Noel Gallagher - The West.com.au - 12th December 2006
Long gone are the days of cocaine-fuelled drug binges for Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher.
But he's far from mellowed and is still quick to fire up with little provocation.
"I was fuelled on some of the finest cocaine known to man back in the early days so that would make me a little more edgy, shall we say," he said.
"But I am not like that any more.
"I haven't taken any proper big boys drugs for eight and a half years now.
"I am sticking to the ... I won't tell you what I stick to ... but no I haven't taken any proper hard drugs for years now."
Gallagher was in Australia this week, performing a number of acoustic shows with Oasis guitarist Gem Archer.
He's also been promoting the new Oasis album, Stop the Clocks.
Gallagher is quick to point out that it isn't a greatest hits offering - it's a best of.
"Your greatest hits are the hit singles that are most popular ... your best of is what is considered your best work," the Brit said.
"Thereby lies the difference."
The double CD features a selection of what Gallagher considers the band's best work, including such hits as Wonderwall, Champagne Supernova, Don't Look Back in Anger and Morning Glory.
"It could easily have stretched to three CDs, but that doesn't really appeal to me, do you know what I mean?" Gallagher said.
"Three CDs is a bit much, seeing how the Beatles only had two on their best of. It would be taking the piss to have three I think."
Gallagher, 39, put the album together, with little help from brother, Liam, who is also in the band.
"I done all that," he said.
"I get to pick the songs, that is my right as the oldest living member of Oasis."
The Gallagher brothers, famed for their thick Manchester accents and bitter sibling rivalry, burst onto the British music scene more than a decade ago before going on to sell millions of albums worldwide.
Their volatile relationship, fights, drug problems, celebrity relationships - and their prodigious talent for producing catchy pop songs - have filled thousands of news pages around the world.
It seems the brothers are going through a rough patch at the moment.
"We are not on the best of terms," Gallagher said.
"I haven't seen him for a couple of months. I am not interested.
"I am generally not interested because he is generally not doing anything interesting."
They're not fighting though, he said.
"We aren't fighting at the minute ... but there could well be the next time I see him though."
Gallagher has never shied away from saying what he thinks.
He's not a fan of pop musicians, particularly Kylie Minogue, Madonna and Robbie Williams.
He hates the Australian soccer team, but he likes Melbourne rockers Jet.
His acerbic tongue has often gotten Gallagher into trouble, most famously in a 1995 interview when he expressed a wish for Blur's Damon Albarn and Alex James to "catch AIDS and die", a comment which he quickly publicly apologised for.
"I hate Kylie Minogue ... I hate Madonna ... I hate Robbie Williams," he said.
Gallagher doesn't care what is written about him in the press.
In fact, he finds it funny.
"I find that quite amusing," he said.
"It was written once in the newspaper that I was going out with Naomi Campbell. Have you seen Naomi Campbell? Have you seen me? It is preposterous.
"It is like one of the Seven Dwarfs going for it with Snow White - a ridiculous story."
Despite his frequent controversial outbursts, British music news website NME.com once labelled Gallagher the wisest man in rock.
"I have a lot of experience at these things - whether I am wise or not, I don't know," he said.
"It must mean my opinion counts for something I think - does it make me like Yoda then?
"Are you saying I am like a Jedi, cause I can live with that. I am right up for it, light sabres and karate moves, that is my bag mate."
Having completed their six-album deal with Sony Music, Gallagher is keen to take a break because for the first time since 1994, Oasis are without a recording contract.
"We only got back off the Don't Believe The Truth tour in March, that is only seven months ago," he said.
"I don't want to earn any more money just yet - I have got too much."
Brotherly feuds and record label contracts aside, Oasis have enough material to release another album in 2007.
"There is this project going on that will probably take us to spring next year," he said.
"We have got most of our next album already recorded, stuff that was left over from the last one - we could start mixing it tomorrow."
Stop the Clocks is out now.