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.

Friday, July 19, 2002

Noel Gallagher - CNN - 19th July 2002

Online link

Gaining an upper hand on the world is a nice thing, as Noel Gallagher of Oasis would tell you. And any rocker with the audacity to release an album titled "Heathen Chemistry" is hardly likely to feel he's fighting an uphill battle.

Nevertheless, fans of Oasis know that, of all bands, finding a chemistry -- even a heathen one -- is no small feat for this famously contentious bunch.

But the drugs are gone, and the drinking is less, according to Gallagher. The brothers' legendary fights have dropped off too, he says. And this latest entry from Oasis, which hit stores July 2, has been received well by critics and fans. The British band's fifth studio album signals a renewal of sorts: two new members, more writing from Noel's brother Liam, and a purer rock 'n' roll spirit overall.

Oasis' new recording, still rolling with the bluesy lows and anthem highs of rock, works hard to live up to its title. Gallagher says he can feel the change in the spirit. "Now it's more like a vocation again," he says.

In keeping with this mood of rejuvenation, Gallagher says his favorite song on "Heathen Chemistry" is the upbeat "Songbird." It "seems to have caught the imagination of everyone," he says. A composition by his brother, it's a laid-back love song for a muse who sends love in return.

On "Songbird," a guitar strums and a simple piano drip-drops: "Talk of better days that have yet to come / Never felt this love from anyone." The tune appears to fit Gallagher's attitude these days. "What we've done with this record is put the past to bed," he says. "It's about to get very special for us."

The Music Room recently caught up with Gallagher to talk about the future of Oasis, and just how the band has made it this far.

TMR: Are you proud of how "Heathen Chemistry" has turned out?
Gallagher: I am just proud that we finished it and had the enthusiasm for making another one. It's been good. I don't want to say fun, because it is a serious business making records. But we had a jolly good time making this record, and it's re-lighted the fire for making music. It got stale for a while; we were treating it as a job. Now, it's more like a vocation again.

TMR: You've got a couple of new members; Andy and Gem. How's the new lineup?
Gallagher: Well, lets start with Gem first. Gem is totally 100 percent into being in a band from looking after things like the artwork and picking songs in set lists. I've never been in a band with someone like that. In the past it was always me and to a lesser extent Liam and no one else took an interest in where the band was going. But Gem will come up with 50 ideas of how a song should be in about a minute. Gem's enthusiasm sort of pushes everyone along.

Andy is the most talented musician out of all of us, and I sometimes feel sorry for him because he lives in Stockholm, which is in Sweden. He arrives to do his bit and then he leaves again. So Andy can seem a bit detached from it all. But he usually says about two or three sentences in an afternoon, but they are probably the most important ones in the whole afternoon.

Alan is keeping up the tradition of the many great drummers where he bangs things for a living. And that is about the top and bottom of it.

And as for Liam; Liam can either make you feel that you are making the greatest record that was ever created in rock and roll history, or he can make you feel that you are doing something as worthless as a Sesame Street song, depending on what mood he's in. Liam is more of a spirit more than anything.

TMR: As the main songwriter for Oasis do you ever turn to your brother and say "Gosh, you're a pretty good songwriter and I've known that for a number of years"?
Gallagher: We don't speak about it, because we're Northern English men! There will be a firm handshake when the album's finished and a "Thank you very much," and that will be it. But Liam's always written songs for maybe two or three years, maybe four years, but I don't think he was ever that bothered. And I don't think he thought he was ever writing anything that could compare to any of my stuff. I saw that comfort in somebody writing songs.

As long as you think that the stuff you are doing is worthy, then you'll push for it to be heard. He's actively pushing the songs at the minute, which is great for me because it means I don't have to write or work as much. I can sit back and pretend to be Liam once in a while, which is actually the easiest job in the world.

TMR: If you and Liam weren't brothers, would Oasis have broken up years ago?
Gallagher: Oh, I don't think it would have gotten past the audition stage. There is not a more difficult person in the world to work with than you could ever imagine. And the flip side of that coin is that there isn't a more honest, more enthusiastic person to work with. So you've got to take him as he comes.

