it had failed( the failure of the idea !ould have been given massive ublicity( but it didn't fail. ?or that reason( I'm leased." - ./0;

You told me( last time( that you never !anted )he $miths to mil" a formula dry. Weren't "=eaven" and "William" just ridiculously familiar? "I don't thin" the format of the songs became too familiar. )han"fully( )he $miths became familiar through success( but I don't agree that !e !ere e%hausting any set formula. ,ven if !e !anted to be that !ay( I don't thin" !e could( because that's the ty e of eo le !e are. )his goes for every single member of the grou ( !e are not o stars and !e're not in any traditional mould. I find it im ossible to be flattered by o success but I don't "no! !hy. Maybe( I just have very high standards and I don't thin" !e've even begun to reach them( so it doesn't mean a thing to me !hen eo le come u and shout( "<henomenal: Bumber ;1:::". It doesn't mean anything( although it is im ortant to me that !e've reached this scale of success." - ./0;

")he lyrics I !rite are s ecifically genderless. I don't !ant to leave anybody out. =andsome is a !ord that eo le thin" is a lied to males... but I "no! lots of handsome !omen. 'fter all( there is such a thing as a retty male." -?eb '0;2 "I constantly s ectate u on eo le !ho are ent!ined and fran"ly I'm loo"ing u on souls in agony. I can't thin" of one relationshi in the !orld !hich has been harmonious. It just doesn't ha en." -?eb '0;2 "Wor"ing !ith her has been an endless thrill. It's almost li"e meeting oneself in a former life. $he's very do!n to earth( very humorous( there's a certain veil !hich she lo!ers at a certain time of the day..." -6n $andie $ha!( ?eb '0;2

3o you not recognise a measure of obscurity in the songs( a "ind of ambiguity?

I get very annoyed !hen the !ord 'obscure' is brought into the !hole conte%t. I feel that I go to great ains to be very direct and recise. I don't !ant to be misunderstood in anything I say. I thin" it has been a trend in recent years to be very obscure and very surreal. )he $miths must be understood on every level( in every !ay. - ./0;

"It !as more of a restoration rather than remastering( as such(" Marr tells Colling $tone( e% laining that he didn't add anything that didn't already e%ist O he just brought it all out. "I "ne! there !as a lot of music hiding in there(" says Marr. 'll eight remastered $miths >3s have just been released by Chino Cecords( including the first 4.$. >3 release of the band's ./0H 4.J. com ilation( )he World Won't +isten.

Marr acce ts res onsibility for disbanding the $miths( but O erha s sur risingly O it a ears he's not entirely o osed to reuniting !ith his former bandmates( including lead singer Morrissey. In an intervie! !ith Colling $tone( the guitarist loo"s bac" fondly on the $miths' celebrated career.

's you listened to the catalog for this roject( did any ne! favorite songs emerge? 3id any articular album sur rise you in any !ay? $ince I've !or"ed in the 4nited $tates( in the last si% or seven years( I've ic"ed u on the fact that Meat is Murder !as the record that !as the introduction to the $miths for a lot of eo le. +iving in <ortland meant that I !ould meet eo le !ho heard that record first. I "no! no! that that record is more im ortant to a lot of eo le than I realiDed. $o I guess I "ind of listened to it differently because a lot of my friends "no! that record best. I al!ays have really li"ed ")he =eadmaster Citual" off that record( and ")hat #o"e Isn't ?unny 'nymore."

I thin" that overall( during the mastering of it( I "ind of connected !ith the songs that !ere the most emotional rather than necessarily the ones that are the most !ell "no!n. $o "+ast Bight I 3reamt $omebody +oved Me" and ")hat #o"e Isn't ?unny 'nymore" and those things O "I Jno! It's 6ver" O yeah( they sounded 7uite o!erful. When you hear anything in assing( you tend to hear just the radio ones( of course. $o maybe there's that as ect to it( too.

't the time of the brea"u ( you blamed it on a lac" of good management and a number of business roblems. 3o you still stand by those reasons? Yeah( that's really it. I've said it before( but anybody that thin"s that it !as a good idea for the K1-year-old guitar layer of a really big roc" band to go bac" to being a manager of that band... - #M( KF.K

#6=BBY M'CC( M'Y KF.K

)he '.E. >lub8 )he $miths albums have been rereleased before( but never in a ac"age 7uite li"e this. =o! does it feel to have this music that you created !hen you !ere so young reserved in such a restige format?

#ohnny Marr8 Well( this is the first time since the records !ere made that they sound right. )here !as one com ilation that I li"ed a fe! years bac" called )he $ound 6f )he $miths( but u until then( and !hen theyNd been ut out in the N/Fs articularly( theyNd been messed !ith and sounded terrible. It !as a real source of frustration for me. ,very time I !ould hear a >3 in a store or something( I !ould start thin"ing( RWhoa( INm sure it didnNt 7uite sound this thin(S or RWhy is everything so bright and ha y-sounding?S I fought a real battle for 7uite a fe! years to be able to get the o ortunity to fi% it( and !hat I did !asnNt so much remastering as&in my mind&restoring. 5ecause I really didnNt ut a lot of stuff on; I just too" off all of the silly stuff that !as ut on during the N/Fs.

$o from that oint of vie!( itNs been very( very gratifying. )he rocess !as a lot of !or" and !as more concentrated than I e% ected( but it !as !orth it because thereNs not one erson thatNs said it doesnNt sound li"e the old records. I didnNt ut the music on steroids( so to s ea". I didnNt jac" anything u ; I didnNt try to ma"e it the loudest record on i)unes or anything li"e that. I just !anted it to sound li"e I remember it sounding in the studio. )he facts are that !hen I got the original ta es and ut them ut them u on the machine( they really didnNt need very much done to them at all( so I "ne! I !asnNt that craDy. @+aughs.A

<ac"aging-!ise( I have to be fair and say that I thin" the labelNs done a really good job !ith the bo%es( and really have stayed true to the original designs( not utting anything that doesnNt re resent the grou on the cover( !hich is another thing that ha ens.

'E>8 Were there any discussions at any oint of resenting the music in any other !ay than in the form of the original albums? +i"e( say( a R>om lete $mithsS !ith all the songs in chronological order or anything li"e that?

#M8 Bo( because the !hole oint !as to be faithful. )o re resent the body of !or" !ith integrity. INve had no roblem !ith shouting out and com laining for years about my right to have my records sound the !ay I made them( and !hen I started sitting there !ith ?ran" 'r"!right( the mastering engineer( to go through the songs( the realiDation came to me clearly that I mustnNt mess this u . @+aughs.A It !as 7uite a tas"( because I felt a res onsibility to the other $miths members( and a res onsibility to the eo le !ho love the music.

>ome to thin" of it( that !as a lot li"e my e% erience of being in the band( and being !ho I am any!ay8 feeling a res onsibility to the other members of the band( rimarily( and then a res onsibility to eo le !ho already love the music. 'bout three or four songs in( I remember

thin"ing to myself( RWo!( youNve got to ma"e every song right( and you canNt mess this thing u or else youNre be in big trouble.S My head !as on the cho ing bloc" from all corners( really. $o INm su er- leased everybody seems to li"e it and understand !hy I !anted to do it. 'E>8 )hose first $miths albums sounded very different from anything else coming from your art of the !orld at the time( and yet at least from !hat !e heard about here in the 4.$.( the band seemed to be retty !ell acce ted from the beginning. 3id you meet any resistance to your sound !hen you !ere first starting out?

#M8 6h yeah( sure. )he first eight or nine months of the grou Ns life !ere just Morrissey and myself trying to find the right other t!o&!hich !e did( eventually&and trying to find laces to ractice( and trying to find eo le !ho might "no! someone at a record com any( and trying to get some demo time. 5ecause !e !ere really bro"e( and just had each other( and my then-girlfriend( !ho is no! my !ife. 6h( and also our manager( !ho is still my manager to this day. )he fe! resources !e had( !e tried to !or" !ith( but as I say( !e !ere retty s"int. 5ecause the !ord in Manchester !as that !e !ere just too !eird. @+aughs.A 6ur very early songs( li"e R$uffer +ittle >hildren(S R)he =and )hat Coc"s )he >radle(S and RYouNve 9ot ,verything Bo!(S !hich !ere re resented on the first record( eventually( !ere retty !eird songs to start out !ith.

$o yeah( there !as some resistance. We didnNt have to battle for years li"e some grou s do( though( because eo le sa! the good in us essentially 7uite 7uic"ly&say( after a year of erforming. Which couldNve been !orse. What really ha ened !as that our first set of songs !ent into an aborted version of our first record that never came out&!hich actually is a more faithful document of !here the band really !as. )hey !ere !hat !e laying( and !hat !ere eo leNs introduction to us( in terms of eo le on the street and the eo le that !ould come see us o ening u for other grou s and all that. 5ut !hen !e signed to Cough )rade and got some su ort from eo le li"e #ohn <eel after our first year( !hich is relatively soon( !e 7uite 7uic"ly found our song!riting feet( and Morrissey and myself !ere able to sound li"e the band that eo le "no!. I guess !e got slightly more listenable and more commercial.

'E>8 You mentioned #ohn <eel( and some of your recordings from #ohn <eelNs sho! later made it on to your actual albums. 3id you re are for a #ohn <eel session the same !ay you !ould for a regular recording session?

#M8 'bsolutely not( e%ce t for one occasion !hen !e needed an e%tra song and I !rote R)his >harming Man.S )here !as great ressure( and something really hel ful came out of adversity. @+aughs.A I had no idea !hat a #ohn <eel session even !as !hen !e did our first one( other than that !eNd heard that the engineers !ere all these grum y( old( stuffy engineers( and that turned out to be true. YouNd get in there at .F in the morning( so in our case !eNd have to ta"e off from Manchester at li"e G a.m. 'nd youNd have to have four finished songs by / or .F oNcloc" at night. 6ur first session !as so o ular that it got re eated 7uite 7uic"ly( and then !e got invited bac" to do( I thin"( three more. $o obviously it

!asnNt so much of a sur rise on our subse7uent sessions. We just layed !hat !e !ere laying live.

I thin" the ans!er is that !e !ere al!ays !or"ing and al!ays !riting ne! songs( so !e layed !hatever ne! songs !e had at that time. +uc"ily for us( !e seemed to al!ays have ne! ones. 5ut in the case of R)his >harming Man(S !e had a #ohn <eel session at the end of a !ee"( and I had a vague idea of !hat songs !e !ere going to do( but I felt li"e !e needed a cheery one and a "ind of commercial one. $o that just got me to do the hard !or" and get it together. I lea t out of bed one morning( and the "ind of ressure of it made me come u !ith that riff. )here !as also a little bit of com etition in the case of that moment( because 'Dtec >amera( !ho !ere also our labelmates at Cough )rade( !ere starting to get on the radio( and I !anted to get on the radio too( or at least give it a try. +uc"ily( I !as feeling retty chi er that day( and the sun !as coming through the !indo! at ..81F a.m. or !hatever time it !as( and I just ut that riff do!n. 5ut essentially( !e needed a certain "ind of song for the #ohn <eel session( and thatNs ho! that ha ened.

We never rehearsed for anything though( )he $miths. We never needed to because !e !ere al!ays laying. ?rom !hen Morrissey and I first met to the last days of the grou ( !e !ere )he $miths every day( all day( and didnNt need any reason to not be. I thin" Mi"e !ent on holidays( but aside from that( it never occurred to us to ta"e a brea" because !e !ere doing !hat !e loved( you "no!? ,very day.

'E>8 What about the ac"aging of the band? Your records had a very distinctive loo". Was that something you all agreed on as !ell?

#M8 $ame as !ith the above. We !ere all fans of !hat !e !ere doing. Morrissey did all the art!or"( and it !as al!ays a sur rise( and a great sense of antici ation of !hat !as going to ha en ne%t. I loved the sleeves( and I still do. 6bviously you have your favorites or some you li"e over others( but I li"e them all. )hat !as there from day one as !ell. ,ven !hen !e !ere ma"ing little cassettes( Morrissey !ould do little hotoco ied ideas on the cassettes. #ust li"e the music( itNs li"e( R)his is !hat !eNre going to do today( and here it is.S )here !asnNt stuff laying around on the cutting room floor( musically or aesthetically. We didnNt try stuff that didnNt !or". ,verything !e did( !e ut out. ,very song( every sleeve.

'E>8 You mentioned the early version of the first album that you scra ed. 3id you consider including that in the bo% set? 6r any other "ind of rarities( li"e live trac"s or alternate ta"es?

#M8 I !ouldNve li"ed to( but the labelNs got some "ind of legal issue there that I never !ant to tal" about( so thatNs unfortunate. )here are monitor mi%es and instrumental versions and slightly different versions of songs. When I said that nothing ended u on the cutting-room floor and nothing ever didnNt come out( I meant songs. )here arenNt any songs that didnNt come out. )here !ere versions of the songs( though( !here I ut "eyboards on it( or before some strings !ent on( or e%tra guitars. I !ent through everything( and there !ere a lot of nice things( li"e un lugged "inds of things( that are valid and do have integrity and that I !ould li"e( at some oint( to see the light of day. I thin" theyNve come out on some bootlegs over the last fe! years( and fans really li"e them and theyNre good. 5ut I canNt say !hy they !onNt go out.

'E>8 You mentioned earlier that radio "ind of had to lay you because you !ere already o ular. Was there any hesitation( do you thin"( in the mainstream culture because of MorrisseyNs se%uality? Was there sort of a homo hobia of some "ind( maybe?

#M8 6h( I !ouldnNt "no! about that. I thin" !e just !erenNt )ears ?or ?ears or ?ine Young >annibals.

'E>8 You tal"ed about your Cough )rade labelmates 'Dtec >amera. )he 4J o scene has a re utation for bands being very com etitive( much li"e you mentioned. 3id you have colleagues in the scene that you !ere friends !ith? 6r !as it all sort of every man for himself?

#M8 Well( I layed on 5illy 5raggNs records( and he came on tour !ith us and !e had a res ect for 5illy( because he !as a great song!riter and he !as olitically aligned !ith us. )here !as Jirsty Mac>oll of course( !ho I !ent on to !rite some songs !ith and had a very strong friendshi !ith. We res ected Jirsty. I ersonally li"ed a number of things that Be! 6rder did( even before )he $miths. )hey !ere li"e the ne! band around !hen I !as a "id( or in my teens any!ay( in Manchester. $o I had a res ect for Be! 6rder( and 5ernard $umner( !hich I guess !as the main reason !hy I !ent on to !or" !ith him all through the N/Fs. )here !as a band called #ames that !e too" out on the road !ith us. ,verything 5ut )he 9irl !ere around. I thought the 5unnymen made some good records. 5ut I can only s ea" for myself.

We detected a slight feeling of resentment from )he ?all !hen !e started getting o ular( I guess because !e made the label very busy. @+aughs.A 5ut you "no!( !hatNs ne!? Mar" ,. $mith has "ind of made a career out of being resentful( so it didnNt bother us too much. It !as a little bit of a shame for me because I !as a fan of )he ?all !hen I !as a "id( so that "ind of disa ointed me at the time( I remember. 5ut I donNt thin" there !as too much com etition. You "no!( !e !ere bum ing into bands on )E sho!s( and I li"ed just !hoever !as ma"ing good music. )here !ere lenty of bands that !ere "ind of dominating the air!aves and M)E

!ho !e didnNt li"e. )he usual cul rits( you "no!&the "ind of major label( very( very straight grou s.

'E>8 What has been your ta"e on the bands that have come after )he $miths that are very lainly ins ired by )he $miths( li"e )he Wedding <resent or 5elle P $ebastian? 3o you ta"e that as an honor?

#M8 Well of course itNs an honor&absolutely. )hereNs no bigger honor. 6ccasionally( though( thereNs a sound from some of those grou s that is( shall !e say( 7uite fey. INve heard some records by bands that came after us !ho had their music been any more fey and light!eight( then INd e% ect etals to come out of the s ea"ers. @+aughs.A )hatNs "ind of missing !hat !e !ere about( because )he $miths !ere not all R6scar Wilde at 181F in the afternoonS and feyness. )he truth of it is( if you !ere to see any songs from any of our sho!s( !e !ere( !hat I !ould say( 7uite heavy. ,ven the ballads !ere intense. We !ere a roc" band( really( that layed a ty e of o music( if I care to analyDe it. I donNt "no! very much about )he Wedding <resentNs music( but !hat INve heard of 5elle P $ebastian !as often 7uite fey( and light in a very deliberate !ay. I thin" they have their o!n thing( !hich is absolutely fine. 5ut I donNt actually thin" they sound li"e )he $miths.

'E>8 )here seems to be a lot of current 'merican inde endent bands trying to reca ture the sound of your first album. I "ee thin"ing that they should listen to )he Queen Is 3ead or +ouder )han 5ombs. 9et a little more muscle into it( you "no!?

