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Johnny Marr has written new music with Modest Mouse

Marr joined the Seattle band for 2007 album 'We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank', and has been writing songs with them again as a "pen-pal"

By Will Richards

Modest Mouse and Johnny Marr posing for a press shot
Modest Mouse with Johnny Marr (far left) in 2007. (Photo: Press)

Johnny Marr and Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock has revealed that they have written new music together, 15 years after Marr left the band.

The former Smiths guitarist joined the Seattle band for their 2007 album ‘We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank’, and has never ruled out returning to play and write with them once again.

Back in 2018, Marr told NME that he believed the collaboration was “a chapter that’s yet to be finished,” with Brock responding last year, telling the same publication that the “option’s available” for Marr to become a part of Modest Mouse once again.

In a new interview with SPIN, commemorating 15 years of ‘We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank’, Marr and Brock both revealed that they have been remotely working on new music together and hope to meet in person once COVID restrictions lessen.

Asked whether they would ever reunite, Brock said: “We’ve already started working on some stuff together. We just finished a song, ‘Rivers of Rivers’ — actually I think it’s just ‘Rivers of…’ — but it’s in a pen-pal sort of way. International travel isn’t what it once was at the moment.”

Marr then added: “I played on that new Modest Mouse song, and there are a couple of other things knocking around that Isaac’s writing. As Isaac said, air travel isn’t quite what it was. But hopefully when the world tilts back on its axis, I’ll be jumping on a plane, I think.”

Prior to any further collaborations with Modest Mouse, Marr is set to play a series of UK shows in the first half of 2021, including festival sets, intimate warm-up gigs and a stint supporting Blondie on a massive rescheduled arena tour.

See Johnny Marr’s full UK touring schedule below and pick up tickets for the new warm-up dates here. Following the Blondie tour and a summer of festivals, he’ll support The Killers on a US arena tour later this year. Full dates can be found here.

1 – Guildhall Gloucester
2 – Old Fire Station Bournemouth
3 – BBC Radio 6 Music Festival Cardiff
19 – Foundry Sheffield
20 – Northumbria University Students Union Newcastle
22 – The SSE Hydro Glasgow
24 – Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

25 – Pryzm Kingston-upon-Thames (for Banquet Records)
26 – The O2 Arena London
28 – The Brighton Centre
29 – Bonus Arena Hull

01 – AO Arena Manchester
02 – Liverpool M&S Bank Arena
04 – First Direct Arena Leeds
05 – Motorpoint Arena Nottingham
07 – Birmingham Utilitia Arena

One artist Marr won’t be working with again in the future is Morrissey, with Marr recently shooting down the idea of working with the Smiths singer again in the future, saying there is “zero” chance of reconciliation.