Andy Rourke says the world needs "colourful characters" like his old bandmate Morrissey.
The 55-year-old bassist co-founded The Smiths with frontman Morrissey in Manchester in 1982, and he has admitted the music industry would be "boring" without "controversial" people like the 'Everyday Is Like Sunday' singer - who is known for his forthright opinions on topics including politics and animal rights.
Andy also described Morrissey as a "unique individual and a real talent".
Appearing on 'Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV' to promote his new band Blitz Vega - with bandmate KAV - Andy was asked by co-host Gordon Smart: "What's the most common thing people ask you about in relation to The Smiths?", and he replied: "What's Morrissey like?"
Gordon then asked: "And what is the answer to that question, seeing as you brought it up", to which he laughed: "That's a leading question. A unique individual and a real talent ... it was special working with him [Morrissey]."
New host Laura Whitmore then asked: "Do we need those controversial characters, if we didn't have them then the music industry would be different?"
And the musician admitted: "I think you definitely need some colourful characters, you have got to love John Lydon people like that and Morrissey obviously - without that it would be a boring world."
The Smiths - which were also comprised of guitarist Johnny Marr and drummer Mike Joyce - broke up in acrimonious circumstances in 1987.
Relations between the band members were poor when Andy and Mike successfully sued Morrissey and Johnny in 1989 to get more than 10 per cent of the group's royalties.
However, Andy put the past behind him and even reunited with Johnny on stage at two of his shows in the US in 2013, to perform the group's songs 'How Soon Is Now?' and 'Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want'
When asked what his relationship with Johnny is like now, he insisted that "no matter what" they will always be close as they grew up together.
He said: "It's great, obviously he is very busy ... but whenever he is in New York we meet up. I always go to his shows.
"He'll come to my apartment and we hang out, go for breakfast, stuff like that.
"He's one of my oldest friends; we were at school together, known him since I was 14. No matter what happens we are always going to be friends."
View the full episode of 'Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlBRMr3Yz3Y&feature=youtu.be