Live4ever Media LLC (NYC / Leeds) are purveyors of new music, daily news, exclusive features and photo galleries on the world’s best Indie bands.
Live4ever also produces and promotes high quality live music events, and is enjoying a growing industry-wide reputation for both discovering and showcasing new bands.
Among the network of websites published are the acclaimed Live4ever Magazine and The Oasis Newsroom, the web’s most popular site reporting on the brothers Gallagher.
Live4ever was founded by 3-time Emmy Award winning cameraman and concert photographer, Paul Bachmann. He is partnered by The Mic who brings a tenured background in Finance and keen knowledge of the Irish and UK music scene. Senior editor Dave Smith is based in Leeds, England and heads up Live4ever’s UK content, as well as overseeing all writing assignments for the ezine.
“I love Live4ever – It’s a great site and always bang on the button!”
Klaus Voormann Designs Noel Gallagher Cover for Rolling Stone Magazine
The legendary "fifth Beatle" Klaus Voormann (Revolver artwork) is the artist behind October's Rolling Stone Magazine cover in Germany. The artwork is also available as a limited edition print through the magazine.
OK , So Liam Gallagher is Not the Biggest Radiohead Fan......
Liam Gallager has admitted to never having heard Radiohead's 'OK Computer'.
The former Oasis and Beady Eye frontman was taking a characteristic dig at the Oxford band when he claimed to be completely unfamiliar with their 1997 masterpiece.
'OK Computer' has regularly topped polls to determine the greatest album of all time. But Gallagher is not having it. He told Q:
I've never even heard 'OK Computer', but anything by Radiohead doesn't make much sense to me. Everyone's going on about Radiohead pushing things forward, but the only thing they’re famous for really is songs like 'Creep' innit?
Gallagher continued: "They then go off-roading for the rest of their career. I just don't get it. I mean, we've all written songs like 'Creep', y’know, them classic songs. So that’s what makes them what they are. 'Karma Police' is alright, but it's The Beatles, innit?”
Meanwhile, he recently blamed Beady Eye's failure to reach number on with their album 'Different Gear, Still Speeding' on Adele, saying: "I was expecting it to go to number one but it was released in the year of Adele. Never mind, number three will do. We were all happy with it."
Noel Gallagher to include more Oasis in his solo sets
Noel Gallagher thinks his solo sets will be short with only High Flying Birds songs, so he has now upped the number of Oasis songs he will play to ''seven or eight''.
Noel Gallagher will play "seven or eight" Oasis songs at his solo gigs.
The 'AKA... What A Life!' singer is currently rehearsing for his debut concerts with his High Flying Birds project and as well as performing his forthcoming album almost in its entirety, he realised the shows would be short so will include more of his formed group than originally intended.
He said: "It was f***ing very short. [The number of Oasis songs] has gone from four, to six. In fact, it could actually be seven or eight now."
Noel will also play B-side 'The Good Rebel' and a new track at the shows.
Two tracks on Noel's album, 'Everybody's On The Run' and 'If I Had A Gun', were written during Oasis' South American tour three years ago - after he had stopped travelling with the rest of band as his relationships with his brother, frontman Liam, had got "so f***ing bad" - and the 44-year-old rocker says he only started penning more songs out of boredom.
He told NME magazine: "That's when it was at its f***ing lowest ebb. That was it. It was my decision. Mine and Liam's relationship, it got so f***ing bad, it was like, 'I'm gonna do everybody a favour here, I'm going to travel alone because it's a bad atmosphere.'
"I'm alright being on my own. So at that point I was writing, not for any specific reason, just because I had a lot of time to kill."
Noel Gallagher answers "Scale of 1 to 10" Questions
Never one to shy away from the spotlight, former Oasis lead guitarist Noel Gallagher may be one of the most divisive figures in modern rock music. He and brother Liam's outspoken opinions and consistent feuds -- Oasis break up! They're back together! They're broken up! -- have made as many headlines over the years as their record-breaking albums.
The turmoil between the brothers culminated in a recent lawsuit, with Liam suing his brother for claiming that he was "too hungover" to play at a 2009 Oasis show. Turned out, Liam had merely come down with a bout of laryngitis.
In August, Noel publicly apologized to his brother and the lawsuit was dropped.
While Liam has continued on with the remaining members of Oasis and his band, Beady Eye, Noel is now set to venture out on his own, recording a new LP, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, set for release on October 17. The first single off that album, "The Death of You and Me," debuted in July.
Below, the Brit-pop icon sits down for the new HuffPost Culture show, "Scale of 1 to 10," where he discusses, among other things: his struggles as a front man, the likelihood of an Oasis reunion, and the comparisons to Paul McCartney. He's also, it turns out, kind of a nice guy. But don't tell anyone that.
What to Expect on Noel Gallagher's Release With Amorphous Androgynous
Noel Gallagher has been speaking to Mojo about his project with Amorphous Androgynous, which is due for release next summer.
The album, which doesn't have a title as yet, is a collaboration with psychedelic collective Amorphous Androgynous and Noel has said that it takes in genres that he would have stayed well clear of in his days with his former band.
Speaking to the current issue of Mojo he said: "There are three songs from High Flying Birds on that, but they are barely recognisable. Then there's ten original compositions, but it's all one long piece of music, inspired with spoken word. It's fu*king good man. I'd go in Paul Weller's studio and there'd be twenty people there - like fu*kin hippies. I'd be 'alright mate?' (Leslie Phillips voice) Air-hair-lair! I'm Gethsemane, I'm going to be playing marimba...!' You look like a wizard what the f*ck?! Then I'd go back to the sanity of my own record - three minutes, what a relief."
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Bird's is released next month.
Noel Gallagher is in the dressing room at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, England. It's August 11, 1996, and he and his band Oasis have just played the second of two 125,000-capacity concerts — events that would prove to be the high-water mark for British rock music in both the 1990s and subsequent decade. Like everyone else present, he's wondering what on earth he can do to top this when he's approached by an executive from his then record label, Sony Music.
"I distinctly remember somebody sidling up to me," he recalls, "saying, 'It's time for the solo record now.'"
Fast forward to 2011 and Gallagher is finally taking that unnamed executive's counsel on board as he prepares to release his first solo album, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, in October. Given that, in the intervening 15 years, Oasis repeatedly tried and failed to live up to their staggering artistic and commercial achievements of the mid-90s, does he ever wish he'd listened to that advice and made a solo record earlier in his career?
"Well," he reflects, sipping cappuccino in the Mirror Bar of London's Landmark Hotel, "I always said I wouldn't do it if the band was together."
That Noel Gallagher is here today, with not just one, but two solo albums in the bag, is testament to the fact that the band is now anything but together. Oasis' split was as messy as anything in their volatile 18-year career, the band finally imploding during a furious row between Gallagher and his younger frontman brother, Liam, backstage at France's Rock en Seine festival in August 2009. The precise reason for the split varies according to which brother you listen to (Noel's version of events even prompted legal action from the younger Gallagher) but both seem to agree on one thing: that, despite their lengthy previous track record of fights and reconciliations, this time the split is permanent.
"Liam's already said that the thought of getting back together makes him want to vomit," says Gallagher, tersely. "And I've got nothing to add to that."
If Noel is grateful to his little brother for one thing, however, it's surely that he rushed out his own post-Oasis project, the retro rock'n'roll of Beady Eye, while Gallagher Senior was still holed up in the studio. While Noel defends the commercial (under) achievement of Beady Eye's Different Gear, Still Speeding album ("They've sold 10,000 less than the Arctic Monkeys — that's only one hit single"), it surely takes the pressure off when it comes to his own solo debut.
"I can't decide how many it sells," he shrugs. "If you like what I do, there's lots on there for you to like, but also some stuff that you wouldn't expect. And if you don't like what I do, believe you me there's enough on there for you to hate."
In fact, High Flying Birds is good enough to even turn the head of Oasis' many detractors. The accusation that Gallagher was stockpiling his best songs for a solo project seems now to carry some weight, at least in the sense that Everybody's On The Run, If I Had A Gun, AKA...What A Life! and (Stranded On) The Wrong Beach are streets ahead of anything on the last Oasis album, 2008's Dig Out Your Soul.
