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, September 29, 2001

Noel & Liam Gallagher - NME - 29th September 2001

10 years on. still ranting, rucking and rocking...

Over the last ten years, Oasis have maintained their position as Britian's most controversial rock'n'roll group. Since giving them their first front cover in June 1994, NME has documented their highest peaks and lowest ebbs. This interview celebrates this unique relationship by speaking exclusively to Liam and Noel and retelling their story through NME's archive...

It's 11am, September 12th, 2001, the morning after the beginning of the end of the world. Come in, we've been expecting you……

"What a fucking waste! Of life!…..There's gonna be a race war…You just fear for sanity…..You know what they're like in the Midwest, fucking old Chip polishing his old M16 he uses to kill deer sat watching it thinking, 'Right! Where's the nearest fucking Arab?'…. Religious fanatics…you can't argue with these people…. Nostradamus…. George Bush's dad is just gonna be, 'Son? This is your destiny!'…. Well, it's the end of the world, innit?… At the end of the day, fuck 'em….. They're all mad! No wonder we fucking take drugs! It's just fucking……. fucking….. spectacularly fucked up! Right! Get me on the front of this fucking paper before it all goes pear-shaped………"

Noel Gallagher, like everyone else in Britain, has spent most of the last 21 hours watching, as he says, "people falling out the fucking sky". Here, meanwhile, in a vast, white photo studio in north London, the sometime 'crisis' between the sometime Brothers Grim has reached an unprecedented peacetime harmony. This is Liam'n'Noel's first NME interview together since the 'Wibbling Rivalry' cavalcade of 1995 which defined their relation-fookin'-ship forever-you-coont-fook-off. Today, they arrive together, on time, sober, like best pals, brothers and bandmates who appear to be in exactly the same band. Things between them, these days, are "great!", they simply "got it all sorted".

Noel is every bit the chief-quip raconteur we've come to expect, a small, neat, sober-clothed 34-year-old, wandering around speaking to everyone about the horrors of humanity while simultaneously flicking through NME. "…..and she's a cunt (Courtney Love). There's nowt fucking cosmic about them (Cosmic Rough Riders). And why the fuck give them (Hear'Say) a review, man?"

Liam, meanwhile, is a human homage to the word Defiant. Quiet, at least compared to Noel, he's equally buoyant and a great deal more blunt, wearing a crisp shiny-blue kagoul up to his chin and enormous, rimless, rock star shades, the light from his gigantic blue eyes beaming straight through the plastic anyway.

When his fellow aliens land wondering what all that banging's about on the blue planet, they might ask for the definition of this rock'n'roll caper they've heard so much about. Well, that's your fellow, right there. Harder, and even more Mancunian than you think he is; nuclear sarcasm itself, disguising colossal inner mirth. He's a bit, you know, mental.

Eighteen months ago, in Barcelona, after that night's Oasis show was cancelled (drummer Alan White's arm seized up), the band drank the DNA out of their rider (San Miguel, Rioja, Temprenillas, vodka, gin, Jack Daniel'), Liam said something which remains unspeakable about Noel's then wife Meg Mathews and Noel punched him out, declared he was quitting touring overseas altogether, and Oasis played on, Noel-free. Ever since, through the Carling Weekend 2000, the one sober/one slaughtered Wembley shows, the 2001 Black Crowes gigs in America and tours in South America, Japan and Thailand, the world has waited with increasing indifference for the sometime biggest, and sometime best, band in the world to put itself, tragically, out of its misery. Pthrt! They didn't invent 'Live Forever' for nowt.

Meanwhile, both Gallagher marriages imploded and Liam now has another son, Gene, with Nicole Appleton, while Noel still has one daughter, Anais, and a new girlfriend, Sara. Right now, the Gallaghers are on two adjacent sofas, Noel seated upright, and Liam 'seated' completely horizontally.

