John Frusciante unofficial – Invisible Movement

Johnny Marr: John is a very deep guy

Johnny Marr on John Frusciante, for Guitar World

Johnny Marr on John Frusciante, for Guitar World. Click here to view the cutting in its full size.

A couple of weeks ago, Guitar World asked its fans and followers to submit their questions to Johnny Marr, who would then be featured in the current issue's Dear Guitar Hero. There was a question about him working with John on The Empyrean back in 2007 and a lot of people backed it up on Twitter; so the very kind editor promised to ask it. And he did keep the promise!

So, here's what Johnny Marr shared in response.

I love the tracks you did with John Frusciante on his album, The Empyrean. John has such a distinct musicial vision. What was it like collaborating with him?

John is always keen to avoid the obvious. He's someone who's very into emotion in music. He has idealism about sound. When I worked with him on that record, he struck me as someone who was always searching. He's not at all blase. If you're hearing him playing a sound that is very clean, to John it's the result of him looking for something that's pure. Every sound he puts together is deliberate and meaningful to him. When we did those songs he inspired me, so I worked very quickly. I would grab an acoustic, put it into a drone and play by ear without worrying about being too precise. I'd go with my feelings. Then for another song I'd grab a Strat and just do harmonics. He let me do a lot of textures. I don't think it will surprise anyone to hear this, but John is a very deep guy.

You can see the entire interview on Johnny Mar's official website, if you're interested (and you probably should be!).

*Many thanks to Sophie for having asked the question, Tom for the heads-up and Johnny Marr official website for the scans this was transcribed from.

  • fortonis

    john would avoid this statement:P

  • Untitled #14

    Two brilliant musicians. I'd love to see them collaborate further.

  • ProlapsedAnuse

    John would be offended that his name was mentioned in an article in Guitar World. Guitar World is a product created by a media corporation in order to destroy all music and feelings and make us all into digital robots. Johnny Marr was in The Smiths..they sold a lot of albums and have fans. They are sell-outs and capitalists with no regard for pure art and rapping.

    • IAmBrent

      This is so wrong. I am very anti-corporation and anti-media myself, but this is just false...
      Up until and including the release of the Empyrean, John was very willing to participate in interviews and be on covers of Guitar World and other magazines. In interviews from the mid-2000s, John stated numerous times that when he was a teenager, Guitar World was something very important to him and he would read articles and look at pictures of his favorite artists for HOURS. Because of this, he feels the need to try and reach young fans of the same mindset. The last few years he hasn't done ANY press and has avoided anything that was to become a "product", but that's just because he has been with a new wife, working on new projects, and isn't the lead guitarist in one of the most famous bands in the world anymore... My guess is that he WILL do some press once again when PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone comes out. Despite many music magazines absolutely sucking, and supporting absolute shit music and putting terrible bands on their covers, this is not ALWAYS the case.
      Johnny Marr is one of John's HEROES and he has stated numerous times that he is one of his favorite guitarists ever, as well as a major influence. Just because Morrissey was a great frontman and because they grew successful, doesn't mean that Marr is a sellout without any regard for pure art...
      Just because Anthony Kiedis is a "capitalist" as well doesn't mean that the Chili Peppers have no regard for pure art...
      Frusciante thinks that The Smiths (and Marr's guitar playing in particular) is some of the purest art to ever come out!
      I don't necessarily agree with all of John's eclectic tastes in music, and The Smiths are not one of my favorite bands by ANY stretch, but I just had to defend John's ideals...
      I don't claim to know John any better than the next person, but I do think that you were wrong in your assumptions and that John would not agree with you in the slightest in this situation.

      • Jamie

        Honestly, after going so many years with barely any news about John, any news is good news. Everyone needs to chill.

    • Kellee

      Dear Prolapsed Anuse,
      Do you have anything better to do than be an internet troll? I'm hoping other people on this site recognize that all you are trying to do is provoke an emotional reaction. I doubt you care about John Frusciante's music. The world is a lovely place. Go explore it.

      • ProlapsedAnuse

        Hi Kellee,

        Don't get so emotional, baby. I mean what I say and I say what I mean. I do care about his music and have for a long time. This new batch, to me, is pretty awful, though. That is the truth. If this board is for opinions of positivity and outpouring of magical spirits and love only, than I guess I am in the wrong place. John hates products and magazines are products and you are a product, so explore that. Queefer.