Crucially, casting off the yoke of Oasis' stadium rock also means he's free to try his hand at everything from subtle dance grooves to gravelly blues stomps alongside the expected singer-songwriter guitar anthems, making for his most satisfying set of songs since 1995's all-conquering (What's The Story) Morning Glory?
There's more to come, with Gallagher about to sign off on a musically ambitious project with electronic producers Amorphous Androgynous, aka Future Sound Of London. Indeed, that album was supposed to come first, until Gallagher decided it "would f — k people's heads up too much." Four of the songs on High Flying Birds were originally intended for the Amorphous Androgynous collaboration, but after hearing how the electronic duo treated If I Had A Gun — "not destroyed it, but demolished it and put it back together again" — Gallagher decided to score them in a more conventional fashion. The four songs now appear on both albums, but on the Amorphous Androgynous venture they are supplemented by 10 fresh ones better suited for the experimental project.
Such prolific output paints a picture of a man going through a creative purple patch after years of artistic stagnation. But there's no chance of measuring up commercially against his former band — the group that defined the Britpop era. After all, Oasis shifted a staggering 663,000 UK copies of 1997's Be Here Now in just three days — a record that, thanks to shrinking album sales, will almost certainly never be broken. Neither is a British rock band likely to be so culturally influential as to be invited for drinks at 10 Downing Street (as Gallagher was by Tony Blair in 1997) any time soon. It leaves him as the rock equivalent of the last man on the moon; a rare human being who has scaled heights that few had experienced before, and none have since.
(See pictures of Britain's Royal stamps featuring classic English rock albums.) "We don't live in an era where indie rock bands sell 60 million albums," he concurs. "Oasis were the last great, traditional rock'n'roll band. We came along before the Internet so, if you wanted to see us, you had to be there. It makes me feel like a righteous old man."
But then, it's not just Oasis that never matched their own early achievements — nobody else has either, from Radiohead to the Arctic Monkeys. So, with people still desperate for the next big guitar crossover record, could Gallagher's own solo album actually be what everyone's been waiting for?
"I have to say I'd be absolutely f — king disgusted if a 45-year-old father of three came along to save British guitar music," he laughs, as he finishes his coffee. "I'd have to go on the news and tell the kids that they'd failed."
Former Oasis membmer Zak Starkey is set to hit the road for a whistlestop UK tour with his new band Pengu!ns next month.
The band will perform at Edinburgh Sound Caves on October before heading on to Manchester Sound Control on October 22 and London's Vibe Bar on the 28 as London's celebrated This Feeling club night hits the road.
Joining the band on all three dates are Dexters, while The Stagger Rats and Modern Faces will perform in Edinburgh and London. The Twang will be on the decks, joining Pengu!ns for their Manchester date along with The Rain Band and The Janice Graham Band.
All three nights will also feature a DJ set from NME's Hamish MacBain.
Liam Gallagher: " Footballers are not cool, they are idiots...."
Interview excerpts from 11freunde.de
Liam Gallagher on ....
… the Oasis split and parallels between football and music
The band or the team is the most important thing. Don’t care about the managers and other things, people come and go, but what stays is the team and the crowd. It’s like the Oasis split up. Noel’s gone but it’s the same with a football player. If you fucking wanna move on, then move on. But we go on as a team. No one is ever bigger than the club or the band.
… his brother Noel
He was just a defender. I’m on the wing, coming in. A bit like Arjen Robben. I get the ball and fucking run. Not even kicking it, I’m running with the ball into the net.
… the English national team
I am not that patriotic. If they won the World Cup, that would be great. But that's not what's going to happen. It is not going with that Italian guy. He should go. We need someone who speaks English. It is an English team and we need someone who is going to the line and shout: “You fucking cunt, what are you doing there?” Harry Redknapp would be the man, he’d be mega, he’d be proper.
… City and the money
I don’t care if people in fucking Düsseldorf or Frankfurt don’t like City right now. It doesn’t interest me one bit – you need money to buy good players. If you have no money, the players won’t come to City. Even if the Premier League has been ruined by money, fucking get over it. That’s the way it is.
The Arabs came and gave us some money. They are not in debt. I have never met an Arab who is in debt, have you?
… the FA Cup last season
It was the greatest moment for me as a City supporter – without a doubt. It was the first time we won anything. Mega. What I really enjoyed, was beating United in the semi-final. Both of my balls were buzzing. In the end we were the last ones out – we tried to leave but everything was locked.
… the Poznan dance
It’s great. I do it everywhere. In the morning when I get up and when I am having a shower, then I do the Poznan dance. Last time we played in Belfast and the crowd was doing the Poznan – brilliant.
He has attitude. Right now footballers are just a bit too professional. They are all like Coldplay. You need exciting players, the ones who are a bit bonkers. Balotelli is crazy, but he is young. I think, when the penny drops, he will be a mega-player.
… Footballers in general
In England the players normally listen to Rap. To be quite honest, footballers are not cool, they are idiots or the majority of them are. 90 percent of the footballers are absolute fucking cocks. They listen to fucking Black Eyed Peas. And the clothes they wear – ridiculous!
Clearly going solo agrees with the man. The longtime songwriter for Oasis but only occasionally that band's singer, Noel is now going the full-fledged singer-songwriter route with his upcoming and much-awaited solo debut, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, and it's a welcome return to fine form after his two-year hiatus. "I've gotta do something," he laughed. "My wife demanded that I go make a record because I was annoying her: 'When are you going back to work?'"
Well, thank you very much, Mrs. Gallagher, for getting your husband back in the studio. Noel's new album features some of his best work in ages, and--let's just get the inevitable comparison out of the way here--it is far superior to the first album by Liam's new post-Oasis band, Beady Eye. Going it alone seems to be the right decision for Noel right now, despite his occasional misgivings and the public's never-ending demands for an Oasis reunion.
"Regret is maybe too strong a word, because really in hindsight it couldn't have gone on the way it did; there was just too much bad vibes," Noel said of that fateful night in Paris when Oasis disbanded for good. "At first I thought, 'Maybe I've been a bit hasty here,' because we only had two gigs left on the tour; maybe we could have done the two gigs, gone away, got a bit of distance from it, and things might have been different. But then you know, I started in the studio and I enjoyed it, so I don't miss [Oasis] too much."
Speaking about that night when Noel walked away from Oasis for good, after crying wolf many times over their tumultuous decade-and-a-half run, Noel was surprisingly frank. "I'd liken to it when you know when you're about to dump a girl. I don't know what made it any different. We'd had worse fights, worse arguments. I dunno, maybe I just sat there and I thought, 'This has gone on too long.' I can't remember what exactly I was thinking, but it's like, why do people change jobs? You just sit there one day and you think, 'I didn't feel like this yesterday, but I feel like it now. I'm off.'"
Unlike Liam, who later regrouped with ex-Oasis members under the name Beady Eye, Noel decided not to form a new band, and with good reason: "Once you've been in a band like [Oasis], you can't go anywhere with it. You can't start another band and say, 'This time it's gonna be different! We're gonna be less successful!' There's no point in doing that...I've already been in one of the best bands ever, so there's no need to do that."
Showing a surprisingly and rarely seen humble aspect of his outsized persona, Noel expressed some fear about hitting the road without his longtime band. "The live side, even in rehearsals, it was really strange," he confessed. "It's not really gonna hit me until I get onstage, because I haven't got the genetic makeup of a frontman. I haven't got anything to say, I haven't got any new moves, I don't know any jokes. I've just got songs. Frontmen come alive when they come onstage. I've got to wait and see what happens. I'm a bit...I wouldn't say I'm nervous, but I'm trepidatious, if indeed that is a word. I'm not a natural frontman as of yet. But then again, my inner Elvis might take over when I hit the stage!"
However, Oasis fans needn't worry: Noel confirmed to Yahoo! that he and his inner Elvis will be playing a few classic Oasis tunes when he tours this fall. "I don't really consider them anymore to be Oasis songs. They're my songs, I wrote them," he explained. "It's not like I'm Morrissey and I'm taking half of what Johnny Marr done and kind of running away with it, or vice versa. I wrote those songs and all the words and all the melodies and I arranged them all, so they're mine. The end. To save the constant shouting for 'Don't Look Back In Anger,' it's easier just to do it. And I think my new songs are strong enough that they'll stand up alongside the old songs."
