Oasis Interviews Archive

A shitload of interviews from all the various members of Oasis and selected associates from the start of their career right up to the present day. These transcripts have been taken from various websites, forums and newsgroups over the years. Credit goes to those people who took the time to put these words online.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Noel Gallagher - Daily Telegraph - 8th February 2007


In his only pre-Brits interview, Noel Gallagher of Oasis is as acerbic as ever about his pop rivals. He talks to Neil McCormick about fame, money, changing the face of pop – and his troublesome little brother

Noel Gallagher has four Brit awards, although he doesn't know where any of them are. "I'm usually in such a euphoric state after picking up an award that I give them to the most random people – the waiter coming up with a quail egg, 'Here y'are, you have that.' "

At the 2007 Brits next Wednesday, Oasis will pick up the Outstanding Achievement award. In his only interview ahead of the ceremony, however, the outspoken band leader does not prove a great ambassador for the cause.

"It's a TV show, innit? It's the big carve-up for the major record companies. I love ceremonies. It can be a colossal night out, but the awards themselves don't really mean anything.

"It's not like you win an Oscar, and you can charge 40 million dollars for your next film. The ticket price won't suddenly be going up at Oasis gigs. Although that's not a bad idea!"

Gallagher's reasons for accepting the award are reliably pragmatic. "They're gonna keep asking every year. So do we get it now, when we're in our thirties or are we gonna wait til we look like one of Pink Floyd?

"With the greatest respect to Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Bob Geldof and the Bee Gees, when they got it, their star had waned considerably. We had two number-one singles last year, we're punching our weight with the young kids, we still look good."

It is amusing to hear Gallagher preface statements with "with the greatest respect" when he shows absolutely none. He remains reliably scathing about old sparring partners such as Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, whose bleak electro solo album has seen him nominated for Best British Male.

"Thom Yorke sat at a piano singing, 'This is f***ed up' for half an hour. We all know that, Mr Yorke. Who wants to sing the news? No matter how much you sit there twiddling, going, 'We're all doomed', at the end of the day people will always want to hear you play Creep. Get over it."

Even friends and allies come in for the patented Gallagher brand of scorn: "It's the same with U2. Play One, shut the f*** up about Africa."

And as for family matters: "Liam's got really long hair at the moment. Looks like a lunatic, which is about right. He's still a very silly young man. Talks out of his arse 23 hours of the day. It's like a sketch in The Fast Show. You say, 'Hey, Liam, what about putting a choir on that song?' 'Brilliant, yeah, f***ing choir, man. Top.' Then someone will go, 'Choir? That's a bit poncey isn't it?' 'Yeah, no, choirs are s***, mate, f***ing rubbish.' So you can have good fun with Liam in the studio."

With his crinkly-eyed, genial smile and bluff Northern-comic delivery, Noel seems to have the talent for dispensing insults without really causing offence.

Shaped in a boisterous, working-class environment, he is opinionated the way a man might be among friends in the pub. Innately approachable, and not inclined to take himself too seriously, for a rock star of his magnitude, he is almost entirely without airs and graces.

"I like to think I keep it real. Liam keeps it surreal, and somewhere between the two we get on all right."

With their swaggering attitude and monumentally catchy songs, Oasis were a phenomenon in the '90s, dragging British rock music out of the doldrums.

Perhaps unexpectedly, it is the group's cultural impact that Noel cites as his outstanding achievement. "We inspired a lot of kids to buy guitars and get into bands in the first place.

Look at all the bands up for awards at the Brits: Arctic Monkeys, Kooks, Kasabian, I dare say every new band that matters over the past few years has cited Oasis as an influence.

"Before we came along, success was a dirty word. We kind of reinvigorated ambition. As dumb-arse a message as it was, looking back now, it was 'Things are s***, so we might as well celebrate something – let's celebrate being young.'

"There was a euphoria in the music and the way it was delivered, and, as the crowds started to get bigger, it fed off itself until it became less about the band and more about being with all those people, jumping up and down, drunk to the music."

As supportive as he is of young bands (who are rarely subjected to the tongue-lashings reserved for his contemporaries), he is not entirely convinced by the new Britpop dawn.

"I wouldn't say it's a golden period for British music. It's a slightly brown period. There's a lot of good tunes on the radio, but there doesn't seem to be one all-encompassing thing that holds it together.

