Noel Gallagher - Select - 11th August 1996
"It's when we're onstage. There is no chemistry when we're writing, because I'm alone with myself. I take a lot of things from TV and from people I meet - certain one-liners where I think, I'll have that. The real chemistry is performing, and I suppose it happens in the studio as well. Like, when I'm trying to get Liam to sing summat in the correct manner, and he's just not gonna do it cos he's a stubborn little cunt. I'll be like, Fuck off, I'll sing it then. It's amazing how you get it in one take after that. I'll try and push the band to do stuff. Bonehead'll just play the same thing constantly, so I'll be like, It all fits, but surprise me, y'know? I just have a go, with Alan as well. He'll do a great drum track, but you go, C'mon, you can do better than that, can't ya?"
Surely you talk to people like Weller about your music, don't you?
"I don't see Paul all that much, actually, not as much as it's made out to be. Haven't seen him for months. I've talked to John Power a lot about music. Steve Cradock. Martin out of The Boo Radleys as well. For some bizarre reason. Don't ask me why that is, cos he's a scouser and he's in The Boo Radleys... I trust his instinct for music, he's got a good ear. Paul Weller just thinks everything's shit apart from him, which is cool as well. John Power's just as cosmic as the day is long. He's like, Sounds like a pyramid, la', knoworrimean? Y'know, Funnily enough, John, no I don't..."
Tell us about the new songs, then.
"We've been doing two of the faster ones live, Me & My Big Mouth and It's Getting Better, Man, but there's a couple of quite slowish ones, the same sort of mood as Wonderwall, rhythm-wise, but I definitely wanna use some form of sequencing, and mad keyboard noises, just to make them sound a bit more '90s. We've still got the rock songs, and the rock ballads. But we've got four or five where we wanna make them more into hip hop rhythm tracks with keyboard stuff - not just Hammond organ and make it sound like The Charlatans, but I'm starting to get me head round sampling and all of that now.
"I've got 15 songs on a cassette. Like I say, I went to Mustique with Owen (Morris, producer of first two albums) with a digital 8-track and a keyboard to do the strings on. I played them on acoustic and Owen programmed the drums in. It's the first time I've ever done any demo's, bar Live Forever and Up In The Sky. But it sounds good. My Big Mouth sounds fuckin' excellent, like a cannon going off in your head. There's about four like that, quite Stooges-like. Then there's the stuff in the vein of Don't Look Back In Anger, and there's a couple of Wonderwall's on there. It's Getting Better, Man is like the big fuckin' party tune, quite camp as well - our Liam with his fuckin' hand on his hips, ha!"
"What have we got? Don't Go Away, Stand By Me - that's pretty good. I was looking for a bit in the chorus. It goes, (sings) "Nobody knows the way it's gonna be", so 'me' rhymes with 'be', three syllables, thank you very much. I thought it was a good title for a song, anyway. All Around The World, The Fame, which are me being a sarcastic twat. The lyrics go, 'I'm a man of choice/In an old Rolls Royce/Sat here howling at the moon/Is my happening too deafening for you?' Quite like that. It's about people who say fame's changed us, and us saying, Well, it wouldn't fuckin' change you, would it? If you lived the life we fuckin' live...
"I tell you what I found funny the other day, me and our kid pissed ourselves laughing. We opened the press to find out that poor Johnny and poor Simon from Menswear have had nervous breakdowns because being Johnny and Simon from Menswear, (fake tears) the press had all become too much. We burst... Like, you wanna try being me and this cunt for an afternoon. You'd slit your own fuckin' throat, mate! No wonder we've got a 40-grand-a-week crack habit as it says in the News Of The Fuckin' World. You'd need one, as well. (pause) That is the funniest thing I've heard since the ex-drummer said White-y sagged. The pressure of being Menswear. Must be - nobody knowing who you, playing to two people down in Camden. Pressure.
