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.

Monday, January 04, 1999

Noel Gallagher - Big Issue - 4th January 1999

"Talking About My Generation"

After "Wonderwall" and Knebworth, last year's third album from Oasis, "Be Here Now", could only be a letdown. It was certainly an "event", but all the hype and arrogance that surrounded the band only set them up for a fall. It was a less than brilliant album overstuffed with lengthy guitar solos and overdubs, and began a slow shift in the public's perception of the band.
Noel was forced to take stock as Oasis started to look all to fallible. Brother Liam seems stuck in the classic rock star auto-destruct mode with marital splits, a drink problem and a drunken incident on a plane commandeering tabloid front pages. But Noel says he's given up drugs and despite the champagne receptions with Tony Blair at Number 10, has fallen out with the government. So are we seeing the emergence of a maturer elder statesman of rock, or is Noel just having a pop star's mid-life crisis?

When the history of youth culture is wsritten, what will be said about the Nineties, and what place will Oasis have in it?
In the Nineties it won't just be one defining thing really. Music's always at the forefront of culture, but I don't think that it has as big an impact now, because we've got computer games and drugs and that. You'd like to think that you'd come at the top of the list of youth culture icons of the decade and I suppose we have shaped some of the defining moments of youth culture: Knebworth, Maine Road, some of the gigs in Scotland, but Oasis shouldn't be everybody's life.

Youth culture's not dead. It's just more fragmented. There's not one defining musical movement anymore. You know in the fifties it was Presley, in the sixties you had marijuana and The Beatles, in the seventies it was cocaine and Led Zeppelin, the Eighties was Duran Duran and synthesisers. In the Nineties it's the Stone Roses, Ecstasy...lots of different things.

Is dance music the new rock'n'roll?
Is brown the new architecture? Music's just music. People think that dance music's the most modern, forward-looking music but look at the Prodigy, they haven't changed the way that they make music in the last ten years. At the end of 1989 we heard about the end of rock'n'roll but all those people are going out and playing live. Then you've got the people in the middle who use bits of it and then people like us who are straightforward rock'n'roll...

But you've dabbled...
I've dabbled on my own, but Oasis haven't as a group.

Would you? Can we look forward to a new jungle direction on the new album?
Unless I visit a jungle I don't think so. I think it'd be hard to get Liam to sing like a Rastafarian. I like electronic music. I'm not against it and I'm not a disciple. I'm very proud of some of the stuff I've done with the Chemical Brothers.

What do you make of the Oasis copy bands?
Well, it keeps the old back catalogue going.

No, I meant Ocean Colour Scene and Cast.
Oh...[laughs], I'd better not slag them off because some of them are me mates. It's nice to think that you've inspired somebody. Critics like to criticise 'Noel-rock' but I'd like to think that the ones that come after you can only do better once loads of people get off on it.

Have you seen any of the Oasis cover groups? What did you think? Amused? Flattered?
Both. The only one I saw was No Way Sis. It was at The Forum. It was sold out. It's just kids trying to make a f*****g living. At least they're not burgling houses. They're not stuck in a gutter, they're travelling the country and playing universities. They'll look back in twenty years and will have made a lot of money. Some people say Oasis is a Beatles copy band but that's another story...

A year ago New Labour was elected and there was a massive tide of optimism; people were saying Blair was the first rock'n'roll Prime Minister. Since then, a lot of people have become quite critical of him. Are you one of them?
I'd rather Blair any day than the Tories. But then you see how he's giving money to the NHS and schools with one hand, and taking it away from single parents with the other and you think: 'Hang on, what's going on here?' Know what I mean? Going to Number 10 was part of my 'education, education, education' I suppose. As for Alan McGee banging on about the music industry dying, nobody's seliing albums or whatever...Nobody's ever sold albums, except Oasis maybe. Expectations are so high. People want some form of success to justify their record company boss's coke habit. A&R men are overpaid and bands are overshadowed. To a lot of people it looked like we happened overnight, but we put a lot of hard work into it to get to that second album. A lot of young bands now are shafted, they're not given time to develop.
The music business is a weird thing. Record companies are like a big bank - they have shit-loads of money, you give them a record. The little bits in between, I'm not interested in anymore. I just make records. People say that kids aren't buying records ot going to gigs, but there's nothing en masse that kids are getting into. I don't buy that. Maybe there's not so many young people around.

Do you think that it's harder to be young in the late Nineties because of pressures like AIDS, no more full employment, etc?
There never has been full employment, but when I was 16 it wasn't as bad as it is now. It's very easy to slip into drug culture when drugs are so readily available. There's not much money invested in sport, music, education. Kids on estates see their bigger brother driving around in a big flash car with women hanging off his arm, looking cool through dealing. Kids have hardly got any role models.

People who were young in the Sixties say that Nineties youth are squares.
I think that people from the Sixties are f*****g square. They're horrible people.

How do you feel about being a spokesperson for a generation?
I'm not comfortable with it. I speak for myself but it's my fault. I don't know what happens any time someone puts a mic against me. I've got a lot of stick for some of the things that I've said. I've just got a big gob on me.

