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Noel Gallagher's somewhere on the road to Winnipeg
From Noel Gallagher's 'Tales From The Middle Of Nowhere' tour diary.
It's been a while I know. Not sure what was said the last time we spoke. Had a bit of much needed time off. It was great to be sat round the house doing fuck all. Good practice for the future. Back in the States for the last leg of this tour. Think I've got maybe 9 gigs left? Not sure.
Seems to be dragging now though. Been on tour with that band Snow Patrol and that young 'un Jake Bugg - who I believe has had a #1 album back home. Big shout to the little 'un! A #1 album at 18 years of age!! Pretty mad eh? I think so anyway.
Been to Portland and Seattle and . . . can't remember where else. I know I'm up in Canada now. Somewhere on the road to Winnipeg. Somewhat predictably it's - and I can't overstate this enough even with big fuck off capital letters - FUCKING FREEZING - and I mean - FREEZING!!!!!
Wolves, polar bears (of which I'm neither), mad men and the military can surely only experience such weather conditions? Oh . . . and penguins of course . . . and Eskimos . . . and Russians.
It's colder than Margaret Thatcher's blood one would imagine.
Robbie Williams on Relationship with The Gallaghers: Still Frosty
Robbie Williams still not on speaking terms with Noel and Liam Gallagher Robbie Williams has revealed that he never managed to patch up his relationship with Noel and Liam Gallagher after he fell out with the Oasis brothers.
Robbie became friends with Oasis during the '90s, famously joining the band onstage at Glastonbury in 1995. However, relations between the two camps turned sour soon after with Noel famously calling Robbie "that fat dancer from Take That" in an interview.
Asked if he ever made peace with Noel Gallagher, Williams revealed to Shortlist this week that things are still frosty. Quizzed on whether or not he is friends with Noel and Liam, Robbie told the magazine: "Not really, no. But we rented a place near Noel's and his wife sent us a nice bunch of flowers. I bet she went to a nice school to do a nice thing like that. It was surprising."
Victories in art are difficult to call, but in the wake of the break-up of Oasis three years ago, time has been kinder to Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds than it has been to brother Liam’s Beady Eye. It’s no surprise, really. Even within the Oasis lightshow—the sparks from the friction between the Gallagher siblings spanned almost two decades—it was clear that the band’s best songs belonged to Noel. The elder Gallagher is now back in the United States for another leg of a seemingly endless world tour, his first as a proper solo artist. While resting up for this current jaunt in a hotel suite near Lille, France, Noel Gallagher spoke with The A.V. Club about abandoning projects, feeding his cat, working with hippies, and looking like Keith Richards.
The A.V. Club: Listening to Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds now, without the distraction from the Oasis breakup, it sounds like it has joy in it, something that might have been missing from the last couple of Oasis records.
Noel Gallagher: Well, the real difference is that I’ve written the whole album. On Oasis records, there were always four songwriters, so you would never get a concise feel or flow. Liam would write a certain kind of song and Gem [Archer] would write a certain kind of song and Andy [Bell] would do the same. Then, you put them all together and try to make them fit as best as you can. This album has a very definite narrative. That’s just ’cause I’ve written it all and I put it all together. I guess it’s just more of a personal statement. But I agree with you. There is a lot of joy on it.
AVC: The trilogy of videos that was released when the album came out was filmed in and around Los Angeles. The album cover photo is of you in front of the iconic Jack Colker Union 76 gas station in Beverly Hills. Were you out to brand yourself anew as a Southern California singer-songwriter?
NG: [Laughs.] It just so happened that all of that took place because of economics. It’s cheaper! All of those things were done while I was mixing the record. I recorded it and mixed it in Los Angeles, so I just happened to be there. I guess things develop their own meanings to certain people. I wouldn’t have even been in the videos if it wasn’t for my management, who insisted I was in them in some way. I’m not too sure I was branding myself as anything. There seems to be a rule that one has to be on the album cover if you’re a solo artist. I don’t know when that rule came in. I certainly won’t be on the next one, that’s for sure. But yeah, there is kind of an American feel to it, visually. It’s a strange one. It’s an odd one. I don’t know what to make of it, because I couldn’t be less American. But everything was done in America. All of it. So, there you go. What does that say? I don’t fucking know. [Laughs.]
AVC: Well, with Thom Yorke moonlighting as a Los Angeles DJ and starting a new band there, Atoms For Peace, it seems like there might be a secret society of big British musicians hiding out together…
NG: Oh, fuck that. I don’t fucking mix with anybody—British or any other musicians. I tend not to hang out with musicians. You know why?
NG: Because they’re fucking idiots.
AVC: You’ve become quite a blogger. Your “Tales From The Middle Of Nowhere” diary is a regular feature on The Huffington Post, of all places.
NG: This came about on the last Oasis tour, when the people that ran our website said, “You have to have some personal involvement in this, because you’re like the last band in the world.” We never had any involvement in it whatsoever. We were like, “Fuck the Internet.” I didn’t even have a computer at the time. I thought, “Well, I’m not interested.” They said, “Well, look, can somebody do a tour diary?” I think one of the other band members started to do it and it was fucking awful. It was shocking. So, anyway, as I tend to have a lot to say for myself, it fell to me to do it. It just carried on from there, really. But let’s be under no illusions about what this actually means. It’s just a way of drawing people to the website so I can sell them some shit. That’s all it is.
AVC: Are you just warming up to pen a tell-all memoir? You could probably sell a lot of books.