"The youth have got themselves looking smart, skinny jeans, big hairdos, ties and jackets, which is half the battle. It's let down by the fact that everybody's too eclectic. It's kind of, 'Yeah man, I love Bloc Party and I really do like Jay Z's new album as well, and that Devendra Banhart – genius.' That's the death of cool right there. You can't be a mod and a rocker. You have to choose sides."

For such an intelligent, belligerent rock-and-roller, Gallagher's values are oddly conservative. "I've never been interested in pushing music forward.

"Life is so chaotic in Oasis anyway, I never know who's in the band this week. I don't want to be experimenting as well – 'Let's try this in an urban cybersonic punk style.' No, give us that Marshall stack and that guitar. I know where I am with that, thank you very much."

Which is why Oasis, for all their line-up changes, for all their early promise as the most exciting musical phenomenon since the Beatles, have essentially remained unchanged over the years, adhering to a simple philosophy that boils down to "You can't argue with a good tune."

Instinctively opposed to self-analysis, Gallagher describes songwriting as "a calling" and says: "As I get older, I don't aggressively pursue songs. All the great ones just appear."

He claims not to think much about lyrical meaning, yet recognises recurrent themes – "escape, love and hope". It is only the sheer quality of Gallagher's writing that prevents Oasis sliding into irrelevance, or creatively atrophying in the fashion of Status Quo. Although they have certainly come close.

Despite his acerbic criticisms of all and sundry, Gallagher cheerfully admits to having misplaced his own much-cherished coolness, credibility and creativity "a couple of times".

"The first sign is when the clothes start to go bad. At the end of the '90s – fur coats and f***ing sunglasses. I had a Rolls Royce I couldn't drive. I remember thinking, 'I only signed off four years ago – how have I ended up with one of them?'

"But I'm glad it got like that. We went for it, and pushed it to the point that it could not get any bigger, it couldn't get any more mad, you couldn't get any more fur in this coat if you tried, the shades couldn't be any more mirrored, they're mirrored on the insides.

"Then there was a kind of stepping back and going, 'This is all bull****, I've become a laughing stock' – if only in my own bedroom."

Despite the tensions of his relationship with Liam, he insists Oasis will never break up. "If we weren't related, Oasis would have ended after a couple of records.

But I have always got to put up with Liam. There's always Christmas and kids' birthday parties. And, as bad as it sometimes is being in the band together, I think it would be worse for each of us not working with each other. And I don't know why I say that, because in theory it would be bliss, but I kind of know, deep down, it wouldn't work."

Which is why his long-mooted solo album is is no closer to appearing.

"Somehow I don't really see me at the Borderline playing a mouth organ to 150 people on a Wednesday. Every time I write a song, I envisage them in football stadiums with loads of people going f***ing mental. And that's Oasis."

Monday, January 22, 2007

Noel Gallagher - Stuff Magazine - 22nd January 2007


With Oasis’ greatest-hits album out this month, Noel Gallagher looks back on leading what he calls “one of the top bands of all time.”

After 10-plus years of rocking, rolling, snorting, drinking, yelling and fighting (not to mention writing some of the best rock songs ever recorded), Oasis are releasing their much-awaited best-of collection, Stop the Clocks. We caught up with the (slightly) less potty-mouthed songwriting half of the Gallagher brothers and listened to him talk a whole lot of shit. Our apologies to Green Day.

STUFF: When was the moment you realized you could play in a rock ’n’ roll band for a living?
NOEL: I can’t remember that far back, really, but now that I think about it, it would be around the time I wrote “Live Forever.” That’s a fuckin’ good tune, man.

You wrote that in your bedroom around ’91, right? You hadn’t made it yet at that point.
No, we didn’t even have a record deal. I’d written most of Definitely Maybe before I wrote “Live Forever,” but once I wrote that, I said to myself, “This is undeniably fucking great.”

Who’s the first person you played it for?
A very uninterested girlfriend, I think. But then I took it to the boys during a rehearsal, and we all knew that was it.

All these years later, what do you think the appeal of Oasis is?
I’d probably say it’s my seemingly never-ending good looks and Liam’s charming behavior. I don’t know, to be honest. I’d like to think it’s the music, but I don’t know.

