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Q:

Hey Johnny! You've been a major influence for both and guitarists alike over the past few decades, and your playing style is something I've idolized since I first heard "There is a Light that Never Goes Out". How did you come to create such a unique style of guitar playing, and would you have any advice for someone who is trying to find himself as a musician?

A:

Playing with other people is the best way to evolve as a musician, especially people with a different style.


Q:

When you look back at your entire career, which one song do you consider your greatest achievement as a musician? Do you look back on any particular works and think you would have done anything differently were you to revisit them? Is there anything that you wish you simply hadn't written?

Also, what's your guitar of choice at the moment?

Great work on the new album by the way, and thanks for doing this AMA. Gutted I can't make it to any of your signings.

A:

Nothing I wish I hadn't written. Some songs jump into/out of the mind : Dashboard Modest Mouse, Get The Message, Last Night I Dreamt...many. I'm playing my Jag exclusively now. It's perfect.


Q:

Hi Johnny! Was so surprised to see you on Portlandia. How was your experience on the set?
Also, did the Jarman boys get you into any trouble when you were working with them?

A:

Portlandia was of course very funny. I just tried not to laugh and blow it for everyone. Carrie and Fred invited me. I did get a couple of "Johnny, that's not my bike" when it aired. Great, a catchphrase.


Q:

Afternoon mate, what's your favorite chord? Cheers

A:

Csharp Minor.


Q:

Hi Johnny, huge fan! What would you say the biggest difference was between working with the Smiths and working with Modest Mouse?

A:

Everything


Q:

Hello! I'm a huge Smiths fan and I just have to say thank you for being a part of a band that means so much to me.

Your intricate jangly guitar sound and style on those albums is instantly recognisable and distinctive - if there was one song or album that you could say was the biggest influence on the development of your style, what would it be?

A:

Meat Is Murder was a breakthrough. It was the first where the production role was on me and was therefore a challenge and opportunity to go forward. Headmaster Ritual was a first in a way.


Q:

Who is the greatest 'current' band in your opinion?

And what do you think is the greatest song you've ever written/co written. My current favourite has to be That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore, although it'll probably change again next week. It's just so beautiful.

A:

I like That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore, a lot. Best new band ? I don't know if there is such a thing as "best" in music. Sport maybe.


Q:

What was the first song you learned on guitar?

A:

Life's A Gas by T.Rex


Q:

Hey Johnny. Just wanted to let you know that your guitar playing both made me want to play and made me want to stop.

Some of it is inspirational, some it is awe inspiring.

You make beautiful sounds.

A:

It is a privilege. Thanks.


Q:

Not on the topic of music, but were you aware that your name was used for the cleanup batter on the Montreal Expos in Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball?

A:

I wan't aware. I don't even know what that means.


Q:

Hi Johnny, first of all massive respect here!

I saw in an interview once that Andy Rourke said your songwriting was a big factor on his success; how much input did you have on his bass lines? And also, just how important is a good bass player to any successful band? Being a bass player myself this interests me :)

A:

Andy and I worked very well together. He would come up with his bass lines and I would produce him. He's unique.


Q:

Hey Johnny, I'm a big fan, 2 small questions. 1. What's your favorite song or album you've worked on? 2. What was it like working with Hans Zimmer for Inception?

P.S. "Strangeways Here We Come" is amazing

A:

My favourite album I've worked on changes. I like the Talking Heads record I did which is called Naked. I like the brand new one for obvious reasons. Working with Hans Zimmer was really good because he is so clever, and a class act all round.


Q:

Alright Johnny, doing any festivals in the UK this year? By that I mean in Scotland. And by that I mean TITP.

A:

I am doing festivals. Bestival, Kendal Calling, a few others are being considered right now. I like TITP. Good atmosphere there.


Q:

Big fan! Guitar gear nerd here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see a photo of the space where you write songs. Is it a big room filled with amps and guitars and processors or just a comfy chair and an acoustic?

A:

The room I write in usually has lots of amps and guitars and mics in, yes. I'll try to get round to posting pictures on my official facebook page


Q:

Huge fan, from a long ways back. Thanks for doing this. What one song by another artist do you wish you could say you had written?

A:

Probably "Perfect Day" by Lou Reed.


Q:

What is the most interesting or effective guitar riff in history?

A:

In history ? Jeez. Satisfaction was pretty influential. Louie Louie...


Q:

Hi Johnny. I jut saw the video from NME with you and Ronnie Wood performing How Soon Is Now. How did that collaboration come about? Will you be working with each other in the future?

A:

I've known Ronnie for a long time. He's a such a good guitar player, obviously. I heard that he was presenting my award so I invited him to play.That was Fun.


Q:

Hey Johnny, long time fan here. I just wanted to say thank you for being such an inspiration.

  • What is your favorite song or riff you have ever written?
  • What is your favorite song to play live?
A:

I like lot's of the riffs, "We Share The Same Skies", "Dogs Of Lust", Headmaster Ritual" "The Messenger"...lots of them..."Some Girls..."


Q:

im a huge modest mouse fan, i just want to know which song from we were dead/no ones first was the most fun to play? thank you!

A:

Fire It Up was a fun one. Dashboard would get everyone on their feet


Q:

How did you come to play guitar on Beck's Milk & Honey? Will the other tracks you recorded with him ever see the light of day, and would you record with him again?

A:

Beck asked me to do a few songs. We did one called "The Doctor" that might have come out, I don't know if it did yet.


Q:

What does a rockstar get his daughter for the holidays?

A:

A good record


Q:

What song have you made in your career that you are most proud of and why?

A:

The next one.


Q:

Hey, Johnny, thanks for doing this! What made you start playing guitar, but more specifically, what made you decide to continue playing for a career?

A:

I've never not wanted to do it. Also, not wanting a regular job probably has something to do with it.