Noel Gallagher - Capital Radio - 21st January 2000
Foxy: Are you well?
Noel: Not too bad. I've got a bit of a hangover, as usual, but apart from that everything's rocking.
Foxy: Nice cup of tea there, steadies you down...
Noel: Yeah, totally.
Foxy: Right here we go then, while people are driving home, or sitting having their tea at home, let's play some Oasis tunes, we'll talk about the new album, a lot of good stuff, here's 'Wonderwall', Oasis...
Foxy: What a great song that is, 'Wonderwall' from Oasis. Now, I can remember the date exactly, November the 4th, 1995 when you played that at Earl's Court, I remember being there, it was the first night you'd done Earl's Court...
Noel: That was the very first time I played it on acoustic guitar...
Foxy: Yeah, and you actually hardly sang anything 'cos the crowd sang it all.
Noel Oh yeah.
Foxy: ...and you actually looked quite blown away by it all
Noel: Yeah, well the album hadn't been out that long and that was really the start of us getting into superstardom really and nothing was ever much the same after that 'cos it was the first really, really big show we'd ever done, y'know. So I started the song and after about half a verse I gave up 'cos you just couldn't hear for the kids singing it...
Foxy: It's amazing looking back at the history because it happened so quick. It's been five years, I mean, there's a quote in a magazine of an interview you did recently where you said it's been five years from when you were on the dole to when you playing at Knebworth, and what a five years that was... pretty hard to handle though I would have thought?
Noel: Yeah. In the end it got to be a bit of a burden, the size that the band had got wasn't very appealing anymore. It was just too big and we'd made a few mistakes along the way ...we shouldn't have toured as much as we did and we maybe should have spent some more time in the studio. But the trick in this game is not to make the same mistake twice. We had to go through stuff like that to get to where we are today. We're older and a bit more cyncial about things and don't say generally yes to everything anymore. And what a lot of people don't realise is, we were massive all around the world. It's not like we could nip off to America for six weeks and do a nice little tour. It was pretty much full on, everywhere we went. It became a bit suffocating..
Foxy: OK, well let's play the new song which is out in a couple of weeks time, from the new album 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants,' Here's 'Go Let It Out'
Foxy: You were saying that basically you had to close the bar, everyone had gone mad for it... these days you seem to be a reformed character in a way is that by choice or did someone say you had to do it?
Noel: A bit of both really. There was a sense of... erm, I'd been actively enjoying myself for about 14 years in a row and just got to be a bit too much for me so I decided that I was going to get me head sorted out for a couple of weeks at a time and then it turned into a year and a year turned into 18 months and now I don't really miss it... it was just a phase I was going through and I'm better now.
Foxy: You must of enjoyed it. It's a dream isn't it?
Foxy: I mean, when you're a kid growing up, it's the whole sex, drugs and rock n'roll isn't it...
Noel: Oh yeah, I mean when you're about 24 and you've got a stack of credit cards, a massive house... I've got four cars and I can't even drive, d'ya know what I mean, I just buy cars for fun even though I can't drive them and never will. But when I turned into my 30's, it just felt like it was time to get off the treadmill, have a couple of years off and just see where the band was going and where I was going. You've just got to make personal decisions in your life. And I'm having a baby and all that stuff. I s'pose that's got something to do with it. We do have the odd night out occasionally... but it's all legal and above board now.
Foxy: Now you're going to become a dad, I haven't got to that stage yet, perhaps next year, but it must change you mustn't it? You start thinking sensible thoughts, you've got another little life coming in... was that part of the reason why you thought 'I must change my life'?
Noel: Well, you look at the likes of Keith Richards with pen knives hanging out of his hair and all that stuff... I mean you wouldn't want to be a wheezing old, creaky old rock star. And I wanted me kid to grow up and look at me and think, my dad's pretty cool, he's done his bit for rock 'n' roll he's come out the other side and he's sorted us alright. You look at the likes of McCartney for instance and he's still got all of his faculties together, probably doesn't cut it so much in the studio, but I think he's a pretty wise geezer anyway...