We read that you didn’t want Stop the Clocks to come out while Oasis were still together. Does it feel weird to have fans look back at your work even though you’re still making music and performing?
Every time we put a new record out, people are always looking at us retrospectively. There’s always a new generation of fans and journalists who want to give their take on the massive phenomenon that is Oasis.

You’ve said that you wanted to handpick the songs that went on it because if the record company did it, the album would be “shit.” Did you get any heat from your label for choosing B-sides and songs that weren’t commercial singles for Stop the Clocks?
I guess. I mean, at the end of the day, I did it my way, but there were a few mutterings behind the scenes and all that. But really, fuck those people. What do they know? They didn’t write “Live Forever”—or even “Acquiesce,” for that matter.

Usually when a band puts out a best-of album or a live album, it’s to fulfill their contract to their label. Was this released to make good on your deal?
You’re a sharp one. We fulfilled our contract with Epic when we did Don’t Believe the Truth, but they were going to do this “best of” anyway. So it was really a choice between getting involved and making it great or standing over on the sidelines and waiting to slag it off when it was released.

Do you have any regrets about your records? We know Be Here Now didn’t quite turn out the way you wanted it to.
Well, most of the songs are too long and some of the lyrics aren’t too well thought out. And of course some of the tunes on Standing on the Shoulder of Giants are a bit shit. But they’re all perfect expressions of their time, and you can’t change them, so why worry about it?

What would you say was the high point of Oasis’ most decadent behavior? There’s that famous story about the show in L.A. in ’94 when some of the band allegedly took a shitload of crystal meth and you stormed out. Was that sort of stuff common back then?
Well, first off, the reason why I left is because crystal meth is like cheap speed, and I was into far more exotic drugs at that point. I was quite upset my band members had become punks when I was busy reaching for the stars. But in regard to the drug thing, it was omnipresent.

Was there ever a point when you said to yourself, “This shit is wild”?
Well, when you look at yourself in the mirror at 7 A.M., wearing big fucking round sunglasses and a black fur coat with a fucking 50-pound note up your nose, and you say, “Yeah, man, this is what it’s all about,” you might be a bit fucked.

Can you give me a ballpark figure on how much money Oasis spent on drugs in the ’90s?
[Long pause] I couldn’t even calculate it.

A million pounds?
Whoa, man. I mean, a million pounds is a lot of fuckin’ money. But it’s got to be at least half a million. Wait, what the fuck am I saying—it’s got to be more than that. Just print 10 million. Put it next to my picture: “I blew $10 million on drugs!”

Are there any bands around today that you think need to be put in their place?
Green Day. What the fuck’s that all about? They consider themselves to be—and I quote—“a kick-ass rock ’n’ roll band.” They could not be less kick-ass if they tried.

What about them do you find so reprehensible?
They’re obviously a corporate punk band—and they ripped off one of my songs!

Which one?
[Sings] “I walk these lonely streets…” Fucking “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”! If you listen, you’ll find it is exactly the same arrangement as “Wonderwall.”

We don’t know if you’re one to point fingers about knicking riffs from other groups.
Yeah, but not whole songs! They should have the decency to wait until I am dead. I at least pay the people I steal from that courtesy.

We asked Noel to share his insights about some well-known figures.

"Overrated. He's marginally talented, but not anywhere as good as me. If he wasn't fucking a supermodel, no one outside of NME would give a shit about him.

"Good lads, good tunes, good attitudes, good spirit. Noisy, loud and fast. I like 'em."

"He's just so funny. He obviously hasn't got a fuckin' clue what he's doing. He's hilarious in an absolutely spine-tingling way. As long as his lot are in power, American will rule the world and get the OK, but I think he truly is a fucking idiot."

"Poor Tony. He's overrated. I mean, underrated. I don't know. If you take the Iraq war out of the equation, he's been a magnificent politician for Great Britain. But his legacy will be the Iraq war. On the other hand, Bush is just an all-out idiot. Tony has saving graces."

"Never heard of him."

"He's a fucking idiot. Couldn't care less."

"Awesome. Fucking awesome bunch of musicians. Great songwriter. Questionable fucking lead singer, but forget about that—undisputedly one of the top bands of all time. Truly awesome and remarkable."


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Noel Gallagher - Sydney Morning Herald - 14th December 2006

Online Link

Noel Gallagher is his own worst critic and biggest fan, he tells Bernard Zuel.