#M8 @+aughs.A Yeah( yeah( thatNs interesting. I !asnNt a!are that bands !ere trying to sound li"e the first album. I became a!are over the years that Meat Is Murder !as the main introduction to )he $miths for many eo le in 'merica( I guess because R=o! $oon Is Bo!?S is on the 'merican release. 'nd thatNs 7uite gratifying( because !e made that record !ithout any singles on it as such. We didnNt care about singles on that record; !e just made !hat !e thought !ould be a great album( or as good an album as !e could ma"e. ItNs not trying to be a radio-friendly record&though !e !ere al!ays fairly melodic. INm really ha y that most eo leNs introduction to this unusual grou from ,ngland !as actually called Meat Is Murder. @+aughs.A You "no!( INve been a vegetarian since then.

'E>8 You mentioned the albums versus the singles( and you recorded lots of singles that !ere not ever released on a ro er album( only on anthologies. =o! did you decide that( say( R)he 5oy With )he )horn In =is $ideS !ould go on )he Queen Is 3ead( but R$ha"es eareNs $isterS !ould be a single?

#M8 We !ere fans of the ;*( and !e al!ays thought li"e fans. It didnNt occur to us that it !ould be much more rofitable and business-savvy to !ait to record these songs !hen !e

had another nine songs to sell off the bac" of it. It !as really !hen !e got to 'merica that the label had to deal in those terms( because the ;* culture !as even less in the $tates than it !as even in ,ngland at that time&and it !as fairly non-e%istent in ,ngland. When !e got over there( they didnNt really "no! ho! to deal !ith us( because !e had these very strong trac"s that !ere very o ular( but they just e%isted in isolation. 'nd this !as at the start of video culture( and the idea !as you s end massive amounts of money on the one lead song that then sells your album. Well( !e didnNt !ant to ma"e videos( and !e had these songs that !erenNt even attached to the albums. @+aughs.A We just thought the ;* !as really valid. It !as just being led by our love of the culture( and being fans( and an acute disregard for business.

'E>8 )hereNs a documentary about )he >lash( made !hen #oe $trummer !as alive( in !hich he tal"s about all the little things that led to the brea"u of )he >lash( and ho! he !ishes he could go bac" to that erson he !as in his KFs and say( RBone of this matters. )he addictions donNt matter. )he ersonality conflicts donNt matter. You are in one of the greatest bands of all time. 3onNt fuc" it u .S 3o have a similar feeling about the end of )he $miths? WhatNs your ta"e on ho! and !hy everything fell a art?

#M8 Well( I donNt thin" anything !as fuc"ed u . I donNt have that "ind of ers ective at all. I thin" itNs sad that four guys !ho !ere so tight !ent through such bitterness( that !as encouraged by the behavior of some members of the band. 6bviously( it !as very emotional. )he band !as incredibly dramatic( and INm hiloso hical about that because I thin" !ithout that dramatic element( some of the music !ouldnNt sound the !ay it does. Bot all( but some. I thin" the only regrettable thing is that as adults( only 'ndy and myself get together and give each other a hug and ma"e fun of each other and li"e seeing each other. )o be honest( itNs unfortunate that )he $miths donNt have the relationshi !here they can sit around and even get com laints out( or hiloso hiDe. )hatNs unfortunate for four adults !ho are al!ays going to have a tie to each other. 'nd unfortunately lots of !aterNs gone under the bridge( you "no!? 5ut I can only s ea" for myself( and say that I donNt have any negative thoughts about the times bac" then or the times no!( or the eo le in it. I just ersonally feel a sense of ride( and an incredible degree of luc". 'll I !ant to say about that( on behalf of the other three members of the grou ( is that !e !or"ed very( very hard and !e really( really cared.

'E>8 6nce the band !as over( you !or"ed on a lot of different rojects8 ,lectronic( )he )he( )he <retenders. 6n a lot of those( you seemed to be ur osefully not using your sort of $miths-y guitar sound.

#M8 Yeah( I thin" thatNs right. 6ne of the reasons !hy I !anted the band to end any!ay !as because I !anted to try to learn to be a different "ind of guitar layer( !hich I sa! as rogress. 5ecause at K;( you really ho e that you havenNt learned all youNre going to learn. I mean( thatNs the !ay I feel even no!. ?or someone li"e me( that !ould be very disa ointing. $o for me( that !as the reason for the band ending. It !asnNt just all ersonal( or business. It

!as musical. Who !ants to be ut in a bo% at K* years of age? )hroughout my career( INve had an agenda not to rely on a Rsignature sound(S and to try not to re eat myself.

)hings change some!hat !hen you get older. You get a slightly different ers ective. 5y some !eirdness( INve found myself in situations !here INve layed a $miths song in front of an audience. )hatNs artly because lenty of other eo le have done it( and because the songs are mine. 'nd as a more mature erson( INve had the realiDation that !hen I lay these songs in front of an audience( thereNs a great feeling in the hall. )hings have become much more sim le( really. I donNt loo" at it any more dee ly than that. If I lay R)here Is ' +ight )hat Bever 9oes 6ut(S and itNs a song that I feel o"ay singing( thereNs a fantastic feeling in the room. )hatNs it.

5ut as a musician( I !ouldnNt change a note that INve layed( because INd hate to thin" of just years and years of laying the same !ay. 'll I can say ersonally is that I feel li"e INm a better musician through everything INve done. ItNs been hard-fought( but !orth it. 'nd I thin" after a !hile( eo le started to understand !hat my motivation !as and go !ith me on it. $o eo le no! "no! that I change !hen I do something li"e Ince tion( or !hen I lay !ith a band li"e Modest Mouse. 'nd then INll do something else. 5ut really I !as that !ay before I formed )he $miths any!ay.

'E>8 3o you have a favorite from the non-solo( non-$miths rojects that youNve !or"ed on?

#M8 I really had a great time !or"ing !ith Modest Mouse( just because of the eo le. I loved !riting songs !ith Isaac 5roc"( and #eremiah 9reen is robably my favorite musician that INve !or"ed !ith. $o that !as really fantastic. 'nd being in )he )he !as a really( really great time in my life. I have a very close friendshi !ith 5ernard $umner; heNs the coolest erson INve ever met. 'nd !hat INve just done !ith )he >ribs has been a reconnection !ith the erson I !as( and !anted to be !hen I !as .0 or ./( that is to say8 laying in a 4J street grou ( ma"ing a run of singles. $o I feel very fortunate.

'E>8 =ave you "e t u !ith MorrisseyNs solo career at all?

#M8 Bot really( but I donNt really "ee u !ith anyone s ecific any!ay. $o the ans!erNs Rno(S but itNs not really that big of a deal.

'E>8 6ne last 7uestion( and I donNt "no! if this is something you care about( but !ould you li"e to see )he $miths in the Coc" 'nd Coll =all 6f ?ame?

#M8 4hT @<ause.A Bot really( no. I mean( I donNt mean to be ungrateful( and if the o ortunity came I !ould never be ungracious. I ho e this doesnNt sound ungracious( but I donNt thin" a!ards mean dic". INm a musician; INm not in the television business.

4ohnny, -=>E "6ne thing I !asn't e% ecting !ere the leeches diving in. <eo le li"e my mum "e t saying 'everybody !ill !ant to cash in on you if you ma"e it big'. I didn't believe them but it's true. 't the moment everybody !e meet !ants to be our manager: 5ut !e're just organising ourselves at the moment and not listening to anybody. ")he other thing that's !eird is this henomenon called fans. )hey "ee saying to me '3on't you get issed off 'cos Morrissey's al!ays in the a ers'. I don't "no! !hy they thin" that because I never do but they e% ect the rest of us to be mad about the ublicity Morrissey is getting." #ohnny is clearly only just getting used to the $mash =itsIBumber 6ne fan mentality. 5ut is this really the first and last $miths tour? "Well( it is( sort of. 5ecause of our status and the ne! album !e !ere e% ected to do this tour but then I started thin"ing that !e're just doing !hat other bands do. "We're roud of our records and sleeves because they're different from everybody else and it should be the same !ith the gigs too. 5ut there's no !ay !e're going to sto laying gigs. We're not going to do the Marc 'lmond bit: We'd li"e to lay t!o dates a !ee" or something but !e're not that "een on doing traditional tours because it can become a bland circus. I'd hate to get sic" of laying gigs but I'm !orried that by this time ne%t year !e'll have layed so many that !e !on't !ant to lay again. "I'm on a massive high again !ith the $miths. Bot that I !as ever very lo! but there !as a eriod after ')his >harming Man' came out and !e layed loads of gigs and a eared on )o 6f )he <o s and I started !ondering '!ell( there must be more to it than this.' 'nd no! I "no! there is so I'm bac" u again." )he rumours of them leaving Cough )rade are not true( but at least #ohnny "no!s ho! that one got started. "We didn't li"e the dance mi% of ')his >harming Man' !hich they ut out as a .K-inch and !e told them so but !e're certainly not going around saying 'Cough )rade have scre!ed us u '. "I "no! !e're at the stage !here eo le are loo"ing for the smallest blemish( any little differences bet!een us and Cough )rade or bet!een ourselves but I still thin" it's daft." With the usual $miths blushing modesty( #ohnny thin"s the album is " henomenal". "'ll the elements of the $miths are there. )here's nothing lost( I'm sure of it. 6ur roducer #ohn <orter !as the erfect studio technician for us. =e got some amaDing subtleties but at the same time !e !ere utting some things do!n in just a cou le of ta"es. "We did some recording beforehand !ith )roy )ate but it didn't really !or" out. It meant so much to him( he's thought about it all so much that I felt really bad about saying 'no' to some of his suggestions( articularly as I'd got really friendly !ith him. 5ut it !as a !eird eriod for

us. We !ere going into the studio for a lengthy s ell for the first time and !e !ere a bit !orried about !hat might ha en to our sound. ")he ne! songs !e've got are just as good as the old ones but I don't !ant the ne%t album to be the first album art t!o( I !ant it to be une% ected.

=e's not even hased !hen I suggest that the idea of being successful is erha s too e% ected for the $miths and maybe they should do something about that? "We !ant to be universally successful but !hat's more im ortant to me - and I realise it more as !e get more o ular - is that !e are the eo le !ho have to live !ith our records. I'm into a Muddy Waters tri ( !hich sounds really corny( but I !ant to be influential over the ne%t fe! generations. <o music is such a o!erful force and I !ant to stand out in that force." 5ut is it still? 'ren't "ids buying video games rather than records these days? "6nly because there has been nothing of any real significance lately. I don't li"e video games but if it !as a choice bet!een that and the ne! Eisage +< I'd get the video game. "We're just trying to get bac" to some of the original notions about !hat a grou is really about."

")he ursuit of the beautiful trac" is !hat !as going on /* ercent of the time !ithout either of us discussing it. <robably the other five ercent of the time is !hat !e remember most( !hich !as us trying to be innovative and ne!( not trying to be Be! 6rder or the $miths( just trying to do something that had the s irit of our influences." --#ohnny Marr( 55>.com intervie!( KFFG "Well I still believe #ohnny Marr is the greatest guitar layer of our generation( of our time... I thin" heNs still burninN. It still burns in him in a very rofound !ay( and INm glad that heNs follo!ing his o!n muse. =eNs not out there( doing $miths-lite li"e Morrissey( you "no!? $o I res ect that." --5illy 5ragg( KFFG

"@#ansch's musicA really sounded li"e a challenge to me. It !as a yardstic" for me by !hich to raise my game as a layer... 5ertNs stuff !as the only music by a s ecific guitar layer that I !ould try and !or" out. 'nd li"e a lot of things !hen youNre influenced by eo le( you find your o!n !ay of doing it and itNs normally !rong but it hel s you along your o!n road. 'nd I ended u being luc"y enough to lay !ith 5ert a fe! times and last year he and I !ere laying in my "itchen and !hen heNs t!o feet a!ay from you( laying guitar( itNs more confusing !hen youNre loo"ing at his fingers than listening to the records. =aving layed !ith him( INm more confused than I ever !as." --#ohnny Marr( =ar MagaDine( KFFK

!hat I realiDed retty 7uic"ly !as that eo le !ere as"ing me about other stuff rather than singing( so I too" that as being a really good thing. <eo le !ere listening to the record and tal"ing about the sound of it( or the !ords or ho! it related to the old stuff INve done. Bo one !as ma"ing a big deal of the singing( and thatNs a good thing. ItNs a real tric"y one( because !hen youNre "no!n for something else&es ecially singing( and me being a "no!n guitar layer&itNs a bit of a lea for eo le. ItNs a bigger deal to everyone else than it is to me." --#ohnny Marr( Magnet MagaDine( KFF1

#M intervie!8 "I thin" there's a certain ty e of erson !ho my music resonates !ith( and ultimately that's eo le li"e yourself(" Marr continues( after I confess to having been a ridiculously( stu idly huge $miths fan bac" in the '0Fs. "Most musicians( !hether they realiDe it or not( are really ma"ing music for eo le !ho are li"e them. )hat's !hat you start out doing and( luc"ily for me( I've al!ays been a!are of it... so I "ind of got it right(" he laughs. "I've al!ays assumed that there are eo le -- outside of my o!n country( outside of my o!n city -- !herever( !ho li"e a bit of assion. 'lso( !ith 5oomslang( I made the assum tion that eo le !ho li"e !hat I do aren't afraid of major chord changes and a bit of roc" P roll as !ell." I "no! you're a big Colling $tones fan( !hat's your favorite $tones song? Well( !hen I've been as"ed to name a favorite-ever record( it's al!ays been "9imme $helter." I heard it @for the first timeA !hen I !as off school one day( goofing off !ith a cou le of my friends. )he first time I heard it( it !asn't actually on +et It 5leed( it !as from a !eird 3ecca cut ressed album called 9immie $helter -- !hich I've never seen since( but !hich I still o!n. 'maDingly( for me( the song !as the last trac" on one of the sides and therefore I !as able to "ee laying it continuously on my arents' record layer( just by lifting u the tone arm. If I left the s eed at 11 C<M( and left setting !here the arm dro ed for a H"( then it !ould dro right on the last trac" on that side( !hich !as "9immie $helter." When my arents !ent out( I !ould turn all the lights off( lay do!n in the dar" on the floor and ta"e the s ea"ers from off the shelves and ut them ne%t to my ears -- li"e the !orld's biggest head hones. I'd ress them u against my head and just leave the arm off the turn table so the record !ould lay continuously until I just com letely Doned out. )hat's transcendence for you( and no one's gonna tell me any different @laughsA. 6h yeah( I had a ritual li"e that !ith +ed Ue elin ?our( !here at >hristmas time !hen I !as a "id( I'd listen to it in the dar" !ith head hones on and our >hristmas tree all lit u . It !as li"e magic. +i"e an acid tri before you even "ne! !hat acid !as. Wo!( it's incredible isn't it? )hat "ind of obsession and being dra!n into that !orld( !hether that !as even intended by the eo le !ho made the records( it !as so im ortant to me( and eo le !ho are li"e me. It's something you can't get from anything else. You can't get it from religion( you can't get it from drugs and you can't get it from se%. You can get all sorts of other things from that stuff( but that esca ism and that "ind of visit to a "ind of lace that's mysterious( but yet familiar( can only ha en through those "inds of records and those "inds of e% eriences( for me. )hat's !hat I'm trying to do myself( !hen I lay( rimarily( because

ultimately no! I "no! that !hen I had those moments @!hich areA rare in your o!n stuff( they do translate and eo le ic" u on it and have the same sort of e% eriences. )he $miths' song that !ould have had that "ind of effect on me !ould be "=o! $oon Is Bo!." ?rom the very first bit of the staccato guitar feedbac" through to the very last !ords Morrissey sings( that !hole song just ta"es you on a "ind of journey. It's just brilliant. )hat song !as "ind of a bit of ins ired luc"( really. 'lthough I "no! #ohn <orter( !ho is the roducer of that song( !ho I love( had said that he steered us to!ards this direction or that direction( I heard recently that he @claimed heA !as trying to get us to lay ")hat's 'lright( Mama" by ,lvis <resley. I totally disagree !ith that and some!here I've got the demo that I brought in( !hen the song !as called "$!am ." I did it on a <orta-studio and it !as my idea of !hat I'd heard that >reedence @>lear!ater CevivalA !as su osed to be about @laughsA( hence the !or"ing title of "$!am ." It had that "ind of s!am y feel. $o( I !ould argue !ith #ohn( because I "no! he said recently that he'd suggested that !e ma"e it sound li"e ")hat's 'lright( Mama." If that !as the case then !hy does it sound nothing li"e it @laughsA? 5ut it !as very much a team effort and it !as a magical night. )here !as myself and #ohn <orter and the engineer( Jenny #ones left to our o!n devices( as usual. ,veryone else had gone and !e just stayed u through the night doing the vibrato thing and then that slide feedbac"-y thing. )hat !as !here all the ins iration really came into it. I !as able to reach bac" and ull out an idea that originally -- !eirdly enough -- came from !hen I !as about t!elve or thirteen and I !as absolutely craDy about "3isco $tom " by =amilton 5ohannon. =e !as an 'merican( late 'GFsIearly 'HFs artist that ioneered the "ind of four-onthe-floor thing. =e had a big chart hit( !hich !as an unusual sound in 'H* for the 4J( called "3isco $tom ." It !ent @sings call and res onseA ",verybody do the 3isco $tom I ,verybody do the 3isco $tom (" and it had this overstated( cho y rhythm. It !asn't this vibrato as such( but I found the rhythm totally infectious and I !as nuts about it. )hen obviously( some time later I discovered 5o 3iddley through my love of the $tones and #ohn +ee =oo"er. I "ne! there !as something that !e needed on the trac"; I just adjusted the !hole overstated vibrato thing. It !as al!ays something of a dream to be able to do a song that !as recogniDable !ithin just a fe! seconds( because of the guitar riff. ' lot of my heros and influences did that. I mean( you "no! it's "5ro!n $ugar" as soon as you hear it. You "no! it's "'ll )he Young 3udes" as soon as you hear it. +uc"ily enough( that one floated by. I !as really( really leased !ith it( but there !as a little bit of a battle !ith the label to ut it out. )hey !ere just ha y to have it as the e%tra trac" on the 5 $ide of "William( It Was Ceally Bothing." )he first time I heard "William( It Was really Bothing(" I !as in a Wool!orth's in ,dinburgh( $cotland. Ceally( !o!. 'nd it !asn't even the regular 5 $ide( it !as stuc" on the .K". Which I o!n. Bo!adays of course( the label is more than ha y to ontificate about !hat it all meant at the time( but as I remember it( the record com any didn't really li"e it very much. Well( they're nuts.

