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- Posted on Aug 27th 2008 12:00PM by Jolie Lash
The group, fronted by twins Gary and Ryan Jarman, and backed up by their younger brother Ross on drums, once toyed with the idea of calling themselves after their family surname -- the Jarmans -- seeing as they've been kin from birth. But it was probably a good thing they didn't as this past weekend the group revealed they've officially added a non-family member to their ranks: legendary Smiths guitarist-turned-Modest Mouse member, Johnny Marr.
"He's in the band," Gary confirmed to Spinner backstage at the Leeds festival, where Marr joined the former trio on stage. "The fourth record will be with Johnny."
The Jarmans met Marr a couple of years ago and it was during their introduction that the Manchester man revealed he was a convert of the Wakefield, England group. "It was cool because we found out he was a fan of the band," Gary recounted. "When we first met him, he was chatting to me about stuff that we'd done and he knew a lot about us, which was really flattering as we were big fans of his obviously."
As time went by, the four men exchanged ideas, which led to Marr eventually penning tunes with the band. "It was just one of those things where it was like, 'Do you just wanna play some stuff and see how it goes, just for fun?' And it was good," Gary said. And the fit was made even better as Marr was trans-continental -- spending time in both the UK and in Portland, Oregon, where Gary is based these days.
"It's this weird coincidence that he happens to live part of the time where I live and part of the time where my brothers live, so it's not bad really. It works quite well," Gary explained.
The Cribs were tentatively set to tour the U.S. this fall in support of their 2007 Warner Bros. album, 'Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever,' but writing with Marr proved to be such a joy, the band wanted to carry on with the streak. "There's probably about 10 or 11 songs now," Gary said of progress on the new album. "None of them are exactly finished because the idea was we were always practicing, like, 'Let's finish these songs.' But we end up writing new ones so we never finishing them. It's more fun to write new stuff."
The Cribs plan to use the rest of the year to flesh out the songs for their fourth, as-yet-untitled record, possibly decamping to Minneapolis to lay them down in early 2009. And Gary revealed, Marr won't just be adding guitar lines and co-songwriting credits.
"Backing vocals," Gary added of Marr's additional contributions. "Johnny was saying, 'When I used to see the Ramones, I used to be like, it's really cool but all of them should be singing.' So Johnny was like, 'I wanna have a mic. I wanna do some backing vocals.' That's what I mean, he's totally part of it. It's dead exciting, It doesn't feel like a guest, we've just got a new member."
Marr will hit the road with the Cribs when the album is complete, but those worried about Marr's contributions to Modest Mouse should fear not.
"He is still in Modest Mouse," Gary noted. "I'm very, very aware of this situation because I'm friends with the Modest Mouse guys. I love the band and I wouldn't ever wanna do that. They're between records now and we're working really fast with Johnny. He's like, 'It's all fine. Don't worry about that.' So if he's confident it won't be a problem, then I'm quite happy to go along with that."