Noel Gallagher - NME - 3rd May 1997
It was the best kept secret in London: NOEL GALLGHER's solo slot at Rock For The Docks 2, a benefit gig in aid of Liverpool's 500 sacked harbour workers. JODY THOMPSON spoke exclusively to Noel before the show....
Why is it important for you to be here?
"Well, I don't really know that much about what's been going on, but I've now been filled in on the ins and outs. 'Cos you live in a bubble in the studio or on tour and you don't get to hear what goes on in the real world. It was Bobby Gillespie who phoned me up on Friday and said, 'D'ya fancy getting involved?' He thought I was going to come down and DJ, but I'm a shit DJ. But I can play guitar and sing so I said I'd come down and do that. It's the least you can do, really."
How important is it for you to support a cause like this?
"If it gets a bit of publicity, like Irvine Welsh at the Brits and stuff, maybe it will shame someone into doing something about it, like Tony Blair for a start. That's why I did it."
What are you going to play tonight?
(Laughs) "You'll just have to wait and see, won't you?"
Will you playing anything from the new album?
"No, I can't do that. I'm not doing new stuff 'cos it'd be on fucking Camden Market tomorrow afternoon, wouldn't it? (laughs and looks at NME's tape recorder held in front of him). See what I mean?"
What are you going to play, then?
"I'm just going to take requests. 'Ferry Across The Mersey', I reckon."
When is your new material coming out? We heard that the single title and release date had been decided.
"Yeah, the single's done, I don't know what the date is, June I think now. But erm, we've got one more track left to mix (for the album), but it's 18 minutes long, so it's going to take us a week to do that. The album release date is looking like August/September. To set up the release of an album that's going to shift about five million copies in the first week, you need a big run up, as they say."
The single's not called 'Everyone's A Winner', is it?
"That was our kid taking the piss out of us! Our kid told someone it was going to be 'Everyone's A Winner', it's like, 'Fucking hell, mate, you might be, mate, but I'm not!'"
NME has heard that the B-sides of your next singles are going to be cover versions - we were kind of hoping 'Everyone's A Winner' was going to be your Hot Chocolate cover...
"No.... we've done 'Helter Skelter', 'Heroes', and um... we've done another one, can't remember what it is, then we're due back in to do one more for the four B-sides, but we're still going to put four new tracks as well on every CD we sell. I wrote about 30 songs last year, so I'm fucking knackered now. Then we're going to go back out on the road in September, but I don't know where we're going to play yet."
Europe? The World?
"Er... we're sort of banned from everywhere else at the moment so it's just going to be England!"
What about America? Are you going to go back?
"We've still got gigs to do that we cancelled over there last time, so we're still under contract to do them. So it's inevitable that we're going to have to get there sooner or later 'cos the record company will probably fall out with us if we don't go."
Are you doing the Hillsborough gig on May 10?
"Too busy, I'm afraid. I'd love to, but we only got asked about it a couple of weeks ago. But we're doing a video or summat. If I've got time, I might go up there."
All the stuff that's been in the papers about the album cover, is that true? And are all the theories that the tabloids have come up with true?
"That is the album cover, but I'd like to say to the bloke that sat down and worked all them things out that connected with something else, that's just a fucking waste of time, it doesn't mean anything. The only deep thing about the album cover is the fucking swimming pool!"
What about the licence plate number taken from the cover of The Beatles' 'Abbey Road'?
"Yeah, yeah... well, the car we had didn't have a number plate on it 'cos it was unregistered, so it was like, 'Shall we get a number plate on it', then it was like, 'What number plate shall we get on it?' So somebody came up with that idea, I can't remember who it was. But that's about it, really."
What about the Rolls-Royce in the pool? Was that because of Keith Moon?
"Nah, I suppose it's just a rock'n'roll cliché, innit? And being a rock'n'roll band, we're into all that shit."
Are you looking forward to getting your new material out now?
"Yeah, I can't wait, it's been too long for me. As far as I'm concerned, it's been far too long. I wanted to have stuff out in January this year, but we've become a bit lazy, like. But it's all sorted out now."
What does your new material sound like?
"It sounds brilliant. It's quite varied, really. The single sounds sort of like, it's a lot heavier than '... Morning Glory?'. The single's... no, I can't tell you what the single is. Every time you get me to say stuff - I'm fucking telling you, I'm such a nice guy - me fucking press officer bollocks me when I get back to the office. No, I can't tell you, I'm not going to tell you."
Give us a clue?
"No. Marcus, my manager is here, he'll throw you out in a minute!"
What else new can you tell us about Oasis at the moment, then?
"Our Liam's just got back from Ireland, he was seeing me gran. There you go. Cheers!"