NG: Everything I’ve got to say, I can say in my music. But I guess once you get into that [Internet] world, it’s very difficult to fucking get out. With the last Oasis album, I thought, “Well, that’s that.” But my management was like, “You can’t stop now. We’re selling these kids so much shit! If you stop, we can’t sell them more shit!” I was like, “Oh. I do like selling people shit…”
AVC: Britain got very nostalgic over the summer during the Olympics, even for its bands. With Blur performing and the Stone Roses reuniting right at the time Oasis has gone missing, does it make you think fondly about the “old days”?
NG: You have to speak to the individual members who get into these reunions. I’m sure they’ve all got valid reasons; it’s not for me to say. I know it’s a thing these days. And I know from experience now that the one way of stopping people from just asking about fucking reunions is to actually do it. And then people stop asking. But I’m afraid I won’t be getting involved in any of that. There’s no need for me. I’m not interested in that kind of a thing.
AVC: It comes up so quickly, too. It’s only been three years.
NG: Yeah! Honest to God, it was about six weeks after I left people were saying, “Do you think you’ll ever get back together?” I was like, “I haven’t even made a fucking record!” It’s like, fuck me! It cost me about a half a million fucking dollars to get out of that band, and then people were saying, “When are you going back on tour?” I was like, “What the fuck?”
AVC: Do you think if you got your record out before Beady Eye did, the appetite for an Oasis reunion might have been quelled for a bit longer?
NG: Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. The thing with Beady Eye is… their singer does them a great disservice. By pronouncing that they will eventually be bigger than Oasis? I was just like, “Oh, dear.” But I think they caught a lot of flak that was quite undeserved, really. It’s only their first album. I think they’ve got a great album in them next time. They need one. They fucking need one, that’s for sure.
AVC: Are you resigned to being asked about Liam for the rest of your life? It’s not like he’s Art Garfunkel and you’re Paul Simon.
NG: [Laughs.] Wow.
AVC: You’re blood. You’re brothers. It’s not like he’ll just disappear and no one will ever ask you about him again.
NG: Yeah, maybe. It’s just one of those things, you know? I don’t mind. It depends what the question is, really. The reunion thing is a bit of a pain in the ass. It’s like, “For fuck’s sake.” What else do people want to know about you? I don’t know. I don’t mind. Ask me a question. I don’t tell any lies.
AVC: Well, apparently your mother and your wife are both practicing Catholics. Do they ever encourage forgiveness, even if it’s for the sake of having Christmas dinner together?
NG: Yeah, I’m sure she’d be thrilled if we did. But really, I’ve got one true failing as a human being and that is, I find it very difficult to forgive people. I accept that, but that is the one flaw in my character that keeps me from being pretty much the ultimate human being. It’s just something I have to live with. I find it very difficult. Particularly if I’ve been sued. I don’t do forgiveness.
AVC: Do you hold grudges? Because forgiveness and holding a grudge are.
NG: Oh fuck yes I do! Oh yeah. I have some grudges that go back to the ’80s.
AVC: Any you’d care to share?
NG: Oh, they know. They know.
AVC: Unlike Oasis, the High Flying Birds is a project you’ve financed yourself. Are you coming out ahead in the deal? Are you done with the old way of doing business?
NG: Oh, yeah! I’m coming out ahead. It’s all gone very much according to plan. The second album [with Amorphous Androgynous] ended up having to be scrapped. That cost me a fortune. I made a tour film, which cost me a fortune, which I also scrapped. But all that being said, I’ve come out ahead. My wife is thrilled about that. She gets a new kitchen. My children are thrilled. They get to go to schools without metal detectors. My cat. He’s thrilled. It means he’s not gonna get thrown in the canal anytime soon.
AVC: What’s the cat’s name?
NG: Boots. Don’t ask. A 4-year-old named him. I would have called him Mr. Whiskers. But there you go. What do I know?
AVC: You just said the album you made with Amorphous Androgynous is scrapped. Is that official, or are you still considering releasing it?
NG: No, I don’t think it will come out. I’m pleased with the songs. The songs that I did when I was in the studio—I’ll probably re-record them. But the moment has passed, I think. Do you know what I mean? When you have records, there’s a window before their moment passes. I’ve already moved on from that Amorphous Androgynous thing. I’ve written a bunch more songs since then, so I’m afraid—unfortunately—the success of this album killed that one. I wasn’t planning on being on tour for 15 months.
AVC: What’s wrong with it? What don’t you like about it?
NG: Well, it was a record that contains songs that weren’t conventional songs. It wasn’t verse-chorus-verse-chorus. They’re a bit trippy and a bit floaty. My songs, in general, they don’t really rely on the mix. They’re all written on acoustic guitar. They’re as good with me just singing them into the microphone in the style of Bob Dylan as they are with a full band. The High Flying Birds album didn’t rely on the mixes. The songs were there. This was a record that—absolutely, 100 percent—relied on the mixes, because they weren’t songs, so to speak. They were grooves and, you know, there weren’t many chords in them. And the mixes weren’t fucking right. And unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go back in and remix it. And now I’m too fucked. I’m fucked. I’ve been on the road for 15 months. I am fucked.
AVC: Have you considered having someone else mix it?
NG: No. I’m a little bit of a control freak when it comes to my music, unfortunately. I need a holiday. I’ve suddenly started to look like Keith Richards. That’s not good.
AVC: And he’s older than you are.
NG: He’s a hundred years older than I am!
AVC: One could imagine this project fading into obscurity, or lingering in the minds of your fans, like the Beach Boys’ Smile, until you relent and finally release it.
