Guitar hero Johnny Marr back soon with new band and album...

Johnny Marr is to release a solo album this summer and is set to tour with his new band, THE HEALERS.

The former Smiths guitarist sings for the first time and performs all the self-penned tracks on the record.

Marr describes his vocal as “incredible” and as sounding like “a space-age Santana without sounding anything like him”.

Speaking through his website, the guitarist explained that it was his friend Chrissie Hynde who had encouraged him to go it alone. He added that given the number of people he has worked with in the past, (including The The’s Matt Johnson, Hynde herself, Billy Bragg and New Order’s Bernard Sumner, who he continues to work with as Electronic) he was ready to go it alone.

“I’ve kinda run out of people, so I’m on my own now. All the people I’ve ever wanted to work with, well, I’ve been working with”.

The album, slated for a summer release remains untitled, though the name ‘Play Dumb’ has been mooted. It is being produced by Mickey P, best known for his work with Beck, who Johnny recorded with last year in Los Angeles.

Marr’s spokesperson in the UK told that its at present unclear if the release will come through Parlophone, the label on which Marr has enjoyed success with Electronic, or if he will seek a deal elsewhere.

He said: “He’s not started shopping round for a deal yet, as they’re still working on material, so he hasn’t even started thinking about that yet.”

Speaking to US website Allstar, Marr said the other members of the his band included Ringo Starr’s son Zak Starkey on drums, Lee Bonney on percussion, Lee Spencer on keyboards and a rhythmn guitarist called simply Chink.

But Marr denies that The Healers will spell the end of Electronic. “Bernard and I are really good friends, and at the moment he’s doing New Order and I’m doing my album”, he said.