        • Iva

          You can express all of the negativity criticism (which I don't think is real, given its absurdity) you like, at any time; but doing so, it is not necessary to be calling people "assholes" and "queefers", using obscene names and links. It does not have to be the polar opposite of what you call magical spirits.

          Show some basic respect to people visiting, running and being covered by this website or your comments will be going straight to the trash bin once again. Thank you.

          • Who did I call an "asshole", Ivan? Never said that. I was stating my belief about this new blip-blop music and it's promotional methods(or lack thereof, hitherto and forthwith), based upon previous comments made by the artist and have been viciously and systematically attacked and ridiculed for it to the point of this hostess calling me absurd-ish. I was called a troll by a member(that hurts, I am a little person) but I get a reprimand, or an e-slap, if you will, for defending my honor and my disability? Unbelieveable!! Fine. Kellee, you are not a queefer and I will contain myself with my comments, opinions and prophecies if that is what the hostess wishes upon her site. ProlapsedAnus apologizes.

        • HSP

          how the hell do you know what john likes or does not like, you sound like a moron. john has done many magazine interviews and may now want to be outside the public eye but i do not believe he has a hate of anything. you sir are a fucking tool

          • Thanks HSP..but, how the hell do you know what john likes or does not like? You don't, you just believe. Your opinion is just as valid as mine, except you have to call names and lash out with your OWN hate.

  • 15 characters

    If you make a record, someone buys it and you make money from it YOU'RE COMERCIAL, if you get an orchestra or a big band or even a group of chamber music, make a concert and someone pays FOR the ticket to see it YOU'RE COMERCIAL. HOW CAN YOU MAKE A RECORD IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO RECORD IT??? YOU NEED TO BE COMERCIAL. If there is such a thing as non-comercial music it will be something like traditional folk music from your own specific country. STOP REGURGITATING A MASS OF CLICHÉS, IF YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING IN TODAY'S WORLD GO READ MANUFACTURING CONSENT BY NOAM CHOMSKY and STUDY HISTORY AND ECONOMICS BY YOURSELF.



    • Stef

      I agree with you, that whenever you release something which is ought to be bought, it is a product. No doubt about that. I also think, that John's music is pop music but what is wrong about that. It touches people on an emotional level, as well, as it makes them think about things that they didn't think about before. I can't see that there is anything wrong about that.
      The Avantgarde music of today is very hard to listen to. (And I am not talking about people like Schoenberg, Bartok, or Stravinsky, who died about 40-60 years ago.) It is important for the development of music in general, but it will take time until someone finds his way into it. Personally, I do not have any emotional connection to this kind of music, that is why I prefer listening to pop music.

      • 15 characters

        Right and you should, I totally agree with you, you like whatever you like. I just think it's stupid when you hear all these pseudo-punks saying that their music is more "pure" (whatever that means) or that pop sucks and all that garbage when clearly it's all just a matter of personal taste and there's really nothing to discuss when it comes to taste, it's like different strokes for different folks.
        What I was trying to say is exactly what you said, there's nothing wrong with liking pop music and acknowledging it, it's just a matter of taste.
        You have to agree though that it is overplayed and overdiscussed to the detriment of so many other types of music which really are interesting that are just sort of "put aside" for some reason (I agree that Schoenberg might be very extreme, but Ravi Shankar or Stravinsky isn't at all, just listen to Petrushka or the Berceuse from the Firebird, it's perfectly music that in't that dissonant, Bartók has some music that is more dissonant but listen to his romanian folk dances, it's perfectly "normal")

        • last characters

          Because for other people, this sort of music connects with them the same way that John Frusciante connects with you, and when someone says that it is more "pure" than John Frusciante they're being sort of disrespectful to them. The same way that I truly believe that to some people Brtiney Spears or Justin Bieber or whoever is very meaningful to them, so it's not right to be saying to them: listen your taste SUCKS. Altough it is unfortunate if they WORSHIP these persons and sort of block themselves from whatever else is out there which might be just as interesting or perhaps more.

          • No more characters

            And no I'm not comparing anyone I'm just saying that EVERYONE has a right to exist, and you can BET that to some people Britney Spears represents the same to them that John Frusciante represents to you that Bartók might represent to others and whoever else to others, so it's all "pure" it's basically subjective to your own taste.