He's definitely right about that. Noel's excellent album comes out in October, but you can hear all about it now from the man himself, in this exclusive two-part interview, along with some hilarious chatter about why he won't go on Twitter, how a band called You And Me At Six outed him when he was recording in secret, his upcoming psychedelic side-project with Amorphous Androgynous, what he really thinks of Beady Eye, and whether or not he thinks he is an "icon."
A Beady Eye gig in Abu Dhabi in the aftermath of the Arab Spring (and very much in the middle of the Arab summer)? Andy Buchan finds out if Liam Gallagher and company can take the heat...
'I'm playing a tent in the middle of the desert?' asked Liam at 6am as he drove past Abu Dhabi's admittedly tent-like Flash Forum soon after landing. With the temperature already soaring past 30 degrees and the rumour mill suggesting that ticket sales have been slower than a hungover sloth, it's not the most auspicious of starts, for what should really be a dream gig for Liam.
His beloved team, Manchester City, have got Sheikh Mansour's billions to thank for their footballing ascension, and with event organisers Flash state owned, he's effectively playing a home gig. And let's not beat around the bush here - as much as Beady Eye have been garnering impressive reviews this summer, in the relative musical backwaters of Abu Dhabi, the pre-gig hype is fully focussed on Liam's shoulders.
And it seems to be showing - with the crowd swollen to a respectable 3,000 people thanks to a raft of complimentary tickets, the band quietly enter the backstage area. Where once Liam might have shadow-boxed with Noel, or swigged from a bottle of JD, he's now pacing a furrow into the concrete floor, nervously supping from a cup of tea and half-stretching and meditating.
While it might be a new band name, it's an instantly familiar reaction once he's onstage and in that familiar pose with his knees bent, throat arced upwards, the words forced not into the mic, but through it. But for the opening two songs, '4 Letter Word' and 'Beatles and Stones', it's all a little underwhelming: the growl-sung vocals are too high in the mix and Liam - shock, horror - looks less than his over-confident self. Maybe it's the heat; maybe it's being at the fag-end of a long tour.
By the time 'The Roller' kicks in, though, Liam is strutting around the stage like a peacock on day release, poking his tongue out at the front row. And his exertions (and the swampy, 80% humidity) are showing as his not-so-pretty-green jacket is now rocking a sweaty, patchy, camouflage look.
From there, the band hit the heights: 'Bring The Light' is extended into a honky-tonk work-out that Jools Holland would be proud of, there's sing-a-long euphoria ('Kill For A Dream') and cosmic, sixties rock ('Wigwam'). The only low-point is 'The Beat Goes On' which falls flat, partly as, at best, it's a bad pastiche of a Beatles B-side and partly due to the crowd - front row tickets cost well over £ 100 making this the poshest pit in history, with pristine Louboutins politely rubbing toes with sandy Converse.
As they've done all summer, their cover of World of Twists's 'Sons Of The Stage' closes proceedings, with Liam offering virtually his first words of the night: 'Nice one for coming out tonight, nice one.' It might not be a classic statement, or a classic finale, but the baggy beats are tailor made for the largely over-30 crowd, as grown men are foisted onto shoulders and dance moves that were already out of date in '95, drunkenly thrown. Wipe the sweat from your eyebrows and close your eyes, and, just for a second, this could have been prime-Oasis territory, and not Beady Eye in a tent in the middle of the desert.
Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher entertained in his usual trademark style, complete with a mix of smiles and attitude, at Yas Island's Flash Forum on Friday night.
The lead single of new band Beady Eye hit the capital to a Brit-heavy crowd of more than 3,000. It took a few warm-up numbers but by the time the Manchester lad starting pumping out the vocals for The Roller, proceedings got underway.
Dressed in army green, Gallagher made an effort with his grateful crowd, pointing, winking and shaking a few hands.
tabloid! snatched a few minutes with guitarist Andy Bell who played with Gallagher and his brother Noel in Oasis.
"It's great to be here," he said backstage. "We only wish we could stay longer but we fly out in three hours."
Noel Gallagher has held court once more, giving his opinions on Shakespeare and 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants'.
Noel Gallagher has never been one to hold back on his opinions. The songwriter has not changed his attitudes despite going solo, recently winding up his brother Liam Gallagher until the Beady Eye frontman threatened to take him to court.
Preparing to release his debut solo album, Noel Gallagher has given a series of interviews containing the usual flurries of scabrous wit. Speaking to ES Magazine, the guitarist poured scorn on William Shakespeare.
England's finest poet? Noel Gallagher doesn't seem to think so, labelling the playwright's work as "gibberish". Recalling a production of 'Hamlet' with Jude Law the songwriter said that there "wasn't one single minute that I know what was going on".
Continuing, he said: "I was thinking 'I know they're speaking English but it’s just all fucking gibberish'. I can appreciate the action and the way they learned all those lines but… what the fuck was going on?"
Elsewhere, Noel Gallagher has reflected on the making of the Oasis album 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants'. A record that doesn't deserve its wayward reputation, the LP was constructed solely by the Gallagher brothers as the original line up of the group began to disintegrate.
Speaking to Grantland, Noel Gallagher claims that the album should not have been made. "We should have never made 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants'. I'd come to the end. At the time, I had no reason or desire to make music. I had no drive. We'd sold all these fucking records and there just seemed to be no point."
Continuing, the songwriter said: "I went ahead and did it, even though I had no inspiration and couldn't find inspiration anywhere. I just wrote songs for the sake of making an album. We needed a reason to go on a tour. But at the time, I wasn't thinking like that. We all thought the song 'Go Let It Out' was good."
'Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' out on October 17th.
Noel Gallagher stopped by popular German radio station Einslive earlier today to promote his upcoming tour and album with his High Flying Birds. For more on today's interview and live acoustic songs played visit the Einslive site for an interview replay and our forum for the acoustic recording.
- U.K.'sThe Hoursare excited to announce their return to North America this November for a nine-date tour with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. The dates kick off in Toronto, Ontario on November 7th at Massey Hall and wind down in San Francisco, CA on November 19th at the Orpheum Theater. The Hours will also be releasing a new EP,I Want More, on Adeline Records on November 1, 2011.
The tour comes one year after The Hours' first full-length U.S. release, 2010'sIt's Not How You Start, It's How You Finish. The album saw the band putting their own twist on Brit-pop with songs fueled by soaring choruses and powerful ballads. Produced and mixed by the band and renowned producer Flood (U2, Depeche Mode), the 11-song set features the band's iconic "Ali In The Jungle," which was featured in Nike's 2010 Winter Olympic TV/web campaign The Human Chain (http://bit.ly/aN7LmC). The Guardian hailed the band as "putting every last emotion and sinew in a death-or-glory assault on pop's heavyweight title" while The Sun said the album is "stunning and they're great live...and their fans include the Gallaghers, Damon Albarn and Bono."
Excerpts from the article “Noel Gallagher After Oasis” by Chuck Klosterman:
“Noel Gallagher’s first official solo record won’t be released in America until November, but there’s already a party for it in August. It’s described as a “listening party,” so that’s what I expect it to be: six or seven people sitting in an otherwise quiet room, listening to an album titled Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. For those who care about the music of Oasis, anticipation for this record is greater than for anything Oasis has done in the past 10 years. This is not only because Noel was the principal songwriter for the band, although that’s certainly part of it; equally significant is the fact that the finest moments in Oasis’ two-decade trajectory have generally occurred when Noel was singing: “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” the chorus on “Acquiesce,” their live cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My (Into the Black),” and a 1996 episode of MTV Unplugged (when Noel sang everything while his brother drank beer in the balcony). Oasis completists are interested in Liam Gallagher’s new project, Beady Eye, the way Smiths fans were interested in Electronic, but Noel’s material is what matters. The potential is real. Considering the circumstances of the Oasis split, it seems entirely possible that Noel might make a memorable album purely out of spite.”