Did you ever apologise to your brother over the Barcelona incident?
Liam: "Did I?"
Noel: "I think you may have, in your own little way. You certainly didn't say the word 'sorry'."
Liam: "I let you back in the band again! That was the best apology. Heh heh! Shit happens, man. You're certainly not gonna fooking split up over an argument. There's too much at stake."

Your drinking nearly split the band up.
Liam: "Completely. But that's the good thing, y'see, it didn't. And now we're stronger than what we've ever been."

Was that as bad as it ever got?
Together: "Yeah."

Well there's only one way to go from there……
Liam: "Which way's that?"
Noel: "Back to the bar."

This October, Oasis play their first nationwide British tour since 1995, celebrating ten years of spectacular survival since their very first show at the Manchester Boardwalk on August 18th 1991, the day Noel was in the audience when a metaphorical lightbulb exploded over his head."

There's no significance attached to it," Noel's saying, on the B&H, "other than the fact we're celebrating. We're our own biggest fans anyway and we're going on the road to celebrate the fact that (grins head off) we're fucking mega."

What will they look like, these days, your fans?
"What will they look like?" baulks Liam, bolting upright, also on Noel's B&H. "Fooking fans, man! You're making out like we're fooking 80! They'll be cool man, like they always were. Some of 'em might have a couple of fooking kids, who gives a fook, man? You can still be cool with kids and you can still be cool when you're fooking 50; I don't give a shit. I tell you what: I hope hardly any celebrities turn up, cos I give a shit, knowwhatImean? I don't want all the so-called cool people backstage at our gigs cos they're all fooking knobs."

There's a fear you're becoming this generation's Rolling Stones - an endless nostalgia machine.
Liam: "Nah nah nah! There's none of that, man! Right? Cos the thing is, what d'you do? D'you split up? What's the point of splitting up? I'm not splitting up because some cunt don't like it! No-one can turn round to me and say I'm not into it, I'm bang into it and he's the same. There's no way I'll be turning like the fooking Rolling Stones. I don't go on the road to make money - it just so happens we do - but I go on the road to have a laugh an' play me rock'n'roll and that's the fooking end of it, and if anyone tries to tell me any different they're off their fooking tits. I don't wanna be the biggest band in the world any more, I wanna be the best. And we are the fooking best and I truly believe that. He's the best songwriter in the world, end of story and that's all that I can say….. So I'll see yous all later (gets up, semi-grins, bowls towards fridge, finds some water, bowls back, sits down again)!"

You broke my heart with 'Be Here Now'.
Noel: "Well, I don't know what people expected."

Some more brilliance of course.
Noel: "Well, I apologise".

Well good, because the spirit went. And the spirit was everything.
Liam: "What, like, with the music? With 'Be Here Now'? Oh yeah, completely!"
Noel: "That was my fault."

I listened to that album pished, stoned, tried it in the morning, in the night, on a hill…. trying to find the soul.
Noel: "You should've tried it on nine grams of Charlie cos that's what it was written on. Well, everybody has a shit period and hopefully we've had ours. And this new album…..is fuckin mega! I'm not a fuckin drug addict any more. So it's not just 'Well, fuck it, that'll do', which is what 'Be Here Now' should have been called."

Liam: Heh heh! You can't say anything until the album comes out. So you'll just have to fucking wait before you slag us off! And believe you me, anyone who slags us off, I won't be arsed one bit. They'll write about someone else. I'm happy in my world. I'm rockin'. We haven't come to fucking save the world, we've come to write a couple of tunes."

Can it ever be as much as a laugh again?
Liam: "Course it can. I love it, man! Wait 'til we go on this fooking little tour round England; I fooking can't wait. I'm on the bus, man. I'm gonna send me mam on holiday that week!"

You're still madferit aren't you?
Liam (grins head off): "I'm fookin well madferit! I am totally! And I always will be."