There is not a lot of Noel Gallagher under that mop of Beatles-gone-shaggy hair which, since Gallagher and his brother, Liam, arrived in the early 1990s with their band Oasis, has been the do of choice for a generation of British rockers.

Slimly built, of barely average height and no fan of the gym, he is not made for any kind of fighting, though he is famous for rucking with his brother and inciting all kinds of passion and aggression in friends and foe alike.

You could say Noel Gallagher is all mouth and trousers - faded black ones tonight in Melbourne, worn with a dark brown pinstriped jacket. You could add he's a walking opinion who shovelled too much Colombian up his nose for a few years, a mouthy git and an egomaniac whose best years were a decade ago. He'd almost certainly agree.

"All the bad things that have been written about me, I've thought worse of myself; all the great things that have been written about me, I've thought better than them," Gallagher says equably, rocking back and forth on his tilted chair with the relaxed air of the lord of the manor. "I'm my own worst critic and my own biggest fan."

He laughs, his eyes lighting up with amusement under the shag. "I seriously am a big fan of myself."

And there you have the conundrum of Noel Gallagher. He is a man who is verging on the insufferable but simultaneously charming and amusing. A man whose band has been bombastic and dull very often but whose best moments have always been the small and personal. A man whose Australian tours with that band have been patchy at best but who later on the day of our interview plays a wholly captivating solo set, at the renovated church home to the Live at the Chapel series, backed only by a guitarist and a drummer playing snare and bells.

"On the one hand, I don't actually think as a person, if you were to take away my songwriting, I am anything special. But luckily for me, I'm a f---ing awesome songwriter. And," Gallagher smiles broadly, daring you to take offence, "that makes me more f---ing special than [other modern songwriters], all right?"

Well, you are mouthier than the rest, I can't help but add.

"I guess, I guess. I certainly don't censor myself but I know for a fact that most of my peers, before you get to interview them, you are handed a list of what you can and can't ask. Ask me anything, anything, I've got an opinion on most things.

"However ill-informed my opinion is," he chuckles, "at least I've got one."

You couldn't ask for a better example of this truth than the recent brouhaha over Gallagher's comments to a London tabloid about Iraq, which incensed all the usual suspects. Essentially he said the war was messier for the Iraqis than the soldiers who had signed up for battle and that's where his sympathies lay.

"If you've got a problem with flying bullets, here's the thing - and call me old-fashioned - don't join the f---ing army. The way I see it, if f---ing idiots didn't join the army, there would be no war because there would be no soldiers, hence the world being a better place."

He pauses and says, his thick Mancunian accent adding an extra layer of self-mockery and self-amusement: "There, my Nobel Peace Prize is on its f---ing way, I think."

Gallagher's comments echo one he made a few years ago, originally directed at Radiohead (the more intellectual, esoteric flipside of British rock in the '90s to Gallagher's Oasis) but applicable to many others who say they hate the attention their careers give them. It boiled down to this for Gallagher: if you don't want to be famous, if you don't want the attention, don't join a rock band and sell records.

He tells a story about being in the supermarket once "when I was doing the shopping with the missus" and he knocked back a request to have a photo taken but the fan persisted, sneaking shots from the next aisle. There were raised voices among the juice bottles and cleaning products and, when Gallagher left, the store's security staff insisted on accompanying him out - not to punish him but to protect the by now seriously embarrassed musician from the stalker fan and his angry mates. It's a small price to pay, he reckons.

The most salient point in that tale, though, is that he does the shopping. Recently he suggested the likes of Elton John and Robbie Williams had lost touch with reality precisely because they never did things like buying groceries.

"He [Elton John] got really upset when I said that but I'm just assuming that a man who wears Versace underpants, spends a hundred grand a year on flowers, doesn't do his own shopping," Gallagher says. "I could be wrong. But I bet he couldn't tell you how much a pint of milk is."

Can Gallagher?

"Well they don't do pints any more, they do litres, but it's 79 pence a litre."

He goes on: "I think doing your own shopping is pretty good therapy. I know all the ladies who work the checkout in the supermarket on my high street and it kind of reminds you that life is pretty shit for some people. It kind of brings you back down to earth a little bit, if one was ever getting ideas above your station."