TMR: How is your relationship with your brother at present?
Gallagher: It's good. It's as good as it's ever been. He doesn't drink as much, and I don't do drugs anymore and I think that's the main factor. Having kids helps and Liam is 30 now, thank God! He's getting out of his twenties and he's got kids and stuff like that now, so it makes it easier for us.

See, I could sit here and say it's the greatest it's ever been in terms of our relationship, and then he could walk through that door and say something to me and it would seem exactly the opposite. It is what it is. It's just two brothers who spend a lot of time together who do something that we're completely, utterly passionate about and sometimes we disagree about it, and we disagree passionately about it. And sometimes that gets out of hand and it overflows into verbal disagreement and sometimes physical violence. But it doesn't mean anything.

You could sit here and be shocked at some of the things we could say to each other, but to me and him it's just because we've known each other all our lives and we're just mouthing off.

TMR: And you make great music together.
Gallagher: That's the main thing. As long as the records are good and we can play it live and people find it interesting, then I don't think we've ever really suffered from it.

TMR: How did you come up with the title for "Heathen Chemistry?"
Gallagher: I can't remember the night that I thought of it, but I thought of it previous to it being an album title. I've got a feeling that I've seen it on a T-shirt for some reason, and I don't know why. And I just said "Heathen Chemistry" and everyone went "Wow." It's just two words that go together and it conjures up so many images.

The funny thing is about that and the single "The Hindu Times" is these things just come of the cuff to me. Then I spend nine months trying to come up with wacky stories to keep people entertained when really they don't mean anything.

TMR: You said you had fun making this record. Is that a reflection of the band's state of mind right now?
Gallagher: I think all records are documents. I think with all the records I've been involved in, I can look back and vividly remember the state of mind that I was in. Yeah, we had a great time making this record. It is something we all enjoy, especially me and Gem. We get obsessive with the recording process and that's what I enjoy the most, the creativeness of it. We weren't just down in the studio drinking and having fun. It inspired most of us.

TMR: Has the British music scene changed a lot in the past 10 years?
Gallagher: It hasn't. In England it really doesn't because British people fear change. We're very set in our ways. When we first started to put records out, the biggest bands in the country then were Blur, Radiohead, and Suede. Ten years on it's still the same.

The American scene is so transient and that's good. Five years from now a band like us could not last 10 years in America, like we have done. Liam would be in a penitentiary; I'd be running for president. Something crazy like that. There's a lot of longevity in England. It's very slow to change, very slow to catch on to any new music.

TMR: Are you satisfied with Oasis' place within American music, or do you want more?
Gallagher: I don't think I'd like to be as famous in America as I am in England. When I got on the plane to come (to America) yesterday, it was a great sense of relief because I knew when I got off the other end there wasn't going to be a cameraman waiting and there wasn't going to be someone with a microphone saying, "What do you think about such and such?" I can go walk up Santa Monica, and go walk around the shops and nobody bats an eyelid. I can't even go out the front door in England without someone running down the street or going through my dustbins. It's quite comical sometimes.

TMR: You guys have sold a lot of albums in the U.S.
Gallagher: It's a big place though. I've tried to explain this to people at home. We've sold maybe six or seven million albums. I couldn't give you the exact figure, and still people (in America) don't know who we are. And that's fantastic! In England you sell 100,000 albums and you get an idol these days. I think we get a lot more respect in the U.S. for being musicians, as opposed to in England where we are known more as celebrities.

TMR: When you're on stage in front of thousands of people do you still get the same rush now as you did?
Gallagher: I've got to tell you that I have to stop myself getting that thing, because I will literally get carried away with the whole thing, and I'll forget what I'm doing. I'll forget that I'm actually paid to play and sing, and I'll just be concentrating on the people down in front, and I'll be singing out and cheering. I'll be playing the wrong thing, just because I'll be having such a good time. So I'm at this stage now where I have to stare out in the distance and go somewhere else and make sure I sing and cheer and play the right songs at the right time.