Liam, Noel and Oasis' current equilibrium has come about, says Liam, because of 'personal situations'; makes you happy, makes you sad. I'm by far not as pissed off as I used to be". He's also less inclined "to be out getting wasted and just being a fooking rock star; four years ago I was just into being a madder". The incident with a photographer just after Gene was born is being "sorted as we speak. There's a line an' he stepped over it, definitely. I've got rights". He sees Lennon, his and Patsy's son, "all the time". It's Lennon's birthday tomorrow and he was out yesterday buying presents, getting the balloons in.

"I'm happy with it, Patsy's happy, the kid's happy that's all that matters," he says. "We still speak, I don't hate her, the kid's the best thing that's ever happened to me. The kid's y'knowhatimean? So everything's cool."

He isn't, as has been reported, getting married to Nicole.
"Not yet," he notes, "we'll see. I'd be fookin mad to be thinking about getting married; I've only just been divorced. But Nicole's fooking great; she's right up my street."

Noel, too, is "chilled" with life in general. He and Meg, a marriage which foundered on the lifestyle chasm which arrived after Noel sacked the drugs and moved to the countryside, have an arrangement where he sees Anais "on a Thursday or a Friday" and Anais, normally, "draws all over me face". The reason Oasis exist now is because Noel's marriage doesn't.

"I'll tell you what it is," says Noel, "two years ago, maybe the band wasn't that important, but the reason the band's stayed together is cos it has to, because basically I've got fuck all else. To be going on with. In my life. Apart from the group. And me little daughter and me girlfriend and that pretty much rounds it all off for me. (Chortles ruefully) Haven't got anything else to look forward to…."

Oasis' fifth LP arrives at the beginning of next year. Recorded in their own studio, and self-produced, it's the first one fully written by the new Oasis, featuring songs written by Liam, Gem Archer and Andy Bell. It's the first time Noel's had people "to give me a lift, musically. Bonehead and Guigs, God bless 'em, were not musically talented in any way; he (Liam) was always drunk and Alan's, y'know, the drummer". This album, says Noel, is their "second best album; better than what we've done since then end of 'Definitely Maybe'".

What's the vibe?
Noel: "Fuckin' loud!"
Liam: "It's punk rock. And moody. And well done, proper - none of that weird fooking Radiohead bollocks, none of that indie fooking rubbish. It's the Pistols and the Beatles, man - it's us."

Songs so far:
'The Hindu Times' (a real newspaper, Noel saw the name on a t-shirt "and it stuck"), 'Hung In A Bad Place' (Gem-written, "bit of a Tarzan number; it's monkey-swing as Liam calls it"), 'Force Of Nature' (Noel: "Lieutenant Pigeon's 'Mouldy Old Dough' but it sounds like the Pistols; it's fucking mental") and 'Just Getting Older' (Liam: "Beautiful, bit Pink Floydy"). "The lyrics are quite funny," brims Noel. "The words go, 'It's nine o'clock/I'm getting tired/I'm sick of all my records and the clothes I bought today/Am I cracking up or am I just getting older?/I'm staying in/I can't be bothered/Making coversation with friends that I don't know/Am I cracking up or just getting older?/And I bet that this is how life turns out when you're finally grown/And if this is gonna be my life, I'm gonna sit around all day….and fuckin moan'. Hehehehe!"Liam: "Top one!"

Then there's the three Liam-written songs.
Liam: "'Song Bird', it's up an' it's roarin'. 'Better Man', that's pretty odd, and 'Born On A Different Cloud', which is fooking rockin'."

That's pretty poetic.
Liam: "Yeah. It is, innit? For a thick cunt.

You always were a poet, Liam.
Liam: "Yeah, I know."

This year, Noel went to all the festivals, a billion gigs and concluded that the only thing great in the musical universe is The Strokes.
"They've got the tunes," he enthuses. "They've got that thing and I don't know why, the un-nameable thing."