NG: Maybe. I guess there’s lots of things that one could revisit down the years. I don’t know. I don’t even know when I’m going to make another record. Right now, I’m in the middle of touring and it’s taken quite a lot out of me. It depends. If I got in the studio next time and somebody says, “What about that track you did with those fucking hippies?” I might go and listen to it and think, “Hmm. Well, okay.” I don’t know, but I don’t think so.
AVC: What’s it like to come over to the United States now, on your own, without being in “the big band” with “the big tour”?
NG: I’m resigned. No, resigned is not the right word. I’m not going to have another hit in America. I’m not bothered about that. I don’t think anything would stop me from going back and playing and releasing records there. I’ve got a lot of love for that country. I don’t fly across the Atlantic Ocean and wish I was in the top fucking 100, you know? I don’t wish for things like that. All I know is that when I go there, a lot of people turn up, they seem to like what I do, and therefore when it comes to the next time around, I’ll insist on going back there. I’ve grown to love America. In my 20s, I fucking hated it. There were just so many ludicrous fucking rules. But the older that I’ve got, I kind of fell in tune with it. I enjoy going there now. It’s a great place to sit on a tour bus and stare out the fucking window and just think, “Fuck me. You could get a lot more people in here!” Why is the rest of the world so overcrowded? Nobody lives in America! We’re all squashed up on top of each other in London. What the fuck?
AVC: You’re looking forward to it.
NG: I am going to be very good. I’m going to look tired. I’m going to look like Keith Richards. But I am going to be fucking good.
Liam Gallagher has another 30 Years of Rock N Roll in him
Beady Eye frontman Liam Gallagher has revealed plans to continue his music career into his seventies - inspired by his love for The Rolling Stones.
The former Oasis star plans another 30 years in music and believes he will still 'look cool' on stage when he is past pension age.
"The Stones are bad boys," Gallagher told The Daily Star on the red carpet for The Rolling Stones Crossfire Hurricane documentary premiere. "As long as you look cool, have a good pair of jeans and a good head of hair then crack on with it, man. That's what i'll do."
Gallagher joined The Rolling Stones on the red carpet for the premiere, along with former Stones bassist Bill Wyman, fuelling rumours that Wyman will join the band at their upcoming London shows.
If Gallagher plans on enjoying a long career in music, he will need to hope that his fans have more staying power at his live shows than the Beady Eye star does.
He reportedly walked out of a George Michael gig earlier this week after just 23 minutes.
"Liam didn’t seem particularly excited about the four chaps mincing along in front of him, trying to make eye contact and wink. He was stony-faced throughout," said a source to The Daily Mail. "Twice, George asked the crowd to ‘get on their feet’ early on. Liam didn’t play along.
"Then, at 8.38pm, when George asked again, Liam and Andy stood up and went to the bar.
"Just before the interval they were joined by the girls, who couldn’t understand why they’d left early. Whilst the girls went back for more afterwards, Liam and Andy decided to enjoy the music from the bar area."
Noel Gallagher talks to Alan Corr about touring solo, Oasis, The Stone Roses and why he's due a very long break.
Upstairs in Marlay House, located suitably enough in south Dublin's expansive Marlay Park, it looks like Noel Thomas David Gallagher has just gotten out of bed.
It is the early evening of hiss gig last August in support of Kasabian and sunlight streams through tall, leaded windows while outside, we can hear The Cribs up on stage playing another one of their energetic shows.
Lying on the table in front of Noel is his set list for tonight's gig with his new band, High Flying Birds. Don't Look Back in Anger, Talk Tonight, Supersonic . . . that's a lot of songs by your old band, I remark.
"Well, they are my songs," he says without raising a famous eyebrow.
This is Noel Gallagher 2012, three years after finally, and with great relief, walking out of Oasis and one year after releasing a debut solo album which has pretty much reaffirmed him as one of the most successful and possibly important British rock stars of the past twenty years.
"Apart from Robbie Williams after Take That, I can't think of any other bloke who's been in a big band and gone solo and had this kind of success," he says without any degree of smugness because smugness is not a natural condition for a working class lad.
"It's phenomenal. The album is back in the top ten at the moment. I guess setting out to do this I didn't have any preconceptions of what I was going to do. It's just going to make my life very difficult the next time - how do I top this?
"Then again," Gallagher adds, and this time the famous eyebrow does do an imperious arch, "I was also thinking, the more successful it is the more time off I'm going to have. Hahaha."
You may have heard it before, but Noel Gallagher is very good company and not even a power cut later that evening during his set can dampen his spirits. The Marlay gig is his fourth visit to Ireland this year. "Yeah, four. I don't know why I came back for the fourth time. Somebody thinks it's a good idea," he says. "The Olympia, The o2, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Belfast and now this - actually, five times. Someone's obviously buying it. Hahahaha."
It must be good to have no one to answer to and no one to answer him back. Noel may perform Oasis songs as a solo act now but does he have a favourite song by Beady Eye? "The Roller. I think their album is pretty good to be honest. They're fantastic musicians. They're only one hit single away from outselling The Arctic Monkeys, do you know what I mean?
"They've sold 10,000 less, so I'm told, but I think they've done alright but it's evident that I'm the one who wrote all the singles in Oasis before we split so it's evident that somebody in that group has got to step up and write some singles. But it's good for a first album. it's not as good as my first album though."
Quite. It's far too soon to discuss a possible Oasis reunion but there is another Manchester band who defied all expectations and reformed this year and Gallagher would have seen The Stone Roses' reunion at very close quarters. Given that Oasis took the Roses' look and attitude and achieved what they never did, it puts him an interesting position to comment but was it all just about the money with The Roses' reunion?