            • P.S Characters

              By the way, I like pop music too obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be reading this.

              • Stef

                The thing is that I never heard Frusciante saying about his music that it is avantgarde, or anything. It's just what people make out of it.

    • deleted9659751

      Frusciante used to play some songs of: Donna Summer, ABBA, Bee Gees etc. during RHCP live gigs, he definetely is/was into this kind of stuff, so I assume some of his fans rather take more elitist approach to music than the man himself. For me personally it's about what I can get from music I listen to and most of the stuff he put out somehow works for me, so this is the positive of it all. If there are tens, ten thousands or millions of peole who also buy his records is of less imprtance here and I'm completely ok with that. Just like I eat and buy same bread sa milions of others, it doesn't diminish its taste.

      • 000

        The thing is, there are ALWAYS thousands of people buying it, even if it's something like Trout Mask Replica. That's just a myth, there's no such thing as obscure music, because if it is obscure you won't know it exists. The only true obscure music is like your neighbours who play in a garage band for their own pleasure.
        And pop music comprises both marilyn manson as much as britney spears as the sex pistols as the red hot chili peppers, none of that is alternative, it all has the same instrumentation: drums, guitars, bass, etc, it's only the image which changes, that why it is presented as a FAKE alternative. Alternative music would be folk music, orchestral music, electronic music (in the Stockhausen sense), etc. But I seriously doubt that people who ONLY consume pop music would even be interested in instrumentation or whatever, for most of them the music is secondary they like it mostly because of the image, and the sort of sense of "identity" it gives them, it's basically a religion.

        • deleted9659751

          ...or they like it for what it is, rather than for what they want it to be

          • 000

            Of course, if you want it to be any different you become a musician and change it yourself, there's no other alternative. If you're sick of shitty music that's always the same you make your OWN music, I agree with you on that.
            But some people like REAL alternative music for what it is, and people don't give a shit about them, what would people say to you if you showed them a Pierre Boulez composition?

            By the way nice way of repeating what the guy said on the boat, it's wonderful to see people thinking for themselves. But no it's definitely not a religion, and there's no manipulation whatsoever.

            • 000

              The problem isn't the drums, bass, guitar, instrumentation, it's just the saturation with this type of thing, it's like if you could only listen to string quartets for the rest of your life, and people who ONLY listen to pop music DO listen to nothing but this, because for the most part it relies ONLY on this instrumentation, which leaves you thinking if they're listening to it for the music or for something else (because they worship the singer, or the guitarist, or some other cliché like that, which leads to the religious aspect of it).
              Unless they REALLY REALLY like guitar, drums and bass, but I suspect that they don't even have the chance to listen to anything else, so it's a vicious circle, most of the people who ONLY listen to pop music will hate other types of music because they don't even know what it's about.

              • deleted9659751

                A thing doesn't become any worse just because of existence of something better. I mean it isn't hard to give a little respect to others and it also is freeing in many ways. My point is that judging someone or something might only take seconds but you know to understand it can easily be matter of lifetime. Have a nice weekend.

                • 000

                  I agree with you but I never said it was BETTER there's no such thing as better or worse, that's purely subjective. But there is VARIETY and most pop music is always the SAME, like a TIRANNY and how can you apreciate difference if you're always listening to the same thing? My point is, I listened to his music I liked it, I respected it for what it is, now I move on to something else which I might also like. Lots of people don't and that sucks. Being stuck with the same thing all your life sucks.
                  When you say like it for what it is, that applies to ALL sorts of music, why don't you listen to Debussy's Prélude à L'apres midi d'un faune and like it for what it is. Listen to Fela Kuti or Ravi Shankar or Carlos Paredes or bulgarian music and like it for what it is. It's not necessarily better than John Frusciante's music but it is definitely DIFFERENT and also has a right to exist. Most media doesn't respect that though, and as long as it doesn't has a guitar or a drum machine on it they don't play it and sort give you the impression that it sucks or is not relevant. That's all I'm saying.

                  • deleted9659751

                    Yes, I agree, to ALL sorts of music. I don't like Bieber or Rihanna so don't waste my energy focusing on them. I'm fine if someone doesn't like Frusciante's music just for what is, it's cool and I respect the fact as long as it's stated civilised way. Do you like Debussy or Shankar? Yes? Then good for you. And you're right, mainstream media really suck but on the other hand there are alternatives.

