Johnny Marr on Queen: ‘I just don’t like them’

But the guitar legend praises Palma Violets, saying they were 'really good last time I saw them'

Johnny Marr has admitted that he has never been a fan of Queen.

The former Smiths guitarist was a teenager when Freddie Mercury’s band were scoring massive hits with songs like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ in the late ’70s and early ’80s but Marr found himself unable to connect with their sound.

“I’ve always had a blind spot to the music of Queen,” Marr told Metro. “It was all-pervasive when I was growing up in the late ’70s and it seems like everyone reveres it. I’m sure they’re nice fellas but it never did anything for me at all. Perhaps it’s because it’s very choral and written on piano. I just couldn’t click with it. I like Brian May, I just don’t like Queen.”

Continuing, Marr revealed that he is even less keen on today’s chart-friendly R&B hits, saying: “I can’t stand what passes itself off as R&B – it strikes me as completely aspiring to materialism and sentimentality.”

Marr proceeded to outline what he does like in a band, explaining: “I like short, sharp, snappy songs with glamorous, sexy guitars and lyrics that sound like poetry that moves at the speed of light – that’s what rock or pop music should be about and it should come alive on the stage. Bands you can see and come away knowing they’ve put a lot into it. A lot of bands I saw when I was younger gave me that feeling of really wanting to be there. You feel like you’re having a unique experience with the band and they’re having a unique experience with you.”

He went on to cite Palma Violets as an an example of this, saying the band “were really good last time I saw them”, before adding: “But they don’t have to be young bands – Wire still do that now. I saw Television at their reunion shows a few years ago – they were like that. Yeah Yeah Yeahs impressed me recently. They’re a good example of people who understand that a stage is worth doing something on.”