By Gregory AdamsFans of Johnny Marr may remember the former Smiths six-stringer issuing an LP as Johnny Marr and the Healers back in 2003, but the jangle master has announced he'll deliver his proper solo debut The Messenger sometime next February.
UPDATE: The album is due out February 26 in North America and a day earlier in the UK.
Marr confirmed the album's ETA in a couple recent interviews, including a chat with the UK's Sun that reveals one new song will be called "Lockdown." The track is reportedly about life in a seaside town, and was specifically inspired by an author's distaste for the northern Wales locale, Rhyl.
"I read a snidey book about the worst places to live in Britain and Rhyl was in it," Marr explained. "I thought the author misunderstood those places so I tried to imagine what it would be like being somewhere like that on a cold Wednesday night in November."
Speaking with NME, Marr added, "It is late in the day to be making my debut," but noted that he wanted to issue a solo set while he wasn't tied down to someone else's vision. Aside from the Smiths, Marr has also played with Electronic, The The, Modest Mouse and most recently with the Cribs. Marr will also be guesting with Dinosaur Jr. December 1 at a gig in New York City's Terminal 5.
"I didn't want to be in someone else's band at this point. In the past I might have been reluctant to stand up front, and I've been lucky enough to be in bands with great singers, so it wasn't necessary. But this is my band now, and the frontman in my band has to play guitar. I do both."
A tracklisting has yet been offered for The Messenger, but details should hopefully surface sometime before that February due date. Though he's played shows with his Healers the past couple of years, it stands to reason their name shouldn't be near that album title.