Didn't Julian say something horrible about you?
Noel: "That was you lot there, man. Don't bullshit me, I know how it works! What he said was, 'To have Noel Gallagher at your gig who up until that point I thought was the biggest dick in the world was strange'. But obviously they wouldn't write the full piece because that's not a headline…. 'But actually he was really cool'. There's nothing NME wants better than me to retaliate to that and then it becomes a Strokes/Oasis thing and I'm afraid we've been there before with fucking monkey-boy from Colchester, and all that Blur/Oasis thing took away from what we fuckin were, and he hung onto our coat-tails and if it wasn't for us he wouldn't be where he is now, the twat. So it's not gonna happen with The Strokes because I'm fucking letting it go because he didn't say it, plus I think they're great."

Damon out of Gorillaz, as he's now known, wants you in his band Liam.
Liam: "Does he. Does he. Good. Fooking monkey. (Leaps out of seat, bowls around the floor) I've never fooking seen a gorilla with no hair! So he can fooking suck his own fooking cock and his mate in his band's cock. That cunt's going on about I haven't sung a decent tune for years, right? I think it's quite ironic. At least I do sing tunes; what's that fooking nonsense that's on the radio 'ooh-de-fucky-boo', its like fooking three-year-old's music, worse than Steps. Now there's a cunt who's not into it. Whatever happened to his beloved Blur? I'll slap that bald cunt when I see him, the dick. Wants to get a wig or summat before he starts talking about me. I'm sure he's winding me up and he's done a good job, but I'm here for the wind-up, so that's that, what was the next question?"

How's your drinking these days?
Liam: "I'm a fooking master at it. When I drink, I drink. I don't fooking pussy about. I get stuck in there and get wasted and I like it and I wake up the next day and think 'fooking hell' then I leave off for a bit. I'm quite happy with my drinking situation at the moment."

How about you and coke, Noel? Ever get cocaine wistfulness?
Noel: "What, I could do with a line? Not at all. It means I can concentrate solely on me drinkin'. You could fucking rack 'em out right now this second and I'd be there egging you on, 'Go on! Call that a line!?' I'm just glad I didn't end up in The Priory. Suppose it depends how strong you are."

Liam: "There's too many things going on in our lives to be sittin' around doing cocaine and drinking all day long. There's nappies to be changed and I'm fooking great at it. There's trainers to be bought. And there's hair to be cut. And there's winks to be winked. Y'knowhatimean?"

Why d'you think Robbie's continuing to unravel his intestines all over the universe with this book of his?
Noel: "I'll tell you the thing about that poor little kid. Any disease going round? I've had that. 'Cancer? I've had that. Oh, that bombing in New York? I was in that. What, fucking Alzheimer's? Er, have I had that?'"
Liam: "I can't get me head round these kids, man. On the fooking wagon?"
Noel: "In yer 20's?"
Liam: "Fook off! Have a break but never say never, man. Get a fooking lager down yer neck!"

Robbie wants to have sex with you.
Liam: "A lot of people want to have sex with me. And he's at the fooking back of the list. Fooking charity boxing matches, you fooking goon, but that's all over, thank fook. I don't give a shit no more; I couldn't give a shit about no-one, I'm on cloud nine."

Born on a different cloud?
Liam: "Born on a different cloud, man, and I ain't coming down."

What does it look like this cloud?
Liam: "Nice"

What can you see when you're on it?
Liam: "Me."

So it's a cloud with loads of mirrors round it?
Liam: "That's it. That's it, man. That's the fooking fella."

These past couple of years, Liam'n'Noel have watched the demise of jubilant rock'n'roll, the curse of the corporate flatline, the dominance of US nu-metal goth-rock gonks and the continuation of the Celebrity Tot's Pop jamboree.

Liam has his own category for the reinvention of rock'n'roll as some pleasant blokes with a guitar blubbing on a stool. "Christian Rock," he declares. "That lot on acoustic guitars. And they're all dead nice. They're all just fooking scaredy-cats, scared of saying anything that's remotely fooking interesting. It's embarrassing. English music today is fooking embarrassing."

Noel: "No-one writes about getting high anymore. They're writing about their grandparents."

