This Friday, February 25, Johnny Marr is set to release his fourth studio album as a solo artist. Titled Fever Dreams Pts 1-4 this expansive and sonically adventurous work of 16 tracks came to fruition during the pandemic, though some of the initial ideas were seeded just prior.
“It was time for me to make a new record and I started it just before the pandemic,” reveals Marr, “but I didn’t know I’d be breaking off to do the James Bond movie [No Time to Die.]
“That happened before the lockdown. Days after the music for the Bond movie had finished, we went into lockdown, so I continued writing my record.”
Having just finished his latest collaboration with score composer Hans Zimmer, Marr was on a creative roll and picked up where he left off. Within the confines of his recording studio located in a converted Victorian-era factory in Manchester, England, Marr spent most of his time alone in broad daylight, as depicted on the cover of Fever Dreams Pts 1-4.
“I had the first part of the record pretty much mapped out, so then I just had this expanse of time and space to make it,” he continues.
“I already had most of the first song – “Spirit Power and Soul” – and I’d written “Receiver” while I was on the set of the Bond film. And I had the lyrics for “Lightning People” and bit for “Hideaway Girl.”
“The very first song on the album – “Spirit Power and Soul” – is, on the face of it, a full-on, upbeat, electric banger. But if you took the guitar riff off, it would be missing a big part of the signature of that song. And I think that’s pretty much the same for every song on the record. There’s a signature riff that comes in somewhere.”
Pre-order Fever Dreams Pts 1-4 by Johnny Marr here.
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Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.