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Sunday, February 11, 2007
Noel Gallagher of Oasis: Cat Power
Oasis majordomo Noel Gallagher is turning back the clock. Not just because he’s staring at the specter of turning 40, but because he and his unruly brother have put together a greatest hits album, tellingly titled Stop the Clocks. Having made peace with Oasis’ legacy and his own demons, he talks to Harp about “being bigger than the Beatles,” and disposable band members.
HARP: Why do they leave? Are you hard on them?
NOEL GALLAGHER: Not knowing who is going to play on the next record keeps it interesting for me. None of it is planned out; it just happens that way. In case of who was the first casualty, [original drummer Tony McCarroll] got on my tits because he couldn’t play the drums properly. [Second drummer Alan White] started acting like a session musician. If I’m living it 24 hours a day, everybody else better be. I’ve had various people say, “I’ve got to get off at 5 p.m.—my cat has a cough and the vet is coming around.” Fuck the cat! You can always get another cat.
HARP: You left the band during a 2005 tour and disappeared for a couple of days. Did you feel like you did the right thing?
I always calm down after about 48 moments. In the heat of the moment you have to go with your heart and forget your fucking head. If you mosey through life and take everything on the chin, that’s no way to live.
HARP: With Oasis you set your goals really high.
We actually believed it. Being bigger than the Beatles. I genuinely believed that I was going to be part of one of the biggest bands in the world at some point. And I was proved right, you know.
HARP: Did you ever learn how to drive?
No, still can’t! At the end of the Be Here Now tour, the first thing I was going to do was learn how to drive and get a fucking rock star car. So I had a car built, probably about $200,000 to build this car. I still haven’t passed my test. I’ve kinda slipped into the likes of having a chauffeur. I can sit in the back seat of a car, pontificating about how great the Kings Of Leon [are] without having to worry about any road signals.
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