“This, it seems, is why Noel is different than Liam (and always will be). Liam denies his hangovers and sues people for joking about them; Noel confesses his hangovers and will shake hands with anyone. And when you’ve been in a band that’s been drunk for 20 years, that difference tells you everything you need to know.”
Thought provoking words there. Written by an eminent, articulate writer, taken from an excellent article on Noel Gallagher’s newly-launched solo career. The only problem being, its opening and closing paragraphs, highlighted here, leave it being nothing more than just another blindingly pro-Noel Gallagher slant on the rise, stumble, and final demise of Oasis, and the subsequent paths the two brothers are now attempting to cement for themselves.
‘Fine‘, you might say. An obvious response from someone who would place themselves in the tedious new boundaries of Team Liam. ‘Come on, claim Noel is twisting the media in his favour as Liam Gallagher himself has already done on numerous occasions recently‘. Yeah, could do – the problem being, this particular writer, if held at gunpoint and forced to pick a favourite like some newly-divorced spouse, would go for the elder brother every time, no hesitation.
That shouldn’t mean though, simply because the most famous and compelling sibling partnership the British music scene conjured up since Ray and Dave Davies have finally gone their separate ways, that anyone should now attempt to flippantly dismiss either of their contributions to the force of nature that was Oasis with one fell swoop of a derogatory hand.
For nearly two decades Noel Gallagher was the songwriting genius behind Oasis, penning radio-ruling classics like "Wonderwall" and "Champagne Supernova," while his younger brother Liam became Britpop's most volatile frontman. That all ended in August 2009, when a fight backstage before a gig in Paris split the brothers and their band for good.
Now Noel is returning as a solo artist, stepping into the role of frontman for an album, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds (U.S. release: November 8), that looks to merge Oasis-like hooks with experimental flourishes like the New Orleans-style ragtime brass section on the first single. He'll continue his comeback next year with an even more adventurous second solo release, a yet-to-be-titled psychedelic rock effort recorded with British electronic duo Amorphous Androgynous.
SPIN met with Noel recently at Manhattan's Bowery Hotel to chat...
What's the most difficult part of going solo?
"That will be getting up onstage, when I have to be a frontman. Part of me still wishes I had the safety blanket of four guys. I don't have the genetic make up of a frontman, but I'm learning how to do it."
How does it feel to answer only to yourself for the first time in your career?
"I'm relieved that I don't have to explain the sounds to anybody. I don't have to endlessly say, 'Okay, what I'm talking about is... ragtime music!' I don't have to say, 'No, this is how you play it!''"
Sounds like you've been liberated.
"These songs never would have ended up on an Oasis record. But I wasn’t frustrated in Oasis. I directed everything that went on in that band. But Oasis was a stadium-rock band so I wrote stadium-rock music. Now it's different. Doing the new solo album was fucking great. It was serene. I could take it at my own pace. But in another way it wasn’t a relief."
"Well, I like being in bands. I loved being in Oasis. But circumstances ran out of everybody's control, ya know what I mean?"
Most Oasis fans wouldn't expect Noel Gallagher to experiment with ragtime horns or dance music.
"In their essence these songs don't sound like a weird departure. People will still get them. The songs haven’t suffered because of the style. When a lot of musicians change styles their songwriting suffers because they want to be different. I don’t want to be different. I still write great songs, and if I stumble across a different avenue then I'll go with it. Other than that, I'm not looking to be stylistically different."
What about your album with British electronic and psych-rock duo Amorphous Androgynous?
"It sounds a bit like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. The sound is similar to High Flying Birds, but more psychedelic and tripped out. It's not an electronic project. People are jumping to that conclusion because Amorphous Androgynous used to be an electronic outfit. I'm not even sure what the album's title is going to be yet. I'm just fucking about with the mixes now. When will it be out? In my head, next summer. But if High Flying Birds is a success, then not until next winter." How do your new solo songs compare to the Oasis classics?
"They stack up easily. But people have such a different perception of those classic songs, like 'Rock N Roll Star' and 'Don’t Look Back in Anger' and 'Wonderwall.' So I have to be honest with myself. The likes of 'What a Life' and 'The Death of You and Me' are easily up there with the best things that I've written, particularly in the last 10 years. Whether 10 years from now we're still talking about those new songs in the same breath as 'Wonderwall' and 'Don't Look Back in Anger,' well... only time will tell, won't it?"
Are you a better writer now?
"I'm a better songwriter now than I was 10 years ago, absolutely. But I went backwards at some point. From the start of Be Here Now to Don't Believe the Truth I didn’t know what I was doing, songwriting-wise. I didn’t have any particular inspiration or direction. I was writing songs for the sake of it and just waiting for something to happen. Then I wrote 'The Importance of Being Idle' and 'Lyla' and it went up from there. It comes and goes with me. I have good patches and then I go through great lengths of time where I fucking think I've never played the guitar or written a song before."
Did going solo ever cross your mind earlier in your career?
"Solo project, yes. Solo career, never."
Do you have to prove yourself all over again as a solo artist?
"I don’t have to do anything. I could easily and justifiably never make another record -- not have made these records. People would have said, 'Oh well. He's retired and with his family. Good luck to him.' I'm doing it because I write songs and I think they're pretty good. I'm an independent artist now. I've got enough money to make my own records."
After Oasis' split in August 2009 you weren't sprinting out of the gate to release an album…
"I don't live to work; I work to live. Being in Oasis was great, and I enjoyed every single last second of it. Well, maybe not the last five minutes [laughs]. It was nice to get off tour, go home and sit in a chair and wait for the kids to come home from school. I did that for two years. What's not to fucking like about that? There's enough music in the world. There are enough rock stars. I would never want to chase fame or success, like, 'I've got to do something or people will forget about me.' I was hoping people would forget about me."
Are you concerned about the success of the solo album?
"It would be great if it sells 11-fucking-thousand-million, but I'm not that concerned about it. I can't make people like it. I only hope that the people that do buy it love it. I’d be disappointed if somebody got really excited about it, went out to buy it, and then took it home and thought, 'This is a fucking waste of money.' I'd be disappointed if that happened. But the sales, no."
Is there any competition with Liam's Beady Eye?
"No, no. They're into their rock'n'roll thing. Their live shows will be far better than mine. They've got more power than I have. I don’t feel any competition because they're on their way to being a stadium-rock thing. We're playing two different kinds of music. I don't want to limit myself to being one thing or another anymore. That's where I'm at musically right now."
Do you feel like you've outgrown stadium-rock?
"I fucking loved it. I loved it. Anybody that's stood on a stage at a rock gig in a stadium will tell you it's a fucking spectacle. I don’t feel like I've outgrown it. Maybe I'll play stadiums again one day. But right now I'm more interested in something that's a little more intimate and human."
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' show at New York's Beacon Theatre on 14th November has already sold out but due to the exceptional demand for tickets an extra show has been added at The Beacon Theatre for the following night, Tue Nov 15th.
Tickets go on general sale next Friday 16th September - check back for ticket link details - however a limited number of tickets are available to BUY NOW on pre-sale HERE!
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds have announced a second night at the Beacon Theatre in Los Angeles on 18th November.
Tickets go on general sale next Friday 16th September - check back for ticket link details - however a limited number of tickets are available to BUY NOW on pre-sale HERE!
Alan McGee Speaks to Live4ever - Explains His Remarks on Sony Fire
Alan McGee has insisted he feels nothing but sympathy for those whose lives have been affected by the recent fire at the Sony PIAS warehouse, but has stood by his earlier remarks in which he said the fire itself was ‘funny’.
Speaking exclusively to the Live4ever Ezine after causing a bit of a stir this week when telling the BigSound music industry conference in Australia that he had ‘…read that the Sony PIAS building burnt down, I’m probably the only person who thought that was funny,’ McGee said he ‘feels for the people who have lost their jobs’, but re-iterated his dislike for the Sony company itself.