Did he ever get ideas above his station? Get a bit carried away for a while when the money and adulation rolled in? "Yeah, but you are supposed to get ideas above your station, you are a f---ing rock star, for crying out loud. Of course I did."

Noel Gallagher, rock star, laughs and shakes his shaggy hair. We are amused.

Noel Gallagher plays at the Enmore Theatre tonight.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Noel Gallagher - The Age.com.au - 12th December 2006


It was literally in a matter of days that Noel Gallagher went from being unable to pay for a round of pints at his local, to receiving a phone call informing him that a £1 million royalty cheque was to be deposited in his bank account.

"With hindsight, they were crazy times," he said in a room upstairs at the Forum Theatre this week where he was preparing for the first of two Melbourne shows. "You suddenly just waste a lot of money on shit, utter rubbish. God knows how much money I've blown on drugs, shit cars I can't drive, and daft houses I've never lived in.

"It takes you ages to get back on an even keel. I went mad with it for a good three and a bit years before I started to come around. You forget who you are."

Gallagher, now 39, is in town as part of a three-month world tour for Oasis' new best-of album, Stop the Clocks. The jaunt has been an outstanding success - tickets sold out in less than an hour.

On this tour, in which Gallagher is accompanied by Oasis guitarist Gem Archer, brother Liam Gallagher is a conspicuous absentee. On stage on Sunday, when a punter inquired of Liam's whereabouts, Noel was typically candid. "He couldn't be with us," he declared. "He was washing his hair . . . Actually, truth is, he couldn't be f---ed."

Offstage, he was a tad more decorous.

"Liam lives in Disneyland, y'know what I mean?" he said. "He's started to carry a man bag, which is very disturbing. Apart from that, he's the usual him. I kind of give him the wide berth. Liam doesn't do acoustic shows or interviews, anyway."

The best-of campaign has hardly lacked controversy. Two weeks ago, a widely reported tirade about troops in Iraq landed Gallagher in hot water with veterans' associations.

"I'm regularly grossly misquoted in the press," he said. "They made it sound like I was saying British soldiers deserved to get shot at. I was talking about soldiers in general in America, and I was just, like, 'If you don't like getting shot at, don't join the army.' "

Gallagher was also bemused by the storm that surrounded his sarcastic remark about the Socceroos.

"All things like that I've said very tongue-in-cheek," he said, with a grin. "But I'm yet to master the art of making my quotes look good in print. My point was, Australians are that good at cricket and rugby, why do you bother about football? Please leave football to the rest of us."

Last night, after a show at Vodafone Live at the Chapel, Gallagher also participated in a Q&A session at the Kino cinema for a screening of the band's new documentary film, Lord Don't Slow Me Down. He will also take in the Ashes Test in Perth.

Gallagher says that after spending more than two years recording and touring their last album Don't Believe the Truth, the band agreed to take a year off. They plan to reconvene in June. Gallagher has spent most of his time in his eight-bedroom mansion in Buckinghamshire. He also took his daughter to Sea World in Florida.

"I took my little daughter to see the killer whale," he said. "She was more underwhelmed than I was."

The band has experienced an odd history in Australia. Due to various internal calamities, the band never made it out here in their mid-1990s heyday. It was a tension-filled, bleary-eyed 1998 tour that introduced Australian fans to the band's live show.

"I wouldn't like to think I'm apologising to the Australian nation," Gallagher says, "but we let ourselves down on that tour. I was here for about a month and was out of it every day. We almost had to start from scratch when we came back again. We've only really had a career here for the last five years. I do like coming here, though."

Next year they will be honoured at the Brit Awards, the UK equivalent of the Grammys.

"We've been gently pushed into all this," he says. "Let's get this out of the way before I'm 40. I don't want to be like Pink Floyd going up there as an old fella. I might as well do it while I can still look good in a leather jacket."

Noel Gallagher - The West.com.au - 12th December 2006


Long gone are the days of cocaine-fuelled drug binges for Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher.

But he's far from mellowed and is still quick to fire up with little provocation.

"I was fuelled on some of the finest cocaine known to man back in the early days so that would make me a little more edgy, shall we say," he said.

"But I am not like that any more.

"I haven't taken any proper big boys drugs for eight and a half years now.

"I am sticking to the ... I won't tell you what I stick to ... but no I haven't taken any proper hard drugs for years now."