TMR: Is it true that Oasis will not perform the single "Wonderwall" live?
Gallagher: We could never get that song right. The first time we came to America I would do it alone; just sit on a stool and sing it. I didn't feel that that was right 'cause Liam sings it on the album. I didn't think it was right because that's the song everybody's waiting for on the set list. And I'd walk out with an acoustic guitar, and everybody would go mad.

But we could never get it right as a band. It was either too fast or too slow. And we don't like playing it on accoustic guitar so we'd play it on electric guitar, and then it would sound like a rock and roll song.

Do you know Ryan Adams? I went to see him in Manchester and they were on and I'd never met this kid before. I hadn't heard anything about him. He gets midway through his set and he stops and he plays "Wonderwall." And the place went silent, and I went to see him afterwards and I said, "You can have that song because we could never play it live anyway". His version was so superior to ours. It was just beautiful.

TMR: Do you agree that Oasis hasn't produced its best work yet?
Gallagher: No, I don't agree with that. I think that the next album will be our best work. What we've done with this record is put the past to bed. I never really felt comfortable enough when I've produced a new album to go and play most of it live, because the stuff on Morning Glory casts such a massive shadow over anything that we've ever done. But with this album we've finally got a band that the songwriting deserves. We've finally got a singer who's more interested in singing than drinking. It's about to get very special for us. I can feel it now. I think the next album, is going to be some of the best work that anybody's band has ever done.

CNN's Patrick Cooper and Joanne Suh contributed to this report.


Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Noel & Liam Gallagher - BBC 2/Top Of The Pops 2 - 17th July 2002

Recording date: 11th April 2002

Monday, July 01, 2002

Noel & Liam Gallagher & Gem Archer - Heathen Chemistry EPK - 2002

Part 1

Part 2

Noel Gallagher -Q Special Edition - July 2002

Wonderwall is better than drugs

It is a bright, breezy, late spring day in Marylebone as Q heads for the London headquarters of Ignition, Oasis's management, which also serves as home to their Big Brother imprint and Noel's Sourmash label. Outside the pub around the corner, men gather with pints and ties are loosened. Inside the office, girls with a brisk, hearty manner type briskly and heartily, the band's next single, Stop Crying Your Heart Out, weeps grandly from unseen speakers and Andy Bell, looking positively elfin among the folds of an immense, pristine camouflage jacket, talks quietly to a mate about his kids.

Gallagher elder is sprawled on a sofa upstairs, slim and slight and smaller than you'd expect, fresh from the inevitable round of Japanese phone interviews that fall between another Number 1 single and the release of his band's fifth studio album, Heathen Chemistry. He sports a T-shirt that trumpets The Hindu Times as India's biggest selling newspaper. He recognizes that interviews are "part of the job", which means no whingeing (about or during) and answering every question with a methodical earnestness. He is, Q quickly realizes, a very amenable person, reliable in the most noble sense. While he often shies away from big emotional issues, he'll quite often nip "round the back of them" to give you a quick peep. It's these qualities, it seems, that have steered him safely through the last few years, as Oasis felt the full force of the unreliable warp drive of success.

Rock'n'roll's had something of a renaissance since you've been away...
It's great. Rock'n'roll comes in cycles anyway-there wasn't a lot around before Oasis turned up, then there was quite a bit. But yeah, with The Hives, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives and The Strokes, it's fucking good. Saying that, on top of all that sit Doves, who I think have made a fucking really special record. Fantastic. It's not rock'n'roll in the sense of Les Pauls and "windmills", but it's mega, mega music. There's not many records that come along in your life-especially these days-when you think, I'm gonna have that 'til the day I die. Like the Coldplay album. Fuckin' special, man.

Does "punk rock" mean anything much now?
It's not the same as rock'n'roll. It's a term that's bandied about quite recklessly. If it was anything, it's an attitude, isn't it? When Black Rebel Motorcycle Club sing, "Whatever happened to my rock and roll?" they don't mean rock'n'roll as music, to me they mean. "Whatever happened to my youth? Whatever happened to my beauty, my purity, my attitude?" They could just as well sing, "Whatever happened to my punk rock?"
Primal Scream are punk rock and rock'n'roll to me-you can never pin one badge on them. It's the breaking of rules. The Prodigy are puck rock. It's not punk rock music, but when you watch it you're in the presence of punk rockers. It certainly doesn't mean black leather jackets and spiky hair.

