Just weeks after being sternly warned by Morrissey not to discuss him when giving interviews, Johnny Marr has discussed Morrissey in a new interview.

The former Smiths member’s spat escalated in recent weeks after Morrissey took umbrage at Marr mentioning him in Uncut Magazine. “It won’t come as any surprise when I say that I’m really close with everyone I’ve worked with – except for the obvious one. And that isn’t that much of a surprise because we’re so different, me and Morrissey,” he said in the cover story.

That led Morrissey to respond as only he could, with a lengthy open letter posted on his official website. “Would you please, instead, discuss your own career, your own unstoppable solo achievements and your own music? If you can, would you please just leave me out of it?” he demanded of his former friend.

So when The Times interviewed Marr for the first time since the public spat, the guitarist was never going to shrink away from the controversy. “When you’re attacked out of the blue, particularly in public, you have to defend yourself,” he insisted.

“The letter was designed to be insulting, wasn’t it? That has to have been the idea. If it’s something that’s not based in fact, you have to react in kind, which is just with ridicule.”

Marr added: “Look, it was about (his wanting) attention… and I’m getting a lot of it. I’ve got my new record coming out, and that’s getting attention too. All my solo records have. I just do what I do. I’ll just carry on being who I am.”

In a Twitter post made after Morrissey’s open letter, Marr mocked his words. “An ‘open letter’ hasn’t really been a thing since 1953. It’s all ‘social media’ now. Even Donald J Trump had that one down. Also, this fake news business… a bit 2021 yeah?” he wrote.

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Will Morrissey reply to this latest mention? The good money should be on yes.

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