"Anyway, we go in and start recording in October, we're gonna do the single, have it out in January, and around then we'll start recording the album. The last one took about 15 days, so we're probably gonna take about three weeeks this time. No, we're planning to spend about three months on it, and hopefully it'll be out for June, with a single first. All depending whether we split up in the studio and the usual bollocks, walk-outs and bust-ups and trying to get Bonehead out of the boozer." Cork, American tour, gig in Hawaii, Japanese tour, gig in HK,one in NZ, then Aus tour, England in December, "where I do believe we're doing something really really special around Christmas time. I'm not saying any more, but we're doing a big gig somewhere in England around Christmas. You'll have to watch out for that one."
Three-month holiday: what does a man like Noel do?
"I was writing nights, but I finally got my first suntan. It's gone now, but when I got back to England everyone went. Look at the state of you, you look double weird, man. You're like brown, man. But what else? I had to buy an house. When I say 'had to', it wasn't that bad, you know. But I didn't do a lot. Just took the phone off the hook sort of thing."
Liam seems more relaxed onstage at the moment.
"He went through this stage where he couldn't understand why people were saying all these things about him, when he just stood there with his hands behind his back. It done his head in a bit. He felt like he should be doing more stuff, and he didn't know what to do. When he's up there, he's just Liam, you know? Now he's rose to the fucking occasion of being the big rock star. And he is, and he does it well. Fair play to him. It's a good job he's the singer and not me. I'd be a right cunt as a singer."
Is Patsy a steadying influence on him? Has she tamed the beast?
"No, that's bollocks. Patsy and Liam were up at nine o'clcok this morning, and he's got a gig tonight. It could be a monumental gig. It's going out to 300 million people tonight, and he was still up at nine o'clock this morning with her... So she's hardly a fucking steadying influence, is she? But yeah, I mean, they got engaged. I never thought I'd see the day. I was like, What for? He's going, (snotty kid, holding out ring finger) Cos I loov 'er! Top one! I'm like, I love her too, man, but y'know... He's like, You should get engaged as well, man, it's top! I'm like, Fuck off! I've got enough on my plate without having a fiancee to deal with."
Have parents met and everything?
"I don't know, because I try not ask him too much about his personal life. I really don't know. I've never met Patsy's parents. I would imagine they're fucking petrified of meeting Liam. She's met my Mam. My Mam's arsed, she'll talk to anyone. She likes her. She thinks everyone's great. (Breathless Paul Whitehouse character) Brilliant, brilliant! Aren't birds brilliant! But you know, they must be in love, so..."
What about you and Meg, then?
"Am I gonna be married with children? No, no... Meg's always going on about it, when she's on the gin and tonics and that. (Tired and emotional!) Why won't you marry me, you bastard! The way I see it, I'm already married to you, and it's not as if I'm going to fucking leave you or anything. If you wanna prance around in a fucking white dress, I'll buy you the dress. But I'm not going through a big rock 'n' roll wedding, and I don't feel like going to a registry office, because it's not me. I'm married to her anyway. I've lived with her for two years now, so she's me common-law wife, so... Why spend ten grand on a wedding, honey, when you can spend ten grand on a car? Or a guitar, even?"
Have you learnt to drive the Roller yet?
"Have I fuck! I refuse. Rock stars don't drive, mate. I wouldn't mind, but I wouldn't drive that car, it's too big. I haven't even sat behind the steering wheel yet. I've not even sat in the front. All I've ever sat is in the back on the left hand side. That's my seat. That's the only place to sit, like that (expansively smokes imaginary cigar) Take me to Harrods, please. But I must say I get quite embarrassed going out in it. I only ever do when we're going to the Brits and stuff like that, when we went to the Mission Impossible premier. Only right, innit, cos you might meet knobhead out of Blur there on his fucking pushbike. You know, Have you seen that, spotty?"
Hasn't that hatchet been buried yet?
