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Johnny Marr lays into Spotify: “I can’t think of anything more opposite to punk rock”

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Johnny Marr lays into Spotify: "I can't think of anything more opposite to punk rock"

Guitar legend Johnny Marr has waded into the Spotify debate, claiming the streaming service “makes the old record companies of the ’70s look like cottage industries”.

In his ‘alternative Queen’s speech’ for NME this week, the former Smiths and Cribs guitarist aligned himself with Spotify-bashing musicians Thom Yorke and Beck, saying he was “not a supporter” of the service.

“I think it entirely hampers new bands,”  he wrote. “I can’t think of anything more opposite to punk rock than Spotify. I have no answer to the economic side of the music industry, but I do think we certainly shouldn’t stop valuing what bands do. I don’t like great things being throwaway.

“Pop culture isn’t just about ‘the music, man’. It’s a way of life, and an aesthetic, and it’s not just about pressing a button and getting something entirely for convenience. Put it this way: we’re soon going to start seeing the difficulties of innovative music trying to swim in that huge tide.”

Marr also used his soapbox to lay into sisterly pop trio Haim, who earlier this year posted a photo of themselves with British Prime Minister David Cameron. “It’s really simple: they made themselves look like idiots. It’s ridiculous. No-one put a gun to their head. The Conservatives tried to do the same thing with The Smiths, to re-appropriate us in a false way, to be cool by association.”

In contrast, he applauded Grimes and Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry for speaking out about the sexism they’d experienced in the industry, adding, “I wonder why we’re going backwards in that regard.”

In the afterglow of his former bandmate Morrissey’s best-selling Autobiography, Marr recently revealed his own plans to write a memoir. This year he released his debut solo album, The Messenger.

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