Yeah( they're totally nuts. )he $miths career really too" off right on the cus of the com act disc's first introduction to the mar"et lace( so most of your recordings !ere also initially released on vinyl( but the first album and =atful of =ollo! and )he Queen is 3ead !ere some of the first com act discs ever manufactured. 3o you "no! if there are any $miths records that are es ecially collectible because they are only available on vinyl? 6ver the years( I've found 7uite a lot of romo things that I didn't even "no! e%isted. )here are things li"e vinyl versions of ")he =eadmaster Citual(" !hich !as a ,uro ean single( not a 5ritish single. It !as li"e a ,uro ean 5enelu% single -- you "no! 5enelu%( they !ere distributors. 'nd there's a really rare romo single of "$till Ill(" !hich I imagine has never made it officially to >3. 6f course the lines get very blurred no!( !ith eo le being able to burn their o!n >3s. It's become a bit of a grey area. )here are eo le !ho are far more 7ualified to tal" about $miths' rarities than I am. I don't even o!n all of our records @laughsA. )here !as this icture disc( some sort of horrendous ?rench thing that !as an intervie! inters ersed !ith little bits and ieces from radio sessions( I thin". I do seem to remember that( but I don't "no! if it !as a hotogra h of just Morrissey( or Morrissey and myself. $o it !as either really horrendous or... just horrendous. <lease ut "laughs" in brac"ets after that. @+aughsA I'll be head-hunted for that one.

What "ind of an im act did the 5eatles have on your early musical develo ment? )he first 5eatles record I bought !as the Ced double com ilation album -)he 5eatles ./GK./GG2. You "no!( one !as Ced and one !as 5lue -)he 5eatles ./GH-./HF2. It !as 7uite unusual at the time to be buying music by grou s !ho had ceased to be. )he rest of my friends !ere buying music by bands li"e )he #am and 5oomto!n Cats and )he $tranglers and all those cra y( so-called un"y bands. )hat music seemed lame to me. I too" my sister's lead( really( and started to troll bac"!ards. Cetro !as ne! !hen I invented it @laughsA. )hen this entire ocean of amaDing music o ened u . I then started to hunt do!n as many of the original Moto!n singles as I could. 't the same time( I !as reading <atti $mith intervie!s and I bought a bootleg !here she did "5e My 5aby" by the Connettes. I heard @<attiA tal" about <hil $ ector and the Colling $tones so that just s urred me on to travel through the ast( really. 'll that music !as( to me( far more ha ening than the so-called 5ritish ne! !ave( and ")urning #a anese" and all that "ind of stuff. It's also "ind of cool( !hen you're a teenager and you li"e stuff that no one else is into. )here's a little bit of elitism in that. 5ut luc"y for me it !as all about something good. 5ut to get bac" to your 7uestion( I remember "+ove Me 3o" from my arents laying it( and the harmonica on it. 5ut my favorite 5eatles record has got to be "I 'm )he Walrus." )o me( it's =ieronymous 5osch and $alvador 3ali set to music. You're only the second erson I've ever intervie!ed !ho's brought u the name =ieronymous 5osch in an intervie!. 6h really? Who !as the other?

3o you "no! the band )he 3andy Warhols? $ure. )hey're disci les of yours( I !ould venture to guess. Well there's some tal" of us going out and laying !ith them this year. $o( he mentioned =ieronymous 5osch( did he? Yeah( >ourtney is really into his art!or". Well( that's !hat "I 'm )he Walrus" sounds li"e to me. )hat is com letely and utterly beyond !hat !e thin" of as o music. It could only have come out of o ular culture. It's com letely anarchic and beautiful. I very rarely !ould use the !ord 'genius' but it's a genius iece of !or"( and genuinely tri y( you "no!? I don't thin" anything's really 7uite sur assed it in terms of o music. Bot even "$ee ,mily <lay" or anything li"e that. You're a $yd 5arrett fan( then? Yeah: What you really hear in that sort of genre of music( even the 'merican band's !hich !ere on a slightly different ti ( it really doesn't get much better than $yd 5arrett( for me any!ay. I've got recordings of "$cream )hy +ast $cream" and "Eegetable Man(" !hich didn't come out( but !ere the last things that he recorded !ith <in" ?loyd. "$cream )hy +ast $cream" is just insane. It's interesting because( if you com are $yd 5arrett solo records to( say( 6ar by $"i $ ence( !hich is another album that I really li"e... $"i $ ence !as in Moby 9ra e and he famously !ent off and did this legendary album in t!o or three days in Bashville. )here !as a tribute album out a cou le of years ago !ith all different acts doing versions of it. 5ec" !as on it. )here's a trac" called "War In <eace" on it( you should chec" it out. It's incredible. 5ut if you com are his solo record !ith $yd 5arrett's( !hat's interesting is you've got t!o unhinged syches there; both around the same age( !ith amaDing talent. 'nd you hear the difference bet!een an unhinged 'merican syche and the unhinged 5ritish syche. $yd 5arrett's music is very claustro hobic and concrete and intense and( to me( $"i $ ence's album is very o en and( for all its confusion( it's very vast. It's the difference bet!een Jensington and... 6hio @laughsA. It's just a very interesting difference bet!een the 'merican and 5ritish sychedelic syche( I thin". What's your ta"e on the claim that it's harder today to find good music -- 7uality roc" music that ossesses that transcendent 7uality !e've been discussing -- than it !as KF or more years ago? It's not on the radio( but I !onder if it !as ever on the radio. I'm often as"ed the rhetorical 7uestion about ho! I feel about the charts and modern radio( and there's a certain ans!er that's e% ected. 5ut !hen I thin" about it( it's very easy for eo le !ho are idealists about music and the !ay the radio should be and @ho!A the charts are( and @there's a tendencyA articularly for eo le in the media to ta"e cultural sna shots. +ife isn't li"e that. )he 'GFs !eren't all Cay 3avies and $teve Marriott and the 5eatles and )he $tones and <in" ?loyd. ?or every one of those bands( there !ere five ,nglebert =um erdin"s. I ersonally have a very strong affection for the early 'HFs because that !as the time !hen I !as buying all of these gems. )herefore( to me( the charts !ere nothing but )he $ ar"s( Co%y Music and 3avid 5o!ie( !hen in fact there !ere the Be! $ee"ers and 9ordon +ightfoot or @)ony

6rlando PA 3a!n and the 6smonds -- ">raDy =orses" aside( !hich of course is a !or" of genius -laughs2. )he charts !ere redominantly for .K year olds( and .K year olds !ith retty bad taste( to boot. )he function of the charts and the radio is robably not that much different( essentially( @than bac" thenA e%ce t that( it being in line !ith the modern !orld -- and the modern !orld being even more cor orate these days( !ith advertising rules -- everything is com lete baby food. 5ut it al!ays !as that !ay( to an e%tent. 'll I "no! is that if I tal" to someone about 9ods eed You 5lac" ,m eror( most eo le "no! !ho they are. 'nd a lot of eo le "no! !ho $igur Cos are -- and their last album didn't even have song titles: Maybe I can't be objective( but all I'm saying is it's the journalists and the musicians !ho are as"ing the rhetorical 7uestions. I'm almost laying 3evil's 'dvocate. We all "no! about $igur Cos and 9ods eed You 5lac" ,m eror and 5oards of >anada( so it can't be that bad. If anything( it goes bac" to ma"ing a difference. 'nother !ay of loo"ing at it is that the underground is underground and the overground is !ay overground. )hat's better than the stuff !e love being @sli s into 'merican accentA hijac"ed by ")he Man." I'll never forget seeing 'nthra% lay a small club in BY> about ten years ago and the singer saying "Cemember that the underground is the best lace to be." Cight( it's a beautiful thing !hen the underground infiltrates o ular culture( there is nothing better. Whether it's )he Colling $tones or Co%y Music or )he $miths or Be! 6rder or <et $ho 5oys. 9etting onto national television and into suburban households !ith an obviously alternative agenda...@is amaDingA. It's almost li"e !hen you have a brea"through single. You "no! that( for instance( !hen )he $miths !ere on )o 6f )he <o s almost !ee"ly( you "no! that those "ids !ho sat there !ho !ere clued u ( and !ere sussed( realiDe that you're not living a straight lifestyle. 'nd they're in there !atching it !ith their arents: ?or 5rian #ones and eo le li"e him( and #ohn +ennon( to have loomed so large in straight suburbia -articularly in the 4.$. -- is a very o!erful thing @laughsA. )hat's one of the great things about o culture. )he absence of that channel or o ortunity is( obviously( a shame. You do have to go out and loo" for it. 6nce in a!hile( somebody al!ays brea"s through. Jurt >obain obviously comes to mind. )hey've got to have a good !ay !ith a tune and some charisma( though( to do it. It does ha en( obviously( but !hen you're inundated !ith so much drec"( it's harder to see.

Interestingly enough( I don't thin" I'm that unty ical or dissimilar from a lot of eo le !ho are into !hat I do. 'll I "no! is that I ur osefully set out a fe! years ago to create my o!n sort of filter. You start off !ith ignoring certain television ne!s and then certain magaDines -because !e are totally inundated. I thin" that overload of information( and essentially feeling li"e a target and art of a demogra hic -- !hich is !hat my album and a lot of my lyrics are about -- results in building u a certain "ind of filter( if you li"e. Mine's becoming more and more reliable no!. If I go into a ne!s agent( my eyes go to one lace( and if I go into a to!n( there's a certain record store that I'm loo"ing for. 6n the Internet( there's a certain thing I'm loo"ing for. 'll the other stuff( I just avoid. 4ltimately( the good stuff just floats to the to . It's just riding that !ave of technology and the things that you can do and !hether that be the sounds that eo le ma"e in the studio or the "inds of !ebsites they go to or the !ay they use com uters( or !hatever journeys they're on. You "ind of go( "'lright( this ne! thing is only good for this." I thin" the same can be said for a lot of magaDines. It's just media overload

no!( so I just don't even bother reading most of it. If I !ant to "no! about the ne!s I just find out !hat Boam >homs"y's u to at the moment.

@Warning8 second !ave of blatant ass-"issing a roachingA I hate to be such a fanatic but I really !ant you to get ho! im ortant your music is and ho! significant it has been in the lives of so many fans( and ho! im ortant 5oomslang is to eo le !ho really love !hat you( s ecifically( do. >oming over here( I've been loo"ing out for that message( and that's made the !hole thing !orth it( 9ail. I really mean it( because it !ould be "ind of easy for me to go out on stage and really have the comments that certain albeit-!ell-meaning journalists !ho have intervie!ed me ringing in my ears( hearing( "3o you thin" $miths fans are going to li"e it? 3o you thin" $miths fans are going to li"e it? 're your old fans going to li"e it?" )hese eo le are actually tal"ing about themselves. I've started no! to as" them( !hen that comment's made( to e% lain e%actly !ho are these eo le that they're describing !ho are afraid of a major chord change? Who are( at this moment( as !e s ea"( standing on a bridge !ith their oc"ets full of roc"s and clutching their journal( and ready to jum ? )hey don't e%ist. )hey're tal"ing about themselves. 5ecause eo le !ho are into me( and !hat I do and interested in !hat I do( I assume are big enough and o en-minded enough to li"e all "inds of music( and to have really gotten the celebratory and obsessive and humorous as ects of )he $miths do!n. )hat !hole sort of stereoty e is totally grubbing the shado! and missing the substance of !hat the band !as about. =onestly( a lot of Morrissey's solo stuff --!ith the e%ce tion of "$uedehead" -- I just can't ta"e( because I thin"( "6h #esus guy( get over yourself." You "no! !hat I mean? Yeah( right. 5ut !hen it !as in the conte%t of )he $miths( I thin" it !as a combination of him really( lyrically( utting his finger to the ulse of a certain angst and misery and sadness that no one !as really addressing at the time( and then your musicianshi -- and I'm tal"ing about you( Mi"e and 'ndy -- just lifting it all u . )he $miths !ere such a s ecial band. You should be so roud. I am( I'm absolutely roud. I sometimes feel li"e the lone defender out of all four of us really( because unfortunately they a ear to be bic"ering about issues that don't really matter. )hey should be defending !hat the band !as really about and getting rid of this silly( stereoty ical idea. 5ut to get bac" to your comments( I don't have that agenda. $ome eo le might e% ect that( oh( I'm trying to 'lay some roc" on some delicate !allflo!ers.' )he eo le in my audience have al!ays been able to roc" out and they "no! the !orld's a big enough lace to li"e ' he% )!in and 5oards of >anada and ,lectric $i% and )he Eines and !hoever else there might be( and li"e me as !ell. - -#M( =ealers era2

What got you into laying the guitar? What !ere you early e% eriences of it? What first attracted you to it?

