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.
Saturday, August 24, 2002
Sunday, August 11, 2002
Noel Gallagher - Toronto Sun - 11th August 2002
The famously fractious Brit-rock act from Manchester -- led by "are they or aren't they battling?" brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher -- has derailed so many times on tour that most people have lost count.
The most recent snafu on this trip was last Tuesday's car accident in Indianapolis, in which Noel, touring keyboardist Jay Darlington and bassist Andy Bell suffered minor injuries when the taxi they were riding in crashed head-on with another vehicle. They were treated for shock, cuts and bruises at a local hospital and had to postpone concerts in Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Boston.
Doctors said Noel suffered whiplash and shock, prescribed painkillers and ordered complete rest for three days.
As of press time Thursday, the band intended to resume their tour in New York tonight.
Before that, Noel lost his British passport, which threatened to prevent him from performing on part of the North American leg of the tour -- including the Toronto date. Apparently, U.S. embassy workers in England rushed through the visa application so he was able to catch the cross-Atlantic flight with his bandmates. Applications usually take four to six weeks to process.
And at the tour's first concert -- Aug. 2 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- Liam left the stage after four songs because his voice gave out, blaming it on a long airplane flight, and Noel had to carry on alone.
But in a recent interview with The Sun, Noel sloughed off any suggestions that this was the tour that almost wasn't because of something his infinitely quotable brother declared a while back.
"Liam quietly said in the press that 'I'll never go to America again,' and we all sort of punched the air and went, 'Yes!' " jokes Noel, down the line from his London home.
"And then he decided, now he's going to go and we all sort of went, 'Awwwww.' But there you go. Liam will do what he's told."
In fact, Noel says his brother -- known as much for his drunken punchups, digs at other bands and famous ex-wives/girlfriends (actress Patsy Kensit and Nicole Appleton of All Saints) as he is for his music career -- has been calmer of late.
Being a father of two (one with Kensit, the other with Appleton) will do that to you.
"He's settled down, yeah, as much as one would expect a 29-year-old with two kids to be," Noel says. "He was never that wild anyway. He's portrayed as being wild because everybody else is so f---ing dull."
But fatherhood has changed Noel, who has a daughter with ex-wife Meg Mathews.
"Probably if I was to sit down and analyze it, then I would probably say that it has," he says. "Having kids and bringing up children, people say to you, 'What's it like?' And I say, 'I have no idea.' I don't know. You just sort of muddle your way through it and hope you're doing the right thing. You know, feed them at the right time, make them laugh and then send them to bed. There isn't a science to it.
"It's like you're dealing with human beings -- bringing up human beings. There's so much scope for it to go tits up, its unbelievable."
And no, the brothers won't be bringing their children on the road with them.
"Well, I only bring Liam," Noel jokes. "It's enough. There's only room for one big baby on the road."
Speaking of which, does touring bring out the worst in his younger brother?
"Well, he has got the attention span of a flea. He tends to get drunk a lot. And he's not really a very nice drunk. He gets very dark.
"You know, some people when they have a drink, they're just silly, and they laugh a lot, and
Liam's the opposite of that. He will question everything. And he's just like, 'So what do you mean by that? What do you mean by that?'And he'll pick an argument with anybody. But we learned to deal with it."
As for himself, after some wild, coke-fuelled years, Noel is relatively clean, if not exactly sober, these days.
"I still drink but I don't do drugs anymore," he says. "I don't do the nasty drugs. The ones that send you to f---ing hospital."
The brothers' lives certainly sound like they could rival any antics portrayed on an episode of The Osbournes, but Noel categorically disputes an earlier report that he's interested in taking part in such a reality show.
"That's rubbish. It' so f---ing trivial and bulls--t that I can't even be asked to go into it," he says.
"Well, in fact, I will go into it. What happened was I was doing an interview with a guy from the NME and he said, 'Have you seen The Osbournes?' And I said, 'Yes, it's fantastic. I love it. Love Ozzy Osbourne, the character, blah, blah, blah.'
"And he said, 'Would you ever consider doing something like that?' And I said, 'No. But if we did, it would be fantastic.'
"And he said, 'Why's that?' And then I went into why it would be fantastic if we done it and then of course they took out the word 'would' and inserted the word 'will.' "
Heathen Chemistry, by the way, is Oasis' most democratic album to date in terms of songwriting, with Liam responsible for three tracks, while new guitarist Gem Archer and bassist Andy Bell wrote one each.
Widely thought of as a return to form after the last two Oasis albums, Heathen Chemistry was recorded in a rural farmhouse in Buckinghamshire owned by Ten Years After guitarist Alvin Lee.
"I went there to do some demos for (2000's)Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants about four years ago and just liked it," Noel explains. "And they had their own recording studio there, but they were slowly going out of business because nobody went there, so we just moved all our equipment in and they sold all theirs so we just rented the space. But all the equipment there belongs to me."
Noel does take exception to the comments Liam made in a recent Q magazine article, in which he said, "I don't feel as though we're that much of a real band at the moment. We're getting there."
"I'm not too sure what he meant by that," Noel says. "I was looking at him at the time thinking, 'What the f--- is he going on about?' Well, what is it then, if it's not a real band? I don't know what he means by that. I'm sure he's got an explanation for it, but he's not here."
In fact, the first single from Heathen Chemistry, The Hindu Times, was supposed to come out last October, but Noel didn't like the sound of it so it was delayed until earlier this year.
"The Hindu Times is India's national newspaper, believe it or not," he explains of the title. "We have The Times in England, and then you got The L.A. Times. Well, there is actually a paper called The Hindu Times and I'd seen it on a newsstand and I thought, 'You know what? That would make a fantastic title for the album!'
"We were going to call the album The Hindu Times, and then just thought, 'Nah, we'll just call the single that.' "
Noel says the band's new show will feature a set list running about 19-20 songs, with about seven tunes off Heathen Chemistry, 10 greatest hits, plus a couple of B-sides and covers, such as The Who's My Generation and The Beatles' I Am The Walrus.
Given that Noel is so notorious for the blatant Beatles influences in his songwriting, I ask where he was when George Harrison passed away last November.
"I was actually in the air. I was coming back from Thailand. I'd just had a month off, and I got back to England, I put my key in the front door, put my bags in the hallway, put the kettle on, turned on the telly and the newsflash just came at that instant. George Harrison has just passed away, and it was like, 'F---in' hell.' Yeah, it's a shame, isn't it? But they've got to do sometime, haven't they?"
He adds: "Cancer's such a wicked and evil f---ing disease that I'm just glad that he's not suffering anymore and I'm glad he's in Hindu heaven."
Noel is also thankful that he's gotten the chance to have met most of The Beatles or at least a link to them.
"It's like by the time my daughter gets old enough to realize what music's all about, there ain't going to be any of them left, do you know what I mean?" he says.
"I'm just glad that I was around when they were alive. And I'm glad that I got to meet (Paul) McCartney and George and met Yoko. Never met Ringo but do know his son Zak. That's a tenuous enough link for me to grasp onto anyway."