Interview: Digsy on Oasis and his New Band 'The Sums'
Peter Digsy Deary was made immortal by Oasis's song "Digsy's Dinner" which he's admitted has been both a laugh and a bane but he was also the front man in the celebrated Brit Pop band Smaller that toured with Both Oasis and Weller and even featured Noel on their acclaimed single "Is". But now it's all about his band The Sums and their nearly released album "If Only" which is likely going to turn a few heads with its spiky rock'roll blasts of pop such as "Darken my Doorstep" - Digsy's voice sounds as good as ever...
The new album.."If only"....its ready for release real soon isn't it...describe the album and its vibe..
Its weird because most of the songs on this album are 5 yrs old, we never got the Masters back and because they kept them for ages they ended up getting lost, we've written another 2 albums worth of material since and that's already to be recorded and our bass player has had 2 kids since then, you know what I mean, so the bands changed a bit since then, its a piece of us from 5yrs ago, but there's still traces of Smaller and everything else we've done in there you know.
Must have been frustrating having to go through that?
When we were in Smaller we recorded and released our first album and then record a 2nd but it got shelved and the label went into liquidation, so I thought I'm not gonno let that happen again, its about a year of your life you put into that and just to see it get lashed on the shelf and not released and know one hears it is , so with this Chris our Bass player has got the Pro-Tools so we mixed it to the best of our abilities because we've had no money behind it but luckily enough our manager got us a national distribution deal that gets in the shops & i-Tunes which is great.
Plus we'll have another album out early next year, definitely, I'm seeing it like a trilogy of work you know and this is the 1st and another 2 albums will follow, with "If Only" its a case of getting it boxed up and out as we've had it ages now and I'm made up that people are going to get to hear it now.
So it must feel quite good to finally get the album out, yeah...?
Yeah were real proud of this because we've done this between our selves, me and Chris Mullen, my writing partner and big Lee on guitar & Chris on Drums.
When the record label we were on in Smaller went bust everyone just went there own way and it was me and Chris who plays bass left, my right hand man you'd say with Lee on guitar as well Iv'e got a decent little band behind me, plus I can shout at them when I want.
What about live shows, what are the plans...?
Where doing an album launch in Liverpool and I think were organizing a gig down in London because everyone thinks Im fkn dead down there ya know..to a lot of people The Sums never existed because we never really played down there with just a gig here and there, were looking at a gig Manchester and maybe Leeds as well, try and put a little tour together.
First though we have a gig in Liverpool on the 24th of September for the "Don't Buy The Sun" concert with Big Audio Dynamite and James Dean Bradfield and a whole lot of other bands at the Olympia which looks a great night.
"Scared of Missing" out " & "Who Cares" sound great. Your voice is in fine form so do you enjoy it being a front man and who influences you?
very much, really like Jeff Buckley and also like more experimental stuff like Beefheart, there's a tune on the album called "Darken My Door Step" and it reminds me off the Arctic Monkeys & were buzzin with it and people like it, you know that small town blues, local observational stuff, you know there's nothing better than singing about your neighbors and your kids and that.
What do you think of Noel & Liam's new bands & material...?
I think Beady Eye make good records and they sound great but I think Liam's voice was better in the old days,, he had a fkn great voice you know, when he 1st started.
I think Noels voice has got better and the songwriting is great though I haven't heard much of the High Flying Bird stuff, he's got that Psychedelic-Jazz Space type album coming out hasn't he so looking forward to that.
In the Definitely Maybe 10yr anniversary Doc you said " I hate that fuckn song" (Digsey's Dinner) but it's bought you many drinks. Does it get on your wick even though it still gets you drinks bought...?
Oh yeah, I cant even remember doing that to be honest, I got to a bar in town to shoot it and I had to wait for about 4 hours so I'm asking what the fk am I meant to do waiting that long and they said "Free Bar", so that was it wasn't it and I got bladdered, and yeah it still gets me beers bought and it gets on my nerves sometimes because especially with the London press it was like "its Digsy, you know, Noels mate" and that's what I was known by to some of the press and that started to grate a bit you know, now we've changed the band name I'm hoping that people give us a fresh pair of ears and a new listen on this album.
Erics is opening back up in Liverpool, what's the music scene like at the moment and do you see the club contributing to the future of Liverpool music...?
I hope so yeah because they've shut down nearly all the music venues we had like that Lomax and the Pickett, to play the Cavern, which isn't the the Cavern anyway, you have to pay £35 pound to use the PA which is hard on the kids as there's no money about these days and they find it hard enough, so I hope it'll be nothing like that with the new venue.
As for the local bands I don't get much of a chance to see them but I notice a lot seem to be going back to the Blues, slide guitars and curly heads, Sea Sick Steve or some thing like that
And finally, I bet you get asked " When you coming back?" a lot round Liverpool - Are you expecting a good turn out for the launch...?
Oh yeah, well a lot of them keep in touch on the computer, you know this Face Book, I haven't got a clue with it La... but my manger said "you better get on it" but a lot of people do seem to be excited about it and the album and that, cant wait.
.......and the album launch at Zanzibar (Liverpool) your gonna get a sober Digsy because I've got a 24yr old daughter and I've just found out Im going to be a granddad next year, which is great but time is moving on and this is real important.
Normally we'd all be twatted before the gig get on stage and I'd just normally shampoo it, but not for this, I want to do it properly and do it proper sober as I'm playing for a hour and 10 mins and I'm 50 this year so I've got to keep in trim.
Radiohead, Noel Gallagher and Kasabian are among the acts that have been named early favourites for the Mercury Prize 2012.
Bookies William Hill have released an extremely early perdition for next year's potential Mercury Prize winner. Kasabain have been named favourite to pick up the award with their forthcoming new album 'Velociraptor!', followed by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.
Other contenders include Coldplay, Florence and The Machine, Mumford & Sons and Ed Sheeran.
PJ Harvey picked up the Mercury Prixe 2011 for her album 'Let England Shake' on Tuesday night (September 6).
Nominees for this year's Mercury were Adele, Tinie Tempah, Everything Everything, Anna Calvi, Ghostpoet, Gwilym Simcock, Katy B, James Blake, Metronomy, PJ Harvey and King Creosote & Jon Hopkins.
The odds for the Mercury Music Prize in 2012 are as follows:
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (8/1)
Ed Sheeran (10/1)
Florence and the Machine (10/1)
Mumford & Sons (16/1)
Rizzle Kicks (20/1)
Calvin Harris (20/1)
Wretch 32 (25/1)
Laura Marling (25/1)
Miles Kane (25/1)
All The Young (33/1)
Jessie J (33/1)
Professor Green (50/1)
Charlie Simpson (80/1)
Jessie J Adds "Don't Look Back in Anger" to Live Set List
Jessie J is to pay homage to her fellow British stars Oasis on her upcoming tour by performing a rendition of their classic track Don'T Look Back In Anger.
The Price Tag hitmaker is looking forward to returning to the road next month (Oct11) now her broken foot is finally healing, and she's promised fans a treat by singing a stripped-down version of the Noel Gallagher song.
She tells Nme.com, "I love performing acoustically. I won't change the song radically. I'll be singing Don't Look Back In Anger the way it should be sung."
Jessie J has been wearing a surgical boot and walking with crutches since injuring her left foot during concert rehearsals in June (11).
The songwriter on his split with Liam and his new solo career
Noel Gallagher's first official solo record won't be released in America until November, but there's already a party for it in August. It's described as a "listening party," so that's what I expect it to be: six or seven people sitting in an otherwise quiet room, listening to an album titled Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. For those who care about the music of Oasis, anticipation for this record is greater than for anything Oasis has done in the past 10 years. This is not only because Noel was the principal songwriter for the band, although that's certainly part of it; equally significant is the fact that the finest moments in Oasis' two-decade trajectory have generally occurred when Noel was singing: "Don't Look Back in Anger," the chorus on "Acquiesce," their live cover of Neil Young's "Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)," and a 1996 episode of MTV Unplugged (when Noel sang everything while his brother drank beer in the balcony). Oasis completists are interested in Liam Gallagher's new project, Beady Eye, the way Smiths fans were interested in Electronic, but Noel's material is what matters. The potential is real. Considering the circumstances of the Oasis split, it seems entirely possible that Noel might make a memorable album purely out of spite.
