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Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Liam: "There's no f---ing way Noel Gallagher was carrying all us lot"
Liam Gallagher's new band is Oasis without the sibling drama, writes Cameron Adams.
It's a cold morning in a posh hotel in London. The rain is expected, the early arrival of Liam Gallagher for an interview, well, not so much.
Yet these days, Gallagher is a man on a mission. The inevitable split of Oasis finally came in August 2009, following the umpteenth altercation between brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher. While Noel walked, stating, "I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer", Liam, instead, went to the pub with Oasis bandmates Andy Bell, Gem Archer and drummer Chris Sharrock.
In a matter of hours they had formed Beady Eye. While Noel is still off the radar, Beady Eye's first album Different Gear, Still Speeding has been unleashed. It sounds, not surprisingly, like Oasis.
Liam says the band had toyed with keeping the name Oasis (which he coined before Noel joining) before deciding to avoid the soft option.
"There's no point," he says. "I don't want to be up there singing those songs Noel wrote. We're well capable of writing our own stuff. It might not be as big as Oasis, it might not be a phenomenon, but who knows? I think we're good enough to turn heads, to get people buzzing about music."
While Beady Eye's creation may have been swift, for Liam there was no other option.
"This is the best thing you could ever do, music. You've been given a talent, you just got to go for it. It's not hard, is it? It's f---ing great, man," he says.
The formation has caused heated debate. Even the name has been analysed.
"I didn't think people would give two f---s what we were called," Liam says.
Guitarist Archer is more succinct.
"The grieving process starts when you call the band something else, but people have to start coming to terms with the fact that that was then ... ," he says.
"Imagine if it's a band you're a fan of, it hurts. We've all been there. I had it when The Jam split up. You look forward to their new records, then the band split. But you've still got the records. People have got Beady Eye now."
After tales of dysfunctional Oasis recording sessions, where the Gallagher brothers would deliberately stay away from each other, making Beady Eye's debut was a breeze.
Liam hints at Noel pushing him to breaking point while recording Oasis albums.
"With Beady Eye, we'd do four or five takes, we'd get it and move on. Mentally that's good for your head. With Oasis, he'd give me 30 takes towards the end. You think, 'What's all this about? What's going on?' Some days, you'd just want to knock it on the head," he says.
Noel remains the elephant in the room during Beady Eye interviews. Liam's relationship with his elder brother is as distant as ever; at least they now no longer have to share a room - or a band. Archer and Bell remain friends with Noel, even if they've professionally joined Team Liam.
Ask if Noel has heard Beady Eye and there's silence before Liam says merely, "Dunno".
While the album has received favourable reviews, many state it's better than anyone expected. That sticks in Beady Eye's collective craw.
"Did they think we were suddenly going to turn s--- overnight?" Archer asks.
"It was a band before, it's a band now."
Liam takes slightly more time to respond.
"There's no f---ing way Noel Gallagher was carrying all us lot. I'm not having that. I do find that a bit of an insult, but you have to let it go, because there's more important things in life," he says.
"People who go, 'I think it will be s--- without Noel', have not seen us on stage. They would know we've got passion and we know what we're doing. They're trying to wind us up."
Liam says he's read the occasional review.
"You want people to like it, don't you?" he says.
"You don't want people to f---ing hate it. But they're still not going to knock us off our perch at what we do. We're not going to go back and go, 'OK, our next record will be a dance record' or what's hot this week. We'll still write that kind of music."
To wit - new single The Roller sounds like John Lennon's Instant Karma.
"People have said that," says Archer, who wrote it.
"It's that descending piano line. I'll take that as a compliment. I'm not on the run from my love of Lennon. It's why I'm here. You're eight years old, you see all that and you think 'I want a bit of that'."
Archer says once Liam sang his lyrics, The Roller fell into place.
"When he sings them, they come alive," Archer says.
"It feels natural," Liam says of singing the Beady Eye material. "Like when Noel used to give you a song. It feels like they're mine, I can get really into them. I don't find it hard. That s--- is in me."
Where Oasis records - and live shows - would see Noel singing a handful of tracks, Beady Eye is strictly Liam.
Tell him it's nice to hear his trademark voice on a full album and his trademark modesty kicks in.
"It f---ing is nice, isn't it?" Gallagher says. "It's my job, singing. All that going on and off at the gigs, you'd get dizzy."
He's also nonchalant when asked about how he takes care of his voice.
"I take a little bit of care of it, but you've got to live, haven't you? Who wants to drink honey all day? You'll turn into a bee," he says.
Liam wrote a handful of Beady Eye tracks, including The Morning Sun, with the grammatical clanger "the morning sun has rose".
"It's not f---ing Shakespeare, but it is what it is," Liam says.
The next frontier for Beady Eye is live shows. They've just played their first major gigs in the UK, with a setlist that includes the entire album and a cover by relatively obscure band World Of Twist.
"We know what we're doing," Liam says. "The album sounds better live than on record. There's no doubting our ability to play live."
And, like recording, touring is less dramatic without the Gallagher sibling rivalry.
"It was a massive operation before (with Oasis); this is a debut we'll do in theatres and clubs," Archer says. "That's how we're approaching it. It's not like we're reaching for the skies yet, there's time for that."
Unlike most new bands, they have a ready-built audience.
"When you put tickets on sale and they sell out straight away, obviously that's not like a new band," Archer says.
"But it's the same reaction, they'll have the album, they'll have to get it in their hearts and heads and souls, it's all going to hit them at once as opposed to the (Oasis) greatest hits tour you do after eight albums."
Again Liam rants about anyone expecting Oasis songs at Beady Eye gigs. "Noel's going to have to do Oasis songs, and rightly so - they're his songs - but we're not living off the past," he says.
"The past was good to us, but we're drawing the line and going forward. People will have to get used to it. And they will, by the time the gigs are over, they'll be musically satisfied. I'm sure some f---ing clown will shout for Oasis songs to get a reaction."
Liam remains cautious about playing Oasis songs that Beady Eye members wrote in their set.
"Maybe in the future. I doubt it, but we're proud of those (Oasis) songs. Who knows man? At the moment, no way," he says.
There are still no Australian dates for Beady Eye, but Liam has his beady eye set on a certain festival.
"We always miss that Big Day Out, that big holiday where you play a few f---ing tunes and get a sun tan. That'd be perfect."
Liam hasn't lost the ability to give good confident quote.
"We'll see if people buy into Beady Eye. If they don't like you, they f---ing don't. You can't force people to like you. But they'll get it.
"There's f--- all else about and I'm not just saying that. You take Beady Eye out of the picture and what are you doing? Sitting around waiting for Noel (to release something)? It'd be really s--- if you take us away.
"We're the only ones who mean anything right now."
via L4e / Source: www.adelaidenow.com.au
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