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Friday, October 20, 2006
Noel'sThoughts on Oasis Film, Stop the Clocks and Parenthood
On the surface, all might seem quiet on the usually blustery Oasis front. The multi-platinum English outfit hasn’t recorded any new material since last year’s Don’t Believe The Truth, and has no plans to re-enter the studio any time soon. Dig deeper, however, and you’ll find their hive is actually buzzing with activity. Band Svengali Noel Gallagher just left London for rustic Buckinghamshire; joined his pals Kasabian onstage for a couple of numbers at an NME-sponsored bash; tracked two Beatles covers for an upcoming John Lennon tribute program (one with the Stereophonics, another with Johnny Marr and Cornershop); and just viewed the final cut of Lord Don’t Slow Me Down, an Oasis tour documentary hitting overseas theaters this fall. Somehow, he and his frontman/kid brother, Liam, also found the time to hand-pick 18 Oasis classics for upcoming Stop The Clocks anthology for Columbia, which kicks off with the long overdue release of early B-side single “Acquiesce,” one of the band’s best-loved standards. It also includes the recent Noel-sung smash, “The Importance of Being Idle,” although its composer is anything but these days.
Sipping afternoon tea in his new countryside mansion, Gallagher paused long enough to chat.
The Wave: So what’s the film’s story?
Noel Gallagher: I don’t know whether there is a story. I think that the guy who was making the film, Baillie Walsh, thought that his story would unfold across the nine months he filmed us. But I don’t think one ever did. The bulk of it is the American tour with us, Kasabian, and Jet, and then there are bits in England, bits in Japan, so it’s kinda broadly based all around the world. We weren’t in any hurry to let the cameras in to see what actually goes on backstage, and I think a bit of mystery in a band’s life is pretty much a good thing. But everybody was kinda on their best behavior. I think Baillie was expecting the drinking-champagne-out-of-cowboy-boots-at-seven-o’clock-in-the-morning-while-swinging-from-a-chandelier kinda thing. But he got onboard 10 years too late for that. So it’s the story of a band who are... errr... just kinda comfortable with where they are. I’ve seen the film once, and I thought it was great, beautifully shot. But, as for what it all means? Who the f--k knows? I don’t.
TW: Oddly enough, “All Around The World” is not on the collection. And thanks to those endless AT&T commercials, it’s probably now your most famous song – at least, in the States, where you hear it every five minutes.
NG: The reason it’s not on the anthology is that it’s just too f--king long – we couldn’t really find a place for it anywhere. But the reason that that came about for the advert was, we got an offer, and blah, blah, blah, my manager’s going on about it, and it was something that I’ve never kinda considered before, and there was a lot of cash involved. But I was like, “Nah, it’s not really my bag.” But Liam, bless him, said, “Look – that song’s 10 years old, right? We never f--king play it. It’s not one of the big famous songs, so why don’t you just f--king cash in on it?” And I was like, “Well, fine. Fair enough.”
And I said, “How much is it again?” [when] the figure came back, it wasn’t a very difficult decision after that. And, of course, living here, we don’t get to see the advert ’cause it wasn’t shown in England. But I was in Mexico and I’ve been in New York quite recently, and I hear it twice a day, every day, when I’m in the States.
TW: It’s great that “Acquiesce” is finally getting a shot at the charts. It never really got a fair shake.
NG: It was the same as “The Masterplan.” I was kinda sent into the studio to write a B-side, and that’s what I wrote. And when I wrote ’em, people were going, “Oooh – they’re a bit too good for B-sides!” And I was like, “Look – you f--king put me in the studio; that’s what I’ve written. And if you don’t f--king like it, don’t put me in the studio.” There was a two- or three-year period where everything I wrote was just fantastic. And, of course, if all the B-sides for the singles off Morning Glory would’ve been what became the Be Here Now album, I think we would’ve gone on to be possibly one of the biggest bands of all time. Not that we’re not anyway. But I think we would’ve been as big as U2, because I had an idea in my head for Be Here Now – it was to be the most bombastic, f--king hugest-sounding record of all time. And I didn’t worry too much about the words or the arrangements. But the really interesting stuff from around that period is the B-sides – there’s a lot more inspired music on the B-sides than there is on Be Here Now itself, I think.
TW: You and your ex, Meg Matthews, were just in the news, denying custody-battle rumors about your daughter, Anais. How is Anais holding up under all this press scrutiny?
NG: Ah, she’s alright. She’s like any normal six-year-old – she’s a little too cheeky for her own good, but she’s alright. I see her on a regular basis. And she’s only six, but unfortunately she already likes Kylie Minogue, which is something that I’m not too pleased about. And actually, my girlfriend took her to see Kylie Minogue last year, before Kylie got ill. But Anais is into animals now – she’s obsessed with dogs, cats, sheep, horses, spiders, and all sorts.
TW: It seems like you got into being a dad much more than you ever imagined you would.
NG: Well, I never had any dreams to be. I mean, I love kids, but I don’t really dig being a parent, so I’m kinda learning as I go along about parenthood. Especially for a guy. It’s different for women, because they carry the child for nine months and all that. So they have nine months to prepare for a child being born, whereas guys get about 10 minutes. For the eight months, 20-some days, you’re thinking, “This is all gonna be some horrible mistake, and I’m gonna wake up in a minute, and I’m still gonna be a single guy, and there’s gonna be no kids involved!” So you get about 10 minutes to prepare for it. But I think it’s a challenge to be a cool parent. But I don’t know – my parents split when I was young and all that, so Anais is following in my footsteps in that respect. But I have good days and bad days, being a dad. But it’s one of those things – you’ve just gotta get on with it and take it day by day, week by week. And I do my best.
source: wave magazine
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