Gallagher was in Australia this week, performing a number of acoustic shows with Oasis guitarist Gem Archer.

He's also been promoting the new Oasis album, Stop the Clocks.

Gallagher is quick to point out that it isn't a greatest hits offering - it's a best of.

"Your greatest hits are the hit singles that are most popular ... your best of is what is considered your best work," the Brit said.

"Thereby lies the difference."

The double CD features a selection of what Gallagher considers the band's best work, including such hits as Wonderwall, Champagne Supernova, Don't Look Back in Anger and Morning Glory.

"It could easily have stretched to three CDs, but that doesn't really appeal to me, do you know what I mean?" Gallagher said.

"Three CDs is a bit much, seeing how the Beatles only had two on their best of. It would be taking the piss to have three I think."

Gallagher, 39, put the album together, with little help from brother, Liam, who is also in the band.

"I done all that," he said.

"I get to pick the songs, that is my right as the oldest living member of Oasis."

The Gallagher brothers, famed for their thick Manchester accents and bitter sibling rivalry, burst onto the British music scene more than a decade ago before going on to sell millions of albums worldwide.

Their volatile relationship, fights, drug problems, celebrity relationships - and their prodigious talent for producing catchy pop songs - have filled thousands of news pages around the world.

It seems the brothers are going through a rough patch at the moment.

"We are not on the best of terms," Gallagher said.

"I haven't seen him for a couple of months. I am not interested.

"I am generally not interested because he is generally not doing anything interesting."

They're not fighting though, he said.

"We aren't fighting at the minute ... but there could well be the next time I see him though."

Gallagher has never shied away from saying what he thinks.

He's not a fan of pop musicians, particularly Kylie Minogue, Madonna and Robbie Williams.

He hates the Australian soccer team, but he likes Melbourne rockers Jet.

His acerbic tongue has often gotten Gallagher into trouble, most famously in a 1995 interview when he expressed a wish for Blur's Damon Albarn and Alex James to "catch AIDS and die", a comment which he quickly publicly apologised for.

"I hate Kylie Minogue ... I hate Madonna ... I hate Robbie Williams," he said.

Gallagher doesn't care what is written about him in the press.

In fact, he finds it funny.

"I find that quite amusing," he said.

"It was written once in the newspaper that I was going out with Naomi Campbell. Have you seen Naomi Campbell? Have you seen me? It is preposterous.

"It is like one of the Seven Dwarfs going for it with Snow White - a ridiculous story."

Despite his frequent controversial outbursts, British music news website NME.com once labelled Gallagher the wisest man in rock.

"I have a lot of experience at these things - whether I am wise or not, I don't know," he said.

"It must mean my opinion counts for something I think - does it make me like Yoda then?

"Are you saying I am like a Jedi, cause I can live with that. I am right up for it, light sabres and karate moves, that is my bag mate."

Having completed their six-album deal with Sony Music, Gallagher is keen to take a break because for the first time since 1994, Oasis are without a recording contract.

"We only got back off the Don't Believe The Truth tour in March, that is only seven months ago," he said.

"I don't want to earn any more money just yet - I have got too much."

Brotherly feuds and record label contracts aside, Oasis have enough material to release another album in 2007.

"There is this project going on that will probably take us to spring next year," he said.

"We have got most of our next album already recorded, stuff that was left over from the last one - we could start mixing it tomorrow."

Stop the Clocks is out now.


Noel Gallagher - The Courier Mail - 12th December 2006

Online Link (The Courier Mail)

Always quotable, Oasis singer/guitarist Noel Gallagher played a rare solo show in Brisbane last night. Patrick Lion heard the swear jar rattle 17 times in the space of just 14 questions backstage at the Tivoli Theatre.

Q: This is a solo tour to promote Stop The Clocks, your new 'best of' album. What is it like touring by yourself, without the band and particularly your brother Liam?
A: It's a lot calmer and lot more peaceful. Oasis are a big f--king band and there's a lot more people involved with it. There's only six of us on the road here. There's usually about 50-odd so in that respect it's a lot calmer. I've never actually toured without Liam. This is the first time I'm doing it. It's different. Liam would be doing his usual whingeing his f--ken arse off. It would be a pain in the arse if he was here. He doesn't do interviews because no one wants to talk to him anyway. He doesn't like acoustic. In his words: `He's in a f--ken rock `n' roll band'.