Like when you said you'd 'done a few houses in Manchester' and it was subsequently investigated by the police burglary squad...
I was trying to be honest and responsible. We done a few houses, but you come over like a drama queen and the reporters say that you're 'bragging about your past', where you come from. I'm not proud of it, I don't want to justify it but there's this pressure to be an authentic working-class person. You back yourself into a corner, then you've got some other reporter coming round saying, 'Do you want us to put your side of the story?' No, I f*****g don't. And then you have to leave the country for six weeks. I'll tell you, I've done more travelling as a result of that. Every time I come back from a nightclub after a night on the beer...

The there's the comments you made about taking drugs being like having a cup of tea...
Everybody who knows anything about society knows it's right. OK, to say that taking drugs is the same as having a cup of tea is a bit exaggerated but it's pretty f*****g close. I'm not saying that I do. Well I don't, but people keep brushing it under the carpet. It;' not just about building clinics and community centres.

Aren't you off drugs now?
I've not touched any drugs in nine weeks now. I don't wanna be some has-been that spends all their money on rehab - not that I'm condemning people who do that. I've been doing it for so long that me and the wife, we'd just had enough. It got boring. We made a conscious decision. It's only when you come out the other side that you realise...erm, I mean, I didn't have a breakdown or anything. I still keep the same circle of friends and you go for a meal with people. When they're all nipping to the toilet every minute and you know [makes sniffing noise]. I find that a bit seedy. I don't wanna be a sanctimonious twat who's given up smoking and goes round coughing all the time, but I feel a lot better.

What are you up to then?
You know, bits and pieces...I'm just taking it easy, spending time at home. If this was a year ago I would have been thinking 'thou shallt act like a rock star', but now I like getting bored.

Are you turning respectable now you've hit your 30s?
I'll always be 16 and want to be in a band. You might get old but you don't grow old, if you know what I mean.

Friday, January 01, 1999

Noel Gallagher - MOJO - January 1999

Noel Gallagher - founding father of dadrock

I really like that Bob Dylan 'Albert Hall bootleg. The acoustic side is a bit dull, but the electric side is amazing...what was the other guitarist's name? Robbie Robertson? Yeah, he's just wild, man. I fast-forwarded it to 'Like A Rolling Stone'; the "judas" bit is really great.

The best new thing I've heard is the Mercury Rev album, 'Deserter's Songs'. It's the first album a current American band I think I've ever bought - apart from Nirvana. Usually it's Stooges bootlegs. The first track, 'Holes' is fantastic. I like it because there are virtually no guitars on it, it's all really weird strings and strange noises on it. {Alan] Ac Gee's always been going about them to us. He said I had to go and buy it!

The Beta Band album was great. And their gig at King's College was one of the best I've ever been to, The UNKLE album was good - the first track, 'Drums Of Death', is incredible. If you've never heard D J Shadow, it will really open your eyes. I'm doing a remix for the Mike D track, actually. Americana? Never heard of it. Sounds like a load of wank to me. I do like the new Beck single, 'Tropicalia', and there was that single by Moby called 'Honey' which didn't get anywhere. I like Paul Weller's new one, 'Brand New Start', too. The John Lennon Anthology, includes a track called 'Do The Oz', which definitely needs covering by the Lads. Otherwise it'ds all been stuff you've been able to buy on bootlegs in America for the last 10 years. The best bits are Lennon and Phil Spector talking...it goes on for about 10 minutes. You think, "Get it together you scouse twat!"

I bought a Pebbles box set when I was in America. Some of it is really out there, some of it is shit. It all sounds the same after the 50th track, dunnit? Two minutes long, tons of reverb and some twat in skin-tight black trousers shouting about summat. Fatboy Slim's 'Rockafeller Skank' was a top record, but 'Gangster Tripping' was the most annoying song I've heard in my whole f*****g life. Some of the Delakota stuff was good, especially 'The Rock' which died without a trace. I wouldn't say it was an original album - it reminded me of De La Soul meets My Bloody Valentine. The people I played it to thought it was the biggest pile of shit they'd ever heard - I was standing up for them 'round our house, saying, "Come on, The Rock's a f*****g top record, man!"

When I was in Buenos Aires earlier this year, doing some radio thing, there was this little bloke standing in the corridor - he looked really worried. I said, "Are you alright?" And he said, "Mr Gallagher, you ought to listen to this band." I opened up the CD case and it was this band The Left Banke, who I'd never heard of. So he went into one about how good they were, and I was thinking, "Ha, ha, I've come half way across the world to hear some bald-headed South American tell me all about f*****g rock'n'roll...I don't think so!" So I took it back to my hotel room and it's the best f*****g record I've heard in my life.! 'Walk Away Renee' is brilliant. I felt really humbled. Could it influence my own music? Nah. The idea of Bonehead dressed in a cravat and a frilly shirt playing a harpsichord doesn't do it for me. Maybe on the Richard & Judy Show when he goes solo?

