Published Oct 18, 2011Johnny Marr first made a name for himself as the guitarist of the legendary indie outfit the Smiths, but he still likes to stay current, as he's more recently made stints with Modest Mouse and the Cribs. Now, he's teamed up with the younger generation once again, this time by spearheading a songwriting project called Ray-Ban Raw Sounds.
The project features Best Coast, Tom Vek, Au Revoir Simone and Mona. For the project, Marr picked five objects: a poem, a photograph, a quote from German writer Friedrich Schiller, a Strum and Drang guitar piece, and an old map of Manhattan. Each of the four artists then wrote songs that drew inspiration for these objects.
You can hear the results over at Spin.
By the sound of things, Best Coast especially drew from the photograph for their "In Your Sleep," as the band's Bethany Cosentino said, "I was inspired by Johnny's photo, the man and woman looking at each other through vintage cameras, because my brain goes straight to romance. I also listened to the Strum and Drang loop on the road and it influenced ideas about the song."
We're starting to hear that country influence Cosentino was talking about.
As for why he chose Best Coast to be a part of the project, Marr explained, "Their record had been out a couple months when I was approached by Ray Ban, and that's what I was listening to at the time. I like good pop songs wrapped up in a garage sound."
As for Vek's "Film Your Own Television," it was inspired by all five objects. It uses "parts of the poem and the Schiller quote," he revealed. "There are parts of Strum and Drang too, while the lyrics involved working in the map and the photo."
There are in-depth quotes about each object and song at Spin here.