When I !as really young( I thin" it !as seeing eo le li"e Coy 6rbinson and #ohnny >ash and 9lenn >am bell( all of !hich my dad listened to. )hat !as my earliest memories of it. I just remember sorta big guitars and semi accoustics and stuff( from !hen I !as really small. I mean( s ecifically( !hat got me into laying guitar !as #ohnny Marr. ItNs just the truth. 5ernard 5utler( KF.K

"I ha ened to be very good at certain s orts. I !as really 7uite a fine runner( for e%am le. )his in turn made me act in a some!hat coc"y and outs o"en !ay - sim ly as a reaction against the hilistine nature of my surroundings. )his the masters sim ly couldn't ta"e. It !as alright if you just curled u and underachieved your !ay into a stu or. )hat !as retty much !hat !as e% ected really. 5ecause if you're too smart( they hate and resent you and they !ill brea" you. When I found out that I !asn't being ic"ed for the things I clearly e%celled at( it became a slo! but sure !ay of destroying my resilience. )hey succeeded in almost "illing off all the self-confidence I had." O Morrissey( ./0* "When I first heard #ohnny lay( that !as in a sense almost irrelevant. )he a!a"ening had occurred days earlier !ith the meeting. I'd reached a stage bac" then !here I !as so utterly im ressed and infatuated that even if he couldn't have layed it didn't matter someho! because the seeds !ere there and from those seeds anything could s rout. "#ohnny had gras ed the thread of all that !as relevant and yet he !as - and remains - a very ha y-go-luc"y( o timistic erson !ho !as interested in doing it no!. Bot tomorro!( but right no!: "Bo! this !as truly e%traordinary because in a musical sense I'd only just met eo le !ho !ere total sluts( !ho'd rather sit around at home night after night tal"ing about ic"ing the guitar u instead of just grabbing it and saying 'What about this?' O Morrissey( ./0*

V)he thing that ma"es the $miths so uni7ue( is the fact that in certain territories !e have reached a stadium level. 'nd on reaching that level( the tem tation to be res ectable and just sail along is very great( and I don't thin" the $miths have ac"no!ledged that in any !ay.R O Morrissey( ./0H

VI su ose o ular music is no! engineered by careless eo le !ho never had the imagination to s ot or desire the true nature of o and !hy it could be so s ecial. )he !rong eo le( as far as I'm concerned( are in control. +a!yers and accountants have become too im ortant. )he right stuff is not being encouraged( and the !rong stuff is not being suitably condemned.R You're saying that the resolution to do !hat you do is( under the circumstances( heroic? VYes. Eery heroic. Eery solitary. <eo le are al!ays loo"ing at me side!ays and saying( "Well( do you really !ant to do that? 3on't you really !ant to that?... 're you really serious?" 5ut also in a sense I do have the ability to laugh at myself( even though amongst the eo le

!ho consider me over!rought this is also a arently sinful. I have al!ays had to laugh at myself. If I hadn't found my social osition !hen I !as a teenager so amusing( I !ould have strangled myself. )he fact I am doing it at all I find incredible.R O Morrissey( ./00

You !ere forced to construct your o!n reality? VYes. )his too" me a long time. 5ut more im ortantly( I thin" that !hen someone is not at all o ular( for !hatever reasons( one tends to develo certain forms of survival. ' survival !hich e%cludes friends( !hich e%cludes social activities. )hat in a sense is ho! I organised my life. If you cannot im ress eo le sim ly by being art of the great fat human race( then you really do have to develo other s"ills. 'nd if you don't im ress eo le by the !ay you loo"( then you really do have to develo other s"ills. 'nd if you are no! going to as" is everything I did just a !ay to gain some form of attention( !ell that's not entirely true. It is in a small !ay( but that's in the very nature of being alive.R O Morrissey( ./00

48!110 *A//, 7 F A, @BB@ )he $miths couldnNt have been less li"e the $tones in most !ays&sound and attitude( for starters&but donNt fool yourself about the arallels bet!een guitarists #ohnny Marr and Jeith Cichards. 5oth are im ossibly s"inny men of fe! !ords -Mic" or Morrissey never sto ed yammering any!ay2 but verbose( rhythmically intense guitar laying. Eilified by the ress !hen he abru tly ended the $miths in ./0H( Marr&!ho many redicted !ould flourish !hile Morrissey faded into obscurity&"e t a lo! rofile for the ne%t .* years and became the ultimate si%-string side"ic"( laying !ith the <retenders( )he )he( 5illy 5ragg( Beil ?inn and 5ec". =e also ut out three albums as ,lectronic( a dancey su erduo !ith Be! 6rderNs 5ernard $umner that never 7uite e7ualed the sum of its arts. With the =ealers&drummer Ua" $tar"ey -CingoNs son and current member of the Who2 and bassist 'lonDa 5evan -Jula $ha"er2&the rodigal Mancunian returns to roc" MnN roll. Yes( he sings( !ith a voice thatNs art $umner and art +iam 9allagher( and his solo debut 5oomslang feels li"e ast and future Marr. =is trademar" .K-string jangle eacefully coe%ists !ith bac"!ard-guitar leads and groovy ercussion in sych-friendly( four-to-seven-minute trac"s. While 5oomslang may not be rivy to the hy erliterate lyricism of MarrNs ast vocal collaborators( itNs got a "ind of -Borthern2 soul that !ords canNt manufacture.

M'9B,) sent its $miths su erfan to meet Marr at a Be! Yor" hotel. 4 on s otting Marr in the lobby( su erfan admits to hiding behind a otted lant for a moment to collect !hatever cool he could muster.

M'9B,)8 )he general reaction eo le have had to me telling them thereNs a #ohnny Marr album is( R6h( he can sing?S Marr8 ItNs only been the last !ee" or so that INve started doing intervie!s and therefore getting feedbac" from eo le !ho donNt have a vested interest in telling me that itNs good&no( INm

jo"ing. 5ut !hat I realiDed retty 7uic"ly !as that eo le !ere as"ing me about other stuff rather than singing( so I too" that as being a really good thing. <eo le !ere listening to the record and tal"ing about the sound of it( or the !ords or ho! it related to the old stuff INve done. Bo one !as ma"ing a big deal of the singing( and thatNs a good thing. ItNs a real tric"y one( because !hen youNre "no!n for something else&es ecially singing( and me being a "no!n guitar layer&itNs a bit of a lea for eo le. ItNs a bigger deal to everyone else than it is to me.

$o you !erenNt self-conscious or nervous about it? Bot once I started to get my sound together. )he band convinced me that I should be doing it. I !rote the songs( I !anted to get the songs together and I didnNt !ant to hold anything u by going on this interminable search around the !orld for mister frontman.

3id you see" out vocalists? I did( because INve been doing that since I !as .*. I !as doing it before the $miths( you "no!? 5ecause I !as laying !ith Ua"( the drummer( at that time( I had the !ords( I had the melodies( I just sang on the demos. )hen I found a cou le of guys !ho I had >3s of( given to me by friends( and I heard they !ere nice fellas and they had good hair. 'nd I layed it to the band and it !as some!hat of a trium h that I found someone. )hen they !ent off to a cafW !hilst I stayed tal"ing to the manager. )hey came bac" about an hour and a half later( some!hat cons iriatorially.

I thin" they may have been tal"ing about you. )hey certainly had( but theyNd been saying good stuff. )hey said( M+oo"( !eNve got something to tell you. We thin" youNre !rong about getting a singer( !e thin" it sounds good as it is.N )hey convinced me that !hat I !as doing !as not just strong but fairly T odd. )hey "ne! that !ould be the !ord that !ould get me. If theyNd said Rsoulful(S RbeautifulS and all that T

R#ohnny( !e li"e your vocal stylings.S @+aughsA ,%actly( e%actly. )hey used !ords li"e RillS and R!eirdS and RoddS and R!hite(S and I !as "ind of li"e( R6J( I can do that.S 5ecause I trust them. 'nd I "no! their only agenda being in a band !ith me is because they believe !e can do something to turn them on. )hey donNt need to be in a band !ith #ohnny Marr for their lives to be com lete.

'nd this is basically Ua" and 'lonDa( you mean. Cight. )hey !ouldnNt ut me out on a !ire !ithout a net. I started singing the record ro er and got a sense of !hat my sound !as. +uc"ily( I found I !asnNt falling into any -isms of anybody elseNs and itNs fairly right !ith the direction of the band. 6ne of the reasons I formed

the band in the first lace as !ell !as I had this idea for a roc" band that !as fairly allencom assing in terms of the sound. 'nd for the first time since being in my mid-teens( I !as getting songs together !here I robably !ouldNve ended u steering the singer in certain directions.

Instead of trying to !or" the marionette strings( you figured youNd do it yourself. Yeah( yeah. It just seemed li"e unnecessary hard !or" and not the right a roach. )hen the enny dro ed that the record !e made could sound li"e the !hole icture that I had !ithout any other colors coming into it. In the ast( INve loved those other colors( it !as a nice sur rise. INd do a bac"ing trac"( and thatNd be .FF ercent of my ins iration. )he singer( !hether it be Morrissey or 5ernard $umner or 5eth 6rton( they ut their .FF ercent and you end u !ith 1FF ercent( the sum being even greater than the arts sort of thing.

$o it used to be that youNd lay do!n your guitar art( leave the studio( and !hen you came bac" there !as a vocal there. Yeah. )o use an analogy( it !as sort of li"e doing the bac"ground of a ainting. You thin" thereNs gonna be a house in the foreground( and instead itNs a child or a shi or !hatever. I feel really luc"y that INve done it !ith some sort of artistic success( but to hammer this meta hor into the ground( I !as getting the !hole icture.

Why do a solo album no!? Was it about the songs you had( or !ere you not ready for something li"e this before? )!o years before I met Ua"( I !as subconsciously loo"ing for a band and a sound that never came. 'nd !as never gonna come unless I did it myself( !hich !as li"e a !ide-a!a"e roc"( but !ithout an agenda to be incredibly modern. Bot to say I !anted to be traditional or bring bac" any cause for real roc"( but just melodic roc" MnN roll( really( !ith a bit of esoteric( druggy s in on it.

)here is a slightly sychedelic te%ture to the album that hasnNt been on a lot of stuff youNve !or"ed on before. It !as occurring to me that I !as going to ma"e a record that !as gonna be not layered and straight ahead. When the band formed( I !as listening to a lot of #ohn Mayall. Eery s arse blues roc"( really. 6nce the record started to develo ( I realiDed that I had an agenda and I just fuc"ing dro ed it. +ayering guitars might not be de rigeur( but itNs !hat I do( itNs !hat gives me a buDD and therefore itNs genuine. I had to tell myself( R>Nmon( #ohnny( ma"e the assum tion that your audience !ant you to sound li"e you. ItNs been 7uite a long time.S 'nd I started to listen to eo le li"e 5ernard $umner( !ho said( RWhat the fuc" is !rong !ith sounding li"e you?S Ma"ing the ,lectronic records( I !ould lay things and go( R6h( thatNs a bit #ohnny Marr(S and heNd go( RWell( itNs su osed to be a bit #ohnny Marr:S ?or a lot of reasons I felt li"e I !as being bo%ed or egged( because I did a lot !hen I !as very young.

5ernard !ould say( R'!( ,lectronicNs records( they donNt have enough guitar on them( and everyoneNs going to thin" itNs my fault.S

I thin" a lot of eo le did feel li"e youNd abandoned roc" MnN roll&the name ,lectronic !as ur oseful in that !ay( !as meant to distance the grou . Yeah( but very sim ly( I !as a K;-year-old guy living in a city that !as just e% loding !ith a ne! culture. 'nd !ho !ouldnNt !ant to be a art of that? INd been !aiting for my city to do that since un"( because I !as too young for un". $uddenly( the !hole lace !as e% eriencing ne! music( ne! technology( ne! clubs( ne! drugs( ne! fashion.

You couldnNt very !ell bury your head in the sand. I !as an established musician !ith a certain lace in o music( but that shouldnNt e%clude me from a movement in my o!n city that I !anted to be a art of( because I !as just a young guy( you "no!? 'nd also !ith a history of( before the $miths( all "inds of music and an o ortunity to !or" !ith someone !ho8 a2 I res ected massively( and b2 !as robably the best( most innovative electronic musician in the o field to come out of the 4.J. $o INm very hiloso hical about the !hole thing. It !asnNt about me turning my bac" on o music( it !as about me being a musician and !anting to ma"e that music at that time.

I thin" youNre correct !hen you say that eo le !ant you to sound li"e you. ,ven the ,lectronic records( your fans did embrace the guitar-oriented trac"s and listened for you in those records. I thin" I !as a little shy and not that confident. 'nd !hy I say that is that a lot of the -,lectronic2 songs that eo le assume are 5ernardNs songs !ere actually my songs. I did lots of dance songs. I just "ind of !ent nuts !ith it once I learned ho! it !or"ed( ho! the uDDle !ent together. I !as craDy about $N,% ress in M0/( you "no!? I !anted to just lay R$u erfly 9uyS forever.

INve heard that the =ealers gigs youNve layed so far have been( in a !ord( loud. =as that satisfied an urge for T the roc" demon in me? @+aughsA I got so tired of seeing bands in Manchester !ho !ere subBirvana or sub-6asis( and I started to thin"( R're there no girls in music anymore?S INm rimarily around a lot of !omen( because most of my friends I !or" !ith( the guys in my studio( !hen !eNve got time a!ay from each other( I hang out !ith my !ifeNs friends( you "no!? )heyNre fran"ly more fun( more so than the miserable bastards that are on my ayroll. $o any!ay( I !as very conscious of these girls going out to see bands. 're they gonna relate to these four guys retending to be li"e very surly onstage? It !as very boring. )hey donNt necessarily need to see !omen onstage to relate( but these guys !ere just not se%y( not laying se%y music. I thought( R)hatNs not right. >ongas are in.S 'lso being a ).Ce% fan I fancy the idea of having ercussion in roc" MnN roll. Whatever synchronicity !as at lay led

me to come across this great ercussion layer( +iD 5onney( so she came around. $o it !as the core of me( Ua" and 'lonDa and then +iD( and then I !anted some technology involved as !ell so it !asnNt strictly guitar-based( and +iD introduced me to this !ild guy( +ee $ encer. =e lays "eyboards. I did have an agenda of volume( electricity and rhythm( because I donNt have a natural desire to get u on a stage. )hat came to me late in my career. ItNs unusual( most musicians assume that !hen you ma"e a record( you then go onstage.

Well( for a lot of eo le( being onstage is the ayoff( itNs being in the s otlight. ,veryone I "no! is li"e that. 5ut !ith me( I gre! u !ith this obsessive idea about the seven-inch ;*( !hich I regarded as an almost mystical object. 'nd the rocess by !hich those things are made has been magic and mysterious. I !as so hung u on that thing and studios and !hat goes on in studios that there really !asnNt that much s ace for me to thin"( R'inNt it great to go out on the road?S I donNt have any "ind of roblem !ith being onstage( I just have this overt attraction to recording studios and the rocess of orchestrating records and guitars and hanging out !ith layers and so on. ItNs also a refuge for me a!ay from the bullshit.

3o you thin" thatNs also you being a bit of a erfectionist? In the studio( youNre in a controlled environment( sound-!ise( but onstage things can go !rong. )hat hadnNt occurred to me but( yeah( I thin" thatNs right.

INm not trying to call you a control frea". Bo( I thin" youNre right. 5ecause I li"e things to sound absolutely great. ItNs not enough that everyoneNs getting their roc"s off&I li"e it to have a good sound. 'bout the live thing( INve found a !ay to ma"e the ros ects of going out onstage e%citing. We !ent out and !eNre very loud and !e jammed very long and some eo le !ent( RWhat the fuc" is that?S We too" most of the songs that ended u on the record and e%tended them and made them heavier. We !ouldnNt have gone out live had !e not been invited( any!ay. 6asis invited us and I just thought( R6J( no!Ns the time to sort of ut my toe in the !ater.S 'nd youNre about to go out in front of an audience !ho donNt "no! the material( donNt "no! !ho I am and about five minutes before sho!time a ri le of a rumor !ould go around these *(FFF or .1(FFF eo le that itNs #ohnny MarrNs ne! band. 6f !hich robably KFF of them said RCeally?S and the rest of them said RWho?S =alf of the rest of them said( RYeah( the guyNs in a band !ith one of Jula $ha"er.S R6h( right:S @+aughsA It !as a young audience( you "no!? )hat !as tough( but really good. ItNs hard to go out in front of a very big audience !aiting for their favorite long-haired Mancunians to come out.

)he eo le !ho did "no! your !or" !ere robably e% ecting an army of .K-string Cic"enbac"ers jangling a!ay.

?unnily enough( INve started laying the .K-string Cic"enbac"er again. $omeone assed me one in a sho and it just sounded li"e me. I !ent( R6J. 9uilty.S 'lso laying !ith +isa 9ermano and Beil ?inn brought that out.

=ave you seen K; =our <arty <eo le? I sa! it very recently.

I !as !ondering !hat you thought of it. Well( I !as sent the scri t about t!o years ago and !as as"ed to do a cameo in it. 5efore I read the scri t I said( R6h( sounds good&only if I could be one of #oy 3ivisionNs roadies.S 5eing obsessive( I considered really getting into the role( li"e 3eBiro( Caging 5ull( eat asta for brea"fast. 5ut then I read the scri t and !ent( R6h( no. ?orget that.S It !as difficult for me to be objective about it because I !as so close to it and itNs rimarily about eo le I "no! and a scene I gre! u around. I only sa! it about si% !ee"s ago because INd made u my mind it !as dire. When I sa! it( I !as leasantly sur rised because I thought it !as 7uite s!eet. 5ecause to me( itNs about )ony Wilson( 'lan ,rasmus and Cob 9retton( !ho I "ne! very !ell. ItNs got a bit of oignancy.

I thought it !as very clever. $teve >oogan is a !ell-"no!n comedian over in ,ngland( but !e really hadnNt seen him before. =eNs really funny. =is ortrayal of )ony Wilson isnNt that far off the mar". )ony is that ridiculous. I thought the guy laying 5ernard $umner !as a bit laDy in his research. It doesnNt ta"e much to dye your hair blac" to be in #oy 3ivision. <ut a tie on( you "no!? 5ernard in #oy 3ivision is actually 5ernard doing R)he <erfect JissS in Be! 6rder from ./0* in terms of the !ay he loo"s.

=o! do you mean? In the movie( !hen it !as su osed to be #oy 3ivision( it !as actually 5ernard five years hence. 5ernard didnNt discover ero%ide and long trousers until at least M0;. 9et it together( man. 5ut thatNs just me being too close to it.

)he film !as admittedly focused on ?actory( but did you find it strange that the $miths !erenNt featured? Was the music scene in Manchester more intert!ined than !as ortrayed? I !as around the =acienda all the time. Without my involvement in the =acienda( the $miths !ouldnNt have had a lot of the resources and insights that !e had into !hat !as going on( fran"ly. )he scene thatNs the very first night in the =acienda essentially !as right( because the oint !as that nobody came. It !as essentially right( but it !as nothing li"e that. I !as there. It !as dar"( the floor !as !et( it !as different. 5ut to ans!er your 7uestion( the $miths

very much eeled ourselves a!ay from ?actory Cecords and consciously made the decision to sign !ith Cough )rade.