"I'll tell you a funny story, right? You know what Brett Anderson was saying about him slagging him off around Europe, I found the same thing in America, right? Everywhere I went, he'd been three weeks before. This bloke was going on about being working class, and how Damon'd said I'd bought this disgustingly fucking large Rolls Royce, that I drive around London in it waving to all the poor people! I'm like, Number one, it's none of that twat's business, number two, somebody gave it to me. What are you gonna do, No, don't want it, stick it in your garage! Number three, how dare he... He was telling this geezer we're not working class, that it's an image! fair enough, but he is middle class, he wears fuckings rips in the fucking legs of his fucking jeans. I'm working class, but I don't. I'm not trying to project any sort of image. I'm just trying to better myself, mate. People've seen through him now, which I'm glad about. People know he's a cunt and he's a knobhead. He's had his day. Well, he has, hasn't he?
"I like the way every time I pick up a newspaper, it's how Oasis still won't let go of this Blur/Oasis thing. How come every time I pick up a paper and we're in it, we're talking about us, and how great we are, and how massive we are around the world. With him, it's howmuch of a cunt I am. I went to Cannes film festival, right, and he was there. When I got back, I read a piece and he said, I went to Cannes and Noel Gallagher followed me around everywhere... (pause to summon vitriol) Like I've got fuck all better to do than get on a plane to Cannes to follow you around with your fucking ugly bird! You know what I mean! The thought of it! (gets up, paces around like hanger on) Can I come with ya? (finally sits back down) I'd rather sit back at home and discuss getting married with Meg."
What is there left for you to do? What's the dream?
"Nothing. I'd like to do a big free gig somewhere. I know it sounds corny, but a big gig for charity, just to give summat back to someone. It's like, we've made enough money out of this now. And not to get publicity. I mean, like, me need publicity? I don't think so. No, I think that'd be good. Do it on Salisbury Plain, somewhere really massive that could hold, like, you know, a couple of million people. So that'd be it really. It'd be nice to see Man City win something, of course."
Have you thought about putting money into the club? Alan McGee's talking about buying into Rangers...
"McGee's full of shit. He's still on this 18 Wheeler bit. Won't let it lie. And he won't drop the BMX Bandits, will he? Oh no. Alan McGee, right? It was my girlfriend's birthday, she's having this party and McGee turns up with a box. So she opens this box, and it's a load of fucking lace see-through underwear. Meg's going it's really nice, but I go, McGee, can I have a word, right? What are you doing buying my bird see-through underwear? What are you, a ginger-haired Scottsih person who owns my record company, buying my bird girlie underwear for? Where's your fucking head at? Did you actually go into a shop and buy this stuff, stand there...? "But a share in City? I don't think I fancy the thought of waking up one morning and there's a load of City thugs outside my house going, Gallagher out! I think it'd be more trouble than it's worth really. I'd like to do something. Y'know, we did two gigs at Maine Road which we paid them 100 grand for, and what do they do? Spent it on a player, and you don't get that much for 100 grand these days, do you?"
You write about what's around you. These days you're surrounded by bodyguards, other famous people and top-flight record execs. Is that what the third album will be all about?
"The lyrics on the next album, and the vibe of the music it's a reaction to the boredom of having to drag around in convoys with police escorts. Definitely Maybe was me sat at home dreaming of being a young, free rock star living it large. Morning Glory was actually doing it. This one is wishing I was still fucking back at home doing what I was doing before it all kicked off. It's quite up. There's a lot of cynical lines in there, but funny as well. It's not moaning or anything, it's just saying, (earthy Lancastrian tone) In't that fucking daft?!"
And you dream of being back in Burnage...
"Well... So that was ludicrous. Having to throw Mick Hucknall out of the backstage area yesterday was quite ludicrous. We've got a tent for our family and friends, and he was in there. I'm like, Correct me if I'm wrong, but he's neither a member of my family nor a fucking friend to us, so can you get him out. He's pissing me off. Just looking at his head.
