What's Johnny Marr's secret to success? Running and working hard

28 August 2014, 08:30 | Updated: 28 August 2014, 11:43

Johnny Marr 2014

Johnny Marr has been telling Radio X his healthy lifestyle has a massive influence on his music.

"Since I started running, I guess ten years or so now, I've had some amazing experiences and relationships with certain cities and seen place more than I'd ever seen before in 15 years of travelling before so it just keeps you sharp," he told Radio X's Jon Holmes.

"I started to think that the life of a rock and roll musician was a bit conventional and I didn't really want to fall into being a cliché. I didn't really want to be that guy that musicians that goes to his mate's shows and hangs around the dressing room, hanging around the mini-bar so I thought I'll just turn it on its head a little bit and it worked."

Johnny Marr releases new album Playland on 6 October. The first single, Easy Money, is Radio X's Record of the Week.

"I think one of the reasons why the music I've been writing has got so much energy is because I think about it when I'm out running, it puts a bit of a spring in my step and I do think it helps creativity," he told Jon. "[It] gives you attitude actually, gives you more attitude than if you're hungover because you just don't want to move from the couch, I never did."

Smiths classic How Soon is Now has recently been voted as having the sixth greatest guitar riff of all time. The former Smiths guitarist and co-songwriter puts the song's success down to mixture of fate and having a good work ethic.

"When I did it, I was just writing the third track on a 12 inch, it wasn't even a B-side, it was the 'extra track', as it was known then back in '84 was it? '84-85.

"I'd just written the A-Side and the B-Side and I thought 'okay, right, well I'll just stretch out and do something different so whatever, 30 years later or whatever it is to be talking about it as a big track... that's how those things happen though you can't really plan anything like that. Luckily I was inspired and the riff... I don't know, I don't know how these things happen," he told Jon Holmes.

"Picasso had a saying that inspiration does exist but it has to find you working and I think that's very true. You need to be working, you need to be doing something. In my case doing How Soon Is Now I was sat in front of what was then a four track, which was a mega bit of gear for me and my mates, the band, were out doing something on a bank holiday weekend and I was stuck indoors because I've got to write the track.

"If I'd been hanging out at the pub it wouldn't have happened."