Liam: "There's too many polite people making fooking music these days. Too many clever people making fooking music these days. And if they weren't in a band they'd have a great fooking job anyway, y'knowhatimean? It's different for people like us; it's the band or nothing, it's life or death cos I can't do anything else. An' these bands like The Strokes from America, The Strokes have got a vibe, yeah, but you just look at 'em and think, 'Posh kid. Trying to look scruffy'. Whereas us? I'm a thick cunt who makes music, basically, and I'm fooking proud of myself; I love it and that's it. I don't wanna be a fooking posh cunt cos there's no room for it, fook 'em."

Then there's pantomime rock.
Liam: "They're all slitting their wrists and wearing stupid masks as if it's Hallowe'en every day of the fooking year."

Noel (now pacing around the floor): "You see Limp Bizkit and Slipknot and Cradle Of Filth and Marilyn Manson and it's all very theatrical and you just think, 'Wonder what it's like in rehearsals on a Friday and they all turn up in jeans and trainers?' (High-pitched American geek voice) 'Hey, so uh, Mar-i-lyn? What am I doing at this point? (Deep American geek voice) 'Well, I'm gonna pretend to decapitate you, man! But you have to understand, man, that you're gonna be wearing stilts!' Eminem? Walking onstage at Reading with his bag of fucking Anadins and a bottle of Bacardi which is actually a bottle of water! I was stood on the side of the stage thinkin', 'You lot don't half deserve each other'. People set their standards too low in their fucking icons these days."

How d'you feel about celebrity culture these days?
Liam: "It's great. I fooking love being famous, me. I fooking love it, I love it. (Bawls head off) I LOOOVE IT!!! Well, I thought it would've backed off by now, but obviously there's no-one else a bit more interesting than us to write about so they keep doin' it. The pop lot, right, their goal in life is to have their picture took. Soon as someone goes, 'You're that geezer out of such and such,' - boomf! - they're in heaven."

Noel: "Why is fucking Posh Beckham writing a fooking book of her memoirs? She can't even fucking chew chewing gum and walk in a fucking straight line at the same time, let alone write a book. Who gives a fuck about David Beckham's life? When you watch England beat Germany and you see Michael Owen after the game, you're just begging for him to go, 'Listen, I'm the fucking bollocks, they're fucking useless, I want 700 grand a week or I'm quitting, I'm going to Italy.' Cos that's what Gascoigne would have said if he'd scored a hat-trick. But it's like '(voice of strangulated muppet) Uh no, I was playing for the team and it's not about me.' Fuck off you fucking loser, man! Where's your fucking balls!? Y'know Michael Owen and Alan Shearer? They're fucking coppers, man. Alan Shearer is CID and Michael Owen looks like trainee CID. Michael Owen calls Alan Shearer 'Sarge'. 'Alright, Sarge?' I've been busted by Alan Shearer so many times it's unbelievable. And somehow you can't see David Beckham laying out two burglars in his hallway, can you? He'd be sending in his Afghan poodles.

Money; kicked the rock'n'roll out of football, too?
Noel: "Well, they're groomed now, aren't they? Groomed. David Beckham went into media training for three weeks before he went on 'Parkinson'. Fucking trainin' for what!? Just answer the fucking question! Football is the same as music; It's TV, but it's not just a business, it's now a system. They're put in the system. And they're put in the system to perpetuate the system otherwise it's, 'We'll send you back to the gutter,' The Man has taken over the world. All the kids look up to now are bland, faceless fucking trainee police officers man, that's what it is. He (Liam) should be given a knighthood! A knighthood! You couldn't imagine Chris Martin from Coldplay laying out a photographer for takin' a picture of his kid! It's all gone. Gone! Who's the biggest icon in the country? David Beckham. He gets a mohican and everybody writes column inches in the paper? He got a fucking mohican! It's not even a proper fucking Exploited one!"

Liam: "And the geezer who fooking cut it charged you 500 quid for it, yer dozy cunt, cos he cuts my hair. (Leaps out of seat) Fooking Tyler, who cuts my hair, goes, 'What d'you reckon about me cutting David Beckham's haircut; he wants a skinhead'. 'Do what you want, man, charge the cunt 500 quid.' Charged him 500 quid for it! The fooking dozy cunt! And he's the main man!? Fooking suck yer own….suck yer bird's cock!"

