In our interview with Johnny Marr, the guitar god said his new single, “Upstarts,” is a “lighthearted description of leaving school and getting screwed and not knowing enough to engage in some productive political discourse but still being wise enough to throw up your middle finger and say ’Fuck you.’ I remember hearing this young political demonstrator refer to herself and her fellow protestors as ’upstarts,’ which just seemed like such a lighthearted way to think of herself, especially considering that these protestors had just spent three days getting pummeled in the streets.”
I’m not sure that character is evident in the song itself, and she’s definitely nowhere to be found the video, which is a straight-up performance vid featuring Marr and his backing band rocking a florescent-lit warehouse. Still, it’s always a treat to watch the man play guitar. Check it out.
Johnny Marr’s The Messenger is out 2/26 via Sire/ADA.