Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr reflected on his collaborative experience with John Frusciante, acknowledging the musical prowess of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, considering them as “absolute experts in the field of creating music.”
Over the span of his career, Johnny Marr has consistently across diverse artists, from Jeff Beck to Hans Zimmer. During a recent interview on the Broken Record Podcast, Marr highlighted that much of his collaboration wasn’t meticulously planned, describing it as an unpredictable journey in music. He emphasized his good fortune in being invited to partake in various exciting musical endeavors, underlining the organic nature of these collaborations.
Among these collaborations was his involvement in Frusciante’s 2009 solo album, “The Empyrean,” a project he contributed to during the period surrounding his second departure from the iconic Californian band. Looking back, Marr expressed gratitude for the experiences, particularly recalling working on a couple of tracks with Beck, several with John Frusciante, and making appearances on records alongside various talented musicians.
He said on working with John: “I’m glad that I’ve done all of that stuff, obviously. But I did a couple of tracks with Beck, then I did maybe four or five tracks with John Frusciante, and then I popped up on records with all these different really cool musicians.”
At this point, he knew there was more to John and the Peppers than meets the eye “As I was doing it, I was thinking, ‘Oh, man, I love this music, and what a cool thing.’ So when John Frusciante invited me over when he was working on ‘The Empyrean’ and [said], ‘I’ve got these tracks, take your pick’, and he played me the track and I said, ‘I think I can do something on that bend.’ And he played me another track. ‘Oh, I’ve got an idea for that band.’ And then a couple of days later, you go, ‘Well, that was a nice experience.'”
According to UG – Reflecting on the collaboration with Frusciante, Marr recounted how he was drawn to the music and found it an enriching experience. Frusciante had graciously invited him to choose from tracks he was working on for ‘The Empyrean,’ and Marr fondly recollected how their musical ideas came together seamlessly. He admired Frusciante’s meticulous approach to music, likening it to the precision of a computer.
He continued: “Well, there are a couple of things that come to mind when you say that. I think you’re absolutely right about John and there are a few other people I know like that. I think people who are great, whoever they are — in my field it’s musicians — they are experts, absolute experts.”
Marr drew parallels between this musical dedication and a story featuring Bob Marley, emphasizing the importance of being an expert in one’s craft. He underscored that great individuals, in his realm of music or elsewhere, are true experts, driven by their passion and a deep understanding of their art. Marr also noted how musicians like Frusciante intricately weave various elements into their music, resulting in a distinct sound that uniquely represents them while resonating with their audience.