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Indie Rock Icon Says ‘I Just Don’t Like Queen’

Freddie Mercury and Johnny Marr
Hulton Archive / Jason Kempin, Getty Images

No matter how much you love music, nobody’s a fan of every artist, and just about every music fan grew up being rubbed the wrong way by at least one popular act. For former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, that list includes Queen.

“I’ve always had a blind spot to the music of Queen,” Marr admitted during a recent interview with the U.K. tabloid Metro. “It was all-pervasive when I was growing up in the late ’70s, and it seems like everyone reveres it. I’m sure they’re nice fellas, but it never did anything for me at all. Perhaps it’s because it’s very choral and written on piano. I just couldn’t click with it. I like Brian May, I just don’t like Queen.”

The list of music that fails to move Marr also includes pretty much all modern R&B, which he dismissed as “completely aspiring to materialism and sentimentality.” So what’s he looking for? “I like short, sharp, snappy songs with glamorous, sexy guitars and lyrics that sound like poetry that moves at the speed of light — that’s what rock or pop music should be about and it should come alive on the stage,” he argued. “Bands you can see and come away knowing they’ve put a lot into it. A lot of bands I saw when I was younger gave me that feeling of really wanting to be there. You feel like you’re having a unique experience with the band and they’re having a unique experience with you.”

Plenty of Queen fans would argue that the band fits that description, but hey, different strokes for different folks. Marr’s latest release, a solo LP titled ‘The Messenger,’ is out now.

Next: Top 10 Queen Albums

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