The so-called listening party is not what I anticipate. It's not six or seven people, but 60 or 70. It's held in the penthouse of the Mondrian luxury hotel and sponsored by (or is perhaps just uncommonly supportive of) UV vodka. The walls are white, the couches are white, the light is white. Everything is white (except the audience, which is maybe 4 percent Asian). There are at least two guys who look and talk like Adam Scott's character from Step Brothers. At 7:35 p.m., Mercury Records president David Massey picks up a microphone and explains how most people in the 1990s incorrectly assumed Oasis would "just flame out in a drug haze." This is an odd compliment, particularly since that's precisely what many casual fans believe must have happened. After his speech, we get to hear six tracks off High Flying Birds. No one even pretends to listen. The partygoers talk the whole time and stand in line for free vodka. I'm told that Noel is allegedly coming to this party later, but I don't stay long enough to find out. As I ride the elevator down from the 26th floor, I find myself hoping he never shows up at all, mostly because I suspect he'd really hate it.
The next day, I'm scheduled to meet Gallagher at a similar hotel in a different sector of Manhattan. He is 43 minutes late for our 45-minute interview, so I sit and listen to a pair of publicists discussing a third hotel that's 2,462 miles away. It's the Friday before New York will be hit by Hurricane Irene, presenting the Gallagher camp with a strange problem: Noel is now flying to Los Angeles a day early, but he can't get into his room because the King of Tonga (George Tupou V) has supposedly booked an entire floor of the Sunset Tower Hotel. The King of Tonga rocks harder than anyone you know. I have a brief conversation with one of the publicists about a lawsuit Liam recently filed (and then reportedly dropped) against Noel: During a July 6 press conference, Noel claimed Liam had missed a 2009 festival date because of a hangover. Liam saw this as an attack on his professionalism and legally charged Noel with slander, which is a little like Kanye West charging Rickey Henderson with overconfidence. Noel publicly apologized and the problem seemed to evaporate, although Liam continues to insist otherwise.1 It will likely drag on indefinitely. Ever since Oasis were propelled into existence, Noel and Liam have seemed like boyish versions of Andy Capp who despise each other equally — but this recent schism feels different. It's less fun, somehow. There will undoubtedly be a day in the distant future when Oasis reunites, because just about every group eventually does. But it won't be because these guys suddenly stopped disliking each other.
When I finally meet Gallagher (he'd been having a long lunch with his wife), he seems tired. He looks healthy but grouchy. My suspicion is that he's probably spent his morning talking to other people like me, most of whom have either asked him leading questions about Liam or tried to goad him into insulting other bands at random (as this is something he does not mind doing). He slouches on a couch while we navigate 10 minutes of small talk. We chat about the weather2 and about why he finally married his girlfriend3 after dating for 11 years. For no clear reason, he's wearing a garish class ring from a high school in Louisiana, purchased in a Japanese pawnshop 21 years ago. He briefly imagines the backstory of the ring: "I reckon the previous owner was a G.I. who was stationed in Tokyo and pawned this ring for prostitutes." I momentarily get the sense this is never going to become a real interview. But I start to ask a few questions and Gallagher starts answering them. And everything he says is hilarious. I don't even know if this can be properly reflected in a profile, because it's not so much what he says as it is the way he says it; Gallagher just has a naturally comedic, endlessly profane delivery that seems unbound by the parameters of normal conversation. He doesn't even have to try. It just happens. I suppose this might all be premeditated, but that's not how it seems. Gallagher's dialogue is like his music: The straightforward virtuosity is a by-product of its apparent effortlessness.
"I've never understood musicians who don't enjoy doing promotional interviews," he says. "I just can't believe it. I always think, 'Your life must have been so brilliant before you were in a band.' Because my life was shit, and this is great. Even after all these years, at 44 years of age, whenever the label asks if I want to go to New York to do promos, I always say yes immediately. And the label is always like, 'Are you sure? It's going to require a lot of interviews?' And I'm like — I don't give a fuck. You're gonna fucking fly me first class to New York and put me in this amazing hotel? And my wife can go fucking shopping four hours a day? What is not to like about that? I fucking love doing press conferences. I don't want to suggest it's all a joke, but come on — the president holds fucking press conferences. Why am I here? Why not enjoy it? I've never felt like I had anything important to say. I can tell a few jokes and we can talk irreverently about fame and success and sport and bullshit and all the crazy people you meet. But I have nothing to say."
This is not accurate.
When you like a band, you want to hear about the good times. When you love a band, you want to hear about the bad times.
I want to hear about Be Here Now.
"At the time, I was taking a lot of fucking drugs, so I didn't give a fuck," Gallagher says. "We were taking all the cocaine we could possibly find. But it wasn't like a seedy situation. We were at work. We weren't passed out on the floor with a bottle of Jack Daniel's. We were partying while we were working. And when that record was finished, I took it back to my house and listened to it when there wasn't a party happening and I wasn't out of my mind on cocaine. And my reaction was: 'This is fucking long.' I didn't realize how long it was. It's a long fucking record. And then I looked at the artwork, and it had all the song titles with all the times for each track, and none of them seemed to be under six minutes. So then I was like, 'Fucking hell. What's going on there?' But you know, those were just the songs I wrote, and we recorded them to the best of our abilities. When we had recorded (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, nobody from the label bothered us, and we hatched the Golden Egg. So the label was like, 'Don't bother those guys. They're geniuses. Just let them do what they want.' The producer was really just the recording engineer. There was nobody around to say, 'These songs are too long.' It was a good wake-up call, to be honest. I really wonder what would have happened if Be Here Now had sold like Morning Glory. What would we have done the next time? Just imagine if that album had sold 30 million copies. I probably would have grown a mustache and started wearing a fucking cape."
Because of how the music industry has evolved (read: collapsed), there will never be a situation like 1997's Be Here Now again. There are no more situations in which a rock album that's impossible to hear in advance is collectively anticipated by the monoculture. But that's how it was before the release of Be Here Now. At the time, Oasis were in a weirdly unassailable position: They were of simultaneous interest to the critical community, the tabloid press, and the populace at large. They were the first post-grunge band to be massive in every context. But the 71-minute Be Here Now failed, even though it supposedly sold 8 million copies in six months. Its earliest reviews were mostly positive, but the actual reception was disappointing (and the sales proved top-heavy). It's sometimes viewed as the record that killed Britpop. And people turned on Oasis when this happened. The bloated, bass-empty, blow-stretched songs validated critics who'd claimed their early work was overrated, and the absence of a ubiquitous single (such as 1995's "Wonderwall") eroded their position in the culture. From a public-opinion standpoint, they never truly recovered.
"At the end of the cycle of Morning Glory, I was hailed as the greatest songwriter since Lennon and McCartney," Gallagher recalls. "Now, I know that I'm not, and I knew I wasn't then. But the perception of everybody since that period has been, 'What the fuck happened to this guy? Wasn't he supposed to be the next fucking Beatles?' I never said that I was the greatest thing since Lennon and McCartney … well, actually, I'm lying. I probably did say that once or twice in interviews. But regardless, look at it this way: Let's say my career had gone backwards. Let say this new solo album had been my debut, and it was my last two records that sold 20 million copies instead of the first two records. Had this been the case, all the other albums leading up to those last two would be considered a fucking journey. They would be perceived as albums that represent the road to greatness. But just because it started off great doesn't make those other albums any less of a journey. I'll use an American football analogy since we're in America: Let's say you're behind with two minutes to go and you come back to tie the game. It almost feels like you've won. Right? But let's say you've been ahead the whole game and you allow the opponent to tie things up in the final two minutes. Then it feels like you've lost. But the fact of the matter is it's still a fucking tie. The only difference is perception. And the fact of the matter is that Oasis sold 55 million records. If people think we were never good after the '90s, that's irrelevant."
The premise of Oasis' career happening in reverse is an interesting thought experiment and not altogether incorrect (had this inverted sequence actually transpired, it's easy to imagine the kind of person who'd argue that "Supersonic" sucks and that the real Oasis music can only be found on the likes of Heathen Chemistry). But it ignores a key element of artistic endeavor: motivation. The album that followed Be Here Now was the lowest artistic point in the group's career — and that was due to everything that preceded it.