Which is +ondon-based. Yes. Mostly because the ?all !as on Cough )rade; Morrissey !as articularly a fan of the ?all and Monochrome $et. We didnNt !ant to be regarded in that family of Manchester bands. 5ut I layed on the Quando Quango record in ./01 !ith 5ernard $umner. 5ernard !as a mate and the guy I used to live !ith !as a 3# there( and )ony Wilson came into my clothes sho the day they got the lans for the =acienda and unfolded the lans on the counter of my sho . )he blue rints for the building. It !as really im ortant for someone of my age( .H or .0 in M0F( M0. because it !as the only lace at the time to see bands. 'nd there !ere a lot of bands at the time that sort of !ent into the melting ot. 5irthday <arty( 9un >lub T

When you !or" at a magaDine( you tend to com artmentaliDe things( and I !as thin"ing that this year( <ete $helley and =o!ard 3evoto came bac" and did the 5uDD"unst thing( and a ?actory band called >ris y 'mbulance reunited& Ceally? @laughing( incredulousA )hey came bac"? Bo oneNs said the !ords RambulanceS and Rcris yS to me in the same sentence since ./01. Ceally? 'nd there !as ?ire ,ngines and #osef J( I sa! them at the =acienda. )hat lace !as my formative years.

YouNre still around Manchester recording bands( right? My lace could be any!here in the !orld( really. I live a retty insular life. I rarely go out( and donNt need to. INve got a real studio !ith a live room and high ceilings and an engineer. )he studio could be any!here in the !orld( but not +ondon. )he decision to move to Manchester !as to follo! !here the music !as. It !asnNt because thatNs my home or thatNs my roots or my familyNs there or anything. I !as in >alifornia after the $miths s lit and !as ha y to be a!ay from the 5ritish music scene. ?riends !ere loo"ing after my house and( as I remember it( I !as s ea"ing to them on the hone and they !ere saying( R6h( !e had an amaDing night last night. Went do!n to the =acienda and got in a fe! ,Ns and then !e came bac" here and !e listened to 3onovan. 3id you chec" out any 3onovan? @Bote8 Marr is most li"ely tal"ing about the reggaeIdancehall artist 3onovan( not the MGFs fol" singer.A =eNs really( really good. 'nd !eNre listening to -3etroit techno duo2 Inner >ity.S 'nd INm just sitting in +.'. !ith M)E on !ith <oison "ee ing me com any. 3amn( sounds li"e a really good scene over there&in my house( you "no!? =ad it been in 9lasgo! or $eattle or $ydney( INd have gone there. It just ha ened to be in my hometo!n.

3o you have a certain status in Manchester( !here other bands see" your advice and things li"e that? Whenever INm as"ed !hether I give bands advice( I al!ays feel uneasy about it. It seems li"e a very atroniDing( om ous( self-elevating osition to ta"e. =o!ever( if youNre around

your friends( you just o Mem straight8 R)he live sound suc"s because the guitar layerNs got a bad am .S You just give them the am . Which is !hat I did !ith 6asis in the early days. I had no idea that 6asis !ere gonna be as huge as they are( nor did they or anybody. It !as henomenal success. I just gave Boel a cou le guitars and introduced him to my management. 'nd let him live in my flat&because I li"e him. I thought he !as a nice guy( you "no!? INve given a lot of eo le a lot of e7ui ment because I donNt li"e !aste. Bot because INm articularly an angel( but because I got hel ed out by a fe! nice eo le along the !ay. Maybe itNs "arma or !hatever( or just being olite. My arents& articularly because of the 6asis thing&still get ta es and >3s sent to their house. )heyNre often not very good( but if it just ta"es a hone call to give someone a little bit of encouragement( itNs not a difficult thing to do.

Mind if I rattle off a fe! names of eo le youNve !or"ed !ith? WeNre going to be here all night but( yeah( sure.

5ernard $umner. I "ne! youNd say that. >om licated and sim le at the same time. $im le in the best ossible sense. 'lmost Uen-li"e detachment. 9reat guy !ith a real sense of !hatNs im ortant in life. =e deserves everything thatNs come to him because he ut the !or" in. =ad it not been for un" roc"( 5ernard !ould have been com letely lost and constrained and stifled because of !hat un" roc" !as su osed to be li"e8 freeing u eo le !ho !ere really imaginative and genuinely artistic. 5ernard is a real un". Invented his o!n thing( you "no!? Ceally overloo"ed. ,lectronic is one of the rare e%am les of a band that s lit u !ith no acrimony !hatsoever. We !ere too smart and our friendshi !as too im ortant to let that ha en. I learned a lot about singing from 5ernard. ItNs the a roach8 leave your insecurities and neuroses at the door Mcause !eNve got a job to do. 5e subjective !hen you !rite a song and !hen youNre getting your melodies together be as emotional as you li"e( but then !hen youNre doing the thing( just dro the shit and do the job.

Matt #ohnson. MattNs an amaDing guy. Incredibly misunderstood. =eNs very( very funny. ' great e%am le of the value of self-education over taught education( because heNs a very interesting guy and didnNt learn any of it in school. =e became incredibly !orldly against the odds. =eNs a real fighter. MattNs someone !ho !ill constantly be loo"ing for the ans!ers to things and !ill ut himself through all "inds of difficult e% eriences in ursuit of it. Boble guy and a friend. =e !as the first erson !ho told me I should do my o!n record and sing( and that !as in M0H.

Well( it just too" you a !hile to get around to it. $ho!s you ho! much stoc" I ut in his o inion. @+aughsA

5ec". 5ec" reminded me of 3avid 5yrne in the best ossible !ay. =e can get on retty much anyoneNs sense of humor and sense of the absurd. ' good listener( thatNs !hat I find from 5ec". ' very erce tive erson( and one of those guys !ho li"es to hear eo le tal". I sa! him lay last night( it !as really good. =is ne! recordNs great( I really rate it.

$ea >hange !as a ris"y thing for him to do. I thin" heNs the real thing because heNs not afraid to go do!n some necessary sideroads rather than just ta"e the main high!ay. When allNs said and done( I thin" heNll be able to be discussed in the same !ay as Beil Young. 6bviously( 5ob 3ylan comes to mind( but 3ylan is so mythical and legendary( but I can see 5ec"Ns doing the same "ind of thing in a !ay. 'nd 3avid 5o!ie.

>hrissie =ynde. >hrissieNs a fascinating erson. Incredibly com le%. Ceally funny. 'nd this amaDing mi%ture of all things eo le assume that she is8 ballsy( no-nonsense sort of balanced !ith this incredible femininity. $he smells amaDing. 'll the time. >hrissie is to ,ngland !hat I am to the $tates. ItNs li"e she !as born in the !rong lace. $u er attraction to ,ngland and ,nglish culture( as I did 'merica and 'merican culture. When she ma"es a ot of tea( itNs in a beautiful china tea ot !ith great cu s and itNs all a bit of a ceremony. Whereas I just canNt !ait to get to 3ennyNs. 5ut for me( she !as really im ortant. 6ne of the things that eo le donNt "no! about >hrissie and myself is that my art in the <retenders is .F ercent about the band and the music and /F ercent about my relationshi to that !oman. I met her at a time !hen I !as fairly battered by the $miths s lit and the things going on in my !orld !ith the media. 'nd the mani ulation of the media by certain eo le to ma"e me loo" li"e the bad guy. I suddenly found myself hanging out !ith this erson and INm going( R6h( things are tough. INm bruised. 6h( I left my band. 6h( itNs really ra!.S 'nd her vibe !as( RWell( t!o of my fuc"ing band died. 'nd lus( I donNt even really "no! !ho your band are. +etNs go see some life.S It !as an amaDing thing to be around.

In the se%( drugs and roc" MnN roll e7uation( roc" MnN roll has al!ays ecli sed the other t!o for you. 'nd that a lies to Morrissey as !ell. I guess INm being flo!ery about it( but as "ids !e both felt absolutely craDy until !e discovered o music( and !eNre not alone in it. 'nd I guess thatNs !hy eo le can relate to us. <eo le thin" that INm the antithesis of Morrissey. If thatNs the thing they relate to me for( !ell( theyNre !rong. Maybe itNs just my aesthetic that they donNt truc" !ith; and INm cool !ith that( Mcause I donNt truc" !ith theirs( either. )he thing that they get from him( he got from me as !ell( and I get from him. 's eo le( I !as robably as dysfunctional in my o!n !ay as he

!as until I immersed myself in o culture. )he thing about the t!o of us is !e heard and sa! things in records that !erenNt even there.

)o condense all that flo!ery shit and get to the oint&itNs not your oint( but !hatever( right? &heNs got a great voice. =e invented things in o music. 5rought things into o music after K* years of all "inds of stuff being there. 'esthetically( heNs a true innovator. What an innovator is( to me( is someone !ho can bring together !hat on the face of things seem li"e totally dis arate elements( ut them through their o!n funnel and then resent the thing that is identifiably his in a ne! genre. 'nd the $miths sleeves are the erfect e%am le. You see something that loo"s li"e a $miths sleeve? ItNs a Morrissey sleeve. You try to tell someone !ho canNt see !hat those elements are and they !ould thin" you !ere nuts. YouNve got film stars( s orts stars( some "ind of gra hic. )hose things should never !or" together( but they did. )hatNs !hat Miles 3avis did.

Well( your role in the $miths aesthetic !as huge. If you donNt mind a bit of flattery( I thin" that the !ay you layed guitar t!o decades ago&and a cou le other eo le( as !ell&changed !hat eo le thought good guitar laying !as. 't the time( it !as mostly about ,ddie Ean =alen( big solos. You brought it bac" to a level ofT Melody( rhythm and getting to the oint. ,motive. )hereNs no musicality in techni7ue for techni7ueNs sa"e( as !e all "no!. )he thing about $miths records and some other bands li"e us&some of the best #oy 3ivision records and some of the real sad Be! 6rder records&is that they !ere emotive. I love laying guitar and I li"e guitar layers( but I didnNt li"e anyone in articular because they( as just guitar layers( !erenNt saying as much to me as R'll )he Young 3udesS by Mott )he =oo le.

You !ouldnNt se arate the guitar from the !hole song. I didnNt so much listen to these records as study them. When I !as learning to lay( I !ouldnNt listen to the guitar layer and then try to lay the guitar art&INd try to lay the !hole record. )hat !as the thing that set me on fire. )he guitar solo didnNt set me on fire li"e a "ic"ass chorus !ith some strings in it and some high bac"ing vocals. I !anted to do things that hit me&those sections of records that !ould e% lode for me. )hatNs !hy I layed su ermelodic and 7uite dramatic and tried to get some sadness out of it. I ur osely bought a Cic"enbac"er so I !ouldnNt lay li"e a blues layer. 6bviously I a reciate #immy <age( but that !asnNt !hat it !as about. I !anted to hear a !hole <hil $ ector record !hen I layed the guitar.

'nd thereNs no better !ay to do that than !ith a .K-string guitar and .Gth notes.

It !as a big sound. 'nd it !as only !hen the ress started mentioning the 5yrds that I !ent and chec"ed the 5yrds out. ItNs "ind of nuts to tal" about this stuff. I only "no! about these things because eo le have told me.

Well( youNve robably had to analyDe guitar laying to death. <eo le robably thin" you have a giant guitar tattooed on your bac". ItNs not on my bac". @+aughsA @Morrissey and IA felt li"e !e could ma"e it magical at the time. We !ere both getting the buDD out of our records that !e !ould get out of the records that touched us !hen !e !ere "ids. )hatNs a highly emotional state to be in. )hatNs hard on the nervous system. You "no!( !hen the 5eatles tal" about their e% eriences being hard on the nervous system( thatNs obviously because they !ere stuc" in a hotel !ith .F(FFF eo le outside. 5ut !hat !as hard on me and Morrissey( and !hy there !as a certain resentment from us to!ard the other members of the band( !as they didnNt have that. We !ere trying to set ourselves on fire all the time in !hat !e !ere doing. It really ta"es it out of you.

's the $miths !ent on( did the ressure just continue to get greater to achieve things( musically? We !ere in an incredibly emotional state all the time because of !hat !e !ere doing in the studio. =eNd be going( R6h my god( I donNt believe this iece of music that heNs brought to me.S 'nd then !hen heNd sing on it( INd go( R6h my god( I donNt believe !hat heNs just sung.S 'nd before !e "ne! it( !e had another one. It !as retty good going( you "no!?

!ereGs 4ohnnyH #his article originally appeared in Ipfront maga3ine C @BB@.

,ighties jangly o fans of the !orld reunite( e%-$miths guitarist #ohnny Marr is bac"( and bac" at his best( !or"ing !ith the li"es of 6asis and the <et $ho 5oys. Bot only that( in true once-!as-famous-in-a-su orting role fashion( heNs no! also fronting his his o!n roc" outfit( )he =ealers. $,'B ='BB'M grabs a rare audience !ith the secretive godfather of indie.

)his year( itNll be difficult to avoid #ohnny Marr. )he former $miths guitar hero has contributed to 6asisN ne!ly released album( =eathen >hemistry( <et $ho 5oysN Celease( and fol"y comedo!n 7ueen 5eth 6rtonNs latest long- layer( 3aybrea"er. =eNs also roduced the debut album from u -and-coming( moody indie act =aven( and found the time to front his o!n bac"-to-basics roc" MnN roll band( )he =ealers. In fact( MarrNs !or" can be heard all over <et $ho 5oysN Celease( !hich heralds a ne!( guitar-oriented direction for the traditionally cam ( =I-BC9 dance duo.

RYeah( INve done their ne! album and INve recorded some stuff !ith +iam from 6asis( so I thin" a cou le of my guitar arts have ended u on their record(S he says. 3oes he ever get sic" of being a gun-slinging( guitarist-for-hire? RINve never sat do!n and lanned collaborations(S he says. R)heyNve al!ays come about from having something in common O a friendshi . RINve just sto ed saying MINm not going to do itN. I said in the $tates I !as going to sto collaborating but then a cou le of days later I got a call from 5ec"( as"ing if INd !or" !ith him. While !or"ing !ith 5ec"( I met 5eth 6rton( and discovered !e !ere staying in the same hotel. 6ne night( !e got bac" at four in the morning( !ith the sun coming u over +'( and the ne%t thing you "no! !eNre hanging out on a balcony and !eNve !ritten si% songs together: I !as definitely 9raham Bash to her #oni Mitchell:S

9reasy groove

+ast year( #ohnny unleashed the debut single from his ne! band( )he =ealers. It !as the first time heNd !ritten( layed and sung one of his o!n songs. )he +ast Cide sa! him shelving his tried and trusted( jangly sound for a heads-do!n( greasy +ed Ue groove. It !as also miles a!ay from the hedonistic =ouse and ,uro disco territory heNd e% lored !ith Be! 6rderNs 5ernard $umner in the duo ,lectronic. 'ided by musicians including former Jula $ha"er bassist( 'lonDa 5evan( and Cingo $tarr s rog( Ua" $tar"ey( on drums( #ohnny created an enormous( filthy drone-roc" boogie( built on an ?X-heavy !all of sound( !ith some blissed-out vocals reminiscent of Cay 3avies. RI !as really interested in getting bac" to the thing that !as in me !hen I !as in my early teens(S says Marr. S I donNt !ant to be retro( but I !ant to roc". I !ant to get bac" to the notion of energy. I started to listen again to the music that had some balls to it O ) Ce%( )he $tooges( early 3avid 5o!ie. I have a massive res ect for old records( but I donNt !ish it !as ./G/ again. I just find that thereNs a rimal thing !hich you get from some records by )he Colling $tones( <eter 9reen and )he $tooges that sho!s u todayNs music industry for !hat it is O just soa - o!der. RI !as brought u on classic roc"( but I donNt !ant to loo" bac". I !ant to ma"e something thatNs for the times. INm not trying to ma"e a classic record O INve done that !ith )he $miths.S

)ragic and comical

'h( )he $miths; one of the biggest successes of the ,ighties. Marr and flouncy frontman $te hen <atric" Morrissey !ill be remembered as one of the greatest song!riting artnershi s of all time O Marr enning intricate guitar melodies to accom any MorrisseyNs sometimes tragic( sometimes comical lyrics of se%ual frustration( inade7uacy and alienation.

