Since quitting The Smiths in 1987, guitarist Johnny Marr has played with a wide variety of acts, from Talking Heads and The The to Electronic, Modest Mouse, The Cribs and even his own short-lived band, Johnny Marr + The Healers. Early next year, though, he’ll finally release his first proper album under his own name.
Of the album, Marr — who turns 49 today — told the NME:
“It is late in the day to be making my debut. I didn’t want to be in someone else’s band at this point. In the past I might have been reluctant to stand up front, and I’ve been lucky enough to be in bands with great singers, so it wasn’t necessary. But this is my band now, and the frontman in my band has to play guitar. I do both.”
The guitarist also spoke of the ever-present rumors of a Smiths reunion:
“Everybody seems to know more about a Smiths reunion than I do. Those rumours are like a sport for everyone involved bar the people who were in the group 30 years ago. But it’s not happening.”
Marr also is set to join Dinosaur Jr in New York this December to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of that band’s classic album You’re Living All Over Me. As for his former partner Morrissey, we’re still waiting for the remainder of his U.S. tour to be rescheduled.
UPDATE: Johnny Marr this week announced that The Messenger will be released Feb. 25 on Warner Bros., and features Marr contributing writing, vocals, guitar and production. Songs include “I Want the Heartbeat,” “The Right Thing Right,” “Upstart,” “Word Starts Attack” and “European Me.” Marr will tour the U.K. in March and play festivals “worldwide.”
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- Johnny Marr to help Dinosaur Jr celebrate 25th anniversary of ‘You’re Living All Over Me’
- Reps for Morrissey, Johnny Marr shoot down rumors of The Smiths reunion — again
- New biography ‘A Light That Never Goes Out’ promises ‘complete story’ of The Smiths
- Video: Johnny Marr, Alison Moyet, Nile Rodgers play The Smiths at Montreux Jazz
- Johnny Marr: ‘Once again, rumors of a Smiths reunion are untrue. It’s not happening’