Foxy: We'll talk about the album and touring 'cos you're touring later this year, a bit later, but right now we're just going to play a song from Travis 'cos I know that you like the band and they're another incredibly successful Brit band from last year...
Noel: Yeah, it's actually about time there was another big Scottish group on the scene. They're always good for the craic, so to speak
Foxy: This band, and I think it's the same as you, the reason they're very succesful is because they write great songs. Good tunes sold that album.
Noel: Yeah, as much as the music press would have you believe that music has to be cutting edge and pushing the boundaries forward, you can't beat a good tune on a guitar, it's as simple as that. All the great songs are written on a guitar and not a lot of great songs are written on a Yamaha keyboard unfortunately. That's just the way it is.
Foxy: Noel's here. We're playing a few tunes from the new album. We've obviously played 'Go Let It Out' but we've got an acoustic version for you right now called 'Who Feels Love' which I guess will be a single out at some time?
Noel: Yeah, probably around May or something... this is one that we did out at our recording studio out in the country especially for you mob, and it sounds quite a bit different to how people will hear it on the record, but it's very mellow...
Foxy: It's a chilled out song...
Noel: well I wrote it in Thailand which is probably why it's got that vibe...
Foxy: 'Who Feels Love' there from the new album which is out on February 28th, 'Standing On the Shoulder Of Giants'... the album version, is it quite Beatles influenced? I mean, people say that a lot about your music, but that song definitely more so than the other ones.
Noel: Well, The Beatles influenced rock n' roll, but it's more of a George Harrison influence than a Beatles one I'd say.
Foxy: Thailand influenced you say. What was it like over there?
Noel: It was an experience shall we say, the temples and all that. Not that I'm into all that nonsense, but I went out with the missus and that, and it was great to get out of London for a while. It was really good. It's a beautiful, beautiful place. And Bangkok... it's a bit saucy innit!? Great for a night out, I have to say...
Foxy: Did you have a good craic so to speak...!
Noel: Oh yeah
Foxy: Would you go back!
Noel: Yeah, we're going back for this coming New Year's Eve. We were going to go for this last one, but 'cos of the wife being so pregnant and stuff, they couldn't shoehorn her onto the plane.
Foxy: How are you feeling about all that?
Noel: Nervous. Excited. Apprehensive. But generally looking forward to everything that's going to happen after the day itself, 'cos I think the day of the birth could turn into something a bit squeamish... so I've been told.
Foxy: Are you going to be there for the birth?
Noel: I'll be in the area... I don't think I can go through watching Meg kicking and screaming and effing and blinding on the couch, 'cos apparently they start swearing at ya...
Foxy: OK, well let's play another tune, and this one's quite apt actually, from The Verve, it's 'The Drugs Don't Work' unless of course you get that one that helps the baby come out nice and easily...
Noel: Yeah, the epidural.
Foxy: Noel's my guest here, and I want to play 'Live Forever' if I can, obviously from the first album and it's still one of my favourite songs. When you go back to the days of writing songs like this, there was some anger coming out in your lyrics...
Noel: Yeah, we were different people then. We were desperate to be successful and desperate to be taken seriously and that song, in particular was the one that turned the corner for us. 'Shaker Maker' and 'Supersonic' had done better thasn any of us had imagined, but we knew that the third single was going to be the killer one that would take us out of the NME as a little indie band and put us on the world stage really. It was also the one that started to turn heads in America as well. And yeah, I've got fond memories of writing the first album, because I was under no pressure to do it. I didn't have a record deal. I was just writing for fun. I wasn't writing to please anyone. We had no fans, we had no manager, we had no record company. I was in a one bedroom flat in Manchester just writing music and it was great. And they're the times that I look back on with most affection in my time as a professional musician.
Foxy: Everything you just said must make it more difficult to write songs.