5et!een ./0K and ./0H( )he $miths recorded four brilliant( ground-brea"ing studio albums !hich became the soundtrac" to student bedsits every!here and aved the !ay for a !hole legion of indie guitar acts( including 6asis and 5lur. RWhen !e made those albums( !e !erenNt trying to be classic(S says Marr. R=ad )he $miths sat do!n and said Mthis is going to be a classic(N it !ouldnNt have ha ened.S )he $miths s lit in ./0H( !hen Marr gre! disenchanted !ith the bandNs musical direction( and his relationshi !ith Morrissey disintegrated( ending in bitterness. =o!ever( their legacy still lives on and often returns to haunt Marr. In .//G( former $miths drummer( Mi"e #oyce( too" him and Morrissey to court over un aid royalties O a situation Marr no! describes as Mvery uglyN. +ast year( record com any Warner 5ros u set him !hen they released yet another $miths 5est 6f com ilation album( !ith an unfortunate cover shot featuring cam >arry 6n star >harles =a!trey. R)he $mithsN bac" catalogue has been s ectacularly tarnished by Warner 5ros(S says Marr. R)hey mastered the album really badly( they miss elt song titles( got the roducerNs name !rong( cho ed off one of the intros and ut on an unbelievable sleeve. RI felt that )he $mithsN stuff could have been re-mastered. It could have been a valid release that !ouldnNt have been ri ing eo le off. INve got loads of video stuff from ma"ing the albums that !e could have ut out on a 3E3 O given some eo le value for money. What is really ir"some is that the guys at Warner 5ros canNt do their jobs as !ell as I can. )hat suc"s( but the rest of )he $miths have done a retty good job of tarnishing the legacy as !ell:S #ohnny is no! sur risingly o en about his time in the band. ?or a long time he refused to tal" about !hat had actually ha ened bet!een him and the other band members. RINm no angel( but I didnNt s ea" about )he $miths for years because I didnNt !ant to bring anything negative u (S he says. RI once tal"ed about them( on a 55> )E rogramme( and then in a big magaDine. I did four hour intervie!s and I s!ear that for three-and-a-half hours I tal"ed about the strength of )he $mithsN friendshi ( the magic of the music( our influences( ho! great Morrissey !as as a live erformer and our relationshi !ith the fans. It !as all ositive stuff( but the KF minutes of com laints that I had became the theme of the articles. I donNt ta"e it ersonally( but it shifts a ers. )he journalists !ho !rite those "ind of things are a long !ay a!ay from the classic !riters of the late $eventies and the early ,ighties( !ho theyNre trying to emulate.S

3emise

?ollo!ing the demise of )he $miths( Marr became a guitar-for-hire( lending his services to a long list of artists. )hroughout his ost-$miths career heNs !or"ed !ith acts including )he <retenders( 5ryan ?erry( )he )he( 5illy 5ragg( Jirsty Mac>oll( 5ec"( Beil ?inn and ,cho P )he 5unnmenNs Ian Mc>ulloch.

RINve got a strong friendshi !ith everyone INve !or"ed !ith O a art from one obvious e%ce tion O !hich sho!s you just ho! dysfunctional )he $miths !ere(S he says. Marr !as actually a fully aid-u member of )he )he for three-and-a-half-years( a on both the Mind 5omb and 3us" albums. earing

R)he )he !as as much of a band as a band could be(S he says. R3us" is my favourite album INve ever !or"ed on O !ithout e%ce tion. ItNs the only album INve made that I could sit do!n and listen to.S 6ver the years( Marr had been a roached on several occasions to record a solo album( but heNd resisted( believing the time !asnNt right. =o!ever( something clic"ed !hen he met Ua" $tar"ey. RIt !ould have been easy for me to just bang something out( but I have to be assionate about !hat INm doing(S he says. RI met Ua" in Be! Yor" a fe! years ago and !e hit it off straight a!ay O !e !ere "indred s irits. When !e got bac" to ,ngland !e started jamming together( just for the fun of it. INd !ritten some songs that I couldnNt see anyone that I "ne! recording( so !e got them together and decided to ma"e u a grou . It !as a real instinctive thing.S $o !as he reluctant to t a"e u the role of frontman( after standing on the sidelines for so long? R's far as fronting the grou goes( it !asnNt really my call(S he e% lains. RIt !as do!n to the rest of the band. I had found a singer in Manchester !ith a retty good classic roc" voice( but the band cons ired and said that I should sing because my voice !as more unusual. It too" me about a !ee" to get my head round it( but I trusted them. It then started to ma"e sense( as there seemed little oint in me giving someone else my music to sing. I had retty strong ideas about !hat I !anted )he =ealers to be( so bringing anyone else in !ould have diluted it.S Marr is "een to stress that )he =ealers are a grou O not just him and his bac"ing band. R)he idea behind )he =ealers and our sho!s is not about coming along and adoring me O I donNt need to be loved.S We all need to be loved( donNt !e? RBot me( INm getting it:S $o( heNs not a frustrated frontman( then? )here !as never a time !hen he loo"ed at Morrissey and thought Rthat could be me u there?S RBever. Bot in the slightest. I !as more than ha y to carve out the ath that I did. I havenNt got any as irations to be different from the !ay that I am.S

6ff the mar"

)he =ealers are currently !or"ing on their debut album and lan to release it some time later this year.

RItNs going really !ell(S says #ohnny. RI !ant to ut it out on my o!n label. I met u !ith a cou le of record com anies last year( but they !anted me to !al" around a s7uare in 5arcelona( !earing a !hite suit( li"e a guitar- laying Cichard 'shcroft:S =eNs also loo"ing for someone to roduce his ne! material. R't some oint INd li"e to !or" !ith somebody( but the roblem is finding someone !ho has made as many records as I have: Me and 5ernard( in ,lectronic( !ere al!ays loo"ing for a roducer( but everyone !e met !anted to ma"e 5lue Monday or =o! $oon Is Bo!. We !ere li"e Mhang on a minuteN.S +oo"ing at the future( Marr has high ho es for )he =ealers( !hich he vie!s as a long-term roject. R=and on heart( INd li"e to ma"e si% true =ealers albums !ithout any "ind of commercial consideration or com romise(S he says. RIt seems li"e a test of idealism !hether I can do it( but I "no! I can do it in terms of ins iration or !ill. ItNs a case of trying to not let your idealism get "noc"ed out of you by commercial and financial concerns. INm just gonna carry on the !ay INm going.S $o( !e !onNt be 7ueuing u for any $miths reunion gigs just yet( then? RBever.S

@@ *arch, @B-A Music legend #ohnny Marr is ainting >ity+ife a vivid icture of childhood.

ItNs one that e% lains !here his assion for the si% string began O outside a corner sho ( aged five. R' little guitar !as my first ever toy(S he recalls. RI carried this guitar round O !hich !as bought from a lace that sold mo s and brooms and buc"ets O li"e other little boys carry round fire engines and guns.

RMy arents said I !as li"e a dog on a lead that !onNt move every time I sa! that guitar in the sho . I didnNt even "no! !hat it !as. 'nd it !as un layable. 5ut very 7uic"ly I ainted it !ith household aint and stuc" bottle ca s on to ma"e it loo" li"e an electric.

R=aving it had absolutely nothing to do !ith fame and fortune( although it might have been about girls(S he laughs. RI just had a com ulsion to have this instrument.S

=e gre! u in 'rd!ic" and Wythensha!e in a family of Rrecord frea"sS( and religiously consumed live music sho!s on )E. 5ut finding that guitar has made him a life-long believer

in destiny. 's has the fact that( had he had enough money in his oc"et for a train to +ondon( heNd have formed )he )he !ith teenage friend Matt #ohnson instead of meeting Morrissey and forming )he $miths.

RWith the life INve had( you have to have some res ect for the esoteric(S #ohnny says. RINve too much res ect for science to be com letely esoteric( but of course that stuff ma"es me believe in destiny.

RMatt and I sat u night after night lotting ho! )he )he !as gonna ma"e records. When )he $miths bro"e u and I joined )he )he( most eo le !ere scratching their heads but they didnNt "no! the half of it.S

'lmost ;* years after #ohnny Marr ic"ed u his first guitar( then O lus one !edding to childhood s!eetheart( 'ngie( and t!o "ids later O heNs ut out his solo debut record.

)he ;/-year-old hasnNt been idle in-bet!een( of course. )he $miths made his re utation as a guitarist and song!riter( but his relentless ursuit of ne! challenges has seen him tem orarily !or" !ith )he )he( Modest Mouse( )he >ribs( )al"ing =eads and )he <retenders( as !ell as co-found ,lectronic and )he =ealers and !rite a movie soundtrac" for bloc"buster Ince tion.

=is history is something Marr has al!ays been roud to tal" about( but never to re eat. 'nd as he ta"es to the road under his o!n name for the first time( !ith t!o nights this !ee"end at ManchesterNs CitD( his vision is just as tunnelled to!ards rogress.

=is debut +<( )he Messenger( is the first of Rat least three solo albumsS heNll release and its .K defiant( elegant and critical o roc" trac"s came to him over a year and( unusually( lyrics first then melodies.

=e !rote KH songs O three short of the goal he set himself O and they sound inesca ably Marr8 RI thin" itNs right for every artist to !ant to brea" out of stereoty ing and clichWs. 5ut at the same time( fans no! "no! that I do a lot of different things( so this time I thought INd sur rise everybody by doing the normal thing:S he laughs.

'nd erha s thatNs also because the album brought him home to Manchester from 6regan( 4$'( to studios in >heshire( $alford -5lue rint2 and 5erlin. RI !anted it to have the same

energy as bands I li"ed !hen I !as starting out O thatNs the main reason I came bac"( there !as a certain attitude I !anted in the music.

RI am a Manchester musician( itNs art of my sound and !ho I am. I had to ma"e it here. Without !anting to hammer the oint home( INve al!ays thought of myself as MancunianIrish( and the city I come from is a big art of my ersonality and ideology( but at the same time because my family moved there I al!ays loo"ed at it !ith an outsiderNs eye.

RI thin" it is the function of any artist to 7uestion and ma"e observations and comments about a society( because if those creative eo le donNt( !ho !ill? You donNt !ant to ma"e that a com laint and bring the music do!n( but I do thin" itNs im ortaant that my band lay music about the country !e live in.S

6f course( he also returns to Manchester having been cro!ned 9odli"e 9enius and greatest roc" guitarist by the BM,. 'nd heNs doing it !ith his chest uffed right out. RI thin" they should change the name of that a!ard no!(S he chuc"les. RMaybe they should change it to the MWould-be 9odli"e 9enius If #ohnny Marr =adnNt 9ot ItN O yeah? )hatNs got a nice ring to it.S

-@ *arch, @B-A 'fter years as a sideman( the former $miths guitarist - !ho lays a sold-out sho! at >ambridge #unction on March .K - is ta"ing centre stage !ith his debut solo album )he Messenger. =e tells 'ndy Welch !hy the time !as finally right( and !hy it's all about hiloso hy It's been a long time coming( but some things really are !orth the !ait. 'fter leaving )he $miths in ./0H( #ohnny Marr has been something of a !anderer( a roaming guitar-slinger for hire. Bo!( at the grand old age of ;/( he's ready to release his debut solo album( )he Messenger.

"It's late in the day to be ma"ing my debut album(" he admits. "5ut it feels li"e early days again( !hich eo le might be sur rised to hear. )hat's one of the advantages of ma"ing your first record under your o!n name after having made so many !ith other eo le( it's all fresh again."

'fter leaving )he $miths - his de arture led to the band's brea"-u !ee"s later - Marr seemed intent on !or"ing !ith as many artists as he could. =e briefly joined <retenders and

)he )he( and formed ,lectronic !ith Be! 6rder's 5ernard $umner. $ubse7uent years !ould see him turn roducer !ith the li"es of early Boughties ho efuls =aven( form his band #ohnny Marr Y )he =ealers( team u !ith >ro!ded =ouse's Beil ?inn on his H Worlds >ollide roject( and become a fully fledged member of 'merican indie stars Modest Mouse and Wa"efield's finest )he >ribs.

"I just reached a oint !here I didn't !ant to be in another band - or someone else's band anymore(" he says. ")he ideas for the record started to haunt me( in a good !ay. I'm al!ays led by my musical hunches( that then become strong ideas and conce ts that sometimes lead to being in someone else's band( but this time led to my o!n songs."

=e says he never had the inclination to ma"e a solo album before( and the timing !ouldn't have been right. )he Messenger is a result of !or"ing !ith so many others and dra!ing different things from each set u . Marr also realised over the years that( !ith each roject he !as involved in( he had his o!n fans follo!ing him.

"I'd say that's been 0FZ of the motivation for ma"ing this album( to lay music to eo le !ho li"e !hat I do. It sounds li"e such an obvious thing( but it !as an incredible revelation to me(" he says.

)hat a former member of )he $miths( a band !ith one of the most devoted and obsessive fan bases( !ould be sur rised eo le !ere re ared to attend gigs es ecially to see him( says something about Marr. =e's unli"e most roc" stars( seemingly devoid of ego and uninterested in the tra ings of his !or" environment.

"I refer hiloso hy( really(" he says. "Mostly 9erman. <retentious( maybe. $o shoot me. I !ant to read about interesting things about the human condition. 'nd as much as I love roc"'n'roll( I sto ed reading roc" biogra hies in my KFs !hen they became less craDy than my o!n life. $ince then it's been oetry( boo"s about art( and hiloso hy. Immanuel Jant and ?riedrich BietDsche are my roc" stars( !hich I thin" is retty amusing."

6ther!ise( Marr dra!s ins iration from cities. 9ro!ing u in Manchester( he says he's long been fascinated by metro olitan centres( !hat the architecture says about a lace.

"I guess it's called sycho-geogra hy(" he says. ")he most im ortant thing for me is to get out into the !orld and get the !ind in my hair."

=aving left behind )he $miths and - later rather than sooner - going solo( it could be said Marr is follo!ing in the footste s of <aul Weller and Boel 9allagher. )hey !ere res ectively art of bands that hel ed define the $eventies and Bineties before going it alone. Is it no! time for Marr to ste into the s otlight in a similar !ay?

"I can absolutely relate to <aul and Boel for obvious reasons( but it's good not to analyse these things too much(" he says( cautiously. "When I !as starting out I might've analysed the hell out of that com arison( but I "no! !hen to leave !ell alone no!.

"With the greatest res ect to the rofession( I can't start thin"ing li"e a journalist - it's not very good for ma"ing music. )here are many considerations !hen ma"ing a record and the c!ord o s u - career. I've learned over the years from some great eo le - 5ernard $umner and >hrissie =ynde being just t!o of them - that there are things that other eo le !ould d!ell on( but you shouldn't consider them.

">om aring yourself to another is one of those things( and ho! ins iration stri"es is the other. ?ollo! <icasso's dictum( that ins iration does e%ist but it has to find you !or"ing( and leave it at that. 5ernard $umner al!ays says that !hen the sun is shining( you shouldn't loo" it( you just have to acce t that it is."

)he Messenger( !ritten and recorded in a $alford barn( is a melodic( guitar-centric album that manages to ull from each facet of Marr's career. )here's the unmista"able( jangly guitar laying first heard !ith )he $miths( the brat-ish energy( articularly on I Want )he =eartbeat and 9enerate: 9enerate: of )he >ribs( and( on the title trac"( a floating 7uality not a million miles from his !or" !ith ,lectronic. >rucially( ho!ever( none of it could be by anybody else( and there's an immediacy to the album. )hese songs sound fresh and ne!( but also instantly familiar.

"It's nice to have made a record and not hear eo le say it's a gro!er(" he says. "It's very im ortant to me that the songs had energy. I can't !ait for the first live sho!s.

"It's not been easy being a fan of mine( !ith me going in different directions. )his record is for the fans. Well( if not for them( it's for us( me and them together. It's most definitely time to get into a venue( big or small( and for us all to just enjoy ourselves and have fun."

*ay @J, @B-A 'round half an hour into my conversation !ith #ohnny Marr( things ta"e a distinctly a!"!ard turn. 4 until this oint( the hallo!ed e%-$miths guitarist-turned-serial collaborator-turnedsolo artist has been !arm( chatty( full of sunshine and bonhomie. 's !e are introduced( I mention that !e met once before about .F years ago and Marr O loo"ing shar in dar" jeans( >rombie-style coat( his hair scul ted into the customary Mod cut O does a valiant job of retending to remember.

We are in 5righton !here he is due to lay a sho!. ?or the first time in months( the sun has come out. 's !e sit do!n in the bar at his hotel overloo"ing the sea( he chats ha ily about his recent move bac" to Manchester after five years living in <ortland( 6regon; his occasional forays into teaching -in KFFH he !as given an honorary degree at $alford 4niversity( since !hen he has been a visiting rofessor2 and the joys of good health -this morning the teetotal( vegan Marr !ent for a si%-mile run2.

=e orders a cu of hot !ater and then ulls a large( trans arent bag of herbal tea from his oc"et O "I'm very articular about tea(" he smiles O and !e both chuc"le at ho! dodgy it loo"s. ,verything is going s!immingly( !hich I'm leased about as he's a ro er hero of mine -I have never !orshi ed any band li"e I !orshi )he $miths2. $oon( I'm retty sure( he'll be inviting me round to meet the family.