How's your relationship with Liam changed over the last 10 years?
He's started writing, and I've got a lot more respect for him cos he's actually contributing something to the band other than his attitude and his hairdo.

It is good hair, though?
Fuckin' great! What can I say?! And his attitude is spot on, but after 10 years he's thrown in the fuckin' curveball and started writing songs and they're actually fuckin' great songs, so he's becoming more interesting as a dude.

Liam recently described you as Vera to his Jack Duckworth...
[Laughs] Well... I couldn't possibly agree with him. I know that he's getting at, yeah: two fuckin' old fuckers just moaning at each other all the time. But that's what keeps it interesting.

Jack and Vera might fight, but there's a real affection between them.
'Course there is. I like Liam a lot. I really do. I speak to him every fuckin' day. He phones me at nine in the morning: "Are you watchin' fuckin' Trisha?" Fuckin' knobhead, what's he on? He's a really fuckin' good mate of mine. On top of that he's my brother and on top of all that, he's the singer in the band we're both in, So I do like him a lot. [More quietly] But I don't like publicly stating that. It'll go to his head. He's a fucking cool guy, he is.

When your marriages were falling apart in tandem, did you swap...
[Dryly] Anecdotes?

Experiences? Like, You're going through it too.
No, no, no, no, no. Certainly not. We're not Christians or anything like that. I knew exactly what he was going through, he didn't have to tell me. We're very, very...y'know, very, very close. Who wants to reiterate how shit your life is to each other? Not that our lives were shit, but the shit you're going through. When we meet up, and we're not in the band, we talk about the same things: The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and I'll argue about how great they are. We talk about our kids and stuff, but we don't talk about our past relationships, that would be just fuckin' shite. Done and dusted. Onwards and upwards.

Force Of Nature, on the new LP, seems to echo Where Did It All Go Wrong? and Gas Panic! from ...Giants, your "dark night of the soul" songs.
Force of Nature and Little By Little were written for this film that came out in '98-a British gangster film called Love, Honour And Obey, it's didn't really do much-and we were gonna put them on Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants but Guigs and Bonehead left halfway through, Alan McGee had folded Creation, so we just though, Fuck it, we'll hold them back. They're not autobiographical at all. You'd have to go and get that film out to prove my point. I can understand people looking at the lyrics and thinking, He's singing about his ex or about his drugs hell. My confessional songs have already been on Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants-those two are the ones that document me going, "Why can I not write music that's satisfying to me any more?"

Was there ever a point when you though, I just want to get off this ride?
No, no, it's never been like that. The fat lady hadn't started singing but she was definitely clearing her throat. Definitely having her lemon and honey. Definitely doing her scales. But she'd not started the performance. You could be dramatic and say we came this close, but you can't really say, "Another six weeks and we'd have packed it in", cos this is our life, it's not a business we run. I will never make records without Liam. I'll do stuff with The Chemical Brothers and he'll do stuff with Death In Vegas and the Prodigy but that's just him doing his own thing. I'll never be in another band except this one and I'll never go solo because I don't like being surrounded by session musicians.

That's been a recurring question...
Yeah. There was a point when Liam was being a bit annoying. He was taking his personal shit that was going on at home and bringing it in to the rehearsal room and sorta taking it out on everybody else. I though, Well, fuckin' can I be arsed with the cunt any more? But once you take six months off you stand back and [think], Do I really wanna be in the studio when I'm not sure about a song and see a load of people who are paid to agree? Or do I wanna see my mates who are in this for the same reason? If I ask, "Am I doing the right thing here?" do I want people saying "Yes, Robbie, you are." Again, I never weighed that up-but looking at it now, I wouldn't want that. I respect Liam's opinion more than anybody else's on the planet.

That's a good reason.
It's the only reason. Six months sat on a beach will soon sort your head out. The anger at Liam and all that...you think, Yeah, he's been a bit of an arsehole, but you live in hope that he's gonna change. He hits 30 this year, so, cool, man.

You've often been quite self-deprecating about your own songwriting.
I'm just honest. It's not for effect. I'm not being honest for your benefit, or for the readers' benefit... I don't give a fuck what they think about my music: I'm being honest with myself. We'd been two weeks recording Be Here Now and somebody collared me outside Abbey Road and said, "What's it like?" and I said, "Pub rob bollocks". That wasn't me giving a humorous anecdote to the person with the tape recorder. I can loot at myself in the mirror every fuckin' morning when I'm having a shave. Liam's always saying, "There's no need for you to be like that." But I have to be comfortable with me. I can't dress my music up into something that it's not.

I don't sit down and go, "I'm gonna make music that's gonna be sung by the gods of fuckin' Uranus for the next 5000 aeons." What can I say to ya? I fuckin' play guitar in a fuckin' rock'n'roll. You can take it or leave it.

Do you get frustrated by being judged against The Beatles?
That's all come about because we're the biggest Beatles fans that ever lived, and we still are. It is unfair cos we don't sound like The Beatles. We're somehow required by the faceless masses to produce forward thinking music.

If we were the only band in the world that could actually play guitars, I would feel somehow indebted to do some different kinds of music. If you want fuckin' prog rock, fuckin' space jazz, death metal techno, it's all there for you in HMV. But we do what we do. It you want rock'n'roll that can lift you up out of your everyday life but not so far that it makes you want to slash your fuckin' wrists, if you want songs to drink to, if you want songs to put your arm 'round your girlfriend or your best mat to, then it doesn't get any beter than us. If you want reggae, there's Bob Marley. If you want progressive fuckin's forward-thinking rock music, there's Radiohead. If you want melancholy, introspective stuff there's Coldplay and Travis. I do stuff that makes my bollocks tingle, and what makes my bollocks tingle are The Stooges, the Pistols, The Beatles, and the Stones and The Stone Roses. As soon as we change out musical direction the first thing people say is, "What the fuck have you done that for?"

What makes you decide to keep a song for yourself to sing?
Liam. The reason Liam didn't sing Little By Little was that he had a go, and if Liam can't give it 110 per cent and then some, he just goes, "I'm not gonna fuckin' do it." I wanted him to sing it cos I wanted that to be the first single, and he was going, "That's one of the best fuckin' vocals you've ever sang, why do you want me to sing it?" And I was like, "You're the fuckin' singer" and he said, "I'm not gonna get it any better." It's his favourite ever Oasis song, and he came to singing it and he was gutted. I've seen him put his head in his hands on the mixing desk and he'll know. There are verses that are amazing that he sang, but he is his own boss. We're lucky we've got two frontmen. And when he says he can't sing it, I just go [gleefully] "Brilliant!" I just think, Well, that's a fuckin' shame, but they don't get consigned to the dustbin, I just get me headphones on and go, "Fuckin; right!"

Do you still have ambitions?
Everything I'd like to do I'm going to do. We're gonna go into fifth gear; the next record will happen very quickly. It might be overly fuckin' psychedelic, it might not be. The music that I've started to do, demos of little instrumental bits, it's more of the same but not as grandiose. I'd like to use a proper big-name producer-not that I think anyone could get an extra 10 per cent out of us, but just to see what it was like. We're at a stage now where if it's not working, we can go back to our own studio. We're quite capable of it. Once you've played Knebworth and sold 18 million copies of Morning Glory-they're all factual things, just statistics-there are no more records to be broken. It'd be nice to have a Number 1 album in America, but it's not something I would chase around the fuckin' room like a fuckin' chicken [imitates strangled chicken noise]. I'd like to cover one of George Harrison's songs, It's All Too Much, as a band. Just covers really. [Burt Bacharach's] This Guy's In Love With You.

You're quite loved up at the moment, aren't you?
[Slightly defensive] Not overly loved up, no. I've always loved that song. [Returning briskly to previous question] I've met all my heroes and they were all cool. I sang that song with Burt Bacharach onstage with a fuckin' 50 piece orchestra-it doesn't get any better for me. I personally know Neil Young, he likes my fuckin' records. I've giggles with him and he's cool. Paul Weller's one of me best mates, I know Ian Brown and I know Johnny Marr. There's nothing really that's missing from my life in musical terms.

How easy was it to give up almost half an album to other people?
It's wasn't "giving up". Really. After the six I've got on the album, I only wrote another thee or four songs. Usually I'd write 18, an album and B-sides. I didn't go askin' the band, "Can you help me out?" Liam had got a load of songs together and went up to the studio with the boys and did a session with all his tunes. Three songs stood out. He didn't say, "Is it alright if we do some of my tunes?" I was like, "Fuckin' Songbird is a major tune, man, but I think you're playing it wrong, and Born On A Different Cloud is brilliant, don't change any of that, and Better Man is really great but we can get it better." Gem and Andy never said [timidly] "Could we possibly do one of mine?" When you're in the studio people start playing. It's all very natural. Saying that, next time I might write all the songs. I might not write any. It's very fluid.

How has the dynamic in the band changed?
It's just very natural. No-one's trying to edge anybody else out for the guitar parts or the harmonies or anything like that. I've always been of the opinion that we are all slaves to the record. Regardless of who has written it or who's producing it, the record is in charge. Of course, if it's my song and I think one part sounds great and everyone else thinks that it sounds shit, if I believe in it 250 per cent, then it ends up being the way that I want it. If I'm doing something that I think sounds really great and everybody else thinks it sounds shit, and I'm in two minds, then I'd go with them-cos Liam, Andy and Gem, I'd take their opinion over anybody's.

Would you write with Liam or the others?
I helped him out on Better Man, and we all helped out of Different Cloud, but, see, I've never actually sat down and... Me and Paul Weller, on a number of occasions, have tried to sit down [thinking] "We should write a song cos it would be great" but for whatever reason the magic's not been in the air. So I don't think it's something you could plan. It would be great to have a Gallagher/Gallagher composition at Number 1, it would be fuckin' great, it would be great for music. It would be... the natural thing. But again, I wouldn't do it for the sake of it.

Do the other writers in the band consciously try to write Oasis songs?
I don't know whether they do, but I certainly hope they do, cos we don't do space jazz. We do psychedelia and stuff like that sometimes, when it suits us, but we're not claiming to be pushing the boundaries of music forward here. We make music that we listen to. We make music that we like to listen to. We like rock'n'roll. We like electric guitars. But saying that, there were no guidelines set down for anybody, apart from, "Don't fuckin' come in here with a reggae song, because I won't even listen to it." That's it, really. Anyway, Gem was in Heavy Stereo, they were a rock'n'roll group. And Andy's musical influence are more broad than anybody's-Buffalo Springfield and lots of Krautrock and stuff like that. That may well come out in his songwriting, I certainly hope it will. But the rest of us have all got virtually identical record collections.

Has your daughter Anais started to respond to music yet?
She does like a dance-to the Tweenies, I have to admit. I went to Wembley Arena to see the Tweenies with her and she was having a bit of a boogie. It's actually very confusing for her at the minute because she thinks that I live in the television. I think she finds it quite odd. She thinks [mimes toddle viewing dad in the flesh with amused suspicion] "Hmmm." She's two and a half now and she's coming on fuckin; great, man. She's absolutely hilarious. Funnily enough, she can already decipher between happy songs and sad songs. She'll be running 'round the house like a madhead, and I'll just be strumming away, and she'll stop and go, [very small, sweet voice] "play a happy song," and I'll play Roll With It and she'll have a dance. I'm sure she'll take the path of any normal adolescent: Robbie Williams, Britney Spears, Eminem.

Would you mind her playing Robbie Williams around the house?
If she gets something from Robbie Williams, great. Music's there to be enjoyed. If she's genuinely interested, which I hope she will be, I cannot wait to sit down and go, "Right. White Album. Fuckin' check this out". Or the Doves' album. If not, that's fine. It'd be great if she was, though.