              • Stef

                That's true. But seriously- to find your way into music of Boulez, Stockhausen, Lachenmann, etc. it takes a lot of time. People don't have any connection to this kind of music because it confronts them with something totally new. That is important, of course, but I think, that you have to inform yourself about the philosophy behind the music before you can really get into it. So I don't think it is right to blame anyone for his taste of music. There are no radios playing music of Boulez, Nono, Schaeffer and not even Steve Reich. If you want to find out about that kind of music, you'll have to do the research yourself. It is not an easy thing to do.

                • 000

                  I mean I just like some of that stuff because it gives you the feeling of the ending of 2001 A Space Odyssey, it's just so weird that it's great. For me it's like science fiction.

                  • 000

                    It's like going into the unknown.

                    • 000

                      But I used the more extreme exemples just to show off, sort of trying to find a name that people wouldn't know. I admit it was a stupid thing to do. Stockhausen has a thing called Gesungen der Junglingen or something like that that is so spooky it's cool.

  • 14 characters

    Beside this whole article is stupid, HE'S A VERY DEEP GUY, what a STUPID thing to say, what does that even mean?? This is just an illiterate JERK trying to express NOTHING because his mind is EMPTY, this is TODAY'S WORLD for you, what do you say about that? An education system that SUCKS, people who are getting more STUPID everyday (and I include myself in it to save you the trouble of replying ), and websites like this garbage which WORSHIP these idiots and aspire to be like them. IT'S TERRIFIC

    • Iva

      Please, do not call anyone's hard work by such a name. This "garbage" has been going on for eight years now, it takes a lot of time to maintain and I never ask of people to worship anyone. If you have a problem with the writing style used, it's meant to be cheerful and not 100% sterile.

      Just in many other fan (hate this word) communities, many of the loudest people are those who "worship". Try to remind them that John Frusciante is a person just like them, they will refuse to believe it and they will call him god. Just like many fans of the said Justin Bieber and Britney Spears. In some cases, it might be a way to spend time, a temporary "obsession", in some cases it's a part of their lives and it makes them happy. Since you cannot know this for sure, why judge them?

      However, many people here DO like the other music as well, some of they have taste that would surprise you, as it includes all of the artists you mentioned above. Many of them just seek inspiration in many forms and they create their own works of art without necessarily copying John Frusciante or any other person they "admire", for that matter. Some of them are well-educated as well. There's a hardworking Olympic track and field athlete frequenting this website as well, would you call him stupid?

      Thinking John is presented as "fake alternative" is probably not a good idea. Nobody is presenting him as anything; it's just that he has a cult following where people believe in whatever the next person says. E.g. in one of the previous news items, a random person wrote that she cannot wait for a concert. A bunch of others proceeded asking about this nonexistent concert, without stopping to think.

      So, please, do continue posting, but try to be more articulated and do not judge people. Some of your points make sense, but you do not have to call John an idiot, my website garbage, everyone else stupid. Also lease try and combine your paragraphs and sentences before you post? And use the same name?

      Thank you and greetings from someone who's actually seen Bartók's grave and been to the house-museum. 🙂

      • 0 character

        I'm sorry if I insulted you or your work, it wasn't my intention, I just sort of wrote it without really thinking about it. I just sometimes worry when I find these sort of websites which in my opinion do promote a sort of "whorshiping" of celebrites, but of course I guess anyone can read them with the level of "obsession" that they want, you aren't forcing anybody to do anything.
        I didn't mean to call him an idiot, I was merely saying that a statement that says "John is a very deep guy" seems somewhat vague, and it's my observation that the young generation ends up regurgitating masses of vague statements like this because their focus is mainly on this sort of magazines (which aren't a bad thing in themselves but it' seems to me dangerous to only consume this sort of products, it makes you somewhat manipulable, hence repeating these sort of statements)
        I wasn't saying your particular website presents John as a fake alternative I was actually refering to this magazine article that I read on your website (which proves that your website is useful as a tool for a sort of sociolgical studies):

        "Considering that a record as unconventional as Frusciante's affords few possibilities for commercial radio and that American at this point is not contemplating a video for the project, the label will seek to engage old fans and develop a groundswell of interest among hip consumers.

        American's national sales manager Dave Garbarino says, "We want to go to his fan base who knows him as a good guitar player, who know that he played with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and mobilize that. There's going to be a lot of press and in-store play, and the avant-garde retail people are really excited about this record.

