Noel Gallagher - The Courier Mail - 12th December 2006
Always quotable, Oasis singer/guitarist Noel Gallagher played a rare solo show in Brisbane last night. Patrick Lion heard the swear jar rattle 17 times in the space of just 14 questions backstage at the Tivoli Theatre.
Q: This is a solo tour to promote Stop The Clocks, your new 'best of' album. What is it like touring by yourself, without the band and particularly your brother Liam?
A: It's a lot calmer and lot more peaceful. Oasis are a big f--king band and there's a lot more people involved with it. There's only six of us on the road here. There's usually about 50-odd so in that respect it's a lot calmer. I've never actually toured without Liam. This is the first time I'm doing it. It's different. Liam would be doing his usual whingeing his f--ken arse off. It would be a pain in the arse if he was here. He doesn't do interviews because no one wants to talk to him anyway. He doesn't like acoustic. In his words: `He's in a f--ken rock `n' roll band'.
Q: What sort of show can we expect tonight?
A: We're doing a cover of The Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever but that won't be a surprise to anyone who has a computer because they no doubt f--ken heard it on the internet. I don't see these sort of shows as nostalgic. The reason I'm doing these gigs is they wanted me to come all the way over here and do the promotion. That's like being on tour without the good bits. My manager said, ``well, what's the good bits?''. I said, ``doing some gigs'' and he said we'd do that then. I'm really enjoying it and being here and the gigs have been great. It's just nice to get out of England. It's just freezing f--ken cold.
Q: You're a big Beatles fan. What do you think of Love, their new remix album done by Sir George Martin and his son Giles?
A: It's f--ken ridiculous. I don't like it and it annoys the shit out of me. I hate everything about it: the cover, the sleeve notes, the way the tunes are mixed and sound. Why would you do that? God forbid that ever happens with our music, although we would be powerless to stop it.
Q: Why didn't you want Stop The Clocks to be released?
A: It wouldn't have been my choice to put it out but I am powerless to stop it (due to their contract with Sony BMG). If we were to disown it, we wouldn't have been involved in the artwork and seeing as we're only going to do one best of we thought it was better to be involved. There's 11 hits not on this one. I'm sure that Sony will be putting together a singles album in the near future. I would if I was them. It would sell. I'm powerless to stop it. There's nothing I can do about that.
Q: You put the track listing together. Would it have been different had Liam done it?
A: You'd have to talk to Liam but he would probably tell you some f--ken crap about it being completely different to what I came up with. It would have been the same. If he wanted to, he would have got involved.
Q: Most of the songs are from the first three years in the mid 1990s. Has Oasis got another big album left in the can?
A: If he could tell you that, young man, I wouldn't be in the f--ken music business, I'd be in the gambling business and I'd make a f--ken fortune.
Q: Apart from them all, what was the best song you've written?
A: It's not for me to say what my best song is but I will tell you what my most important song was. Live Forever because it announced us to the world. Before that we were a very British phenomenon and then after that it kind of exploded. I dare say, that was the first song you heard by Oasis.
Q: You've spoken a lot over the years about who is the biggest band in the world. Who is right now and is that title still important?
A: I think U2 has consistently been in the biggest band in the world over the past 20 years. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Green Day this year, too. It was only important before we were the biggest band in the world (in the mid 90s) because that was something we set out to achieve. As preposterous as that sounded when we were all on the dole in Manchester, and as mad as people thought I was, we got there in the end, albeit briefly for about six months. I've got to say it was a lot of f--ken hard work to get there, to be honest. It's not something I think about now.
Q: Is it harder to hold the title, then?
A: So it would seem (smirks).
Q: Oasis and Brisbane have a bit of a history. In 1998, there was the biffo on the plane flight when Liam was arrested. Then you came back for Livid 2002 just 100 metres around the corner from here and blitzed it. Did you feel you had point to prove after the disappointment, on and off the stage, of 1998?
A: In a way, yes. That Australian tour in 1998 was an aberration. We weren't in the right place mentally. We were all high and taking a lot of f--king drugs at the time. We George Best'd it really. We kind of did have a point to prove but not that that made us play any better because we are a great f--ken band anyway. We wouldn't be going so long if we weren't. There's not been many gigs like that 1998 one.
Q: Robbie Williams is in town, staying at the same hotel as you. Any chance of a reconciliation beer after the gig to smooth over your past differences?
A: Unfortunately he is an alcoholic and doesn't drink. A mineral water? I wouldn't have thought so. There is a bit of history there. I don't like his music. No (I won't be going to the concert and) I shall be flying out tomorrow and going to Sydney.
Q: How hard has it been watching the Ashes cricket series?
A: I find it incredible England lost that last Test in Adelaide. How did they stuff that up? If Australia win the toss in Perth, then it is all over. To be honest I'm not a massive cricket fan, and I find it hard to get excited about a contest over a trophy which is that big (small gesture with fingers). That's just stupid. I'm disappointed for the team because finally we have decent cricketers in Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff. Australia are the best cricket team in the world so there is no shame in losing to them.
Q: You had a swipe at our Socceroos a while ago, suggesting they stop trying to win the World Cup because it was pointless? England didn't go to well and neither did Manchester City on the weekend.
A: Don't get me wrong. Don't forget England are f--ken dreadful, too. The Socceroos as a name is f--ken ridiculous. It's like a cartoon for kids. It's just ridiculous. And as for Manchester City, that was lame. All my sporting allegiances are shite. It's a good job I'm brilliant at music otherwise I'd be a miserable old bastard.
Q: But we see the soccer World Cup as the last frontier in world sport to conquer?
A: (Leans back into couch, belly laughing) Win the World Cup? F--king hell. You've got more f--king chance of having a champion skier. F--king hell.