Legendary guitarist on indie icons

Johnny Marr recently cast his eye over The Smiths discussing why he feels the band were so successful.

The Smiths formed in a Manchester music scene dominated by the legacy of post-punk. Injecting some classic rock melody and Morrissey's swooning lyrics, The Smiths took the British music scene by storm turning the band into instant icons.

After a career releasing some absolute gem stone albums (hello 'Hatful of Hollow', 'Meat Is Murder' and many more) Johnny Marr left the band in 1987. After a brief attempt to continue without him, Morrissey split the band.

Since then, there have been many rumours pointing to a possible re-union but none were as persistent as the attempts by the Coachella music festival to get The Smiths to reform for a headline performance.

The organisers failed, but Morrissey did play a storming set, interrupted by the singer's retreat from the overwhelming scent of burger stalls.

In a new interview with the NME Johnny Marr looks back on the band's legacy. Asked why they remain so popular the guitarist argued "for a start they're quite strong tunes".

"There's a lot of emotion in them. I think emotive music shoots through trends and fashions and changes in style because it's something people can relate to. Emotion's emotion whether you dress it up or not."

"We didn't dress up the records in fashionable sounds and production," he added.

"We tried to keep it classic. Guitar music, basically, which rarely goes out of style.That combination of strong tunes, emotion and the overall sounds of the records means it dates very well."

"We meant it, there's no faking it in there. That always stands the test of time."

Since leaving The Smiths in 1987 Johnny Marr has had a wide and varied solo career. Forming Electronic with Bernard Sumner of New Order fame, the band released several acclaimed albums before Marr seemed to go into semi-retirement.

However the musician was tempted to work with American indie dons Modest Mouse before working with Yorkshire stars The Cribs. Johnny Marr is currently putting the finishing touches to The Cribs' new album.

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