"We should have never made Standing on the Shoulder of Giants," Gallagher says of the 2000 release, an album whose worst moments sometimes sound like an attempt at satirizing the Beatles. "I'd come to the end. At the time, I had no reason or desire to make music. I had no drive. We'd sold all these fucking records and there just seemed to be no point. Liam, to his credit, was the one who was like, 'We're going to make a record, we're going into the studio next month, and you better have some fucking songs written.' We should have gone to wherever it is the Rolling Stones disappear to, wherever the fuck that is. Rent a boat and sale around the Bahamas or whatever. But I went ahead and did it, even though I had no inspiration and couldn't find inspiration anywhere.4 I just wrote songs for the sake of making an album. We needed a reason to go on a tour. But at the time, I wasn't thinking like that. We all thought the song 'Go Let It Out' was good. I was off [street] drugs, but to get off those I had to go on prescription drugs, which is fucking worse because they come from a doctor. It's just uppers and downers that replace the cocaine and booze. But after that, Gem [Archer]5 and Andy [Bell]6 joined the band, and we started to split up the songwriting duties because they wanted to write songs, too. I'd slowed down as a writer and didn't feel like I could keep writing 20 songs every two years."
Gallagher makes a lot of reference to perception (both his own and other people's), so I try to reframe our conversation: I tell him that I want to run through various points of his life and have him try to recall how other people viewed him and how he viewed himself. He is totally willing to do this, but we never get past 1991.
"I was living in the center of Manchester, so I was always in clubs and at shows and kind of living on the periphery of the music business," he says. "The people at the center of the music scene would have seen me as an outsider. The people who were further outside than me, though, would have thought I was some kind of insider. But I just believed I was at where I would always be. It never occurred to me to be in a band or write songs, even though I played guitar. I'd always thought I might be in the music business, because I loved collecting records and reading about records and all of that. But just being in a road crew,7 I thought, 'This is fucking great.' I was making $700 a week to plug in some other guy's guitar. I loved it. I never felt like I needed to be onstage. I liked being behind the fucking amplifiers. I had no ambitions. I got to travel the world — drugs, women. Nobody knew who I was after I left town. I didn't have to be anywhere or do anything. But then Liam said, `You should join my band,8 because you know how to write songs.' So I went down there on a few Sundays to jam, and it was the first time I'd ever heard other people play my songs. It was amazing to have that happen. And there was another pivotal moment about two years in,9 before we'd done anything or anyone knew us: I wrote the song 'Columbia.' And the next song I wrote immediately after that was 'Up in the Sky.' And then right after that, I wrote 'Live Forever.' All of this happened in a row, very easily. And I just thought, 'These songs are fucking great.' Especially 'Live Forever.' I remember thinking, 'I know enough about music to know that this is a good song.' So I took it to the band and we played it, and I instantly knew that I had written a bona fide classic song, even though nobody knew who the fuck we were. So that's when I started to take things quite seriously."
It's hard to tell exactly what "quite seriously" means in this context, since Gallagher is so adamant about not taking himself seriously under any circumstances whatsoever. Is his work on High Flying Birds more "serious" than his work with Oasis? That depends on what you thought of him before. It's very much in line with the music he's always made — the first single ("The Death of You and Me") has the most satisfying hook he's composed in many years, and the track "If I Had a Gun" would fit comfortably on any Oasis album after Definitely Maybe. All the lyrics are oblique and there are only two guitar solos on the entire album. Gallagher also has a companion LP coming out in 2012 that he made with the British electronic duo the Amorphous Androgynous, better known in some circles as the Future Sound of London; it still doesn't have a title, but it's an elongated '70s psychedelic record Gallagher compares to Dark Side of the Moon. How well these albums will perform is uncertain, mostly because gauging the success of modern records has become so difficult to calculate. But I suppose true success is never easy to quantify. It's not the same as fame, which Gallagher understands completely. He is not the type of artist who longs for success while hating the baggage of celebrity.10 In fact, he feels the opposite. He sees success as a much more complicated predicament.
"Fame is something that is bestowed upon you because of success. Success is something you have to chase," he explains. "And once you've had success, you have to keep having it in order not to be a failure. In business, you can have one massive success that earns $50 million overnight, and that's it. You're successful. End of story. But in the music business, you have to keep on doing it. You have to constantly chase success. The fame you just get. I enjoy being famous, because I don't have to do anything. I can just turn up at nice restaurants and people are like, 'Oh, it's Noel fucking Gallagher. Brilliant. Sit down.' But success can ruin people, because you have to chase it, and that can drive you insane. You can get obsessed with the idea of a formula, and you start wondering, 'Why did I sell 20 fucking million albums in less than two years during the '90s, but now I can't sell 20 million albums over the span of 10 years after the turn of the century?' And it's not like I sit around thinking about that, but it's always there. And when you start really chasing success, you start to make mistakes, and that's when things spin out of fucking control."
As he says this, I suspect that he's talking about the real reason he can no longer work with his brother. Here again, the issue is not reality, but perception. The two brothers were able to maintain a working relationship for roughly 20 years, through periods of feast and phases of famine. Yet the perception during that whole time never changed: Noel was always the talented one and Liam was merely the charismatic singer. When they were younger, that perception was tolerable. But now that Liam is 39 — and now that it's so clear that this perception will always be the defining image of what Oasis was — he simply could not accept the conditions of the contract.
"I think that's what it was," Gallagher says. "He'd never admit that, though. In the beginning, when I was writing all the songs and he was partying until the break of dawn, he didn't give a shit. D'you know what I mean? He was fine with it. But when he started to write songs … you know, this is really more of a question for Liam than it is for me, although you'd never get a straight answer from him. In my experience, you never see an older brother11 jealous of a younger brother. Maybe he did get cast in the role of the performing fucking monkey by the press, and maybe I got cast as the man behind the curtain. Maybe he wanted to be the Wizard of Oz instead of the monkey. Maybe if I'd been a little more tolerant of his behavior things would be different. But at some point he had to take responsibility for the fucking words he was saying. I have a circle of friends, and he kept saying things that were upsetting to these people. And for years I ignored it, because I thought the band was more important. But at some point, I just decided I'd had enough of this. And when things got violent, I left. There is no point in being in a fucking violent rock band.12 That's nonsense. We've always had a different view of the band: I thought the most important part were the songs, and he though the most important part was the chaos."
As one might expect, Noel also tries to downplay the degree of antipathy the two brothers share, since this type of breakup is more complicated than a typical, nonfamilial implosion. Certain issues between them might still stem from when they shared a bedroom as truculent teenagers. Sometimes, Noel seems amused by their fighting (I can tell he's still kind of proud that one of their 1995 arguments was recorded in the studio and released as a bootleg single in the U.K.). But sometimes he seems angry in a manner that's impossible to fake. There was a period when people assumed the animosity in Oasis might have been a marketing ploy, and perhaps — for a time — it was. But it's not anymore. Their dislike is at least as genuine as their music.
"We never hung out together outside of the band, ever," he says. "Now, of course, at some point I'm going to have to sit in a fucking room with Liam again. Hopefully time will heal some of these wounds. But if you're asking me if it's going to be this Christmas — not a fucking chance."
As our interview draws to a close, I notice that Gallagher is sniffling and coughing, so I ask if he's getting sick. At first he says yes, but then he gets up for a cup of coffee and says, "To tell you the fucking truth, I'm kind of hungover." It turns out he did show up at the album release party the night before, just before it ended. It turns out he hated it a little less than I suspected.
"In England, we don't go for that kind of stuff," he says. "You just put the record out and people buy it or they don't. Over here, things are a little more corporate. You have to go to parties like that. I find it always helps to get drunk beforehand — not too drunk, but just a little. D'you know what I mean? You have to shake a lot of hands. I have no idea who those people were. My wife was like, 'How can you stand doing this?' But it wasn't that bad, except that now I'm hungover."
This, it seems, is why Noel is different than Liam (and always will be). Liam denies his hangovers and sues people for joking about them; Noel confesses his hangovers and will shake hands with anyone. And when you've been in a band that's been drunk for 20 years, that difference tells you everything you need to know.