"Then there was... Sat in Burt Bacharach's hotel room one afternoon singing This guy's in love with you, just me and him on piano - that was quite ludicrous as well, just for the fact that he's 67 and I'm 29. Could be my Grandad. I mean, what do you talk to him about. I was just coming on like, (looks blank for a few seconds) D'ya like The Clash? He's like, (Bacharach's foppy West Coast bur to a tee) Uh, I can't say I've ever heard of them. Then he idles over to the piano on the other side of the room and starts playing the intro to This Guy's In Love With You. Then he turn around to me and goes, Just join in, man. I'm sat there thinking, How the fuck did I manage to get here? Doing the show at the Royal Festival Hall was nerve-wracking because I'd never sang without being up there with an electric or acoustic guitar. I was sat on a stool with a microphone like fucking Val Doonican, with a 36-piece orchestra behind me being directed by Burt Bacharach. It was ace. Mad. "I can't remember half the stuff that's happened to me over the last two years. I just switch off half the time and just go with it. I don't go out in London now, either. I used to go out all the time, but it just became too much of a hassle. It pisses me off because I like going out. I used to love going to gigs, watching new bands. The first time I ever saw Kula Shaker... A year ago, I'd've been at their first gig in London. Yesterday was the second time I'd ever seen them and the first was when they supported the Presidents Of The USA at Brixton Academy, where I was taken by an entourage of security guards for my ownm safety type of thing... I came back from holiday and I was like, Who's that at Number Five in the charts, Kula Shaker, what the fuck's that all about? So I'm asking loads of people, and they're going, They're really good, man, been about for a while... I'm like, Why haven't I seen them, I'm supposed to be really up on music, me! Things like that piss me off."
NoWaySis: you've taken them under your wing, haven't you?
"They're here again today. I met them before when they played at the Forum. Really nice lads. They were nervous, thinking I was gonna start kicking off and all that. I was like, If you can make a living out of my music as well, then fair enough. It's better than being on the dole. After we came offstage at Loch Lomond, Jerry - the geezer who does me - was there, and I asked him what they thought of the new songs. I mean, he wasn't gonna say they were shit, was he, so it was alright... "I gave him a guitar at Loch Lomond. I was on one of my benevolent trips, (weepily) I fookin' love you, man! It's the gold Les Paul I used on Some Might Say. He was going, how do you get that guitar sound? So I wrote down all the pedals we use, but I go, You've got to get a guitar with these pick-ups, which I'd had specially made. He's like, Fuckin' 'ell, man, how am I gonna be anble to afford that, so I'm like, I know, I'll give you the guitar! I got him up onstage and gave it to him. "They're ace. They've got these stacks of bootleg videos, and they do just little things where only I'd really notice from little gigs, and I laugh me head off. They're gonna do the Newcastle Riverside where I got attacked onstage, and they're gonna one of their mates to jump on and twat Jerry. There's gonna be a mock fight, then they're gonna pull the gig and do one after four songs. How classic's that, man?
America: you're selling, but do they get it?
"Americans just fundamentally do not get it. That is the one thing about Yanks, right? They. Do. Not. Get. It. Whatever it is, they don't fucking get it. We did an interview for Rolling Stone. Now we've been photographed by some pretty fucking famous photographers down the years, but we turn up for the cover shoot, me and our kid, right? And we go, Right, an hour, and then we're fucking leaving because we've got bad hangovers... We only do half an hour for any other cunt in England, so it gets to an hour and this bloke's been fiddling about all afternoon. It suddenly dawned on me that he didn't know what the fuck he was doing. So I says to him, Have you ever done this before, you cunt, or what? He says, No no, I usually do fashion shoots, this is the first time I've ever photographed a band. So I said to the woman from Rolling Stone, Are you taking the fucking piss? And she goes, Well, usually our cover shoots take about eight hours - when Pearl Jam done it... We were like, You could not have picked one single worse fuckin' sentence in the world. You have got precisely another eight minutes left to get this cover and we're out of here. Anyway, this cunt was an fuckin' arsehole and the woman was a bitch, so in the end, we just booted over a few chairs, told her to fuck off and left.
Is that why the article turned out pretty nasty?
"They send this journalist all the way to England. He doesn't interview any of the band for more than five minutes, he goes to the Brits and sees us pissed up swearing on the telly, and then goes on about all the drugs and rock & roll behaviour, two years behind everybody else. And his whole vibe when he interviewed the rest of the band was, How much of a cunt is he to you lot? They were like, Well, he ain't! And he's going, No, no, it's the same in any band, Kurt Cobain was a cunt to everyone else... He kept on and on, and until one by one, they all walked out. Americans think that English bands have got a foul attitude, because English bands have got a foul attitude towards American journalists, because American journalists are fucking wankers. Simple as that."
