Johnny Marr discusses his new album, and hopes to work with Hans Zimmer, Beck and Josh Homme

The follow-up to 'Playland' is on its way

Johnny Marr has revealed that he’s making good progress on his new album – and said that he’d love to work with Hans Zimmer, Beck and Josh Homme in future. Watch our video interview with Marr above.

The former Smiths turned solo icon was speaking at The VO5 NME Awards 2017, where he presented friends and collaborators The Pet Shop Boys with the Godlike Genius Award, as well as pick up the Best Book prize for his autobiography ‘Set The Boy Free‘.

Marr released his acclaimed second solo album ‘Playland‘ in 2014, and has now spoken to NME about the evolution of his sound.

“I definitely want it to go somewhere,” he told NME. “I’m not very keen on repeating myself. Me and my band have got a sound and I just want to be a better lyricist, be a better singer and be a better frontman. I just want my band to be the best live band in the world.”

He continued: “Having done it man and boy for so long, I’m happy that I’ve still got some ambitions. It’s very good for you, I think.”

Speaking of being inspired by politics in the wake of Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidency, Marr said: “I don’t think it needs to be left outside. [I don’t agree] with this idea that pop music, culture or any of the arts shouldn’t tamper with politics. If you’ve got something to say, you should say it. If you’ve got a platform, and a way of saying it then by all means do so. On the one hand, I don’t really believe in hectoring people, but things are so serious and so extreme that a little bit of hectoring and a little bit of passion might not be such a bad thing. It’s not really a time for being meek and sitting on the fence, but that’s everybody’s own personal choice.

“You’ve got to be pretty good at it though. No one likes hectoring. I think that’s as much an infringement of peoples’ individual choice as fascism really.

When asked about his main lyrical inspirations at the moment, Marr told NME: “A certain kind of attempt at making a connection with an overwhelming barrage of seemingly surreal events and information and how we’re all dealing with it – and how I’m dealing with it really. It’s a psychedelic world out there, whether we like it or not, and not in a good way.”

Johnny Marr at the VO5 NME Awards 2017

Having worked on soundtracks such as ‘Inception’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ with legendary composer Hans Zimmer, Marr previously revealed that he hoped to get him involved on his next solo record.

“Hans is family and he’s always doing movies and I like doing movies so I think there are going to be a couple more films going on,” Marr told NME last night. “I’ve got a couple of songs I want to try and get him on, but the songs are coming pretty thick and fast at the moment so if he doesn’t pull his finger out and get into the studio then he’s going to miss his slot. I might have another guest artist on there I think. A guest musician that I used to work with a long time ago, I’m going to try and get him back – but I’ve not asked him yet so I can’t mention his name yet.

Speaking of his dream collaborations, Marr added: “Me and Beck have been talking about doing something. I’d like to do another song with Beck I think, and maybe Josh with Queens Of The Stone Age. He’s a really, really good musician.

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