Noel Gallagher - NY Rock - July 2002

Divorce, fights, and plenty of mud slinging with other bands and within their own ranks – could it all be a thing of the past for Oasis? The boys went through some changes in their line-up and now seem to be – surprise, surprise – rather sane and sober. Original members – the notorious Gallagher brothers, Liam and Noel – added Andy Bell (bass), Alan White (drums) and Gem Archer (guitar) to their team and started anew.

Not only are drinking excursions and old band members yesterday's news, but the band's approach to songwriting has changed quite a bit too....

NYROCK: The new album, Heathen Chemistry, is slightly different from the band's previous work. Tell me about it.
NOEL: I guess it's called growing up. But Oasis has become more of a band in a way. It used to be left to me to write songs, at least songs that did sound good. But Liam is starting to write more and things changed. We got a new line-up. That's always a chance for a new start and it's more something like a mutual effort. The old Oasis basically was "Noel's writing the songs, Liam sings them and the rest just play their instruments." That has changed and it feels a lot healthier.

NYROCK: In the past, scandals seemed to follow Oasis around. What's changed?
NOEL: Our line-up changed and that's always a good headline and the divorce of a rock star also always gets a lot of attention. Liam's private life wasn't a particular happy one and at the same time he tried to be a good songwriter, leave his mark as a songwriter. But he got dissed all the time and somehow he just lost it sometimes. It's pretty normal to have a freak out from time to time. I think everybody has, but when you've reached a certain level of popularity every freak out is highly published. Take the scandal when he was caught in the tube without a ticket. Shit, it happens and lots of people get caught in London every day, but they're not famous so you don't read about it. It's as simple as that.

Maybe we did make it a bit easy for the media. I speak my mind and the media picks out the things they want to hear. But, hey, that's all right. I can be honest and the media has something to write about. Otherwise, they'd be forced to waste all their space on bands like Travis or Coldplay.

NYROCK: So Oasis have become something of a team effort?
NOEL: It had to become something like that. I started to feel really empty and burned out because I wanted to do everything on my own. I have to admit that I was quite a shit sometimes, you know. I forbid the others to write songs and that has changed as well. Six of the eleven songs on Heathen Chemistry are songs written or co-written by other band members and two of Liam's songs are great. They're fantastic songs. If he keeps at it, he's got the potential to become a great songwriter.

NYROCK: Is it hard for a control freak like you to let others take over?
NOEL: In a way it is and it took some time to get used to it. On the other hand, it's also great because it's a weight that's been taken off of my shoulders. I can lean back and let others take on some responsibility. I don't have to do everything anymore. I can take my breaks and the world ain't going to stop. It's a learning process, growing up maybe, but something I really did have to do.

NYROCK: You founded a new label Sour Mash and it specialises in indie bands. That seemed unusual to me.
NOEL: It's not unusual at all. I love the wild underground sound, the stuff that comes out the US right now, bands like the White Stripes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Strokes. They're like a fresh breeze, great bands that shake up the rather anaemic rock 'n' roll. Those bands don't only exist in the US. We got them in the UK as well, but one has to find them and that's something I want to do. My mission if you want to call it that.

NYROCK: In the past, booze and drugs were your main source of inspiration, but you seemed to have kicked it all...
NOEL: A lot of reasons played into it. First of all, I wanted to survive. Then, I became a father. Those were the obvious things. But, still, you know, when I sit back and think about songs like "Wonderwall" and "Supersonic," I do realize that I don't even remember anything. I don't remember when I wrote them. I don't remember why I wrote them and that's really a bit embarrassing – especially for a songwriter.

NYROCK: For a while, it looked like Oasis would cease to exist. You got so fed up with the band that you packed your stuff and left....
NOEL: I had to. It was simply something that needed to be done because I really didn't have any other choice. Liam was annoying the hell out of me. He just was on about that he's the greatest and stuff like that. Sometimes he can be over the top and then he becomes a real pain in the arse. I really couldn't bear it anymore and I had, in fact, two choices: Kill him to shut him up. Or leave. Obviously, I opted for leaving, otherwise I'd be in jail and not here now. But that's all in the past.

What I think does count is the fact that we're still a band and we're a hungry band, something we haven't been for far too long.