Q: What sort of show can we expect tonight?
A: We're doing a cover of The Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever but that won't be a surprise to anyone who has a computer because they no doubt f--ken heard it on the internet. I don't see these sort of shows as nostalgic. The reason I'm doing these gigs is they wanted me to come all the way over here and do the promotion. That's like being on tour without the good bits. My manager said, ``well, what's the good bits?''. I said, ``doing some gigs'' and he said we'd do that then. I'm really enjoying it and being here and the gigs have been great. It's just nice to get out of England. It's just freezing f--ken cold.

Q: You're a big Beatles fan. What do you think of Love, their new remix album done by Sir George Martin and his son Giles?
A: It's f--ken ridiculous. I don't like it and it annoys the shit out of me. I hate everything about it: the cover, the sleeve notes, the way the tunes are mixed and sound. Why would you do that? God forbid that ever happens with our music, although we would be powerless to stop it.

Q: Why didn't you want Stop The Clocks to be released?
A: It wouldn't have been my choice to put it out but I am powerless to stop it (due to their contract with Sony BMG). If we were to disown it, we wouldn't have been involved in the artwork and seeing as we're only going to do one best of we thought it was better to be involved. There's 11 hits not on this one. I'm sure that Sony will be putting together a singles album in the near future. I would if I was them. It would sell. I'm powerless to stop it. There's nothing I can do about that.

Q: You put the track listing together. Would it have been different had Liam done it?
A: You'd have to talk to Liam but he would probably tell you some f--ken crap about it being completely different to what I came up with. It would have been the same. If he wanted to, he would have got involved.

Q: Most of the songs are from the first three years in the mid 1990s. Has Oasis got another big album left in the can?
A: If he could tell you that, young man, I wouldn't be in the f--ken music business, I'd be in the gambling business and I'd make a f--ken fortune.

Q: Apart from them all, what was the best song you've written?
A: It's not for me to say what my best song is but I will tell you what my most important song was. Live Forever because it announced us to the world. Before that we were a very British phenomenon and then after that it kind of exploded. I dare say, that was the first song you heard by Oasis.

Q: You've spoken a lot over the years about who is the biggest band in the world. Who is right now and is that title still important?
A: I think U2 has consistently been in the biggest band in the world over the past 20 years. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Green Day this year, too. It was only important before we were the biggest band in the world (in the mid 90s) because that was something we set out to achieve. As preposterous as that sounded when we were all on the dole in Manchester, and as mad as people thought I was, we got there in the end, albeit briefly for about six months. I've got to say it was a lot of f--ken hard work to get there, to be honest. It's not something I think about now.

Q: Is it harder to hold the title, then?
A: So it would seem (smirks).

Q: Oasis and Brisbane have a bit of a history. In 1998, there was the biffo on the plane flight when Liam was arrested. Then you came back for Livid 2002 just 100 metres around the corner from here and blitzed it. Did you feel you had point to prove after the disappointment, on and off the stage, of 1998?
A: In a way, yes. That Australian tour in 1998 was an aberration. We weren't in the right place mentally. We were all high and taking a lot of f--king drugs at the time. We George Best'd it really. We kind of did have a point to prove but not that that made us play any better because we are a great f--ken band anyway. We wouldn't be going so long if we weren't. There's not been many gigs like that 1998 one.

Q: Robbie Williams is in town, staying at the same hotel as you. Any chance of a reconciliation beer after the gig to smooth over your past differences?
A: Unfortunately he is an alcoholic and doesn't drink. A mineral water? I wouldn't have thought so. There is a bit of history there. I don't like his music. No (I won't be going to the concert and) I shall be flying out tomorrow and going to Sydney.

Q: How hard has it been watching the Ashes cricket series?
A: I find it incredible England lost that last Test in Adelaide. How did they stuff that up? If Australia win the toss in Perth, then it is all over. To be honest I'm not a massive cricket fan, and I find it hard to get excited about a contest over a trophy which is that big (small gesture with fingers). That's just stupid. I'm disappointed for the team because finally we have decent cricketers in Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff. Australia are the best cricket team in the world so there is no shame in losing to them.

