Bonehead - Poptones.co.uk - 10th May 2005
QUESTIONS OF DOOM about Noel Gallagher, dodging dwarves on stage, Alan McGee, Oasis’ scariest fan, the tenth anniversary of Definitely Maybe, the life and times of Oasis, The Seers and the recent documentary DVD of Definitely Maybe.
Why did you quit Oasis?
I think the band as a whole should have called it a day, after we played Knebworth. That had to be the pinnacle of the bands career, and for me personally i had taken it as far (further) than i could ever have imagined. For the band to have bowed out then would have earned them respect from anyone. Recording Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants, there was’nt the same fun or gang mentality if you like, that there should have been.......I felt it was time for me to go, and to have carried on, the way i felt about it, would’nt have been fair to the band or even the fans.
Do you ever think - stop calling me Bonehead my name is Paul???
Not really....The only people who call me Paul are my wife and kids and my dad. I’ve been known as Bonehead since i was about 7. I even have to think twice signing credit card slips!!....American interviews always asked me.......Why Bonehead? I used to tell them it was short for Boneapart Headimus, handed down via an old Roman family connection, cue...... OH MY GAWDDD THATS JUST AMAZING.....Americans eh? makes you wonder.
What happened with the Seers, I heard they broke up already?
The Seers played a few well recieved gigs at the beginning of this year, and we recorded a record with Owen Morris, which looks as though it will be released in the New Year through Electric Records.
I’m not playing with them any more, as i want to concentrate on some stuff on my own. Whether the rest of the band will do anything promotion wise, i dont know yet.
Did you ever think in the beginning -’Omigod, what the fuck, Noel -its’ my band, not yours?
No never. We only had 2 songs between me and Liam, and only one was worth talking about, so to have Noel come in with the bunch of songs he had was allright by me!!
Did you ever take the piss because he was a roadie for the Inspiral Carpets?
At least he did’nt play guitar for them, and as far as calling him a roadie??????? I saw them play a last gig of the tour somewhere in Oldham one year, Noel was roadie and Mark Coyle was front of house. Noel spent most of the gig at the bar with the rest of us........not bad for £100 a day was it.
Someone pointed out once to me, that Andy Rourke had an internet stalker -do you have anybody stalking you at the moment?
What did you do after you quit Oasis?
I spent a year or two doing absolutely nothing, and then i had a studio built and just spent time down there finding out how it all worked, writing songs, scrapping songs, painting walls, getting drunk etc.
Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke came down there with me and we did a bit of stuff with Johnny Evans (The Seers Singer) as Moondog One. It was ok as a studio thing but nothing really came together until me and Johnny formed The Seers with Keith Yorke on drums and Levi Dammarel on bass. Andy had other commitments with Badly Drawn Boy, and Mike wanted to go and teach, so hence the line-up change.
Do you ever regret pulling out of Standing on the Shoulders of Giants?
Like i said before, i did’nt feel that the passion or fun that goes into making a record was there for that recording, so i felt it was time i left.
Did you ever feel detached from the Oasis brouhaha of the mid-nineties?
Yes , in terms of the publicity surrounding Liam and Noel...That whole media circus thing that followed them where ever they went. But they handled it more than i think i could ever have, so i was glad to be on the sidelines as it were. I would’nt say i felt detached completely, because being a member of Oasis in that period meant being recognised and approached where-ever you were in the world.
What happened on the night that Oasis did get signed to Creation. I’ve heard a thousand versions - what is the Bonehead version?
Probably the version every one knows............We went up to Glasgow to do a gig, nearly got in a fight with the guy who was putting on the bands, he gave us 15 mins, Alan McGee offered us a deal.....
What song did Noel first play that you felt that it was going to be taking Oasis to the top of the pop universe?
Probably Live Forever, followed by All Around The World, which he always said he wanted to save until we could afford a string section.
‘Definitely Maybe’ went through two versions before final product -did you ever feel that it could go possibly wrong during the rerecording periods?
I never felt that it could go wrong because we had been out playing these songs as a band for so long, it was just like being on auto pilot when we played them, so for us to have to go back and re-record them was tense yes.....the fact that what we had on tape just did’nt sound like us, was worrying. When we got into Sawmills studios we knew it was going to happen because we were all in the room together, nobody screened off, just doing what we did best.......So yes, it was tense for the band up until that point.
What was the most bizarre memory when you played live?
Lots of them i think, but having a dwarf invade the stage while we were doing I Am The Walrus somewhere in America was pretty bizarre, doing this weird sort of Bez dance with a tambourine around Liam while he’s trying to look double cool, and Ian Robertson our security guy at the time chasing him around the stage also trying to look double cool. (chasing the dwarf that is, not Liam) I think he caught him and launched him about 60 foot into the crowd in the end.
Geri Halliwell paid a camera crew to follow her around every minute after she had left The Spice Girls because she couldn’t live without the attention. Could you understand her decision?
Who’s Geri Halliwell?
Any fall-out meetings with Oasis during the making of the documentary?
It was good to do the documentary, talking about the recording and everything that surrounded it. Noel and Liam turned up to do their bit just after i had done mine so we didn't meet up, but i don't think there would have been any fall out meeting. I met up with Liam when The Seers played Death Disco soon after and everything is cool between us. I think when you’ve been through and seen as much as we did together it can’t not be.
Do you think that seen outside of the Britpop that Definitely Maybe would be seen as a classic album in its own right.
Yes. That album for me will always be up with the greats, i still listen to it now and it still feels the same for me as it did when we first did it.
Did you find it hard to cope with the fame of it all during that point?
Nothing strange comes to mind about the recoring of that album, maybe a bit stressful at times....Noel and Liam killing each other with cricket bats and stuff, but pretty used to that by then.
I never found it hard to cope with the fame thing. We were so busy that you did’nt really have time to sit back and take it all in, what was happening around you, how big the band had actually become.
It wasn’t until i’d left the band and sat down and thought about it, that i realised what i had been a part of and how big it had been
Who was the strangest fan that you’ve encountered?
Probably Alan McGee the night he offered us a deal.........6 and a half stone......bright ginger hair......dribbly nose..........??????????
When Johnny Depp was drafted in too play guitar on the album did you think it was getting a bit Spinal-Tapish?
I did’nt even know who he was at time...the last film i’d been to see before that was E.T. Work it out.
The split with Oasis seems amicable - do you think you would ever rejoin the band?
I don’t think there’s any chance of that but i’d love to get up and play Columbia with them; One because it’s my favourite tune and Two because it’s only got three chords, can’t remember the rest!!!
What’s on Paul’s IPOD?
I can’t seem to get my hands on it at the moment cos my son, Jude, has always got it stuck in his ear! He listens to Walk Idiot Walk by The Hives and Surfin Bird by The Trashmen constantly.
I’ve been listening to Dr.Dre, Lee Perry and Kasabian a lot lately, but anything from Air to Blondie, Can to Donovan, Ella Fitzgerald to The Foo Fighters, The Grey Album to Hot Chocolate, Iggy Pop to Jeff Buckley, Kraftwerk to Led Zeppelin, Massive Attack to Nirvana, Oasis to The Pixies, Queens Of The Stone Age to Ravi Shankar, Simple Kid to Turin Brakes, U2 to Various indian, Reggae, Easy, Soul, 70’s, Motown, War to XFM Live Sessions and loads in between.