Don't you worry you've turned prematurely into a grandad?
Liam: "At the end of the day, shite's shite. I don't give a fook, I'm a moaning cunt and I'm 28. But I'm buzzin'. Cos you never lose what's good and what's not good. Fooking being professional. It's fooking rubbish, man. Let's all be shit!"

The Oasis way, let's face it, comes from the olden days.
Noel: "Of course. Too right. And I'm glad! I'm glad to be old school and I'm glad I've got me values. I'm glad I've got them ideals and they were taught to me by fucking Bob Marley and John Lennon and John Lydon and Paul Weller and Morrissey and Marr and people like that. Now people start band for a career. We came back from America and someone said to me in a band, I won't mention no names, 'How's it going in America?' 'How's what going?' 'Y'know, how's it going?' 'I don't know how me record's doin' in America! I'm not on the phone every two minutes. Fucking '(voice of home counties accountant, phone to ear) Hello is that Epic? How's my record doing? Ew, really? Out of the charts?'"

Liam: "Out of the charts! Hurghurgh (rolls round sofa for next ten minutes)!"

Noel: "Fucking bollocks, man, it pisses me off, it's just careerism. Careerism. What a lot of people fail to understand is that we never started this band as a career move anyway. We did it cos we were bored shitless and we were all on the dole and this is out life. We never asked for a record deal, someone gave us one. We never asked for fucking 20 million record sales, it just came, y'knowhatimean? (Gets up again, begins circling round back of sofa). People who're in the biggest bands in the country right now, half of 'em are going on about MI5; you don't know fuck all about MI5, you don't even know how to tie your own shoelaces, you cunt, so you can shurrup. The rest of 'em are talking about absolutely fucking nothing. The people who are sat in the offices of fucking Sony, who I'm signed to, they're a bunch of fucking cunts, and the rest of 'em in Virgin and all the rest of it, they're fucking killing it. But it's stealthy. They're stealthily taking away extremism and talent. Alternative music is now like fucking Val Doonican to me, the same with football. The last two, great, working class things, football and music, they're coaching all the talent out of people, we will sign you up and we will culture all the talent out of you. Music should be spontaneous! And football. And all the arts. I just find it really sinister, and it's the faceless people who are responsible. The bands are responsible. And nobody gives a fuck. If people are selling 250,000 records every six months, they don't care; they don't care about what's coming next. It's 'Get me the money, get me it now'. It's all up its own fucking arse, man! And I have actually worked myself up into a bit of a fucking state!"

It's alright, lads. Bob The Builder's Number One!
Noel: "I remember when there were good novelty records and nobody gave a fuck. Now, Bob The Builder's Number One and Mel C's phoning him up wanting to do a duet! A fucking builder and a joiner! All you need is Ronan Keating and you've got a builder, a joiner and a fuckin' plasterer!They'd be better off starting their own firm…….

Oasis, born in '91 to cheer the nation up, to show us how anyone from nowhere can 'live forever' in a gin-fuelled space capsule of rock'n'roll elevation, can never, of course, go back to the free-flowing 'Vim' of the Good Old Days. "No," says Liam, "an' I wouldn't wanna."

Their spirit, however, despite everything - all the booze, drugs, fame, infamy, money, love, divorce, punches, awards, abuse, laughter, arrests, tribute bands, tabloids, adulation, critical damnation and what Liam calls rock'n'roll 'scrapes' - appears to be fully intact. It may even appear, you never know, on the new album. What bothers Oasis, these days, is the disappearance of that spirit everywhere else. The other day, walking down Regent Street, Noel was approached by someone who asked him to listen to his CD. Noel put it in his pocket, like he always does."

