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Monday, February 07, 2011
Beady Eye Q & A with Vanity Fair
Beady Eye were born on August 28, 2009, the night Oasis died. Backstage at Paris’s annual Rock en Seine festival, Noel and Liam Gallagher, bedeviling each other since childhood, entered into what would prove their final altercation (involving the smashing of Liam’s prize guitar and a hastily released statement from Noel explaining, “I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer”).
Noel will eventually issue his solo debut, but it’s the younger Liam who is firing first. Britpop’s prettiest star (last year voted the Greatest Frontman of All Time by Q magazine, over James Brown, Mick Jagger, Freddie Mercury, and Bono) recently launched Pretty Green, his own fashion line (inspired by classic British Mod-gear of the early 60s) and on March 1 will release Different Gear, Still Speeding, by his new group Beady Eye (featuring former Oasis guitarist Gem Archer, former Oasis bassist Andy Bell, and former Oasis drummer Chris Sharrock). It’s produced by modern-rock legend Steve Lillywhite (Psychedelic Furs’ Talk, Talk, Talk; U2’s War; Morrissey’s Vauxhall and I). Here, Liam and ex-Oasis/current Beady Eye guitarist Gem Archer discuss the past, the future, and the difference between “fookin massive” on the charts and “fookin’ massive” in your heart.
Marc Spitz: So, Oasis is over. It’s sudden. At what point does the idea of forming a new band take root?
Liam Gallagher: Pretty much a couple of hours after the concert we were meant to do. We went back to the hotel, and had a couple of beers. We didn’t sit around crying. We just sort of went, “Right, let’s meet up in a month or two and look at some demos we have knocking about.” That was it. Really pretty quick. We couldn’t wait that long so we met up the following week and got into it.
How did you come to Steve Lillywhite?
Gem Archer: He came to us. It was pretty soon after the news went down that [Oasis had] split. We were just carrying along with a lot of adrenaline, shooting from the hip when Steve came up. We didn’t see anybody else. He’s worked with so many artists, so he had the experience we wanted.
Talk a bit about that adrenaline rush. Did just thinking This is a new band change the way you operated mentally? You haven’t had to make a debut in a long time.
L.G.: Yeah, when you start with a new band, you’re full of excitement. Keeping an eye on things. You want everything to be right down the line. Going so long with a band, you probably do tend to take your eye off the ball a little bit, whereas with this, nothing’s slipping by the net. We’re very focused on it. The cover, the artwork, the videos.
Is that where the name Beady Eye came from?
L.G.: It’s just a phrase people use, know what I mean? It’s a form of awareness—you gotta keep your eye on things.
The look of the band is very Mod. Is it all Pretty Green gear?
L.G.: We’ve all got some, but we’re not head-to-toe in Pretty Green, no.
G.A.: We’ve never had a stylist. There’s no design team brought in to give us a look.
Of course, but you do look sharp.
L.G.: I like too think we’ve always looked pretty cool, know what I mean?
It’s natural to want to contrast Beady Eye with Oasis, even if it’s not really fair. There are songs on the new album that are loud and fast, like early period Oasis, and songs that seem a bit more soulful, with piano and back-up singers, which seems quite new.
L.G.: We don’t mind being compared to ourselves. Oasis was a great band. It’s cool, man.
G.A.: We’re not in denial from the past. We’re not on the run from it. It is kind of a weird sensation. I don’t think there are any parallels really.
I was trying to think of any similar situations. One member leaves, the rest of the band remains, but somehow they’re a brand-new band. Speaking of Noel, Liam, I read in your NME cover story that you haven’t been in touch since the breakup. Do you care what he thinks about the record? Do you want to impress him?
L.G.: I mean, he’s a music lover, so I’m sure he’ll have his ear out. I’m sure it’s not gonna make or break his day. Just like his [planned solo] album. I’ll give a listen to it when it comes out. But it ain’t gonna make or break my fucking day, you know what I mean? You don’t just turn off cause we’re not in a band together. He’ll be checking it out. Of course he will.
You’ve given some interviews in England where you’ve claimed that Beady Eye will be bigger than Oasis.
L.G.: This feels like it can be fucking massive. The sound feels like it can be fucking massive. The songs are there. Whether people buy it or not is two different things, but already the music is bigger than Oasis, you know what I mean? So we’ll see. If not, never mind.
G.A.: It’s emotional, man. When you get out of bed in the morning you feel like you’re the best band in the world. That’s what gives you reason to be on the planet. You can’t wait to get there and strap on your guitar.
L.G.: Fucking massive!
When does Beady Eye come to the States?
L.G.: We’re doing a little tour in June. Can’t wait for that.
Will it be all new material, or will you reclaim any Oasis songs?
G.A.: We’re gonna do a couple of tunes by Earth, Wind and Fire.
via L4e / via vanityfair.com
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