Rolling Stone weren't the only people to criticise the lyrics on 'Morning Glory'. Did that hurt you? Or make you want to try harder this time?
"It doesn't hurt me. Everything they say is fundamentally true. My lyrics don't mean that fuckin' much. "You've gotta roll with it" - What the fuck does that mean? It pissed people off that I just admitted to it and went, Well, it must mean something to someone. Because all these people (gestures towards 125,000 crowd) don't turn up for nothing. Ryder's lyrics don't mean fuck all, but he's a genius, inne? People say, Why are we not supposed to look back in anger? I don't fucking know. Because it sounds good on a fuckin' record, you stupid cunt. Just sing it, you might have a good time. "I must say, I've tried harder this time. When you've got no-one, a Keith Richards or someone, to push you on and say, Maybe that's a bit shit... With the last album, it was like, Fuck it, that'll do. This time, I sat down and thought about why I was writing the song in the first place, tell a few stories. So they took quite a long time, really. But people have got a set attitude towards the band. I'm the songwriter, the brains behind the band, the quiet, calm one. Liam's the nutcase, and then there's the other three. The tunes are really good and catchy, but the lyrics are shit. I don't think that attitude's ever gonna change, so I'm arsed, me."
So: what does it feel like playing in front of 125,000 people?
"I can't put it into words. I can only understate it really, cos you can"t see the back of the gig cos it's dark and it's fucking 2 miles away from where you're playing. I've been doing interviews all day trying to put it into words and I'd rather not fucking try to tell you the truth. Absolutely mind-blowing.
"Now I know what the word big means. We thought we were big when we played Earls Court, then Maine Road. But after last night... There's big, then there's bigger than big, and then there's fuckin like last night... Now that is big. Now that is big. It's big."
Will it get bigger?"
I can safely say we won't be going any fucking bigger than this, because to be quite honest, we can't supply the demand for the band at the moment, right? We're trying, but to do things like this, it's just a fucking pain in the arse. It's brilliant to do it, but I wouldn't fancy doing it again. I'd rather... But then you get into the territory of four nights at Wembley Stadium, but by the third night, it must become a bit of a fuckin' chore. You've got to keep it special for the band. But we sat down yesterday, me and Marcus. We were saying, we're a fucking big group now, we've got to start fucking dealing with it, it's as simple as that. In an ideal world you'd be playing Shepherd's Bush Empire every night. That'd be fine because it's big enough, but small enough to create an atmosphere. But y'know, they'd have to fucking shut down Shepherd's Bush. They'd have to build a wall round it. 'Indoors is the place to play, because it's dark and you can actually hear the crowd singing. Out there, last night you could only see the first... (laughing) It's a fucking shiity thing to say, like, I could only see the first 50,000! Y'know, there's another 75 somewhere! But you've just gotta try and put your head down and play. I think for a gig this size, last night was pretty fucking amazing.'
"Just now, I was watching a video playback of 'Champagne Supernova' from last night. It's like, that's me onstage with John Squire. He's playing this mad fucking Jimmy Page stuff, all over the place on his guitar. I turn around to Marcus who's stood behind me, and he goes, 'Look at the crowd with all the lighters'. I go, Fuck the crowd, look at that cunt there! Check him out, what he's doing! I'm thinking, that's another moment in my life. He's never played with anyone else bar the Stone Roses and we've never played with anyone else bar us lot. So that was a first. We were out with him one night getting pissed up, and we asked him, but he's a bit reserved, a bit like fucking Roger Moore (raises eyebrow creakily). As the months went past, we're going, You still up for this or what? In rehearsals in Birmingham, he turns up with his guitar, doesn't he, plugs in for Champagne Supernova and we're like, (eyebrows meeting hairline) I looked over at Bonehead and went, Could be time for you to leave the band, mate! Squire's band are all here. I met the singer- he's off his tits. Course, all singers are, aren't they? They look the part. Our Liam's heard some new stuff, reckons it's brilliant. If he says it's good, it must be, cos he doesn't fucking like anything. I"d been telling him, I've seen one of the best fucking groups the other night, Kula Shaker. I'm about to put a cassette of "Tattva" on, and he goes, Tell you what I heard on the radio the other day, have you seen them knobheads that lived in India for fucking years, that cunt with the blonde hair, all that fucking Indian music they're playing? I'm like, that's what I was just telling about. He called me a cunt and walked out. There again, this is the man that said Talk Tonight was shite. (pissy voice) Wondewall, it's fucking dance record, innit? All that hip hop drum beat - we're not a fucking dance group. Of course, once he's sung on it it was the best record ever made."
You have to have ludicrously tight security around you these days. Does that spoil it for you?
"Back here, it's been really well organised, there's been no hassles, no fuckin' lunatics knocking about... last night, someone told me there was three arrests yesterday. I was flabbergasted. Like, we're fuckin' losing our touch here somewhere!"But around me, I don't like that, man. To be honest, I come from Burnage, I was 21 before I was ever in a band, I can look after myself. I don't particularly like looking around and there's three bodyguards there and everyone's clearing a path for you before you get there. Because if I was a kid there looking at me walking past with all this entourage, I'd think, what a wanker! I'm not. I'm just a normal fucking geezer, but these things are thrust upon you. I'm scared of my security guards, let alone anybody else. I daren't tell them to fuck off, they'd probably chin me. Like, when you're walking out backstage, and some kid comes up for an autograph, you see this big hand come from nowhere and move them to one side. You wanna say, No, just fucking leave them alone. All they want is an autograph and a picture. I don't particularly like all that, but it's a necessary evil. The one person walking towards you could be the one who'll smack you in the face."
Have you ever found yourself in archetypal rock 'n' roll situation and laughed out loud?
"Tell you what, I went away to Mustique to write the album. Johnny Depp and Kate Moss turned up because Meg's known Kate for years. Now they were staying in Mick Jagger's house. This is really fuckin' surreal, right? Meg and Kate are on the back getting fuckin' pissed as arseholes, Johnny's in this little adjoining room writing a script for this film, I'm sat in Mick Jagger's fuckin front room with an acoustic guitar writing a song for the new album, looking around at all these original Andy Warhol paintings, going, Fucking hell..."
Is it getting harder to hide? There's a story about The Beatles going on holiday to the Phillippines because it was one of the few places they thought they were safe, and someone went up to George Harrison on the beach..."
I went out to Mustique which is out near Venezuela, right? Like, fuckin' no-one's gonna've heard of us out there. Geezer in customs in the airport pulls out a fucking copy of Morning Glory. I'm like, How do you know the band? He's like, (tribal chief voice), Um MTV man... That's the power of America.
"I did that Chemical Brothers track. It's gonna come out as a single at the end of this year now, but there's been a lot of fucking about. I wrote the lyrics and the melody, and then I went off on tour, but when I came back, I didn't like the finished version. I thought it could be a bit shorter, so they had to go back and remix it. So then it was great, finished. Then of course, they're on Virgin, I"m on Sony, so they started bickering about whose label it should come on. Me and Tom and Ed are mates - we're arsed. Virgin are like, My lads wrote the music. Sony are going, But my chap wrote the fucking lyrics. We're sat there in the middle going, Will you just fucking put it out, we wanna hear it on the radio! Then the managers got involved that it slowed it down by another two months. Now it's all sorted.
"Then I remixed Beck's next single, The Devil's Haircut. I got a phone call off the record company. On the album track, there's one bassline, the drum machine and a vocal, that's it. So there were like, 60-odd channels left on the desk to put guitars on. So I just sat there putting fucking loads of guitar parts on. It's like ZZ Top meets Beck, man. Good, though
I had to mix the sound for the video of Maine Road which is coming, but otherwise,I just sat around watching telly and reading the paper. But I still write music all the time, even when I don't have to. I'll never get sick of it. never, You couldn't, could you? Thank God for B-sides, that's what I say! There's always something to do!"