And this kid said," blinks Noel, "'If you wanna call, call my manager'. You've not got a record deal, but you've got a manager? D'you have an accountant as well? You've probably got a pension already. (Begins boiling all over again) I was watching that South Bank Show thing about fucking Blur - a moment of fucking weakness - and whatsisface the singer was in one of his schoolrooms playing the piano and he looked around wistfully and went, '(solemnly) I have to leave this room, it's where I failed A-Level music.' What?! Why fucking take A-Level music? What d'you mean you failed A-Level music? Is there an A-Level music? How d'you do that!? '(Double-solemnly) I got my Bach mixed up with my Beethoven.' Fucking Bach-hoven. Music's in your fucking bones, man; it's under your fingernails; you play one chord on a fucking guitar and you're a musician - end of fucking story. People slag us off for it but it's a proper emotional thing; it's a human playing a tree. Three chords on a guitar: now write a song. I only know 11! But I tell you what, god help you when I find the 12th! I'm tellin' yer! And if I ever start reading fucking books!? I'll take over the fucking world! It'll be me crashing into the fucking Trade towers! (Takes off in flight across the studio, arms out either side) On me fucking own, like that!"

Liam: "(Booming American newsreader) You're live to CNN where Noel Gallagher has just crashed into the new World Trade Fooking office!"

Noel: "And that's another good thing about The Strokes! You can actually jump up and down in the air to The Strokes. You go'n see bands now and some of 'em are my favourite bands - there are good bands - but it really is like (Po-faced, round of slow hand-clapping). When we played 'Roll With It' at Wembley - and I hate that song, I can't stand it, right? - you see 76,000 people leaving the floor… What the fuck is that? That's what it's all about. It's not about (Impersonation of jazz toff) That was an amaaaaaazing suspended eighth you just played there, man, and I really like the direction of the new rekkid and that gong, man, was out there.' Fucking shurrup man! And you drum faster and you sing louder and you tear up your fucking amp! Fuck's sake! There's a war going on! The world's gonna fucking end!"

Maybe there's never been a better time to fuckin' 'ave it then?
"Actually," blares Noel, practically levitating into the ceiling, "fucking respect to the fucking Islamic Jihad fucking Hamas fucking whatsisname Binliner fella! Fucking set the tone for the fucking tour! We're all dying! Scud missiles are on their fucking way!
Liam: "So mine's a fooking triple…."
Noel: "…..and fucking (bawls) Roll with iiiiiiiit! And on that fucking bombshell, let's go'n rehearse rock'n'roll history! I'm outta here (bolts out of door),"

"Well," announces Liam, standing up, straightening his kagoul, a different sort of infamous madman with a different version of stuff to blow up come tomorrow, "I've gotta go an' blow some balloons up, me! Blowing balloons up, fookin' dressed up as Postman Pat…. Fooking pure rock'n'roll.

Saturday, September 01, 2001

Noel Gallagher - The Times - September 2001

NOTE - This transcript is incomplete. - Mr. M

Noel Gallagher sits there for two hours and Never plays a false note. I have no reason to doubt him when he says his approach to interviews is: 'You ask me a question, I will not tell you lies.' (Actually, he says f****** lies, but if I left in all his expletives, this article would have more asterisks than words.)

For instance, Noel admits he always wanted 'to become very,very,very,very wealthy'. He says he had nothing to write about on Be Here Now, the dissapointing third album because 'I was just a big fat charlied up rock star sitting in Limos and going to parties.' He is 'well aware that as a group, and me as a songwriter, from Morning Glory (the best British selling album ever) onwards, it's sort of levelled off a bit.' He says that the lyrics to Don't Look Back In Anger, considered a modern classic, are 'just nonsense' the result of 'sitting down with some Red Stripe and a spliff'. He agrees that the intro sounds a lot like Let It Be.

