British rockers The Cribs had already achieved a level of notoriety with their first three albums.
But adding guitarist Johnny Marr — a founding member of The Smiths who’s also played with Electronic and Modest Mouse — for the new “Ignore the Ignorant” made the group a bona fide rock ’n’ roll news story in 2009.
“I love the band, anyway,” says Marr, 46, who met frontman Gary Jarman in Portland, Ore., where both musicians reside. “We just struck up a friendship and hung out together. We just got together to play as friends, really, to kind of see what would happen.
“We didn’t have any ‘Johnny Marr and The Cribs’ kind of big agenda or anything. We got together and immediately we wrote the first song on the album, ‘We Were Aborted.’ The ideas came thick and fast. It was very organic.”
Jarman, who started The Cribs eight years ago with his twin brother, Ryan, and their younger brother Ross, says Marr’s interest in the group was “flattering” and adds that he “brings to the table ... a whole different person to bounce off of.” And though Marr is among the Cribs’ influences and heroes, Jarman says the other three musicians managed to bring him into the band without freaking out too much.
“The first rehearsal, we thought about it very briefly; we didn’t want to be bad or (mess) it up,” Jarman recalls. “But as soon as we started working and making the songs, that all kind of went out the window. Johnny’s quite a modest guy, and so easy to work with. In no time at all, this was the band.”
The Cribs, Adam Green and The Dead Trees perform Thursday (Jan. 14)at The Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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