"I don't know," he says. "Money plans a big part in those things but I will say this - I've never seen them so happy, individually or as a group and I've known them for the best part of twenty years. My dressing room was beside them and I was hanging out with them a bit and I've never seen John Squire, ever, so animated. Mani and Ian are the two most animated in the band but John and Reni I've never seen so happy. If they make another record, great. I know they've signed a deal but whether they do, I don't know.
"As for money, you have to be take an interest in the business side of things when you're in this industry. All the records and the videos for my solo stuff cost about two and a bit million and then you have to pay everybody on the tour so that's a couple of million out of my kids' inheritance . . . don't tell them that hahahahaha."
So when he's a man of leisure at home, what does he do? "I write . . . well when I say I write, I don't have a special room where I go. I don't go to write anywhere. I get up with the kids in the morning, see them off to school, I've got a gym in the house so I might go to the gym, appease the wife and then . . . I really enjoy doing nothing. I'll read the papers on the internet.
"I don't watch TV but if I've taped anything I might watch it. Whatever's going on, I'll just deal with it and if not, I just do nothing. When I get off this tour, I'm having a massive party in London so I will be out of the game for a couple of days and then I'll look at football fixtures and plan the rest of the season. I won't be working for a long time after this tour."
Does he get sentimental? "No." he says anf then thinks again. "Well I get sentimental about the Hacienda and the days of Acid House and the days of being anonymous, just a punter going to see The Smiths and New Order and being at The Hacienda when nobody knew who I was, just f***ing doing pills and dancing all night.
"I get nostalgic for those days, they were great and being able to go to a football match and stand with the fans instead of going to a football match now and having to stand behind a glass f***ing screen with the savages but I don't get nostalgic for . . .
"Well ok, it would be great to be transported back in time to see The Smiths but would it be great to see The Smiths knowing what we all know now - that they weren't having a good time on stage? Probably not but that's what YouTube's for right? Click and there you are. It was great to see The Stone Roses - the more you have to drink, the younger you become."
Gallagher's plans for a more electronic album with Amorphous Androgynous have been scrapped ("It didn't sound great.") but he has just released a double DVD set called International Magic Live at The o2 featuring a live set at London's o2 from earlier this year. Disc two features an acoustic set by at The Mod Club Toronto, the Ride The Tiger video trilog, and footage from the NME Awards.
Gallagher's own stage time at Marlay is due and as it picks up that set list, I ask him what's it like playing Oasis songs without Liam or anyone from the "old band"? "It's great. I only do the ones that suit me. I wouldn't do Rock `n' Roll Star or any of those," he says. "They belong to a different era. I don't really think about it.
"When I started out touring solo I thought I'm not going to get out of the building without doing Don't Look Back in Anger so I gotta do that and then my whole entire repertoire thus far, including b-sides, clocks in at about an hour and I'm contracted to play for an hour and forty minutes so I have to thrown some Oasis songs in.
"The next time I go out on tour, whenever that is, I won't be doing that many Oasis songs because I'll have all this album to play and all the next album so this is only for now. I have no problem playing Oasis songs - they're my songs and I'm proud of `em."
Noel Gallagher Starts North American Tour Next Week
On October 23, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Snow Patrol kick off a co-headlining tour in Portland, OR. This will be Gallagher's fourth USA touring visit within the last 12 months, having most recently performed at the Coachella Festival in April, as well as double sell out shows in Los Angeles and New York.
Along with a selection of classic Oasis songs, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds set will include songs from their self-titled debut album which was recorded in London and completed in Los Angeles during 2011.
In addition to the Fall dates, Noel Gallagher has released International Magic Live At The O2 a live two DVD set packed with exclusive footage. Disc 1 features Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds live at London's O2 on Feb 26, 2012, the biggest Arena show Noel's band have played to date. Disc 2 features an acoustic set by Noel at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club Toronto, the "Ride The Tiger" video trilogy plus footage from the NME Awards. The special edition package also includes an exclusive CD featuring all the demos of album tracks, B sides and previously unreleased live favourite - "Freaky Teeth."
Noel Gallagher & Snow Patrol Tour Dates
10/23/12 Tue Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Portland, OR 10/24/12 Wed WaMu Theatre Seattle, WA 10/25/12 Thu Rogers Arena Vancouver, BC 10/27/12 Sat Edmonton Expo Centre Edmonton, AB 10/28/12 Sun Stampede Corral Calgary, AB 10/30/12 Tue Centennial Concert Hall Winnipeg, MB 10/31/12 Wed Roy Wilkins Auditorium St. Paul, MN 11/01/12 Thu The Midland by AMC Kansas City, MO 11/03/12 Sat The Venue at Horseshoe Casino Hammond, IN 11/04/12 Sun The Louisville Palace Louisville, KY 11/05/12 Mon Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN 11/07/12 Wed Verizon Theatre Grand Prairie, TX 11/08/12 Thu Austin Music Hall Austin, TX 11/09/12 Fri Bayou Music Center Houston, TX
GEORGE MICHAEL has defended LIAM GALLAGHER after the rocker walked out of the pop legend's gig in London after just 23 minutes.
The former Oasis frontman attended the concert at Earls Court on Saturday (13Oct12) with his wife Nicole Appleton and a group of friends, but left the arena with his Beady Eye bandmate Andy Bell after just a few songs.
