Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Marr: Philosophy is my rock n roll

Johnny Marr has released his debut solo album The Messenger

Johnny Marr has said he is more inspired by philosophy than he is by rock music.

The former Smiths guitarist is releasing his debut solo album at the age of 49 and has taken inspiration from some of the great philosophers.

Marr said: "I prefer philosophy, really. Mostly German. Pretentious, maybe. So shoot me. I want to read about interesting things about the human condition.

"And as much as I love rock 'n' roll, I stopped reading rock biographies in my 20s when they became less crazy than my own life. Since then it's been poetry, books about art, and philosophy. Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsche are my rock stars, which I think is pretty amusing."

One track on The Messenger is directly inspired by his love of philosophy. Generate! Generate! is Marr's tribute to 17th-century French philosopher Rene Descartes, most famous for writing 'Cogito ergo sum' or 'I think, therefore I am'.

"It might sound like a stupid pop song, that one, but it's me turning Descartes on its head," he said.

"As a tribute, I wrote the line 'Cogito ergo dun' which means 'I think, therefore I am stupid'. The song's basically for all the people who say they think too much, but empowering them. It's a celebration of hyperactivity."

And after being a member of several collaborations, Marr is enjoying the freedom of going solo.

"I just reached a point where I didn't want to be in another band - or someone else's band - anymore."

:: The Messenger is released on Monday, February 25. Johnny Marr begins a nationwide tour on March 5.

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