Johnny Marr Releasing First Solo Album of Career
Although Smiths reunion rumors have persisted for years, with the Manchester four-piece never getting back together, Morrissey has had a prolific solo career, and Johnny Marr went onto other projects and collaborations. Marr, unlike his former songwriting partner, never released a solo album, until today, when The Messenger dropped.
Speaking about The Messenger with Billboard, Marr explained that, after more than two decades of other projects, now seemed like the right time to put out a solo album: “I just think that after the last few years of a couple of bands and touring, touring, touring, and then doing that movie soundtrack (for 'Inception'), I was able to get into a different sort of frame of mind. I guess the important thing is I built up a lot of ideas of what I wanted to say and my impression of how I wanted it to sound. All these things just fell into place at the right time, I guess."
To the magazine, Marr admitted he lacked ambition to be a solo artist, but now The Messenger sounds like 12 singles. At the same time, when writing and recording, the guitarist wasn’t considering a return to form. Instead, he said: “I found myself playing and thinking in a way that was not unlike the way I did it when I first started out. I stripped away my usual considerations about experiments and going off in tangents and just started to write songs really quickly."
The Messenger features bassist Max James and drummer Jack Mitchell, along with appearances from Marr’s children Nile and Sonny. The guitarist co-produced the album with Doviak and recorded it in his hometown of Manchester and also in Berlin. On March 10, he starts a tour in the U.K. and heads over to North America for April, including an appearance at Coachella.