Listen to Johnny Marr on iHeartRadio

Johnny Marr is perhaps best known for being the iconic guitarist and co-songwriter for The Smiths in the eighties, and he's also been a member of bands Electronic, The The, Modest Mouse and, most recently, The Cribs. Now he's stepping out on his own with his first solo album, The Messenger.

CLICK HERE to listen to The Messenger on demand

Buy The Messenger at the Amazon MP3 store

Johnny Marr stopped by iHeartRadio recently to talk about his solo debut and the artwork that inspird him. Check out what he had to say in OffBEAT with Johnny Marr.

iHeartRadio: Identify five (or more) pieces of art that have inspired you. 

Johnny Marr: Killer question. There's a lot of stuff. I like so much art – my love of art kept me buoyed throughout making the record.

When you're writing, producing and singing a record, it's all consuming. Or it should be all consuming. This record took me six months to make, but during that time, when I needed a break or inspiration, I looked towards all types of art.

1. David Hockney's new collection of paintings of the northern landscapes. To see somebody still so inspired, getting out into the bleak northern landscapes at 5:30 in the morning, and absolutely making some really great work, that was really, totally inspiring.

2. The clothes of Fred Perry in this year's collection - that's got to be an inspiration. Okay, call me shallow, but it's very important. You've got to be dressed just suitably to make your record.

3. A clever book by the German philosopher Friedrich Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of Man. And Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Nietzsche inspired me as well. This is all true.

4.  All the photographs of William Eggleston - the American photographer I've been really getting into this year.

5.  There is an amazing woman, a filmmaker from the Sixties, Vera Chytilova. She made a really goofy weird movie about these two girls called Daisies.

6.  The film Hobson's Choice - The Smiths used to watch all the time about Manchester. (Sampled in The Smiths song "Sheila Take A Bow.")

It's nice to think about all that stuff.

The Messenger is available now

CLICK HERE to listen to The Messenger on demand

Photos by Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio