Noel Gallagher & Bonehead - Rage - September 1996
Noel: I'd kick the lot of you out and give it back to the Indians. Change the licensing laws...
Bonehead: Change the smoking laws...
Noel: My laws would be: Smoke where you want, drink what you want, whenever you want. Get the age of consent down. Legalize drugs. Kill all the people who like grunge music. Kill all surfboarders. Melt the snow. Anybody who wears a cowboy hat should get the electric chair. Generally have a good time. With that platform I think I can get you elected. I think I can get myself elected.
Rage: When Definitely Maybe came out, you said you wanted to be the biggest band in the world. Are you now the biggest band in the world?
Noel: No. Probably about third or fourth.
Rage: Who would be bigger?
Noel: REM. But we're there, we're within a shout.
Rage: How will you know when you've become the biggest band in the world?
Noel: We won't have to come into shitty little rooms like this and talk to people like you. We'll do press conferences and you'll have to stand in the back of the room going, "Noel, Noel!" And I'll go, "I remember you. Can someone set the dogs on him?" The sign will be when we can't walk down the streets in America. In England we can't walk down the streets 'cause we get chased by all these lovely young ladies.
Rage: That must be such a drag.
Noel: Yeah, some of us run faster than the others -- know what I mean?
Rage: You guys have set your goals amazingly high. You were compared to the Beatles. You yourself have made the comparison. Yet you've achieved everything you set out to do. What's it like living with that pressure day to day?
Noel: Well, you see... We've been to the other side. Jesus told me what was going to happen. He said, "Noel, go back and give forth."
Rage: Is it fair to say Oasis are bigger than Jesus Christ?
Noel: It is fair to say that Oasis are taller than Jesus Christ.
Rage: Do you think your breakthrough in the US will pave the way for other Britsh band?
Noel: A lot of these English bands are going to be thinking that the more success Oasis has the more their band will have...
Bonehead: But it doesn't necessarily work out that way.
Noel: I mean, this is our seventh time here. So it doesn't just happen overnight; it's taken us two years to get where we are. Any band that thinks they can just come over here and live of our success -- well, they've got another thing coming.
Bonehead: They're all shit anyway.
Rage: Why have Oasis broken big in America while other British bands like Blur or Pulp haven't?
Noel: Bands like Blur and Pulp aren't going to make it in America because Americans don't like that kind of music. They're not into all that cleverness and artsy-fartsyness. Americans are into rock 'n' roll. Not being too clever -- just direct rock 'n' roll music. And we're the only ones doing direct rock 'n' roll since the Sex Pistols. So it was inevitable. The bribing of radio stations helped too.
Rage: The acoustic set you do in the middle of the show originated early in your career, when you didn't have enough material for a full set. But now you obviously do. Why does it remain?
Noel: The band needs a beer break.
Rage: How many beers would they have?
Noel: They come back slaughtered.
Rage: It has nothing to do with your ego wanting to be front and center?
Noel: My ego goes offstage with them to get pissed.
Rage: You mentioned Pulp's Jarvis Cocker. He recently did a publicity stunt at the Brit awards where he went onstage during Michel Jackson's performance and ridiculed him.
Noel: I don't think it was a publicity stunt. If you ever see the program, you'll understand why he did it. Michael Jackson is a bit over the top, to say the least. A white robe and all these little kids, after he's just settled $40 million out of court for child molesting. Allegedly of course. We were all at the back of the room shouting sick names at Jackson anyway, 'cause we thought it was a disgrace. I think everyone in the room, apart from his record company, was pretty disgusted by it. Jarvis just happened to be sitting nearest. We said to Cocker afterwards that
he should have at least head-butted Jackson and kicked him in the bollocks.
Rage: Did you really mean it when you said kill all grunge bands as part of your manifesto?
Noel: Well, maybe killing is too extreme. How about severly maiming?
Bonehead: Chop their hands off.
Rage: Or send them on really under-publicized club tours?
Noel: They're already doing that.
Rage: Is there an American equivalent of Blur that you just can't stand?
Bonehead: Pearl Jam.
Noel: Hole. Just say that word. Hole.
Rage: What would you say to Courtney Love if I brought her into the room right now?
Bonehead: "Hi, Courtney, how's it going? Slap out your tits."
Noel: And I'd say, "I never meant anything -- I was misquoted. Do you fancy a shag?"
Rage: Noel, you spent your early days in the music business as a roadie for Inspiral Carpets. You must habe learned anbd see a lot. Have you applied those lessons to how you treat your roadies?
Noel: Definitely. I give 'em all 20 lashes every day and tell 'em not to open their mouths or I'm sending them back home. Seriously though, I've been on both sides, so I know you've got to surround yourself with good people. We've got people with a good sense of humor who aren't averse to staying up a couple of days on the trot.
Rage: Do you think more time on the roas here makes you more savvy about the AMerican market?
Noel: Yeah. The more you come here the more you understand how it all works.
Rage: Is "Live Forever" your twist on the Who's "My Generation" -- with its "Hope I die before I get old" lyric?
Noel: Yeah, it was that and all these grunge singers moaning abou wanting to die -- we just wanted to piss them off.
Rage: Has there ever been a grunge band you liked?
Rage: Because of Cobain's songs?
Noel: Yeah. Not because of what he stood for. But I thought his songs were great.
Rage: Your album has already been compared to the great albums of yore -- from the Beatles to the Stones.
Noel: I find that flattering.
Noel: Have you noticed that all he says is "Mmm"?
Rage: Yeah, but I sense a lot of deep subtext in that "Mmm."
Rage: Are there any American bands you would consider an influence.
Bonehead: Neil Young.
Noel: Yeah, Neil Young, but he's Canadian. I do like some of the stuff the Black Crowes do.
Rage: One obvious similarity between the Crowes and you is both groups have two brothers. Another one is you're both notorious for fighting.
Noel: Well, it's once every fifteen minutes.
Rage: Do people make too much out of it?
Rage: But you won't do interviews together?
Noel: Well, if I do an interview with Liam, I can't get a word in edgeways.
Rage: It's been said you're a prolific songwriter.
Noel: Hold it! I just wrote one now! Oh my God, I'm prolific! I just wrote another one!
Rage: But you didn't start until you were 22.
Noel: No, I didn't write any good ones 'til I was 22.
Rage: What was the first good song you wrote?
Noel: "Live Forever."
Rage: When there's no more Oasis, what will you do next?
Noel: I'd like to open some ladies' hairdressing salons.
Bonehead: Or a fast food restaurant.
Rage: What would the restaurant be called?
Rage: And the salons?
Noel: Chieftain's Choppers.
Rage: Will you ever let the other members of the band write songs?
Noel: That's a controversial question. Bonehead was trying to sell me one last night. He comes up to me on the bus and he's drunk. "I wrote this tune on the piano. Do you want to buy it off me?"
Bonehead: I was giving it to you.
Noel: You were trying to sell it to me. He was hawking his goods about.
Rage: What's on the Oasis bus?
Noel: Fifteen naked pre-pubescent girls that are up for it, two plectrums, an acoustic guitar and a copy of Gideon's Home Bible of course. Plus Jack Daniels, red and white wine, champagne, cartons of Marlboros and Benson & Hedges, soft drinks....
Rage: What are the soft drinks for?
Bonehead: To mix with the Jack Daniels.
Rage: What is the biggest excess you've afforded yourself?
Noel: I've got no money.
Bonehead: You drive a Rolls Royce.
Noel: That was given to me by the record company. I would never have bought a Rolls-Royce. I'd have bought a Bentley.
Rage: Can you drive?
Noel: No, I can't. I had to get a chauffeur. His name is Simon and he's an East End villain.
Rage: So it's actually cost you money?
Noel: Yeah, who needs gifts like that.
Rage: But there must be something you bought.
Noel: I still haven't bought a house. I buy a lot of vintage guitars and I try to bribe policemen when they arrest me.
Bonehead: He bought us all scooters for Christmas.
Rage: What did you buy Noel for Christmas, Bonehead?
Noel: He bought me fuck all.
Bonehead: I gave you a Christmas card.
Rage: You run the show, Noel. But what if Liam decided he wnted to go off and do a solo record?
Bonehead and Noel: We'd piss ourselves laughing.
Bonehead: I'd like to see that. I'd be first in line to buy a ticket.