Gallagher's swift exit hit headlines, but the former Wham! star took to his Twitter.com page to insist he wasn't offended by the walk out.
In a series of posts, Michael writes, "Please don't hold it against Liam that he popped off to the bar at Saturday's show... He's a lovely guy and has always been really friendly to me...
"And very complimentary about my music... And anyway he was getting a load hassle from people who spotted him so it's not surprising he went for for a bevvy (drink)..."
Noel Gallagher believes his wife is a real-life angel
Rocker Noel Gallagher believes his wife is a real-life angel who helped him quit his rock and roll ways for good.
The former Oasis guitarist told how he met Sara MacDonald in an Ibiza club during his wild days — and he’s never looked back.
In a candid interview on RTE’s Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne, the singer said: “My wife is an angel to me — and a real one.
“She appeared out of the smoke in a nightclub when I was at my lowest and I’ve never looked back since then.”
The 45-year-old married the Scottish beauty earlier this year after 12 years — and he told Gay he believes he has finally found true happiness. He said: “My wife is still my best friend in the world.
“I still love her dearly. The meaning of life for me is watching your kids grow up and growing (old) with your wife.”
Noel, who has two children with Sara and a 12-year-old daughter Anais with ex-wife Meg Matthews, also told told how he and younger brother Liam, 40, took steps to patch up their long-running row after their mum, Peggy, intervened.
Noel explained: “She never takes sides. Christmas just gone she said, ‘I’ve told him to call you and I’m telling you to call him so it’s about time you spoke’. We exchanged texts on Christmas Day. Liam doesn’t have a phone as he is always losing them so you’ve got to text his missus.”
But Noel, who has found solo success with High Flying Birds, insisted he doesn’t miss playing alongside the volatile singer.
He said: “I’m not wistful and nostalgic. If I hear Oasis songs on the radio I don’t think, ‘Oh God, wouldn’t that be great?’”
The songwriter is proud of his Irish heritage — Peggy is from Charlestown in Co Mayo, while dad Tommy grew up in Duleek, Co Meath — and the family travelled from Manchester on regular holidays.
But Noel told how he no longer speaks to his violent dad, who separated from his mum while he was still a teenager.
He said: “I don’t think he was an alcoholic. I just think he was a bit of a rubbish husband. The 1970s was a tough time in Manchester not only for working class people — but for Irish people with the Troubles.
“There wasn’t a lot of work, but I don’t look back on that time with any regret or sadness. It kind of makes you what you are. After my mam and dad split up we still (saw) him because he only lived about 200 yards up the road.
“My mam never said anything like, ‘You can’t see him’. He still had his own firm and we still did a bit of work with him, but soon after that we kind of became men.
“Then you go off and do your own thing. It’s not shocking for families to become estranged, particularly a family of boys when they start doing their own thing.”
Noel, who was regularly in trouble with the police in his teens, also told how music saved him from a life of crime. He said: “(My mother) kind of seen that me and my other two brothers weren’t bad lads. We come from quite a large council estate in Manchester and we were all lads and my dad was working away and we never really seen him as a father figure.
“You were kind of out there in the Wild West almost and it was all going on... crime and drugs and all sorts of thing.
“I am just glad I got through the other side and found something in music that took me in a different direction.”
During the early days, Oasis became famous for their hard-partying rock-and-roll lifestyle. They drank, took drugs, fought, and made celeb friends such as Mick Jagger, Kate Moss and Johnny Depp.
But Noel told how he decided to put an end to his wild ways after waking up from a bender to find his house full of strangers. He explained: “There came a point for me in 1998 when I went to bed one night thinking, ‘This is the greatest thing ever. I am living the dream. I’m like the new Keith Richards’.
“I woke up the next morning and thought, ‘This is boring, I hate all these people’. I’ve never done it since.”
Blues supporter Noel also told veteran broadcaster Gay, 78, how all his dreams came true this year when Man City finally won the Premier League in May.
He smiled: “It means everything, I’ve been supporting that team since I was five or six. For 40 years I haven’t seen them do anything really.
“I wouldn’t give up my kids or my family for City winning the League but I’d give up a few No1s, for sure. I have had nine so I’d give up about four of those.”
The former Oasis hero invited the Nottingham-born singer-songwriter Jake Bugg to support him on his European shows after he saw him on YouTube.
But he says there’s none of the debauchery you might expect on the road with Noel.
Jake said: “Noel is looking after himself, making sure he has plenty of rest and stuff. “We’ve had a couple of drinks, but not too many though as obviously as we're on the road and have to try and be healthy.
“We have to make sure we get enough sleep, get practice in and don’t ruin our voices.” When asked if Noel’s wild days are behind him, Jake replied: “I'd say so.
After his tour with Noel, he’s heading to the US with Snow Patrol. He said: “It’s a dream come true. I was a big Oasis fan and Noel is a great songwriter so it’s obviously brilliant to be on tour with him.
“I’ve played at some amazing places and some of the gigs have been the biggest I've done.” He continued: “I am looking forward to going to the States, especially all the inland States and cities. And to go with Snow Patrol is incredible.”
After walking away from Oasis in 2009, Noel Gallagher, the band's chief songwriter, took a few years off before resurfacing in Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. The band's self-titled debut was a hit in the UK, going platinum and becoming one of the best-selling records of 2011. Though the record hasn't fared quite as well stateside, the band is currently on a co-headlining tour with fellow Brits Snow Patrol, which plays the WaMu Theater on Oct. 24th. For the latest edition of Tell Me About That Album, we caught up with Gallagher, who phoned us from Nottingham, England, "a place where Robin Hood is alleged to be from," he said. "And Shakespeare." We spoke about his solo debut, the perils of running your own label and why Bjork's music doesn't interest him.