In the piece about Ewan McGregor's favourites, he says this:
All year I've been going through this massive Oasis thing - I was really starting to lose the plot. We'd have people over to dinner and get drunk and - my wife would see it coming - suddenly I'd get the oasis videotapes and have big arguments with people about why they were brilliant.

In the letters page the following month [February 1999] appeared the following letter:

"I was delighted (and shocked), when I saw myself mentioned by Noel Gallagher, talking about the best things he's heard all year. I was amazed he remembered the details of his encounter. I love The Left Banke CD and thought he'd love it too. I'd stolen the Oasis press itinerary from the press conference the day before, sneaked in the building, and hid behind a pot plant with the CD, hoping to give it as a present to my favourie contemporary songwriter. Noel was really amiable, listened to my blurred English and spared a moment for a picture. When we were crossing the building door on our way out, putting my right arm on Noel's shoulder I told him, "Give the CD a chance." He answered, "I will". And he did. And he loved The Left Bake. And he told Mojo about that small incident. An insignificanmt incident in the life of a star. An unforgetable incident in the life of a fan.

Noel Gallagher - Select - January 1999

Do I Not Like That

The first futuristic thing Oasis have done - Noel's inaugural e-mail interview

What were you doing on 31 December 1989?
I was probably in the Hacienda completely wasted. Then again...could've been anywhere.

What will you be doing on 31 December 1999?
Probably at some over-hyped, extremely boring 'Mega-Event' in London somewhere...don';t really know.

What's your album of the '90s?
1 'Definitely Maybe'/'Morning Glory'/'Be Here Now' (for personal and financial reasons)
2 'Nevermind' - Nirvana
3 'Stanley Road' - Paul Weller
4 'Urban Hymns' - The Verve
5 'Moseley Shoals' - Ocean Colour Scene
6 'Dig Your Own Hole' - Chemical Brothers
7 'The Bends' - Radiohead
8 'Give Out But Don't Give Up' - Primal Scream
9 'When I Was Born For The 7th Time' - Cornershop
10 'Check Your Head' - Beastie Boys

Your book of the '90s?
Books are rubbish!

Your film of the '90s?
'Pulp Fiction'

What's your favourite tour bus video?
We don't do tour bus videos. Tour buses are not for watching the f*****' telly on. That's for students.

What's been the most impressive place you've visitied during the last decade?

What's been the greatest moment of the '90s for you?
Knebworth and meeting Alan McGee at King Tut's

Do you still regard the Diana phenomenon with a healthy cynicism?
Little Insignificant Tale Of A Posh Bird
Bird gets born, bird's family live off the poor, bird marries into The Royal Family, bird's new family's whole history is to live off the poor, bird doesn't mind this at all, bird then gets a conscience, walks through minefield (and if you believe that, you'll believe anything), bird dies in crash. The end

Can you think of any products of the last few years that you can't live without?
Big f***-off tellies

Have you got a PC?
What do you think? Unless of course you mean Penis Crustations! [I think means No - Andrew]

What would you put in a '90s time capsule?
Fat Les' "Chris Evans Was A Ginger C***!" [sic]

Has your interest in football dwindled along with Manchester City's fortunes?
No. Unlike you and those filthy Man Utd and Chelsea fans, we will die Man City fans

Have you been to any games this season?
Several. I went to City v Fulham and was ejected from the ground for drunken swearing

When was the last time you took ecstasy?
I haven't done any drugs since June 1998 (no honestly)

Was ecstasy the drug of the '90s?
I'd say cocaine was/is the drug of the '90s, cos everyone's doing it

Do you go along with the idea that ecstasy has had a crucial influence on pop culture?
Yes, absolutely on pop music, but what is pop culture?

Supernova Heights - a Graceland for the '90s? Is it your and Meg's dream home come true?
No, I prefer the other eight

What's it like in the mod target jacuzzi?

Do the two of you give garden party?
The bestest

What's the most important musical development of the '90s?
The development of Akai Samplers and computer software (Pro Tools etc)

What do you think of drum'n'bass/big beat?
Some of it's good, some of it's shite

Any regrets about "Be Here Now"
Too many overdubs, songs too long, but not really any regrets, no

What would you say now to that section of the critical fraternity who were down on it?
We knew you didn't like us in the first place

And those among your fanbase?
F*** off, don't come back and don't buy the next one (fickle twats!)

It was reported you were in the studio a couple of weeks ago. What were you doing there?
Recording demos for the next record and it's going very well thankyou

Ever considered going solo?
Oh yes! And I probably will do a solo record soon, but it would only be a record. I wouldn't never leave the band for too long, they'd all cry!

Can Oasis be as significant in the next millennium as you've been at the end of this one?
It's not for me to say, not that I'm arsed anyway

Where is pop music heading?
Up Robbie Williams' fat arse

In all good faith (we like to think our readers are the kind of people who mistrust what they read in the tabloids) is Liam OK?
We were in the studio last week and he was rockin'. He needs to stop drinking though and write some lyrics for his tunes. I'll send him your regards, not that he'll be arsed.