Johnny Marr “Didn’t See Any Reason to Stop” in Writing New Solo Album

Image Courtesy of Warner Music GroupJohnny Marr has been recording music for thirty years, but it wasn't until last year that he released his first solo album, The Messenger. The former guitarist for The Smiths then quickly followed up on his debut with Playland, his second solo record in as many years. As Marr tells ABC News Radio, the ideas for new music kept coming, so he didn't want to wait any longer.

"[The quick follow-up] was mostly because I was inspired and I thought the ideas were good," he says. "I just didn't really see any reason to stop, that's the main thing."

Marr used Playland to challenge himself to write music that doesn't sound like "acoustic guitar at the end of the bed" without also falling prey to the silliness that sometimes comes with upbeat music.

"I've found that it's more difficult to write music, without getting too technical about it, in a major key with an upbeat kind of vibe, and still it be cool, and not be trite," he says.

This challenge especially came apparent when Marr was writing Playland's single, "Easy Money." Marr felt like the subject matter of money in our culture would fit well into the album's theme, but wasn't immediately sure how to write instrumentation for it.

"If I was to do ["Easy Money"] in sort of a heavy, intense way with a very serious sounding musical backing, it would be somewhat pompous, and a 'Money is bad' kind of thing," he says.

Instead, Marr opted for a more upbeat approach, which allowed him to talk about money seriously while also lampooning it with, as he calls it, a "jolly pop song."

"You get to kind of make fun of some things without being too po-faced about it, and at the same time make a pop record that does have something serious in it when I'm singing it," he says.

Marr is currently on tour with his band, playing "Easy Money" and more songs from his new solo record. He will also sprinkle in a few Smiths songs into his set as well.

"I think it'd be a little weird if people came to see me at this point and I didn't play "How Soon is Now?" or maybe "There Is a Light [That Never Goes Out]," he says. "If you've got songs that people have grown up with and really love, or just getting into and really love, then you're lucky."

Marr will be touring through a two night stop in Los Angeles on December 19 and 20. Visit for more information.

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