Johnny Marr has been talking to Xfm about his debut solo album The Messenger, which is out in February… and has explained that the songs were inspired by touring the country with The Cribs.

"I"d thought about it quite a lot when I was touring," he said. "Keeping my eyes open when I was on tour, getting to see a lot of cities and towns. It"s to do with the connection between who I was as a teenager and how it"s still the same growing up. But it"s not a looking back record in any way."

He also revealed to Xfm"s Gordon Smart that Johnny Marr was not his original birth name.

"The original spelling of my name was Maher. In school I was always called Ma-her and May-her, going to the doctors or whatever. So I just thought I"d make it easier for everybody when I was 14 or something. And also the drummer from the Buzzcocks is called Maher, so I didn"t want to be confused with him.

"I was probably quite confident that I was going to make it in the music industry!"

You can hear the full interview in the Smart On Sunday podcast - download it from iTunes here