By ,

Johnny Marr announces new album 'Playland'

Former Smiths member will release second solo album on October 6

Johnny Marr announces new album 'Playland'

Photo: Press

Johnny Marr has announced details of his second solo album 'Playland'.

The follow-up to 2013's solo debut 'The Messenger' will be released on October 6. Speaking exclusively to NME, the former Smiths guitarist said it was a continuation of his last album, written while on the road in the past two years. Unlike its predecessor, which was made between Berlin, New York and Manchester, 'Playland' was recorded in London at Tritone Studios near Tower Bridge and will come out on the same day as lead single 'Easy Money'.

"It was deliberate to work in London," said Marr. "Where you work definitely affects how it sounds and seeps into the music, and I've developed a really good feeling for London in the past couple of years, I like the frenetic atmosphere."

The title was inspired by 'Homo Ludens', a highly influential book by Dutch historian and cultural theorist Johan Huizinga. 'Homo Ludens' translates as 'Man The Player', or 'Playing Man'. As with 'The Messenger', it was produced by Marr and his co-producer/band member Doviak, mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer in New York and mastered at Abbey Road by Frank Arkwright, who has in the past worked with Arcade Fire, The Smiths, New Order, Joy Division, Coldplay, Oasis and Primal Scream.

"The album's main themes are the atmosphere of the city, and the preoccupations of the people who live in them; those preoccupations being consumerism, sex and anxiety, or distraction and transcendence from those things," he says.

Of the autobiographical songs on the album, Marr says '25 Hours' is about the realisation he had as a child of having to do something to escape the life that was laid out in front of him, and features the lyric "Being chased by the priests and the freaks who are hunting me down with attitude/The heat and the bricks are falling on me like doom".

He says: "I was immersed in the Catholic school system and an oppressive upbringing, looking at a life of having to consort with people that I didn't want to be around. I realised you need to find some escape to break out of that, and that's when I realised art was a way of escaping, in my case the music I was making or wanted to make. I would've been eight or nine, and I knew I just needed to escape the life that I was in. I got a sense of what might be my destiny if I didn't do that."

He describes 'Dynamo' as a "love affair with a building", inspired by his ongoing interest in psychogeography, the study of an environment's effect on the behaviour of the humans within it.

"It might happen when you look up at a building, modern or old, on a clear summer day, big blue sky behind it filled with jet streams, and not being able to help think of stories that go with it all. I've been interested in the city and the people in it since I was a kid, it has this romantic attraction I just clicked with. Then when I was older I started reading more about it and got into the philosophy behind it. Of course, when you're writing about something like that, it often works out that you're writing about a person too."

'The Trap', meanwhile, is about "how we try to hide what we're really communicating with each other", and 'Easy Money' is about greed, "which is everywhere, but you see so much more in the city".

The 'Playland' tracklisting is:

'Back In The Box'
'Easy Money'
'25 Hours'
'The Trap'
'Speak Out Reach Out'
'Boys Get Straight'
'This Tension'
'Little King'

Johnny Marr tours throughout October. He will play:

Lincoln The Engine Shed (October 13)
Southend Cliffs Pavillion (14)
Bexhill De La Warr (15)
Wolverhampton Civic Hall (17)
Cardiff Great Hall (18)
Bournemouth O2 Academy (20)
Cambridge Corn Exchange (21)
London O2 Academy Brixton (23)
Bath Pavilion (24)
Manchester O2 Apollo (25)
Glasgow O2 Academy (27)
Newcastle O2 Academy (28)
Leeds O2 Academy (29)

Read More On This Artist

More News
Ride, Bastille, Duran Duran and more to play tiny War Child gigs
Noel Gallagher's teenage daughter recalls how he embarrassed her in front of Harry Styles
Manics' Nicky Wire: 'There hasn't been a decent attempt at a Christmas single in...
Radio 1 music boss tells The Killers' Brandon Flowers: 'You're not too old to make...
John Lydon: 'Ukip's talk about immigration is subdued racism'
Brandon Flowers says second solo album is 'definitely going to be different'
Lucy Rose announces UK tour and promises to play new material
Sleaford Mods' Jason Williamson: 'Bono's such a massive cunt'
Future Islands' Samuel T Herring feared he 'was going to die' earlier this year
Madonna calls new album leak 'a form of terrorism'
New Official Chart Show host Clara Amfo is 'surprised at how nice everyone's been'
Wiley reschedules tour following unrelated shooting outside London venue
Wu-Tang's RZA: 'I used to do rap battles on the spot where Eric Garner was killed'
Pond unveil new video for track 'Sitting Up on Our Crane' - watch
The 1975 named as the hardest-working band this year with 195 shows in 29 countries
Muse update fans on new album as they record with orchestra in Milan – watch
Apple did not intentionally delete music from users' iPods, jury finds
Scott Stapp alleges that 'the heart of ISIS is in my own family' in uncovered 911 calls...
Florence & The Machine and Alt-J added to Flow Festival line-up
AC/DC sell out Wembley Stadium gig in 60 minutes
Laura Marling announces new album 'Short Movie' – hear first song now
D'Angelo team confirm release of new album was brought forward following Ferguson protests

More News


Please login to add your comment.

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
Know Your NME

NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM