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.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Noel Gallagher - News.com.au - 22nd December 2005

OASIS guitarist Noel Gallagher talks about rivalry in the industry and his love of Australia.

You've said not only are Oasis better live than U2 and Coldplay, but they know it ...
They know that we s*** over them. Of course they know. We have two guitarists in our band. They have only two between them. End of story. They know. Me, Chris Martin (Coldplay) and Bono (U2) have a friendly rivalry, not that we're in some celebrity f*** club, but I do talk to the pair of them on a regular basis.

Is it an unspoken thing, that they just know?
Yeah. They know we're the bollocks. They were on their hands and knees begging us to play Live8. Sorry, it's not a big enough show for us.

It's the end of the year. In hindsight, what did you think of Coldplay's X&Y?
Of their three albums, it's definitely not the best. I love the opening track, Square One. The first single (Speed of Sound) grew on me more and more. Talk's OK. They're kind of in the same position we are ...

X&Y is their Be Here Now. Discuss.
No, no. It's not that bad. Parachutes will be their Definitely Maybe. A Rush of Blood ... will be their Morning Glory. I'm a mate of Chris, I wouldn't compare X&Y to Be Here Now. Theirs will sell about 25 million.

Their position is similar to the one you were in, though. How do you follow up two big albums?
It's a difficult position. I know he was a bit freaked out at the beginning of this year. It's where they go next that's important to them. If you become a group of that size, everyone has their Rattle and Hum. Ours is Be Here Now; theirs will go down as X&Y. It's what you do afterwards. U2 fell away but came back. We fell away and came back. It seems to be a trend - bands disappear and come back. He's a good enough songwriter to carry it off. But they'll have an albatross around their necks called Parachutes for the rest of their lives. It's a masterpiece.

While you're being a rock critic, as a Beatles obsessive, what did you think of Paul McCartney's new record?
There are a few songs I like. Jenny Wren is great, (Riding to) Vanity Fair is great. Fine Line the single is all right. English Tea is atrocious and he does it to you every time. But it kind of lives up to the hype and justifies him being on the road next year. I'd give it a solid 7 out of 10.

In the UK this year Pete Doherty of Babyshambles has taken over Oasis's role as bad boy of rock ...
He's a sweet kid, I've met him a few times. He's not the genius everyone makes him out to be. In fact, far from a genius if his new (Babyshambles) album's anything to go by. He'll go down in history as a Morrissey and Marr or Lennon and McCartney type character. Him and Carl (Barat, the Libertines) were great for each other. Apart they'll probably be shocking. There's a lot of hypocrisy in the British press about drugs. The people who write the stories are usually off their heads on cocaine anyway.

It's been a big year for Oasis. You've had two UK No.1 singles (Lyla, The Importance of Being Idle) and a No.2 (Let There Be Love) ...
It kind of cements our position as a bonafide great singles band, up there with the Kinks and the Smiths.

So what about an Oasis best-of? Is that on the cards for next year?
We've come to the end of our contract with Sony. We won't sign with them again. I'm worried they'll cash in and release a best-of. I've always said we'd never do one until we'd split. I think they're going to force our hand. I really wouldn't want to do one, but if they put one out we'll have to get involved otherwise it'll be s***. I hope we don't do one. It's all a scam. You should put one out only when you're finished - in chronological order. But I have a feeling they'll do the dirty on us.

You've been doing some good PR talking up the new Jet album ...
I'm a convert. I never liked them. I didn't dislike them, I just thought, Jet, they're all right. I wouldn't have gone out of my way to see them. But I had friends say, "Seriously, go see them". And I saw them one night and they were pretty good. I like AC/DC but I'm not a fan of that kind of music. But scratch below the surface with Jet and it's more punk. Some of the faster songs are really good.

After the Be Here Now shows you redeemed yourself on your last tour of Australia two years ago ...
Yeah, when we came the first time the band didn't do itself any favours.

They weren't your best shows ...
They were f***ing rubbish. But we had a great time. That's probably why they were so rubbish. I love Australia. I'd move to Australia if it wasn't so far away. If you were in Europe, if you were where Spain is, I'd live here. It's like America. Not that I like America. It's like America weather-wise, but it's not full of fat idiots.

When you play in Australia you attract a lot of British backpackers, which seems to annoy you.
OK, the British like to travel, we all like to travel. But you don't have to carry a Union Jack with you. I've been to see You Am I in London and I've never seen people waving Australian flags over there. I get a bit embarrassed when I see British people in Australia because they just act so ... English. They always have their tops off and are shouting at the tops of their voices. They annoy me. They all wear flip flops. I've got a problem with geezers in flip flops at gigs.

Your brother Liam wears shorts on stage now ...
It's f***ing out of order! It's embarrassing, a man of his age ...

It's not rock, is it?
Nor roll. It's neither rock nor roll.

# Don't Believe the Truth (Sony BMG) out now.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Noel Gallagher - The West Australian - 15th December 2005

26,000 souls bellowed Don’t Look Back In Anger in the mud and rain at Sunday’s Rock-it Festival, proving rock veterans Oasis will always hold a nostalgic place in our hearts. There’s little argument the band’s music has informed the experiences of an entire generation.

Yet Oasis in 2005 is a very different beast to the rowdy Mancunian lad-pack who brewed the world into a storm back in Britpop’s heady days, and rare pre-gig chat with 38-year-old Noel Gallagher - scribe of the Oasis master plan - reveals a soul at ease, more than a decade after launching one of the most successful rock careers of our times.

Two hours before the show, Gallagher is ensconced with mineral water and a cheese and fruit platter in his 5-star hotel, and the whole Oasis team is buzzing around like a well-greased engine. Liam Gallagher is in the bar, ordering a latte.

It’s all a far cry from the coked-up mayhem that was their shambolic 1998 Perth visit, that saw Noel stomp through the gates at the Perth international airport brandishing his Union Jack emblazoned guitar in the air like a warrior’s club, surrounded by howling Britpop fans.

Noel cringes at mention of ‘that tour’.

“I mean at the time, you do know we were heavily into drugs?” inquires Gallagher in his well-honed satirical tone.

“I don’t know if you’ve heard the term ‘lost the plot’ but I tell you young man, you’ve got no f**king idea. I was surrounded by people who had totally lost the plot, in every way.

“No matter what it looked like, ‘98 was in the middle of some of my best times in Oasis, and that’s probably why the shows were so shite. We were taking drugs and partying, end of story.

“This time around I haven’t left me hotel room once. You’re the first person I’ve spoken to. I’m mean the football’s on TV, I’m not very well going to go sightseeing am I?”

Oasis’s latest album Don’t Believe The Truth has regained some well-needed critical press acclaim for the band, and is already being compared to Definitely Maybe era work.

Last week, Noel told a reporter Oasis was no doubt a bigger band than U2 and Coldplay. When pursuing Noel on this point, it was good to see his charming arrogance is still alive and well.

“I didn’t say we were bigger, I said we were better!” says Gallagher.

“If you ask Chris Martin or Bono who produced the better album this year, if they were being honest they’d say that Don’t Believe The Truth is far better quality. And that’s that.”

As for the future, Gallagher says Oasis has enough songs left in them for at least one more album, and admits that he’s not longer so precious about the fine details.

“I’ve distanced myself from Oasis for a few years now. It’s not 1994 anymore. Gem and Liam are writing good songs, and well I don’t speak for the band, but we conquered every f**king mountain there was to conquer years ago. We’ve got nothing to prove no more,” says Gallagher.

“Plus, you can’t go around acting like a 24 year old your whole life can you? I’ll be going on 60 years old in 20 years, and there’s no way I’m going to be acting like Mick Jagger then. I wouldn’t have the f**king energy.

“At the end of the day, this is it for me. Since 1993 when me girlfriend at the time and I rented a council flat and couldn’t pay the rent, I’ve only ever had one thing to dream about. That’s rock n’ roll. You’ve heard the songs, that’s what we’ll always be about.”

Later that night, as Live Forever pierced the skies, there was no doubt.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Marcus Russell - Wales On Sunday - 4th December 2005

Online Link

WHEN Oasis take to the stage in Wales on Saturday, there'll be one Welsh voice cheering louder than all the rest - Ebbw Vale-born Marcus Russell, their manager and friend.

The softly-spoken former school teacher, also chief executive of Ebbw Vale RFC, has been managing the band for the past 12 years.

And despite having toured all over the world with the Gallagher brothers, the Noise and Confusion gig at the Millennium Stadium is the one that means the most.

Marcus, 45, said: "It's going to be a big day for everyone.

"Obviously I'm really pleased, coming from South Wales there's no greater venue for the band to play.

"Liam and Noel have been very keen to play at the stadium ever since it became available. This is the first real opportunity they've had to do it, the first time it has fit in with our touring schedule.

"It's great for them because it's fulfilling an ambition.

"They have never been in the stadium before. Everyone knows they're huge football fans but they've never even caught a game at Cardiff so this will be something incredibly special.

"People who've been there keep telling them the atmosphere and noise in there, with the roof on, is incredible. It'll be an emotional, fantastic night."

Marcus played a pivotal role in Oasis conquering both the UK and America.
But despite his globetrotting - he boards almost as many planes for far-off destinations as Liam and Noel now - his heart remains in Wales.

Speaking from Australia as the Gallaghers left the stage in Melbourne this week, he said: "I was actually at the stadium for the Wales v Australia game last weekend, just before flying to Australia to join the boys on tour.

"I've lost count of the number of games I've seen at the stadium but, strangely enough, I've never seen a concert there so next weekend will be a new experience for me too.

"I'm back and fore to Wales a lot because my family are still here. I probably make it back around twice a month."

In an amazing comeback year, Oasis have played 77 sell-out gigs around the world - from the UK, to Europe, Japan, America and Australia.

Their album, Don't Believe The Truth, which went straight to number one in the UK and Japan when it was released at the end of May, has already spawned two number one singles in the form of Lyla and The Importance Of Being Idle.

And with Scottish and Irish sell-out gigs taking them right up until December 22, a European tour planned for January and February next year, and Let There Be Love looking set to chart high in the singles chart this week, it seems there's no rest for Oasis or Marcus.

He says: "I think you can safely say 2005 is the best year we've ever had. We're just loving it. It has been a very successful year. The boys have a very good work ethic. They're still working hard."

So are the once-brawling brothers now all grown up?

"Yes. And I'm sure their families will be in Cardiff next weekend to support them.

"I think, if anything, they appreciate what they have got and where they are, as artists and individuals, now more than ever.

"And they definitely appreciate the fans. So getting out there and performing has been excellent."

As for Marcus, music has been a part of his life from his early teens, when he remembers his brother bringing home Rolling Stones singles.

He first left Ebbw Vale in 1975 to study education at Middlesex Polytechnic. While there he promoted several punk bands and even staged a show for the Sex Pistols.

When he finished college he settled with his wife in Essex, where he took up a teaching job. But when they split years later, disillusioned with teaching, he drifted into management with Eighties hopefuls Latin Quarter.

When the Smiths split in 1987 he managed guitarist Johnny Marr. And then he saw Oasis.

But his monumental success doesn't mean he's neglected Wales' music industry.

He said: "Oasis recorded their first two albums in Wales. The massive album, What's The Story, Morning Glory? was recorded at Rockfield and we've recorded at Caerleon and Monnow. But the boys have not been back to Wales since then.

"In January and February we are touring Europe and the band have invited the Stereophonics to tour with them. They've never played with them before so that looks set to be a great tour.

"The Super Furry Animals have also been with us for the big UK stadium gigs we did back in June.

"And there was a good relationship with the Manic Street Preachers.

"I don't think it's a conscious decision to keep the Wales connection but over the years everyone gets to know each other. Plus, you know, there are good bands in Wales and all of those who become successful deserve a place on the big stage."

Noel & Liam Gallagher - Sunrise - 4th December 2005

Friday, December 02, 2005

Noel Gallagher - The Age - 2nd December 2005

IT'S 5pm outside Festival Hall in West Melbourne — a good four hours before Oasis hit the stage. About 100 young fans are braving the heat for a glimpse of their heroes: knockabout Manchester songwriting siblings Noel and Liam Gallagher.

Some more dedicated fans are congregating around the corner at the Hotel Spencer, asking each other how long they've been "in the family".

Oasis fans show a fierce allegiance, more akin to a football team than a band. And with competition for the concert dollar from the Foo Fighters, Motley Crue and Green Day over the next fortnight, loyalty is paramount to staying at the top.

But the respect is not necessarily returned. Backstage, Noel Gallagher is discussing his relationship with the fans. "They get on my tits to be honest," Noel said. "If they're outside the gig and I've got the time, I don't mind signing album covers — you can go and sell it on eBay and go and buy another one — brilliant. But people come up to me wanting me to sign little bits of paper, but what are they gonna do with it?

"People were outside the hotel yesterday saying, 'Can I have a picture?' No, you don't need it and I don't want to do it. What do you want with it? Just because they buy the record doesn't give them any right to chase me up the street with a pen and a piece of paper."

But the band does love Melbourne — on their last tour Noel tried to buy Cherry bar in AC/DC Lane and they recently asked Jet to support them on their US tour. "I'm glad Jet are from Melbourne — it would have been crap if they were from Sydney, because I don't really like Sydney that much. There's a very nice harbour, but a certain lack of soul about it. I'd rather live here."

On this tour, the Mancunians have been paying tribute to late Manchester United soccer legend George Best — even though he didn't play for their team, Manchester City.

"Georgie transcended football," Noel said. "He was called the fifth Beatle and he looked cool as f---. He owned a nightclub and a clothes shop and drove a Ferrari and he shagged Miss World.

The only thing he didn't do in his life that was cool was play music, and he probably would have been good at that, too. I met him a few times. He was real good fun."

At 9pm, the brothers hit the stage with rhythm guitarist Gem Archer, bassist Andy Bell and new drummer Zak Starkey (who just happens to be Ringo Starr's son). In sweltering heat, the band presented their psychedelic wall of sound in songs from their recent album Don't Believe the Truth.

They haven't written a great album in 10 years, but they are still idolised by their fans who cheer, swing and sway along. Festival Hall had the atmosphere of a soccer game — where the fans couldn't lose. All that was missing was Georgie Best.

Noel Gallagher - Herald Sun - 2nd December 2005

OASIS guitarist Noel Gallagher has declared that his band is better than U2 and Coldplay.

And he insists the other bands know it."They know that we s--- over them," Gallagher said yesterday on the eve of the British band's sold-out Festival Hall show.

"We've got two guitarists in our band. They've only got two between them. End of story.

"Me, Chris Martin (Coldplay) and Bono (U2) have a friendly rivalry. Not that we're in some celebrity club, but I do talk to them on a regular basis and they know we're the bollocks.

"They were on their hands and knees begging us to play Live8. It wasn't a big enough show for us."

Oasis has had a remarkable comeback this year. Next week its new album Don't Believe the Truth is set to be the band's third consecutive British No. 1 this year with the Noel and Liam Gallagher duet Let There Be Love.

"Coldplay and U2 haven't had three No. 1s in a row," Gallagher joked. "Coldplay haven't had any No. 1s in the UK, actually."

Gallagher scoffed at rumours he's feuding with brother Liam after an incident in Brisbane.

"It's bollocks," Gallagher said. "It's quite preposterous. Things are fine."

Gallagher is a fan of Australia. "I'd move here if it wasn't so far away. It's like America weather-wise, but it's not full of fat idiots," he said.

Oasis's final Melbourne show is at Festival Hall tonight.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Noel Gallagher - Bangkok Post - December 2005

What's the story?

Noel Gallagher, the Oasis guitarist/singer/songwriter, talks about the new album, what he thinks of new music these days and the upcoming gig in Bangkok

Noel Gallagher was right on the dot. Despite being in the midst of the Oasis Australian tour, the senior Gallagher managed to find time to place a call the minute that his label said he would. To make matters more intriguing, one half of the notoriously thugish pair of siblings did not swear once except at the mention of the new disco punk darlings, Bloc Party.

Why the big fuss over a punctual, polite musician, you may wonder. Isn't it the norm? No, not when it's Noel Gallagher, who, together with his brother Liam and their band Oasis, were swept along with the Brit Pop craze and were introduced to the world with their 1994 now classic debut album, Definitely Maybe.

This is a man whose constant, public feuds with everyone from the press to his own brother earned him more tabloid space and reputation than he cares to remember. This is a man who often litters his speech with ``fooking'' (a bit of Manchester accent there) and ``c***s''.
Maybe the mood has been lifted because Oasis had such a phenomenal gig in Melbourne two nights ago.

``I've got good days and bad days,'' said Gallagher, on the subject of being on the road. ``Some days I love it. Some days I wish I were home, but that's kind of the same for any artist, I think.''
Australia might not be the only place that will elevate Gallagher's spirits _ the band are booked as one of the headliners of an upcoming international rock festival to be held in Bangkok in February next year, which would be the second time that Oasis have played on these shores.

``Be patient. We will be with you next year,'' said Gallagher, in confirmation.

That's where Oasis are these days _ touring the world. They are no longer Brit Pop royalty, trading acidic barbs with Blur on a regular basis or even appearing too often in the tabloids, bruised and hammered. They are indeed one of the few who survived the abysmal end of the Brit Pop era in the mid-'90s, along with Blur. Oasis now play stadiums worldwide and dub themselves as ``the best band in the world''.

This ``best band in the world'' has come a long way. Formed by a group of Mancunian schoolmates Liam Gallagher (vocals), Paul ``Bonehead'' Arthurs (guitar), Paul McGuigan (bass) and Tony McCaroll (drums), brother Noel later joined the group upon his return home after a stint as the Inspiral Carpets' roadie. The band forced themselves and their demo onto the Creation Record head honcho Alan McGee, who, of course, signed them. The first single, Supersonic, released in 1994, paved the way for the rest of the Oasis saga.

They were hailed as one of the most exciting rock acts ever with the original line-up (former guitarist Bonehead now works with Sek Loso) during the height of Definitely Maybe and 1995's (What's the Story) Morning Glory?. They were helped by their true Brit lyrics, swelling guitars, anti-metrosexual poses and Liam's still intact sneer.

Even so, they have suffered since then from less than flattering reviews of their other studio albums, the last being Heathen Chemistry in 2002. Oasis have also suffered at the hands of critics who view the band as stagnant in terms of sonic development, but Gallagher does not seem to be concerned.

``We make Oasis music. We don't make any particular kind of music, you know what I mean? I don't think we've grown much as a band. And in 10 years' time, I think we'll be pretty much the same as we are now really, except we'll be old with grey hair and fatty bottoms.''

Their latest album, Don't Believe the Truth, released earlier this year, seems to be salvaging the band's reputation from being has-beens. It took three years to produce the album, one major overhaul where everything was scraped, and one fired-up pair of electronica wizards, Death in Vegas, to produce.

