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Monday, April 13, 2009
Liam Gallagher Interview from Singapore
Liam Gallagher’s handshake was firm. He didn’t get up from his seat when I met him inside a function room of the Singapore Indoor Stadium two hours before he goes up onstage.
With his new buzz cut, the creases on his face and the film of wisdom in his eyes, the irrepressible and irreverent front man of rock super group Oasis was looking far less intimidating than in years past, when his wild and often violent ways made headlines around the world. I had no idea what to expect when I was told I would be getting the opportunity to interview one of the most unpredictable and irascible personalities in modern music. I could only hope he would be in one of his better moods.
“We all got a little bit wiser, a little bit calmer, “ he said in his thick Manchester accent, in answer to a question on the difference between Oasis in 1995 and 2009. “There’s not a lot of drugs knocking around,” he deadpanned, drawing chuckles from the small group of journalists from all over Asia. Oasis played a show at the Lion City as part of their tour to promote their latest album, Dig Out Your Soul.
Keeping things fresh
The band is known for performing almost the exact same set list in every leg of their tour, so I asked Liam how they managed to keep things fresh after doing the same thing night after night. His response was typical Liam—to-the-point and expletive-laden. “I don’t really keep things fresh. We just go there and do our thing, innit? We don’t change the set list. It’s the same old f****n’ thing. That’s how we keep things fresh, by not keeping them fresh.”
Many artists and bands have expressed their admiration for the band by covering their songs, including popular alternative-country act Ryan Adams, who did “Wonderwall.” But apparently, this doesn’t sit well with Gallagher. “I don’t like that. That version was too f****n’ pansy. Chris Martin did ‘Songbird’ once and I told him, don’t ever f***n’ sing that song.”
Has he ever liked anybody else’s version of any of their songs?
“Hmm . . . No. I heard the Foo Fighters do ‘Lyla’ once. It sounded like the song was being f***ing murdered.”
But Gallagher does have a soft spot for at least a couple of bands out there. “The only one band that I consider any good at the moment is Kasabian. They look good, the music’s great, they’ve got soul, and they’re f***in’ mad live. They’re really great performers. The Arctic Monkeys are all right, but not as good as Kasabian. They’re the best band around . . .” He pauses a moment before adding, “Well, second best band.” But of course.
Someone asked Gallagher about the new album and without hesitating, he said, “I don’t know if there’s anything special in it. It’s just a good album. I dunno if there’s anything special. It’s just a good piece of music. The sound is good.” The journalist presses Gallagher about Dig Out Your Soul, particularly about its cover art, but Gallagher is clueless. “What does it mean? I dunno. Who did it? I dunno who made it . . . but I like it.”
Apart from music and touring, Liam is also busy these days with the clothing line he recently launched called Pretty Green. Yes, the rock and roll star is also into fashion. “I just wanted to do something different. d’you know what I mean? When we finish this tour, I don’t want to be stuck at home twiddling my thumbs waiting for Noel’s f***in’ instructions. I think clothes are equally important as the music. There’s no point in writing good songs if you look like a f***in’ idiot. So you’ve got to dress cool. You’ve got to write cool songs. If people like it, they like it. If they don’t, they don’t. They don’t have to buy it.”
Gallagher, who once said he wasn’t into all the techy stuff said he now uses the social networking application Twitter. “I’m kind of enjoying it. You can get [feedback] direct from people. So if someone is saying shit about you, you can sort of quash the rumors right away.”
The rock star, who married All Saints member Nicole Appleton and has three kids, said that absent all the hoopla surrounding him and Oasis, he lives a pretty normal life back in England. “[When we’re on tour, I miss] the routine of everyday life. I do like just getting up, sending the kids to school, going to the park. Just normal things, like going for a drink.”
“Although I don’t drink that much,” he was quick to add.
Throughout the interview, I was on edge, half-waiting for Gallagher to suddenly throw one of his infamous fits or perhaps even throw a punch if he didn’t like a question. But it never happened. Instead, he was a breezy subject, candid and forthright, polite even. But he didn’t mince words either. I asked him what he thought the biggest misconception was about him, given his extremely colorful and eventful life. “I dunno man. If people f***in’ piss me off then I can be a c**t. D’you know what I mean? But if people are cool, then I’m cool with them. Then obviously the people who write shit about me are obviously c**ts and I piss them off. So there you go. I don’t care what people think. That’s none of my business.”
Perhaps it was because Gallagher wasn’t turning out to be the arrogant, self-involved rockstar everyone thought he was that other journalists became more daring in their questions. Asked why he was so critical of other bands, and Liam patiently replied: “I’m not critical of anyone. People ask me a question, ‘Do I like their music?’ Then I’ll say no. But say I like lots of other bands—they never write about that. They always write about the ones I f***in’ don’t like. And it’s my right to not like them. It’s my opinion. It’s not like I ask for a [press] conference just to shoot some guns off. I go about my business. Somebody asks me what I think about Franz Ferdinand, and I f***in’ tell them they’re shit. That’s what it is. I don’t want them to die of a car crash or a paper cut or something. I just don’t like their music. They’re not my music. I hate shitty music.”
He’s still a hell raiser. That much is certain. But a far tamer and less rowdy version. The 38-year-old rock star, who used to figure in brawls and butt heads with almost everyone he came across with (even his own brother, band mate Noel), may have mellowed down considerably. But the attitude and spunk are still there, hidden behind his light blue eyes and assault of one-liners and expletives. And to music’s great credit, it looks like we’ll still be on the receiving end of Oasis’s onslaught for years to come. “As long as we enjoy it—and we obviously enjoy it—there’ll still be Oasis. I’m not doing it for the money, although that’s nice. But definitely, I’m doing it because I like it, and that’s where I get my kicks from, going onstage singing songs, making people happy, d’you know what i mean? So I’d do it forever. The Rolling Stones are still at it. What’s the point of splitting up if you’re enjoying it? Just so you can say, ‘Hey man, we split up?’ Whoopee.”
Via L4E source: manilatimes.net
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