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The Smiths turn down $5 million to reunite

‘Money doesn’t come into it’ says Smiths’ frontman Morrissey
/ Source: Billboard

Pioneering U.K. modern rock band the Smiths turned down a $5 million offer to reunite at the upcoming Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival in southern California, former frontman Morrissey said Thursday.

His revelation, during a public interview at the South By Southwest Music & Media Conference in Austin, triggered gasps from the audience. When journalist David Fricke asked if he had considered it, Morrissey replied, “No, because money doesn’t come into it,” a response that drew applause from the crowd.

Of the critically adored act, which broke up in the late 1980s, Morrissey said, “It was a fantastic journey. And then it ended. I didn’t feel we should have ended. I wanted to continue. [Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr] wanted to end it. And that was that.”

Discussing his forthcoming album, “Ringleader of the Tormentors,” due April 4 via Attack/Sanctuary, the notoriously gloomy singer/songwriter admitted that he’s writing songs from a good place these days.

“I’m just seeing lots of joyful things in life, which I didn’t in the past,” he said, adding slyly, “Which maybe you noticed.

“Politically the world is ridiculous,” he said. “But there’s still a lot of beautiful things ... Nature saves us, nature calms us down.”

Morrissey will first support the album with a European tour that includes a six-week run of sold-out shows in the United Kingdom. A North American leg is also expected.

Coachella, which takes place April 29-30 about 120 miles east of Los Angeles, will feature such acts as Depeche Mode, Tool and Madonna.