The band's name is taken from a Jefferson Airplane song? Is there something about that particular song that speaks to you or was a just a cool-sounding name? It's not originally a song by Jefferson Airplane, it's a song by a lady called Judy Henske, and I believe she might be an American. It was recorded in 1964 and it's called "High Flying Birds." But there is a version of it on Jefferson Airplane's first album, which I was flipping through one night and I just thought it was a really cool name. When I got my management people to do a search on it I was flabbergasted that it had never been used in the history of all rock. And I patted myself on the back for being a genius and here we are.
So that was your first choice? I could have gone out under my name. One day I was loading the dishwasher and listening to the radio and it was either "Man of the World" or "Things Are Not So Bad" by Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac and I remember thinking, "Wouldn't it be cool if I was called Noel Gallagher's something?" Then a few months later, the Jefferson Airplane thing, and I, like a genius, put them together. I looked it at and thought, "Fucking hell, that might be the coolest name in the history of rock."
Speaking of geniuses, you won this year's Godlike Genius award from NME. For us Yanks, what does that mean? You don't win it, you've got to have been going for about 20 years. It's like a lifetime achievement award in the eyes of the NME. For instance, other Godlike Genii happen to be Paul McCartney, U2, Paul Weller.
Do they do a tear-inducing montage or something when they present it to you? They do a film, which is quite nerve-racking, because you don't get to see it before they do it. And they do it in a theater full of people. Luckily for me, I was really blown away. The people talking about me were Ray Davies, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, they had quotes from Sir George Martin. I was like, "Fuck, that's like my life in music right there!"
I thought they reserved those honors for musicians in their twilight years. Me too. I might be the youngest person ever to receive it.
The songs on your debut feel well edited, in that they're short, catchy and nothing carries on for too long. What's the secret to that? Is being a good editor a skill you've always had or something you've had to learn? I don't think it's anything that I've learned. The more drugs I took, the longer the songs got. They reached their crescendo on Be Here Now, where every song is seven and a half minutes long. I'd lost the knack of editing. I'm always one for trying to make songs shorter anyway. I'll be the first to say, "We don't need to say that bit twice." Most of the best songs are under three and half minutes long. If you can get a song in under three and a half minutes, you're doing pretty well. It really depends on the song itself. Some songs benefit from a bit of length. Like the first track, "Everybody's on the Run" benefits from a bit in the middle where it all goes quiet. But a song like "What a Life" for instance, there's no fat on that song. I guess it's a skill and craft as well.
You've said that you felt musically stunted by Oasis at points. Are there things on the High Flying Birds album that you'd never have been able to get away with? For the record, I never felt stunted musically. We were always allowed to do whatever we wanted to but you fall into a trap of stadium rock.
The thing I'm referring to is a quote from you about a time that you suggested to your brother that you add and horn part to a song or something, which caused him to throw a tantrum. I was surmising a hypothetical situation about a brass section that he would have gone fucking ballistic. I remember him saying to me once about a song we were finishing up in the studio, "It's a bit quirky, isn't it?" And I went, "What's wrong with that?" And he went, "I fucking hate quirky."
Some bands seem to decide that they want to challenge their audience and push themselves forward each time out. Was there ever the thought of having your first solo record be drastically different-sounding from Oasis? I think maybe other bands are self-indulgent and scared of not having success. It's almost like the guy who can never pull a woman because he thinks they're too beautiful so he insults them and gets it out of the way straight up. I think people that make challenging music are given too much credibility. Write a fucking song that means something to someone, never mind leaving yourself chewing a carrot at 4 o'clock in the morning.
Is that to say that there aren't any bands that you enjoy that challenge themselves by pushing their sound forward? Do you know what the enemy of music is? Interesting. Elvis wasn't interesting. The Sex Pistols weren't interesting. The Beatles weren't interesting. They had something that was fucking real and dealt with emotion. Do you know who's interesting? Bjork. Interesting is fucking ridiculous. It annoys me.
I know it was a bit of an adjustment moving from guitar player to frontman but are you feeling more comfortable with it at this point? I'd rehearsed enough that when I did the first gig I knew I could be cool with it. I knew I could carry it, not in a Mick Jagger sense, but I knew I could sing all those songs in a row and it not freak me out. The only last question was what is the audience going to think of it?
Was it just your performance that made you nervous, not all the banter or having to keep the show moving? Yeah, yeah, of course, because they'd only ever seen me at these huge stadium gigs singing two songs here or three songs there. It was more like, what are they going to think when I'm up there for nearly two hours? "Oh right, well fucking hell, actually he's better off being a side man." It wasn't a chosen path for me. I left the band I was in and thought I didn't want to be in another band. I'd already been in a band, what do I want to be in another fucking band for? Lucky for me, people fucking love me.
I read that the album cover photo was snapped with a Polaroid at a Beverly Hills gas station and you liked it because you thought it looked like you were standing beneath some kind of high-flying bird. Was that just a happy accident? Were there other ideas for the cover? I toyed with not being on the cover and everyone was like, "Yeah, you might want to be on the cover." And I was like, "Really, why do I have to be on the cover? My name's on the fucking cover?" And they were like, "That's what you do when you're not a band, you be on the fucking cover." I'm kind of resigned to doing photo shoots like that now. I love the cover, I think it's fucking great.