        Danny Ornelas, who leads American Recordings' alternative retail-marketing efforts, is getting involved in the project on the ground floor.

        Ornelas says, "We're really utilizing independent stores for the John Frusciante record, because it's going to take a lot of word of mouth from those stores. So I've been talking to those stores a lot about this record. I'm going to get them some advances, and get them to start talking about the record... Then people can decide for themselves if they like it or not."

        Initial reaction to informal spins of the record has been dramatic, says Ornelas, who notes that record store personnel say, "Oh my God, this is insane." Adds Ornelas, "They freak out about it, and it's not a bad freak-out. It really hits 'em, it really shocks 'em, and it makes 'em talk about it." "

        As for being more articulate, i'm deeply sorry but English is not my native language, I can only do the best I can.
        I admit to have made generalizations tough and, again, I'm sorry if I ofended the creators of this website, again I wrote it toughtlessly.

        PS: As for Barók, I guess I wouldn't want to be promoting his "whorshiping" either.

        • 0 characters

          The reason I heard of Stravinsky in the first place was because of something that I've read in here, so again it was really toughtless of me to call it "garbage", the comment was more aimed at this whole sort of websites and magazines but not yours in particular, I actually learned quite a few things from reading this, and I believe you can learn from anything and anything is worthwhile reading, it just worries me to focus too much on what thing, kids (me included) should be reading literature as much as this is bascially what I'm trying to say. So don't take what I said too seriously.

        • Peter

          Humanities finest art is largely the result of a commission for commercial benefit. Mozart, Bach, Caravaggio were all commissioned to produce. Art is a reflection of society, not the artist. Your comments on this topic reflect more on you than the artist. And we all know how awesome it is to talk about yourself.

          • characters

            Right but that's what I've said all along, this whole thing was a response to the third comment where it was written:
            "John would be offended that his name was mentioned in an article in Guitar World. Guitar World is a product created by a media corporation in order to destroy all music and feelings and make us all into digital robots. Johnny Marr was in The Smiths..they sold a lot of albums and have fans. They are sell-outs and capitalists with no regard for pure art and rapping."

            What I was actually saying was why not come clean and admit that everybody needs money in order to make it happen? (and that's actually not necessary true since some artists work gets known only after they're dead and is never published or performed in their lifetimes) Why fake it and say you're not in it for the money when you clearly are since there's no other alternative? Why fool people saying everybody else is a sell-out and you're the pure one with 100% integrity, when the truth is you can't have it performed unless you compromise? (specially when you compromised just as much as the sell-outs, I mean it's not as though he's writing dodecaphonic chamber music, or something which isn't necessarily popular).
            Altough it's true that John Frusciante himself probably never said something of the sort, but all those stupid supporters who say he's pure and others aren't are clearly living in a world of illusion. That's all I meant to say.
            That and that it's stupid to worship people and limit your knowledge by reading only stuff connected with pop culture, and acting as though it's the whole world and the whole history of mankind.
            As for finest art, there is no finest art that's just something that academia shoves down your throat, it's subjective to everyone. I'm not a big fan of Mozart and someone else might not like Bartók or Jimi Hendrix which I do, but I won't call them geniuses if you they don't force their idea of " aesthetic perfection" on me either.

  • A mere 12 characters

    That being said, of course you can learn a thing or two by reading some of this guy's stuff, but it is dangerous to WORSHIP whoever it is and ESPECIALLY rock or pop star, it might be worthwhile to free yourself from these by reading and finding out about other things.

    • Triple Jump Fred

      Thankyou. Well said. In agreement.

    • I love John's music, but I only WORSHIP my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I can't wait for LefTUR- RightFR!!

  • Bernard

    Snippets like this offer us a rare peek into John's creative process. When it's through the eyes of a fellow musician (be it Omar, Johnny Marr, etc.) it's that bit more insightful. Each artist has his own recipe for the creative process. What struck Johnny Marr, the idealism, the searching, the deliberateness, etc., must be the key ingredients that John uses. It's not that other artists don't put in such ingredients, but if these particularly struck Johnny Marr the musician, they must be the ingredients that John throws in in larger-than-usual doses in his particular creative recipe.

  • johnog

    i wish there was no comments

    • ^^But, you just commented, my friend.

    • Eman

      What a fascist