Noel: Yeah, well what happens is that you start to second guess yourself and think about what other people have done rather than what you do yourself. On the first record you don't care, 'cos you're not even sure if anyone's even going to hear it! So you start to second guess everyone else's opinion and then you've got the record company intervention and the press department, blah, blah, blah. On top of that there's a lot of other stuff to do like videos and slowly but surely, the time you actually spend creating something becomes less and less and less until it becomes so far in the wrong direction that again slowly but surely, you try and get it back. The only way we could do that was to have a lot of time of really and just get off the treadmill for a couple of years.
Foxy: What about playing Wembley Stadium? That must be a dream come true.
Noel : It is THE most prestigious gig in the world along with Madison Square Garden. We did Madison Square Garden in '95 when we were over in the states and the only thing left to do is Wembley. We sold out one date in an afternoon on the back of one photograph. That to me is just absolutely staggering. No-one had even heard the single. No-one was even sure who was going to be in the band... we put one photograph out and we sold 85,000 tickets in the space of just one afternoon. So I'd like to thank everyone for buying the tickets. I was amazed!
Foxy plays Macy Gray - 'I Try'...
Foxy: I played that 'cos I thought you might like it.
Noel: Yeah, she's on our record label in America and Liam was the first to turn me on to Macy Gray. He met her in the offices and that and she played him some stuff and he was going, 'You've got to see this chick man. She's really good.' So anyway, he played me 'I Try' and I went and got the album. I think it's pretty good.
Foxy: Cracking voice...
Noel: She looks good as well and her band are fantastic.
Foxy: What do you think of the current music scene?
Noel: Well ... a lot of people have been slagging it off recently 'cos of all the pop music and stuff like that, but it's all supply and demand isn't it. This year Primal Scream are putting an album out, Richard Ashcroft, Radiohead, maybe The Prodigy... so cool music will be back in vogue for another 18 months. These things just go in cycles. If there's one thing I don't like it's the likes of, what were those guys who did that 'Blue' song... Eiffel 65. I don't like that 'cos I think dance music has just gone so cheesy these days. But I haven't got a problem with Britney Spears. I think 'Baby One More Time' was the best song of last year, without a doubt. It's a brilliant song.
Foxy: Last chat before Noel has to tootle off. What are you doing tonight? I guess you have to go home in case the baby comes out.
Noel : I'll probably just end up watching the comedy channel. I think they've got a Father Ted special going on at the moment and then I'll be going to bed early so that I can be up for Soccer AM in the morning.
Foxy: Not that you're football mad at all... Can I touch on your brother. Your brother too seems to have mellowed a bit and he's a real frontman isn't he, but so many times when I've seen you guys live it looks like you really do want to punch each other. Is it a real love, hate thing?
Noel: Erm ....well... in the past, Liam has suffered with being a bit inebriated on stage and that would wind me up really 'cos he would tend to sing out of tune. But he seems to have got his act together lately and as long as he sings in tune, that's fine by me. But he can be a bit...annoying at times... I don't know about that beard though. Where did that beard come from?
Foxy: He looks better now. Has fatherhood changed him?
Noel: D'ya know what? I don't really know 'cos I only see him in rehearsals really. We don't really hang out that much. Because we spend so long together in the group, when we're not in the studio or rehearsing or what have you we keep our private lives quite seperate. If we hung out all the time together, when we went out on tour we'd have nothing to talk about! But I haven't really noticed a significant change, but I suppose it will be an on-going thing. I mean, once his lad grows up and gets more of a personality, 'cos they just lie on their backs farting to start with don't they, so yeah I guess when his little lad gets him a personality, I mean gets a personality... no maybe it is gets him a personality, then maybe it will change him, but at the moment he's just dodging the dirty nappies!
Foxy: Thanks Noel. Great to have you in as always. Good luck with the album on the 28th February and the big gig at Wembley Stadium on the 22nd July.
Noel: There's another one as well ... and there are tickets still freely available for that...
Foxy: Thanks again Noel. Big fan of yours. Always have been. See you again soon.