What happens when you get into the jetset superleague? Do people just start acting like your best mate when you've never met them?
"Two years ago, I wouldn't've been asked to the Cannes Film Festival. Fine, arsed. Now of course, after Wonderwall and Don't Look Back In Anger, they draw up their celebrity wishlist and I'm on it. Of course, I've never been invited to these places before, of course I'm gonna turn up, cos it's a trip. Look, there's Elton John. (brickie taunt) Hey, Reg! And of course, it's free. Somebody'll fly me over there on a Lear jet - I'll fucking have some of that, thank you very much!
"Now all these people wanna meet me, see. Al Pacino, Mick Jagger... Their PR'll go, See that geezer over there, that's the bloke from Oasis, it'd be really cool if you all were over there stood beside him and you had your picture taken. So they come over and it's like, (ponytail smarm) Hey man, I really fucking love the rec... I'd like to get one thing straight, you guys kick ass! Suddenly all the photgraphers are snapping...
Doesn't it freak you out? At all?
"I don't think about it too deeply. I won't be going to Cannes again cos I've been there now. Now if the Queen phoned me up at home and said, D'ya fancy popping round for a cup of tea, I mean, you'd have to go, wouldn't you? Just to see what it's like, just to see if she fuckin' racks 'em out or summat! You wouldn't be, (trendy lefty voice) I'm a Socialist, I couldn't possibly endorse... I'd be like, 'Ere Maggie, you see that brown fuckin' Rolls Royce, that's me! You'd have to go in there, have a look at the carpets, see how the bedrooms are done out. You'd have to."
Face it: you are bigger than The Beatles.
"Yeah. We have sold more records than The Beatles. We've played bigger gigs than The Beatles. I will say, yeah, we are bigger than The Beatles, man. But you've got to look at it this way, right? If the roles were reversed and Oasis formed in 1964, we'd've have been them at their level. And if The Beatles had formed in 1991 and started off with Rubber Soul or summat, they'd be bigger than us now. They had better songs than us."
But it doesn't get any bigger than you are now, does it?
"No. No, you can't. You can't. We are the biggest band in Britain of all time, ever. That's bar no-one. The funny thing is, that fucking mouthing off three years ago about how we were gonna be the biggest band in the world, we actually went and done it. And it was a piece of piss. It is a piece of piss. We were thinking as big as The Stone Roses at Spike Island, if we're fucking lucky. Not this. We were talking out of our arse as well, though. We hadn't even recorded a record at that point. You could sense that the vacuum was there. It was in the air. You could sense that something big was gonna happen. Let's face it, if Suede are the biggest band in the country... Bernard's a genius, as a matter of fact, and Brett seems to know what he's going on about in interviews, but I'm sorry, man, he sounds like ???? when he's singing. There wasn't a band for the kids to get passionate about, so along comes us singing about gin & tonic, shagging birds and doing drugs, and everyone went, Fuckin' 'ell, that's a bit more like it! We just took it from there. As long as the snowball keeps rolling... Who knows. We're not splitting up, and I've got no plans to go solo within the next fuckin' five years. I suppose a solo record is inevitable. It's gonna have to come. We are gonna have to go off and do other things. That's what people do to keep it fresh.
"I fancy doing a jungle record, something really fuckin' bonkers, man. I used to write dance music with Mark Coyle before I was in Oasis. We wrote about six or seven bangin' tunes, they were really happening. We used to come back from clubs boxed and put 'em. Acid house and ecstasy was all new then, so it was like, Put the guitar and see what this fuckin' mad thing can do. Dance music to me as a musician has its limitations, because if the equipment doesn't supercede itself... It's all about sounds and samples. I'm into it. I love it when you hear a great sample, but chords and melodies - you can't really do it with dance music, but for about six months it was really interesting. Never raised me hands in the air once, though. When we went to raves, they used to go, Let's see some hands, and I'd go, You're not fucking seeing mine, pal."