Q: You had a swipe at our Socceroos a while ago, suggesting they stop trying to win the World Cup because it was pointless? England didn't go to well and neither did Manchester City on the weekend.
A: Don't get me wrong. Don't forget England are f--ken dreadful, too. The Socceroos as a name is f--ken ridiculous. It's like a cartoon for kids. It's just ridiculous. And as for Manchester City, that was lame. All my sporting allegiances are shite. It's a good job I'm brilliant at music otherwise I'd be a miserable old bastard.

Q: But we see the soccer World Cup as the last frontier in world sport to conquer?
A: (Leans back into couch, belly laughing) Win the World Cup? F--king hell. You've got more f--king chance of having a champion skier. F--king hell.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Noel Gallagher - The Courier Mail - 9th December 2006


WANT to know the Ten Commandments of Rock? I can't reveal them to you unless you're a rock star. Oh, all right. Here are a few:

• Thou must wear shades at all times (especially indoors).

• Thou must own at least one black leather jacket.

• Thou must have a taste for the finest wines and the hardest drugs.

These were given to me by that learned older brother in rock, Oasis guitarist-songwriter-everything-man Noel Gallagher, 39.

It's what he tells young bands when they meet him for the first time, he says.

"What, when they come up shaking, going, 'You're, like, the coolest man in the history of all the world.' I just go, (adopts super-cool, calm, God-like voice) 'I know. Stop shaking. What can I do for you?' And they go, 'Please tell us how to be better rock stars!'

"And I say, 'Well, you have to follow the 10 commandments I've set out for myself'. And they go, 'Wow, you're like a Jedi!' And I say, 'Well, yes I am.' "

Australian Oasis fans will share space with the Cool One when he performs at Brisbane's Tivoli with Oasis rhythm guitarist Gem Archer this week.

After more than a decade leading one of Britain's biggest bands, Gallagher can indeed claim Jedi status. He has weathered the storms caused by his tempestuous younger brother, Liam, as well as various musical feuds and the ups and downs of a fickle industry. Somehow, he's managed to stay down-to-earth and funny. British music mag NME dubbed him "the wisest man in rock".

He's on the phone to promote Oasis's new (whisper it) "best of". But didn't Noel say he wasn't going to release one until the band split? What's the story? Oasis are jumping ship from record label SonyBMG. Sony decided to release a "best of" and the band had the choice to be involved or not. So Noel got involved.

He chose the 18 tracks on the collection, entitled Stop the Clocks, which begins with Rock 'n' Roll Star and ends with Don't Look Back in Anger. The other members didn't get a say.

"Well, they're all my songs! I can't have (bassist) Andy Bell telling me that Rocking Chair is better than f---ing Half a World Away."

What about Liam, the band's singer?

"F--- him. He's an idiot," he says, almost to order.

Liam recently turned 34. Noel didn't get him a gift. "We don't have that kind of a relationship. I'm not even interested in how old he is. 'Cos I know deep down he's still acting like a f---ing 14-year-old."

The highlight of his career, Noel says, has been meeting his own idols, such as Paul Weller, Neil Young, Morrissey and Johnny Marr. In his 15 years in the band he's learned "nothing and everything".

"When you start off, it's all magic. To be in a band and 'in the music scene, man', it's all magic. I guess you learn cynicism as you go along. You learn a lot of things that you thought were true, they're not true at all."

So what's a day in the life of a Jedi-cum-rock star like?

"I haven't got like a fireman's pole running down through my house; I don't descend from the heavens into my kitchen in a catsuit and eat breakfast and then go maraud around London and act like a rock star. Underneath it all, we're kind of all the same. I get up in the morning. I eat breakfast. I watch the news. I smoke some cigarettes. I have some tea and the phone will start ringing in the office and they'll tell me what I've got to do today, and if I don't have to do anything, I just go and annoy my girlfriend."

I tell him that Oasis have been nominated for the British Q Magazine Award for Best Act in the World Today. He says: "Well, what can I say? We've won that award quite a few times, so the novelty has worn off."

There will be more Oasis albums. But he's in no rush. He has slowed down, but his ego is as big as ever.

"It was pretty f---ing big to start with, I've got to say. And I have mellowed a great deal and it's still huge."

Would you expect anything less from the Best Band in the World Today? You might like to know that Oasis did win the award.

Noel Gallagher plays the Tivoli, Fortitude Valley, on Tuesday. Stop the Clocks is out now.