5ut then I go and thro! a s anner in the !or"s( one so heavy that it causes Marr's face to dar"en and his hands to curl into angry fists. =is e% ression tells me he !ould li"e to drag me over the road to 5righton <ier and dro "ic" me off the end of it. )he s anner? )hat !ould be Morrissey.

It's no secret that Marr has s ent KG years trying to( if not entirely shrug off( move beyond )he $miths and their immense legacy. Marr !as .0 years old !hen he and Morrissey first formed the band( and K1 !hen( to the des air of Morrissey and their legions of fans( he called it 7uits. =e has since busied himself !ith assorted collaborations O initially !ith )he <retenders( )he )he and ,lectronic -!ith Be! 6rder's 5ernard $umner2 and latterly !ith the 'merican indie band Modest Mouse and Yor"shire's )he >ribs.

In bet!een times there has been session !or" !ith <aul Mc>artney( <et $ho 5oys( )al"ing =eads and 5ec". =e has !or"ed alongside =ans Uimmer on the soundtrac" to the movie Ince tion( for !hich they !ere nominated for an 6scar( and has fronted his o!n band #ohnny Marr's =ealers. ,arlier this year( at the age of ;/( he released his first ro er solo album( )he Messenger( !hich had critics rha sodising about his chiming guitars that har" bac" to the old days of )he $miths( !hile being merely olite about his singing.

'nd yet( as Marr forges determinedly for!ards( the clamour surrounding )he $miths has never 7uietened. If anything( it has got louder. +ong-term admirers continue to emerge from the !ood!or"( the latest being 3avid >ameron !ho( in choosingf ")his >harming Man" as one of his 3esert Island 3iscs( joins Cussell 5rand( Boel 9allagher( #J Co!ling and 3ouglas >ou land among the ever-gro!ing club of celebrity $miths fans.

Mean!hile( rumours about an imminent $miths reunion have circulated almost as fre7uently as boo"s have been !ritten and re-issued albums churned out.

?ive years ago it !as alleged that Marr and Morrissey !ere offered [.KFm -\HGm2 to tour the 4$( !hich both flatly turned do!n. More recently( though( there has been a softening in their language on the subject; last year Marr told Colling $tone( "I don't "no! about the ossibility @of a reunionA but !hat I do "no! is that I understand ho! great it !ould be to ma"e so many eo le ha y" O rom ting further s eculation that a tour !as on the cards.

$o I feel duty-bound to as" the 7uestion8 !ill it ever ha

en?

Marr loo"s at me stonily. "It's an im ossible thing(" he says blan"ly. "It's im ossible for that grou to re-form. )hat's it. )hat's my ans!er."

=mmm. I decide to ress on. Is he in contact !ith Morrissey?

)he silence continues and Marr stares furiously out of the !indo!. ,ventually he as"s8 "'re eo le really interested in this?"

Well I am( I say( and I don't thin" I'm alone( given the '!ill-they( !on't-they' debates that bubble a!ay online.

"I thin" journalists are interested(" he says. "You're just interested in as"ing the 7uestion( and really you shouldn't be. 5ecause !ho cares about some emails that !e send to each other every fe! years( that aren't articularly in-de th. I mean( is that interesting for eo le to read about? I don't thin" it is really. It's not as interesting as my ne! songs( and !hy some songs are called !hat they are. If you !ant to "no! about me and Morrissey( just 9oogle it."

I'm sorry the 7uestion has annoyed you( I say( but 9oogle isn't the most reliable source ofT

"+isten( I'm not ruffled by this(" he interru ts( sounding distinctly ruffled. ")he difficulty here is that the ans!er is very boring. 'nd I don't !ant to be boring. )here have been emails. #ust emails. )hat's it. )hat's all I can say."

6J( I re ly. <erha s !e should move on.

"Yeah( let's do that."

)he enduring roblem for Marr is that( for the die-hard $miths fan -and I'm not alone here; there are Dillions2( the dynamic that e%isted bet!een him and Morrissey has remained endlessly fascinating. +i"e Mc>artney and +ennon( #agger and Cichards( 5acharach and 3avid( they are among o ular music's greatest airings( a duo blessed !ith a rare alchemy. 5ut then they fell out and Morrissey( aggrieved by Marr's sudden e%it( made it clear their friendshi !as over.

)heir only ublic reunion since )he $miths' s lit in ./0H has been a =igh >ourt a earance !hen the air !ere sued by drummer Mi"e #oyce over un aid royalties. #oyce !on. Months later in an intervie!( Morrissey remar"ed8 ")he $miths !ere a beautiful thing and #ohnny left it( and Mi"e has destroyed it."

$ince then( as Morrissey's ost-$miths stoc" has fluctuated O a situation not im roved by recent intem erate ronouncements on the KF.. Bor!egian terrorist attac"s( the 3uchess of >ambridge and 4"i O Marr has never been more o ular( and has settled !ith ease into the role of indie elder statesman. )his ?ebruary he !as given a '9odli"e 9enius' gong by the BM, at its annual a!ards arty.

Which( of course( ma"es this a erfect time to be releasing his solo album. $till in combative mood( Marr !ants it to be "no!n that "just because I'm here no! fronting my o!n band doesn't mean that !hat I've done in the ast has been done !ith anything other than .FF er cent conviction. You as" any member of )he )he or ,lectronic !hat it's li"e to be in a band !ith me and they'll tell you it's fuc"ing intense. I don't !ant anyone to im ly that everything I've been doing in the ast K* years since )he $miths has been building u to this( because it hasn't."

Marr moved bac" to Manchester in KF.F from the 4nited $tates in order to "!rite the "ind of music I !ant to !rite. It's !hat I've done all my life. I go straight to the lace that's going to be best for !hat I do".

Your !ife must be very atient( I say.

"$he is(" re lies Marr. "Beither of us have "no!n any other !ay. >reativity al!ays comes first."

Marr first met 'ngie !hen she !as .; and he .*. In a touching divergence from the usual roc"-star narrative of debauchery and divorce( they have been together ever since. "Well I "ind of arrived in 'ngie's life fully-formed("f he e% lains. "I !as a guy !ho !as in bands. )omorro! night I !as going to get on a train and go to rehearsal and $aturday night I !as going to blag some studio time and she !as( li"e( ')hat sounds good( I'll do that too'."

$o !hy did they feel the need to come bac" to Manchester?

"I !anted to get a bit nar"y(" he says.

Ceally( I say? 9iven the a!"!ardness of the last .F minutes( I !onder if he's jo"ing.

"It's too mello! in <ortland(" he continues. "'s 5ritish eo le( being nar"y is art of our syche. I needed to be bugged by traffic !ardens and annoyed by ne!scasters and get a little bit of that attitude into my music. )hat said( all the songs on the album are commentaries and not com laints. @)he songA 'Cight )hin" Cight' is a commentary on being a target of mar"et forces and crass commercialism; '4 starts' is a jubilant celebration of defiance. Bone of these ne! songs are com laints because by nature I'm o timistic( even idealistic( and I thin" it's in our interest to try and ma"e things better. I've al!ays felt that !ay( even !hen I started out."

's a child( music !as forever laying in Marr's head( an internal ju"ebo% um ing out $i%ties soul music and $eventies glam-roc". "I !as !earing invisible head hones on a day-to-day basis( from before I !ent to school to !hen I !ent to bed(" he reflects. "It got me through the day. I "ne! I !anted to ma"e great records( !hich is something that's never changed. )hen eo le started saying that I layed guitar in a !ay they'd never heard before( I realised I had something distinctive. I understood my function com letely."

It !as May ./0K !hen the Wythensha!e-raised Marr O !ho !as born #ohnny Maher O famously "noc"ed on K1-year-old $teven Morrissey's door to see if he !anted to !or" on some songs. )he chemistry !as instant8 !hile Morrissey !as channelling the s irits of 6scar Wilde and #oe 6rton( Marr fed off the sounds of <hil $ ector( Iggy <o and >hic. =aving initiated the !or"ing relationshi ( Marr continued to be the band's galvanising force.

"In many res ects(" he says( "I've run all the bands I've been in. ' great front man needs that other erson. It's not enough to have a guy !ith a cute face standing behind a micro hone. I see it li"e the classicf romantic relationshi s !ith men and !omen( !here the !oman lets the man thin" he's running it. It's a classic matriarchal trait( and that's al!ays been art of my ersonality."

Marr says the situation hasn't changed much( even no! he's the focus of this latest roject. ")hrough age and e% erience there's a ractical as ect to doing it and a res onsibility to your band. 5ut I don't have to change !ho I am to do it. My real a renticeshi started at .; !hen I !as in bands !ith much older eo le( and it !as terrifying then. Bo! I "no! ho! it !or"s and( than"fully( there's a lot of love for me. When !e lay( eo le are u for a celebratory night. Which is nice."

It must be great to feel such good!ill from fans( though I !onder again !hat it must be li"e to be lauded for something you did nearly 1F years ago.

When I intervie!ed Marr .F years ago he !as s!eet and indulgent of my fandom. "I'm the biggest $miths fan in the !orld(" he said "indly( as I babbled on about hearing ")his >harming Man" for the first time. )oday( I'd resolved to be more restrained( though clearly for Marr( true restraint no! means not dro ing the M-bomb.

I as" him if he's ever felt about a band the !ay eo le seem to feel about )he $miths. "6f course(" he re lies( smiling at last. "I felt that !ay about <atti $mith as a teenager. I love that that can ha en about art. I'm a really big fan of 3avid =oc"ney( and I'm really e%cited !hen he does something ne!. I'm a big fan of Bile Codgers. I love thin"ing li"e a fan.

With )he $miths( I try to ta"e it in the s irit that it's nearly al!ays intended( !hich is !ith great affection. 5ut I do feel that the eo le !ho are tal"ing to me O and( to be fair( to Morrissey( too O urely on that basis are robably missing out on some stuff. I thin" they should ta"e at least one blin"er off and listen to a Modest Mouse record."

Marr's children O son Bile and daughter $onny O are no! embar"ing on musical careers. )heir dad is at once roud and alarmed. "When your "ids gets involved in the arts O and s ecifically roc" music O you can see a lot of slee ing on couches and dealing !ith certain( shall !e say( roblems(" he notes. ")hey've gro!n u !ith it and they "no! it's not easy. )hey "no! it's not limousines and e% ensive clothes; it's getting in a van and driving for five hours to the ne%t gig. I li"e to thin" that I've taught them that it's not all about fame and money. It's about being great at something( urely for the sa"e of being great at it. When I loo" bac" at !hat I've done( that's !hat ma"es me feel good."

2eb @@, @B-A ' 7uarter-century after leaving )he $miths( arguably one of 5ritainNs most seminal o bands( #ohnny Marr has at long last released a solo album. 6r erha s it's more accurate to say that the guitar great finally got around to it. ?irst came years of collaborating !ith acts as dis arate as )al"ing =eads( )he )he( ,lectronic( 5ryan ?erry( 5ec" and Modest Mouse. =e even contributed to =ans UimmerNs acclaimed Ince tion score. 5ut before those( of course( !as MarrNs most famous alliance8 !ith Morrissey. )ogether they crafted enduring anthems of alienation and heartbrea"( such as R=o! $oon Is Bo!?S and R)here Is ' +ight )hat Bever 9oes 6ut.S

)o ma"e )he Messenger -out no!2 -- a collection that har"ens bac" to his roots8 the guitar jangles and shimmers( the songs are often !istful and romantic -- the ,nglishman left <ortland( his home since KFF*( and decam ed to his native Manchester( a city that o!es him a huge musical debt. -6n Wednesday( Marr is set to receive the BM, 9odli"e 9enius '!ard( the long-established 5ritish music a erNs highest honor( for his influence on generations of artists( including last yearNs !inner( Boel 9allagher.2

RI came bac" to see if I could connect !ith some of the notions that I had about music and bands !hen I !as starting out(S Marr( ;/( tells )he =olly!ood Ce orter. RBot that I !as loo"ing to be nostalgic( but I thin" you can be someone !ho sounds li"e your environment. I mean( Jraft!er" could only come out of 3usseldorf( and the 5each 5oys could only come out of >alifornia( you "no!?S

5ut MarrNs Messenger is far sunnier than the rain-soa"ed streets of his northern industrial city -- or the $mithsN catalog( for that matter.

R)he album is sur risingly u beat(S says Marr( !ho sings on every trac" -his unaffected voice often calls to mind his ,lectronic mate 5ernard $umner of Be! 6rder2. RINm sur rised myself that retty much all the tem os are really u ( and the songs are 7uite short and ha y.S

<=6)6$8 )he K* 5iggest )ours of KF.K8 Year in Cevie!

)hough Marr left the $miths in ./0H after they released just four studio albums( the bandNs im act has been immeasurable. ,ven !ithout a single hit stateside( the $miths( along !ith the >ure and 3e eche Mode -both of !hom !ere selling out stadiums by that decadeNs end2( are alternative-roc" deities -- college radioNs holy trinity. )heir songs are more o ular no! than ever and are the go-to soundtrac" for anyone !ho see"s to !allo! in romantic disa ointment. Witness8 Inde endent $ rit '!ards !inner <er"s 6f ' Wallflo!er( !herein the filmNs lonely teen rotagonist cites )he $miths as his favorite band.

Mean!hile( Morrissey "ee s their legacy alive by crooning $miths songs in his tourNs set. -'fter a !ee"s-long hiatus to undergo treatment for a concussion( a bleeding ulcer and 5arrettNs eso hagus( the !orld's most famous vegetarian !ill erform )uesday on #immy Jimmel +ive and ?riday at a much- ubliciDed -- and meatless -- gig at +'Ns $ta les >enter.2

'nd this s ring( fans can hear MarrNs articular inter retation of the songs he co-!rote. 'fter s ending March touring the 4.J. and Ireland( he commences his .0-date Borth 'merican tre" in su ort of )he Messenger ' ril .. at the >osmo olitan in +as Eegas. ?or that sho!( as !ell as the one ' ril .0 at the $anta 5arbara 5o!l( the guitarist !ill share the bill !ith Be! 6rder. 6n ' ril .K( Marr is set to ta"e the stage at >oachella for the first of the fest's t!o-!ee"end bo!.

While there has been much s eculation over the years about a $miths reunion( fans robably shouldnNt hold their breath. $till( after a long and at times re ortedly acrimonious rift( Marr and Morrissey are said to be on cordial terms. )he t!o corres onded via email !hen Marr s earheaded the remastering !or" for the bandNs KF.. bo% set( >om lete.

Marr recently s o"e !ith )=C about ho! heNs finally able to embrace his signature sound( !hy itNs ta"en so long for him to stand alone in the s otlight( and more.

)he =olly!ood Ce orter8 )here are moments on )he Messenger that immediately call to mind )he $miths. Was that intentional?

#ohnny Marr8 ?or the longest time !hen I did that( I !ould erase it. What I did !ith )he $miths is still so loved( but as a young man trying not to be stuc" in a bo%( I !ent through many eriods !here it !as very im ortant to me to do things other than that. Bo one !ants to have a tag ut on them at the age of K;. 't the same time( you get to a oint !here youNre

just really ha y to have something that eo le love. $o no!( !hen a riff comes u ( and eo le in the control room start smiling( and @youA have a feeling that someone is gonna love it( you just dro your agenda -- you record it( and you just loo" u and than" the god of ins iration and donNt overthin" it. )hatNs the difference( really( !ith !here INm at no!. ItNs good to have those considerations and attitudes at a certain oint in your life( but at other times you just dro the shit( you "no!?

)=C8 3id you have some very definite thoughts about !hat you !anted to do on your first solo album?

Marr8 $ound-!ise( I didnNt try to conce tualiDe it too much( and lyrically( retty much the same thing. I !anted to be able to ta"e ins iration from my environment. ItNs im ortant that I made a record that !ould be good live. 6ther considerations !ere that I !anted it to have energy( and I didnNt necessarily !ant to sing articularly too much about my feelings( but more about my thoughts. )hereNs already too many eo le singing about their feelings; INd rather more eo le sing about their minds. INm "ind of jo"ing about that( but also thereNs lenty of other eo le !ho can do that better than me. I li"e 5rian ,noNs early solo records( and I li"e $iou%sie $iou% and Wire. INve tried to not get too sentimental or emotional. 'nd then right at the end of the record( just before it !as all done( I felt that I succeeded too much in doing that. $o( at the eleventh hour( I !rote the song RBe! )o!n Eelocity(S because I !anted to ut something emotional @andA autobiogra hical in there.

)=C8 WhatNs the story behind that trac"?

Marr8 ItNs about the day that I decided to leave school and never go bac". It !as a beautiful start of a summerNs morning( and it !as one of those moments in time( if youNre luc"y enough to have one( !here you feel li"e you can bring the !orld to you. I felt li"e I could sha e my o!n destiny. INve had many( many times li"e that throughout my life and still do no! -- a articular sense of freedom that you donNt necessarily have to lose because youNre not a "id anymore. I felt that !as the one thing on the record that needed to be noted. When I got the music together( I !anted the lyrics to match that mood( and the mood reminded me of that day. $o I !rote about that day. My then-girlfriend and my best friend just decided to ta"e off and !al" around the city all day being free( you "no!?

