Last year, Steve Gunn made his Matador debut with the fantastic Eyes on the Lines LP. Several months later, ahead of his world tour behind that record, the multi-instrumentalist has returned with some new music by way of Aquarium Drunkard's Lagniappe Sessions series — more specifically, a pair of Smiths covers. His interpretations of Moz and co.'s "This Night Has Opened My Eyes” and “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” are exactly what you'd expect from Gunn, showcasing finely-tuned fretwork and his signature croon. Head over here to stream both takes via Aquarium Drunkard, and read on for Gunn's heartfelt love letter to the iconic band, as well as his upcoming tour itinerary.

Steve Gunn's Eyes on the Lines LP is out now via Matador. Get it here.

A lot of teenage guitar players went straight into metal or prog, but the Smiths were the first guitar band that really spoke to me. Some people hated this band then, and still do. Somehow, that is pretty understandable. I love them. When I was a new guitar player, I borrowed a Smiths cassette from my older sister. Johnny Marr’s arrangements mystified me, transfixed me. I felt that they were something I’d never be able to decipher. It wasn’t until later that I started to look into his influences, and I came to understand his playing and arranging, especially in partnership with Morrissey. Plus, Johnny looked so damn cool playing that Rickenbacker. I took an extended break from the Smiths after my teenage years. I kind of grew out of my first phase of love for them and tried to stop feeling so sorry for myself. I lost the passion after the first solo Morrissey album came out. I was onto more formulaic music that, in retrospect, wasn’t any better — though much easier to play! I no longer had it in me to go and cry at the concerts (I never saw him), or fight for a sliver of Morrissey’s torn shirt. All of that being said, I will always have a deep admiration for this band. I always go back to them.

STEVE GUNN on TOUR
Feb. 25 — Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Music School - Bruce Longhorne Benefit
Apr. 3 — London, England @ St. John Church
Apr. 4 — Bristol, England @ Louisiana
Apr. 5 — Leeds, England @ Holy Trinity
Apr. 6 — Birmingham, England @ Glee Club
Apr. 7 — Bighton, England @ Unitarian Church
Apr. 8 — Genk, Belgium @ Little Waves
Apr. 9 — Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Zonnehuis
Apr. 10 — Utrecht, Netherlands @ Doopsgezinde Kerk (church)
Apr. 11 — Brussels, Belgium @ Les Atelier Claus
Apr. 12 — Gent, Belgium @ Vooruit (Theater Zaal)
Apr. 13 — Paris, France @ Le Carreau du Temple
Apr. 14 — Lausanne, Switzerland @ Le Bourg
Apr. 15 — Düdingen, Switzerland @ Bad Bonn
Apr. 17 — Padova, Italy @ Anfiteatro del Venda
Apr. 18 — Rome, Italy @ Blackmarket/Unplugged in Monti Series
Apr. 19 — Oslo, Norway @ St. Edmunds Church
Apr. 20 — Randaberg, Norway @ Tungenes Lighthouse
Apr. 22 — Helsinki, Finland @ G Livelab
Apr. 23 — Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega
Apr. 25 — Barcelona, Spain @ Sidecar
Apr. 26 — Bilbao, Spain @ Kafe Antzocika
Apr. 27 — Madrid, Spain @ Moby Dick
Apr. 28 — Ourense, Spain @ El Torgal
Ju. 11 — Peterborough, NH @ The Thing in Spring Festival