Watch our ‘in conversation’ video with Marr above
Speaking to NME about his ‘dramatic, emotional and industrial’ third solo record, the former Smiths guitarist revealed how he aimed to “live in his imagination”, rather than reporting on his life between Manchester and London and the current political mire that the world finds itself in. However, it all begins in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s Presidential win on opening track ‘Rise’.
“I got to America the day after the [2016 Presidential] election, and when I got to the airport, this feeling that I picked up in the air was ‘now here they come again, it’s the dawn of the dogs’,” Marr told NME. “I thought that would be a really good start to an album. I was in New York, then I went to LA and my friends there were in shock. Because LA is so much desert, I imagined these two people in a huge wide open vista trying to create a new environment.”
Johnny Marr announces details of his new album ‘Call The Comet’Dreaming of a not quite utopian but alternative future, Marr set about putting today’s politics well out of his mind.
“What I ended up doing was deliberately trying to disconnect myself from events and very much so find escape to being a songwriter and a musician – and hopefully making a record where the audience can escape with me,” Marr told NME.
“I decided that I just didn’t want to face the surreal events head on. I didn’t want it to contaminate my record. I think the events and a lot of the people responsible for the events that we know about aren’t really worthy of my time at the moment. I don’t want my songs to necessarily be about them. There’s one song on the record called ‘Bug’ which is kind of poking fun at this viral feeling that is politics.”
He continued: “I just didn’t want to invite politicians into my headspace. One of the functions of rock music is to put you in a place that is contrary to that. ”
Watch our full interview above, as Marr discusses The Smiths, the state of modern rock music, his collaborations, the legacy of Manchester and what he’ll do next.
‘Call The Comet’ by Johnny Marr is out now.
Johnny Marr tour dates and tickets
Marr’s upcoming UK and Ireland tour dates are below. Visit here for tickets and more information.
Belfast, Ulster Hall (November 1)
Dublin, National Stadium (2)
Norwich, UEA (4)
Birmingham, O2 Institute (5)
Bath, Forum (6)
Cardiff, Great Hall (8)
Brighton, Dome (9)
London, Roundhouse (11)
Sheffield, O2 Academy (13)
Newcastle, O2 Academy (14)
Glasgow, Barrowlands (15)
Liverpool, O2 Academy (17)
Manchester, O2 Apollo (18)