$)6CY8 )he 5ritish are >oming8 My 5loody Ealentine( 5lur( Be! 6rder and an ,ra's Cebirth

)=C8 3id ma"ing this album in Manchester made you nostalgic?

Marr8 Well( !hat made me thin" about that s ecific day !as that the trac" had that same feeling in it( a !istful "ind of o timism. It !asnNt just that I !ent home to Manchester. INm not articularly a roots-y erson. I !or"ed out of Manchester because itNs a great environment for a roc" musician( and thatNs !here I feel I can relate to eo le. ItNs a creative "ind of lace in much the same !ay that <ortland is. It doesnNt matter that I came from @ManchesterA. INm not at all a nostalgic erson; I donNt really loo" bac" that much. 5ut Manchester is a good lace to be a roc" musician.

I also !ent to 5erlin because I didnNt !ant the record to be all 4.J.-centric. I feel li"e 5ritish eo le are missing out if they donNt feel li"e ,uro eans. With <aris being so close( and 5arcelona being so close( and <ablo <icasso being in <aris and $alvador 3ali and just the great tradition of regular( ordinary ,uro eans citiDens !ith centuries of bravery and crossing borders -- hence the song( R,uro ean Me.S

)=C8 $o !hy did it ta"e so long for you to ma"e your first true solo record?

Marr8 )he reason it ha ened no! is because the record came really 7uic". I didnNt need or !ant anyone to collaborate on these songs. )he thing I love about collaboration is the element of sur rise !hen you !or" on something( then you hand it over and somebody else turns it u side-do!n and uts their mar" on it. )hatNs something I love and have been very rivileged to have done !ith so many great eo le. 5ut in this case( I didnNt !ant to hand over the tunes. I !anted to "ee them for myself( and I !anted to ut my !ords on them. ' fe! !ee"s into ma"ing demos( my friend !ho co- roduces !ith me just ut it to me that I should ut it under my o!n name since I had the !hole big icture( so to s ea". $o I didnNt decide to do a solo record and then start !riting the songs; I started ma"ing the record and it !as obvious it !as a solo record.

)=C8 Were you initially nervous about being the frontman?

Marr8 Bo( I li"e it. I !ent around the !orld a cou le of times !ith )he =ealers and learned ho! to do it. I didnNt really li"e laying gigs or touring until the late nineties. 'll the !ay through the eighties and early nineties I didnNt li"e touring( but no! I do. I donNt feel any sort of s ecial !eight or e% ectation; I just thin" itNs going to be a lot of fun ... ?or the longest time( INve !ondered !hether !hat I do is entertaining or art. Bo! I understand that for me( any!ay( itNs both.

2eb @J, @B-A 6ne thing thatNs ty ically true of any generation of roc" guitarists is that they usually enjoy bas"ing in the s otlight of their greatness. Bot #ohnny Marr. While certainly not shy about his raise( he is someone !ho has al!ays ta"en it in his stride and has chosen a near consistent role as being the er etual sideman. =is most famous !or" !ill al!ays be his five years as the heart and soul of )he $miths( but heNs had a ros erous career doing session !or" !ith everyone from 5ec" to =ans Uimmer( as !ell becoming a full-time member -albeit tem orary2 member of high rofile bands li"e )he )he( Modest Mouse( and )he >ribs as !ell as being one half of 5ernard $umnerNs Be! 6rder vacation side roject ,lectronic.

While Marr gave a stab at being the face in front of his !or" !ith R5oomslang(S the only album billed as #ohnny Marr and the =ealers( today mar"s the release of his first true solo album( R)he Messenger.S ?illed !ith the jangly hoo"s and the energetic charisma that made R=and in 9loveS such an electrifying debut single 1F years ago( itNs an album that any fan of MarrNs one-of-a-"ind guitar-!or" has been !aiting for from the man since he de arted !ith )he $miths in ./0H. $ifting through his collaborations over the years has al!ays been a re!arding scavenger hunt( but the fact that Marr has never had a record to call his o!n for all these years has al!ays been a frustrating missed o ortunity. With R)he Messenger(S !e finally hear the artist in his urest and most direct form and the results are great.

When #ohnny Marr gave us a ring from his hometo!n of Manchester( his trademar" amicableness !as in full effect. 'side from some inside info on his rocess for going about this big ste in his career( !e also dug into his ast( such as his never-com leted record !ith ,cho and the 5unnymen frontman Ian Mc>ulloch( his a earance at 3inosaur #rNs RYouNre +iving 'll 6ver MeS anniversary sho!( R<ortlandia(S and ho! his !or" ethic often outruns the bands heNs layed in.

ItNs been .F years since the release of the =ealers album. =o! does R)he MessengerS differ from R5oomslangS?

It !as very different actually. I "ind of had it all ma ed out in my mind before doing this record & not necessarily !ritten but I had a very strong icture of ho! I !anted eo le to feel once they heard it and ho! it !ould be to lay it live. )he !ay !e made R)he MessengerS !as different also because INve been touring nonsto for five years( and before that I had been a studio-rat for the revious decade almost. I !as very much a live musician going bac" in the studio so I !as very conscious( almost in an instinctive !ay about singing and laying live.

When did you start !riting the material for this record?

I started !riting them at the start of KF.. and "ind of finished !riting them a fe! months after that. I !ent out and did a fe! little sho!s to test them !hich !as a really useful thing to do and that made me go bac" into recording ro erly !ith a lot more confidence because all the songs !e layed live !ent do!n very !ell. I !rote about 1F songs so it !asnNt a laborious rocess I just "e t !riting and !riting and got on a roll.

=o! do you feel about !riting lyrics? Is it a different a

roach than !riting music?

Writing lyrics !as retty much the same as !riting music & it "ind of falls into a cou le of categories. $ome are ins ired and come very easily and some other stuff you have to craft and s end more time !ith but thatNs fun too. ItNs not li"e this torturous rocess. In fact INm "ind of loo"ing for!ard to !riting more.

Your home is in <ortland but you chose to cut R)he MessengerS in Manchester. =o! im ortant do you feel location is to ma"ing music?

)his album sounds closer to your roots in )he $miths than anything youNve done for some time. 3id remastering their bac" catalogue in KF.. have any bearing on your a roach to these songs?

ItNs a nice idea but it had nothing to do !ith anything really. I thin" I made @the soundtrac" toA RInce tionS after I did that so I feel li"e it !ould have more to do !ith that. INd been in an 'merican grou I really enjoyed !ith Modest Mouse( and then !as in a 5ritish grou that I really enjoyed !ith )he >ribs. 'nd then I did a film soundtrac"( !hich I really li"ed so I thin" those things had much more of a bearing. )he reason !hy the ne! record might sound li"e echoes of some of the stuff INve done in the ast is because itNs me ma"ing it.

3o you feel li"e your time s ent as a full-time member of different bands has any effect on your guitar laying?

It robably has although !hen I !as doing it at the time I felt li"e I !as bringing my !orld into theirs more so. I feel li"e a song on the record li"e R$un P MoonS reminds me of a band I !as in !hen I !as about .G. I !as in a lot of different bands as a teenager. )o analyDe it( I feel li"e there thereNs a fe! things that came out in this record that !ere similar to my !or" !ith those bands. $ome of the stuff I !as doing !ith Modest Mouse !as really an o ortunity for

me to dig into things that I had never done before. I !as !or"ing out on myself in the studio and I thin" thatNs not !hat eo le !ere e% ecting from me !hich is one of the reasons !hy I enjoyed that grou so much.

I feel li"e the sound of RWe Were 3ead 5efore the $hi ,ven $an"S does cree in a bit on R)he Messenger.S )here are these guitar s7ualls on R4 startsS that remind me of Isaac 5roc" and RWord $tarts 'ttac"SNs overall sound feels li"e it could have been an outta"e from that record.

Maybe it could yeah. I thin" !e really got into a certain thing !ith the guitars on the RWe Were 3eadS record. We really ushed each other along a certain road. It !as real shoulder to shoulder and loud. Ceal 1 in the afternoon jamming rather than 1 am jamming although there !as lenty of that going on as !ell.

What time slot do you feel R)he MessengerS fits into?

I really thin" !e successfully made music that sounds really great in the afternoon @on R)he MessengerSA. I !anted this record to sound good !hen youNre on the train going to !or" or on your !ay to school. Jic"ing around the house in the afternoon laying really loud. ItNs a given that u tem o guitar music should sound good at 0 m on a $aturday night !hen youNre getting ready to go out but I thin" anything but K am INm fine !ith. I didnNt !ant to ma"e music for "ic"ing bac" after youNve been artying all night.

5efore this record you had been in and out of t!o reviously established bands. When you joined Modest Mouse and later )he >ribs( did you have a game lan of ho! much time you intended to stay !ith them?

Bo. My game lan is al!ays to get tight !ith the eo le INm !ith and get tight !ith the audience and get tight !ith the aesthetics of the band. 5ut I al!ays !ant to ma"e another record. $o if the grou INm !ith is ta"ing a brea" or !anting to !or" at a different s eed and I got ossessed by an idea( I go !ith !here the idea ta"es me so INm al!ays entirely committed !ith. I got together !ith Modest Mouse and started !riting songs. You get tight !ith the band members as friends and then you ma"e this !or" together. It !as too damn strange to 7uit. I al!ays !ant to ma"e a commitment to the !or" and a commitment to the guys and thatNs !hat !e did. INve been very luc"y because I love everybody @in Modest Mouse and )he >ribsA and am still su er tight !ith them to this day. )heyNre all li"e family to

me but I move very fast and I have a lot of energy and I li"e to get on !ith things !ith the band INm in but if that doesnNt clic" !ith the band then I need to follo! the idea. INve been that !ay since I !as .*.

3id you have a favorite Modest Mouse song before you joined the band?

It !as robably R)eeth +i"e 9odNs $hoeshine.S I layed that one a fe! times. I also thought R>o!boy 3anS !as an amaDing trac".

Cecently you layed R)he WagonS and R)he 5oy !ith the )horn in =is $ideS at 3inosaur #rNs RYouNre +iving 'll 6ver MeS anniversary arty at )erminal *. =o! did your a earance there come about?

# @MascisA and I first met in #a an about five years ago and I !atched him lay and I li"ed his songs. I al!ays thought he !as su er melodic and I li"ed his lyrical a roach. I thin" heNs very smart. =e says very smart things very succinctly. I al!ays "ee an eye on !hat heNs doing. $o he invited me to do the sho! in Be! Yor" and I !as really ha y to acce t. I ho e I get a chance to do something @!ith himA again.

Yeah I mean I !as retty devastated I missed that sho!. ,veryone a!esome ever seemed to sho! u .

@+aughsA Yeah: My friend Jevin 3re! !as there he sang great and Jim 9ordon !as really fantastic. 'nd ?ran" 5lac" is al!ays amaDing. It !as a really great !ee"end.

=o! did your recent cameo on R<ortlandiaS come about?

?red @'rmisenA and >arrie @5ro!nsteinA contacted me and invited me to do it. I had been trying to not fall over laughing every fifteen seconds and ruin it for everybody. I really didnNt !ant to be that guy @laughsA.

Were you able to "ee it together for the most art?

I did lose the lot a fe! times. )hey are so good at !hat they do and you just donNt "no! !hat theyNre going to say ne%t. It !as a really fun time. I did have a fe! guys shout RthatNs not my bi"e:S to me since then so no! INve got a catch hrase.

)his is a little left-field but INm curious O I had read that you had !ritten and artially recorded an album !ith Ian Mc>ulloch from ,cho and the 5unnymen in .//1 that never sa! the light of day. >an you tell me e%actly !hat ha ened?

We !rote a bunch of songs and recorded them and loo"ing bac" no! they !ere very elaborate demos. )he record needed vocals to really get finished u and it didnNt 7uite get there at the ..th hour. )here !as certainly lenty of music there but they !ere not entirely finished from @IanNsA oint of vie!. )he craDy thing !as though that I shi ed the ta es to IanNs house in +iver ool and on the !ay they got hijac"ed.

Bo !ay: Ceally?

Yeah: )he van got stolen and the ta es !ith it. $omeho! it sort of seemed li"e a fitting end to it. 5ut some of the songs sa! the light of day. )hat song RBothing +asts ?oreverS by ,cho P the 5unnymen. )hat !as a song !e !or"ed on !here I hel ed them out.

Wo!( I didnNt "no! that. )hat song !as a big comebac" hit for them.

Yeah I !as ha

y that they got bac" together and had some success !ith that.

2eb @@, @B-A ;@nd< What too" so long? )!enty-five years after he left the $miths( erha s the most influential 5ritish o band of the ./0Fs( the guitarist #ohnny Marr has finally made a solo album. 6n R)he MessengerS -$ire2( due out on )uesday( Mr. Marr has !ritten not just the music( as he did in the $miths( but also the lyrics for all .K songs( and ste ed for!ard to be the singer too. ,very song o ens !ith a guitar intro( and there are even some blaDing guitar solos & all big de artures for a musician !ho has al!ays rided himself on his collegiality( rather than see"ing the s otlight.

R)his record is a little bit of thin"ing and a !hole lot of instinct(S Mr. Marr( ;/( said in a recent intervie! in Be! Yor". R?rom the time I !as .1 or .; INve been thin"ing li"e art of a grou . 5ut in this case I didnNt need to enable anybody else & or be enabled by anybody else.S =e added( R)o do !hat INm doing no! I need not to be rece tive to collaborations.S

ItNs not that Mr. Marr hasnNt been active since the $miths bro"e u ( in the summer of ./0H. If anything( heNs been a !andering s irit( recording( !riting for or touring !ith the <retenders( ,lectronic( the )he( Modest Mouse( 5ryan ?erry( the <et $ho 5oys( 5ec" and most recently the >ribs. =e has also !ritten film scores and in KF.F layed on the soundtrac" of RInce tion.S

R)he idea of loo"ing at the same musicians year in and year out to me is !eird if you donNt need to do that(S he said !hen as"ed about his restlessness. RI understand the dynamic( but if you donNt need to do it( !hy !ould you? I feel li"e INve been able to do !hat I !ant( the !ay I !ant. I !ould join a band( learn from that band and be committed and assionate and bring my thing to the band. )hen( !hen I felt li"e !e !ere going to re eat ourselves( and I needed to learn more( I !ould go some!here else.S

)he $miths( of course( !ere famous for the intensely ersonal( even lugubrious lyrics that Morrissey( the grou Ns lead singer( ri ed from his diaries and noteboo"s. 6n R)he Messenger(S in contrast( most of Mr. MarrNs lyrics tend to!ard the abstract or enigmatic & dysto ian fantasies that address issues li"e the disconnect bet!een man and technology.

RI didnNt !ant to sing about my feelings(S said Mr. Marr( slim( affable( soft-s o"en and !ell dressed( his hair cut in classic 5ritish roc" star style. R)hereNs this !eird aradigm that has cre t into all music( but articularly o music( that unless one is singing from the very very de ths of your soul( as loudly as ossible( using every note in your limited range( then itNs not authentic. )hat made me !ant all the more to sing from my mind( my analytical mind. I thought8 Well !hatNs !rong !ith singing from the brain? It doesnNt ma"e it any less authentic.S

5ut Mr. MarrNs guitar laying( lyrical and melodic( is an entirely different matter. ' student of the instrument( he has al!ays enjoyed a re utation as one of the remier craftsmen of his generation( !ith a distinctively restrained sound and style that seems descended more from the tasteful chording of <ete )o!nshend( Bile Codgers or Jeith Cichards than the solo yrotechnics of an ,ric >la ton or #imi =endri%.

In 3ecember Mr. Marr erformed !ith 3inosaur #r. in Be! Yor"( laying the $miths anthem R)he 5oy With the )horn in =is $ideS as a guest at a live sho!. ' fe! days later #. Mascis( that bandNs leader( offered this e% lanation for the invitation8 )hough he initially found the $miths Rtoo !im yS !hen he sa! them on M)E( and didnNt much care for the fact that Rall

youNd see and hear !as Morrissey( Morrissey( Morrissey(S he found Mr. MarrNs guitar laying to be Rvery cool( ,nglish and ne!.S

RItNs just the sound he made(S Mr. Mascis e% lained. R=e came u !ith interesting arts( and they !ere all so clean( !hich made it seem li"e they !ould be hard to lay. 3istortion ma"es it easy to lay( so the cleaner a art( the more difficult it seems( and his arts !ere so intricate. 'nd they are all there for the song( all art of the music( not solos stic"ing out and dra!ing attention to themselves8 +oo" !hat I can lay on guitar.S