Gallagher concedes that the line-up is now better than ever with Andy Bell, the former member of Ride and the founder of Hurricane #1, on bass, and Gem Archer, the ex-guitarist of Heavy Stereo, on rhythm guitar. And after the departure of Alan White, Oasis got a bit of help from Zak Starkey (son of the Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr) whom critics said was the best drummer Oasis ever had.

``It makes it a lot easier to record music because everybody has fairly good ideas, not just for songs, but for parts of the songs as well,'' he said.

Don't Believe the Truth also sees the older Gallagher giving up his role as sole composer. Liam wrote three songs, the most he has ever contributed to one album, while Bell and Archer contributed two and one respectively. Surprisingly, Gallagher is not overly concerned that the writing torch is being passed around.

``My input is diminishing slightly, but I don't mind that as long as the record's still great. I can concentrate on the good songs that I've written, instead of trying to write a full album. And I much prefer it this way than the old way, where I was writing everything. It does tend to slow things down a little bit but I think that for the most part, it [turned out to be] for the better, so I'm pretty pleased,'' he said.

Gallagher senior, however, was still the one who selected which songs went onto the album.

``I suppose I'm the oldest, so I get to choose,'' he quipped, adding that he believed fellow band members trusted his ear.

``I just choose the ones that I think are the best and everyone seems to agree with me. I think I know a good song when I hear one, because I've been doing it for long enough.''

There was a rumour that super prolific Oasis wrote over 100 songs for this album _ which is actually not far from the truth.

``We wrote 66 songs for this album and we chose 11, so we got 55 left,'' Gallagher said. ``About 44 are not very good. So I think we got enough material for another record.''

The first single from this album, Lyla, went straight to No. 1 in the UK and many countries in Europe and quickly became a mass chant-along at recent Oasis gigs.

``It's about a girl who's like Cinderella,'' Gallagher said. ``But of course, Cinderella won't be a very good name for a song.''

Their second single, The Importance of Being Idle, is probably the most Oasis-sounding track on the album and won the Best Single of the Year Award from Q magazine. The latest single, Let There Be Love, is being claimed as a defining moment in the band's history. ``It's the oldest song on the album. It was written about seven years ago and it's only just finished off prior to the beginning of the recording of this album. It's a very special song. It's very beautiful.''

Cited as an influence on many new UK bands, and, at the same time, dubbed outdated and irrelevant, Gallagher is not all that enthusiastic about the music scene these days.

``It's nothing more than okay,'' he said. ``I don't think there's been a great album release for a few years now. I don't think bands are very concerned about making it big any more. I don't understand a lot of music these days.''

He does not hold a high opinion of Bloc Party, one of the most hyped new bands this year. Mention of them actually unleashed a few of the swear words for which he is famed.

For him, the last great album was Parachutes, the debut album by Coldplay. So it's probably not a surprise that Chris Martin has said how Coldplay were influenced by Definitely Maybe.

``I feel flattered,'' Gallagher said. ``I've got to say I don't hear it in the music, but that's cool because I like Coldplay a lot.''

So if a lot of new music is terrible, what's been playing on Noel Gallagher's stereo then? ``I listen to Kasabian a lot. I listen to the Coral a lot. I also listen to Bob Dylan, the Velvet Underground and the Beatles a lot,'' he said.

For their next UK tour, Oasis will be supported by Shack, a band that Gallagher believes to be an ``absolute f***ing legend''. He has just signed them to his label and they will be putting out a record by 2007 at the latest.

Gallagher has two record labels, but refuses to call himself a businessman. Rather, he describes himself as `` an ideas man''.

``Somebody else takes care of the business. I just come up with some fantastic ideas for music and bands,'' he said.

Before wrapping up the interview, one question had to be asked: Does Gallagher truly believe that Oasis is the best band in the world?
``I think we are the best band in my world,'' he said.

And for the 2005 Noel Gallagher, that seems to be enough.