Have you earned the ability to have the final say in what the product looks and sounds like? I don't have a record company. I front all this myself. I'm an independent artist so I license my records to the music industry now. When I left Oasis I was out of a record deal - and a publishing deal as a matter of fact - so I don't do any of that shit anymore. I'm just me. It was a bit of a gamble trying to fund it all because it cost me a few million to get it off the ground, but I'd been on a major label for 20 years and I thought, "Fuck it, I don't want people taking me to dinner in restaurants telling me what I should be fucking doing." Fuck that. What you see from this day forward, I'm in charge of everything. Every single thing is paid for by me and it stands and falls by all my decisions.
I was talking to a band recently who said they'd stopped putting out their own records because they were spending too much time deciding on the cardstock for the CD inserts, for example. Have you found a way to not get mired in the minutiae of it all? I don't think it works for bands because bands end up having band meetings that last for seven hours talking about the weight of cardboard. This is me so I know what I want. I'm very fucking decisive. I know how long I want to spend in the studio, I know who I want to do it with, I know who I want to play with. I'm not an idiot. I go in there and I don't fuck around. I don't worry about how round the CD is going to be.
Do you remember the first time you played Seattle? Yes, it was our very first U.S. gig I believe. I've always liked Seattle. They've got good guitar shops. It's where Jimi Hendrix is from, what's not to like? We went there when the grunge thing was quite big. You know, scruffy people with holes in their clothes.
What is the setlist like on this tour? Will you play solo stuff and the Oasis hits too? I play all of the new record but one track and I play like four of five B-sides and I play some Oasis songs.
You turn down a lot of opportunities, from the Olympics to X Factor judging, which has to be admired given most artists' penchant for publicity above all else. Do you simply go with your gut when making those kinds of decisions? It literally just depends on what I feel like at the time but it's a gut reaction. It's just one of those things. The Olympics was a great thing for our country. It was a truly special two weeks and it was fantastic but in the end, they wanted me to mime and I didn't want to mime. I thought, "Fuck that, I'm not miming." And then X Factor, I don't want to be a television personality. I don't want that. I don't need that in my life. I'd rather have Saturday nights off to be honest.
Bonehead on 'Be Here Now': I Certainly Don’t Think it’s a Shit Album
Former Oasis guitarist Bonehead says Noel Gallagher is wrong about Oasis' third album 'Be Here Now'.
Noel recently said he wants to take a break from music next year to avoid making another album like the band's much-maligned 1997 effort.
When asked about the comments, former Oasis rhythm guitarist Bonehead told NME: "I can’t speak for him but I don’t honestly think it was shit, because it wasn't."
He added: "It wasn't on a par with 'Definitely Maybe' but I certainly wouldn’t say it was shit. If 'Be Here Now' was the latest debut album, it would get rave reviews. But if you’re following on the back of 'Definitely Maybe' then it's hard to follow isn't it? The press jumped in and slated it because it was the difficult one after 'Definitely Maybe' and 'What's The Story…' Maybe Noel’s just saying that to cover his back but I certainly don’t think it’s a shit album."
Oasis' third album is widely considered to be one of their worst with Noel Gallagher himself describing it as "the sound of a bunch of guys, on coke, in the studio, not giving a fuck. All the songs are really long and all the lyrics are shit and for every millisecond Liam is not saying a word, there's a fucking guitar riff in there in a Wayne's World stylie."
Bonehead, aka Paul Arthurs, played rhythm guitar in Oasis from 1991 to 1999. He left during the recording of the band's fourth album 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants' stating that he wanted to spend more time with his family. He was replaced in the band by Gem Archer, who now plays with Liam Gallagher in Beady Eye.
He is currently working on an album with his new band Parlour Flames, which is set for release in February of next year.
Noel Gallagher: They sang for Mancini! They sang for Balotelli!
From Noel Gallagher's 'Tales From The Middle Of Nowhere' tour diary.
The gig in Doozle-dorf was not the best. Not for me anyway. I must tell you I've got glandular fever and have been suffering with it for nearly a month now. Been feeling my age recently.
Good job I've only got 5 weeks left and not 5 months eh? Did not feel up for it that night in Doodle-dorf anyway. My old voice is a little shot and if I'm being honest it is well past this tour’s bedtime (so to speak). Still, we soldier on and like I say only 5 long weeks left.
SAYING THAT . . . a couple of gigs in my spiritual home of Italy is enough to perk anybody up and true to form the gigs in Florence and Bologna had enough healing properties to raise the dead, let alone give a tired man a lift!! They were unbelievable nights. 2 of the very best.
What is it with you Italians? Why do you seem to "get it" more than anyone else? It's a constant source of fascination for me. On the other hand it also means one spends most of the time trapped in hotels as you can't leave for fear of being kidnapped or trampled to death or kissed to within an inch of your life (these are not complaints . . . just observations!). These people sing their own versions of songs in between the songs they've paid to see you sing!! They sang for Mancini! They sang for Balotelli! They sang very nearly every Oasis song imaginable! The girls flashed there upper regions! They laughed and then they cried and then they surrounded the hotel thus ensuring that there could be no conceivable way to enter it without all the aforementioned things taking place again!
ITALY? WHY ALWAYS YOU??
PS: I'm back in Germany again (who's routing this fucking tour)!
Noel Gallagher opens up to Gay Byrne about his brother, his estranged father, and his drug years on an episode of The Meaning of Life this Sunday night (10:30pm)
The former Oasis front man who is now enjoying success with his new band High Flying Birds, tells Byrne about the things he believes in, the things he doesn't and the thoughts that make him forget his own lyrics on stage.