He cringes at fans' favourites such as Roll With It (the single which came 2nd in a Britpop war to Blur's country house in August 1995). 'Before we played Wembley last year, they were interviewing fans outside. There was this guy, skinhead, couple of eteth missing. Ben Sherman shirt. I'm waching the television thinking: what's this guy gonna say? He's going: 'Oasis! Best band in the world! Better than the Beatles!' And then he recites the words to roll With It, and I'm thinking, 'what the F*** am I on?' (Cocaine, lots)

He admits he used to borrow melodies, not just from the beatles, which is unavoidable-'I learnt to play guitar by opening a Beatles' songbook.' -but also from T Rex, Sldae, David Bowie and even vindication this for Damon Albarn, six years on from his 'Quoasis tag) Status Quo. Yet Gallagher isn't saying, as Malcolm McClaren once did of The Sex Pistols, isn't it funny how we managed to swindle everybody? He is instead being candid about how a songwriter starting out starts to write. Most songwriters early efforts don't sel in millions.

'When I was a roadie, I made a compilation tape of strictly Slade, Bowie and T rex. That's all I listened to for two years. Everybody on the bus would go 'Turn It Off'!' and I'd say 'Listen to the guitars!' I'd copy the songs, like Cum On Feel The Noize, change the chords a bit. I make no bones about it man, I wasn't taught music by anybody. I didn't learn music at school. I can't play the piano.' He lifted the melody for Cigarettes and Alcohol, their first top 10 single, from t rex's 'Get It On'. 'I wouldn't attempt to do that now....That was written before we got a record deal.' We were playing pubs in Manchester. I brought this song to the band, expecting they'd go, 'We can't do that!' and of course everybody went 'that's Amazing!' I said to McGee (Alan, boss of Creation Records and the man who discovered Oasis) 'Er, are you allowed to do this kinda thing?' and he was 'oh I don't know, but it's great!'

We never got sued.' (Except by the New Seekers, of all people, who took exception to Shakermakers resemblance to 'I'd Like to teach the world to sing'. The New Seekers got £175,000. And Gary Glitter got £200,000 for the line 'Hello, Hello, It's good to be back.' It's worth noting that these songs, along with almost all of the others Gallagher used, had been Number One Singles in their time. There's no faulting Noel's ear for a popular tune)

I say: a really harsh interpretation of your songwriting might follow that old quote about a piece of work 'being both good and original, but the parts are good not original, but the parts that are good are not original.....' He finishes the line, 'and the parts that are original are not so good.' You could say, here's a guy who put some memorable melodies together, but many of the most memorable had, er I'm not being funny, already written by other people, and since then, what has he done?

'It's true,' he says disarmingly. 'I would agree with that because factually you're exactly right. I would disagree beacuse: Don't argue with the man in the street. There is no greater accolade than Joe Public.' Going back to the man in the Ben Sherman shirt, Gallagher says. 'I'd love to sit him down and say: 'What does this song mean to you?' 'Cos I don't know what it means to me, but he'd probably give a good explanation for it. It means summat in his life.'

He's not all self-flagellation. 'Couple of songs I'm really, really proud of. The six I've done for the new one I'll stand up and fight anyone for. I'm still learning as a songwriter. I'm never happy anyway. I think I think I'm equal parts genius, equal parts buffoon in the one day.' On a Lennon and McCartney timescale, I say, you shuld be about to write your Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Pepper trilogy. He says with sadness and determination, 'Yeh, Yeh definately.... I've put out a lot of crap in the past. Not crap, just stuff I don't like anymore. I have to live with it. Gonna take a bit back for me now, say (to the band and the record company): 'Well, you might like it, but I don't.'

Next month, Oasis will play a short tour to mark their 10th anniversary. For several of those ten years, Oasis was the biggest thing in British Rock. Seven consecutive records went in at number 1 or number 2. In 1996, they sold 18 million albums and, that August, played to a quarter of a million people at Knebworth. Critics loved them. 20 year olds who'd previously bought only dance music loved theme. 30 year olds who'd given up on the charts loved them. The new Prime Minister invited Noel to Downing Street. They were, defiantly, much more than the sum of their parts. If some of their tunes were derivative, the Gallagher brothers had a sound and an attitude, all their own.