Chuck Klosterman is the author of six books. His novel The Visible Man will be released in October.
Throughout much of the 1990s you'd have been hard-pressed to find a source of shameless rock-star swagger more dependable than the Gallagher brothers of Oasis. Liam on vocals, Noel on guitar, both of them armed with bushy eyebrows and what-do-you-want scowls—the pair epitomized an aggressive hauteur that musicians (other than Kanye West) just don't seem interested in embodying anymore.
Among those suddenly bereft of bluster: Noel Gallagher, who on a sunny August afternoon sits in a West Hollywood hotel restaurant sipping a cappuccino and worrying about the first rehearsal with his new group, the High Flying Birds.
"I've gotta fly back to London today and play with five guys I've yet to play with," Gallagher says, not long after wrapping his part in a music video. "I know them all—they're friends of mine. But three of them don't know one another, and we've never played together before." He laughs ruefully. "I could be sitting there tomorrow night going, 'What a fucking huge mistake.'"
Meet the new boss, significantly less cocksure than the old boss. Gallagher formed the High Flying Birds—though, really, he's the sole permanent member—following Oasis's typically acrimonious breakup in 2009. (The only thing that bonded the Gallaghers more closely than their confidence was their mutual disgust.) Liam has a new band, too: Beady Eye, which released its debut earlier this year. But where that record picks up precisely where Oasis left off on Dig Out Your Soul, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds (due out November 8) reveals a softer, dreamier side; it's full of grandly arranged pop songs and lush ballads with strings and horns—more Abbey Road than Revolver, to put it in terms familiar to any Oasis fan.
Gallagher assembled the album from a pool of 38 tunes he'd written, recording it in London and Los Angeles with producer Dave Sardy. (Why L.A.? "I'd like to tell you it's because of some romantic theory of American rock and roll, but it's all to do with commerce," Gallagher says. "If a studio in England costs you £2,000 a day, a studio in America will cost you $2,000 a day. You don't need to be a genius to work that out.") He's immensely proud of the music but acknowledges that playing the frontman is not a job that comes naturally. "I've done it before at acoustic gigs for charity, but in my head I was always doing somebody a favor, so fuck 'em," he says. "Standing in the middle of the stage and having to try and sell something to somebody—I'm not looking forward to that in the slightest."
Likewise, Gallagher is admittedly lukewarm on the concept of returning to venues the size of the Beacon Theatre, where he'll appear November 14 and 15. (In December 2008, Oasis played its final New York City gig at Madison Square Garden.) "There's no better medium than a stadium, fucking slaying 60,000 people," he says. "And now I've gotta go back down to the bottom and try to build it up again. If I'm being honest, I actually wish this were an Oasis album. But I can't turn back the clock on that."
So why bother, then? Surely, modern classics like "Wonderwall" and "Champagne Supernova" still generate enough dough to keep Gallagher in the crisp dress shirts to which he has become accustomed. "Well, I had a third child," he replies. "That'll get you out of the house." And besides, he adds with an impish grin, "I'm too good to do nothing."
Noel Gallagher's new single available to pre-order now!
Further to the announcement that 'AKA...What A Life!' will be the next single from Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds we are pleased to confirm that the single is now available to pre-order.
The song will be available digitally from 11th September and on 7", CD and as a digital bundle from 17th October backed with a brand new B side - 'Let The Lord Shine A Light On Me'. Anyone who would like to order the digital bundle, which will also include the forthcoming video, will have 'AKA...What A Life!' delivered to them on 11th September.
The new single is the second to be taken from the forthcoming debut album from Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and the sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed that the track is featured on the new TV ad supporting the England football team from Vauxhall. The ad received it's first play on Friday evening and can be seen HERE.
AKA...What A Life!
Let The Lord Shine A Light On Me
AKA...What A Life! (Video)*
Interview: DJ Phil Smith On The Stone Roses , Oasis and the Gallaghers
Once guitar Tech & confidant to The Stone Roses then later Oasis, Phil Smith has moved on to the world of DJ'n and is readying himself for Noel Gallagher's coming tour to provide the after show sounds. Playing his part in the Oasis story all the way back to when they first started out he's now putting his vast vinyl collection to good use by rocking Camden every week as well as joining one of the most anticipated tours of the year.
Phil kindly dropped by Live4ever to answer our questions.
Hi Phil, You now DJ these days but have a long history of working with The Stone Roses & Oasis as guitar tech haven't you...?
I was Mani's roadie for The Stone Roses from (88-80 & 95) & Guigs & McCarroll's for Oasis in the early days (93-95) and then did a stint for Stuart Fletcher in The Seahorses
The nights you put on look good, Flaxbox, with some really good bands playing,...
I do a regular night called Flashbax at Bar Solo in Camden and yeah it's a good night but only a small place. Talking of the devil we had Chris Helme from The Seahorses in the other night, Proud Mary have been and we've got Maggot from GLC is in this week doing a DJ set.
Doing Friday 28th with some Italian Oasis fans who are over for Noel Gallagher's gigs and then we're doing an aftershow on Monday 31st after Noel's Roundhouse gig.
Am I right in saying you were the Oasis tour DJ too and now Noel's Tour DJ, Noel's tour looks like its going to be a real success so I assume your looking forward to these dates yeah...?
I started DJ'n at their gigs on the "Be Here Now" tour and went right up to the end in 2009 playing all the music at the gig up until the band came on stage to "Fucking In The Bushes",
and yeah I'm doing the Noel Gallagher tour which will be great, Starting in Dublin and the UK then we do quick visits to the US, Europe and Japan before Christmas just to say hello and then I presume we'll be doing everything in depth in the new year.
So what do you play Phil....do you enjoy the after show gigs, are they fun...?
I don't do many after shows really, I prefer having a drink with the lads in the dressing-room after the gig. Like I said I play all the tunes at the gig from the doors opening until the support is on and then the 30 min build-up to Oasis/Noel Gallagher sets.
I play all sorts, mainly 60s going up to the 90s though with Oasis it all got a bit punk rock before they came on. Kinda suited the mood.
Have you always DJ'd then Phil or was it some thing you started doing after being a Guitar Tech...?
Nah, I fell into both, I was a friend of the Stone Roses back in the day and they took their friends on tour when it started to get big in 88. Most of us were working the gigs at the International Clubs in Manchester before, that's where they rehearsed so we were kind of handy for the band. I met Noel Gallagher because he was roadying for the Inspiral Carpets at the time and I started doing the same with them in 93. The Be Here Now tour was the 1st time I'd DJ'ed ,I was at a loose end with a big vinyl collection so decided to do that.
I remember seeing you on the Definitely Maybe 10yr anniversary documentary, you must have loads of stories, have you ever thought of putting a book out...?
Lots of people say I should but I'd only write it if it was going to be one of the funniest Rock'n'Roll books of all time, until I work out how to do that it stays unwritten. Everybody knows the Oasis story but there's comedy gold in there but I doubt it'll ever happen though. Does anybody buy books anyway nowadays?
Despite the recent situation between Noel & Laim do you still DJ for both Beady & Noel tours, and do you find you're getting asked intrusive questions about it all at the moment, like me...?
The Be Here Now gigs didn't have a DJ on tour. Been to a few gigs though and they have been Fucking top.
I always get asked things and sometimes it's a pain but you got to take the rough with the smooth, If no-one was bothering me it would mean I'd never been out on tour in the 1st place. When you weigh it all up it's not much of a cross to bear and after all they weren't exactly shit bands were they, its better than having to discuss Simply Red.
Whats your take on Noel's new material...?
If you like what he's put out so far you'll love the album, I've not heard the Amorphous stuff yet though I'm looking forward to that with a big fucking bong.
Finally,whats the best thing about DJ'n, do you miss your old work...?
DJ'n the clubs is ok but I prefer to do it on tour as I can play pretty much what I want and it's always good to get back in the bubble. Home sweet home.
I Don't miss roadying because I can't play an instrument but the crew bus was always a lively place to be, The Oasis crew were a bunch of fucking pirates.