In the hour-long interview which took place in Dublin's Merrion Hotel last July, Noel talks about his upbringing in inner-city Manchester and the night his Mayo-born mother Peggy took Noel and his brothers Liam and Paul and fled their father Tommy.
Gallagher insists that when he was growing up in Burnage, there was nothing unusual about coming from a broken family. But his childhood still left him and Paul with stammers, which needed correction through speech therapy.
He also recounts how he played truant for months from a school where his mum was a dinner lady, by sneaking in at lunchtimes and then sneaking out again.
On matters of faith, Noel says that, like most Irish mothers, Peggy raised the boys as regular Sunday mass-going Catholics, until he was a teenager, when his Mum stopped making them go. He also reveals that his wife Sarah is a regular church-goer and he says that he is envious of her faith.
Byrne and Gallagher have met several times already, the first time in 1995 when Oasis played Slane Castle in support of headliners, R.E.M. Peggy told Noel that if he only did one interview in Ireland, it should be with Gay on The Late, Late Show.
Seventeen years later, it was apparently Peggy who once again persuaded her son to record an interview with Gay for The Meaning Of Life.
"I have never met Peggy but she seems to hold me in high esteem," Byrne told the Irish Independent last July. "When Noel came on The Late Late Show in 1995, it was on Peggy's orders, and I'm sure she had some hand in him doing this recent interview."
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Beady Eye man is up for a reunion, according to former Oasis guitarist.
Liam Gallagher would reform Oasis "tomorrow", according to former Oasis guitarist Bonehead.
The only thing stopping a reformation, the guitarist tells NME in this week's issue, which is on newsstands now or available digitally, is Liam's brother Noel.
"I'm sure Liam would do it in a shot tomorrow," he said when asked if Oasis would reform any time soon. "But you've got to listen to what Noel says. He's not up for it, why does he need to? He's flying around the world, isn't he?"
He added: "He's doing well, so why would he need to? Like he said the other day: 'Biggest band in the world? Been there, done that'. He doesn't need the money, so I can't see it."
Bonehead – aka Paul Arthurs – was a founder member of the band and played rhythm guitar with them until 1999. He is now recording a new album with his band Parlour Flames.
To read the interview in full, pick up a copy of this week's NME, which is on newsstands now
After almost 15 months of touring the globe, crossing 6 continents in the process, Noel Gallagher has revealed he will bring his mammoth world tour to a conclusion with an intimate, one off show at London O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire on 13th November. Tickets are being allocated via a ticket lottery. Enter below.
Each winner can purchase two tickets only. The lottery closes at 6pm on 8th October. Lottery winners will be notified by email on 10th October. Tickets will be available to purchase from 12th October. Winners will have 48 hours to purchase tickets before the tickets will be offered to someone else. Please note that no tickets will be issued in advance. Ticket purchasers will be expected to collect their accreditation for entry to the show from the venue box office from noon onwards on the day of the show.
Please enter your details here to enter the ticket lottery.
Noel Gallagher left Taiwan just before a typhoon arrived
From Noel Gallagher's 'Tales From The Middle Of Nowhere' tour diary.
Yes comrades . . . we cool?
Now, the last time we spoke I was getting ready for a show in Taipei, (that's in Taiwan). It was grey, wet and miserable. Not the gig . . . that was great. Very enthusiastic crowd spoiled only by the obligatory fat English idiot relentlessly shouting out random song titles. I'm not really sure what the point of all that would be. I'm not likely to suddenly come to the conclusion that actually all these songs I'm playing and have been playing for . . . hmm . . . I dunno . . . A FUCKING YEAR might actually not be very good and . . . oh yeah . . . I totally forgot about that song "I Will Believe” . . . shall we do it now . . . RIGHT NOW!!?!?!?!!?!?! Great night all the same.
Left town the next afternoon, just before a typhoon arrived. There'd been a warning the day before. It was a bit touch and go whether the plane was gonna be able to take off. I'm not sure what's worse in those situations . . . spending another night in a hotel or trying to fly home through the front end of a typhoon? The locals didn't seem to be too bothered, so off we went. It was a fairly bumpy ride I have to say, but we arrived home safe and sound. Which is more than could be said for our bags what didn't arrive home until 2 days later. Barely had time to unpack before we had to leave again for Germany which is where you find me now. In Dusseldorf..or "doozle-dorf" as your local would say. You ever heard of that band "Dusseldorf"? Kind like that other band "Neu"? If kraut rock is your thing check 'em out.
Oasis have one of Britain's Biggest Selling CD's Ever
ABBA, Oasis and more recently Adele have the biggest selling albums on the CD format in British history, according to new figures issued by the Official Charts Company.
ABBA’s greatest hits collection ‘Gold‘ has amassed 4 million sales on CD, enough for a relatively comfortable lead over Adele, who is in second place thanks to her record ‘21‘, which has amassed 3.5 million sales on the format since its release early last year.
One further place back is Oasis’ landmark second LP ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?‘ which, despite being released in 1995 when sales on vinyl and cassette were still in their prime, has enjoyed 3.4 million CD sales.
Meanwhile, Coldplay and Robbie Williams have the distinction of being the two artists to have more than one album in the Top 30, with the former’s first three releases all making the rundown, and the latter’s ‘I’ve Been Expecting You‘, ‘Sing When You’re Winning‘ and ‘Greatest Hits‘ placing at #25, #26 and #27 respectively.
The former Oasis guitarist loved working on his debut solo album, 'Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' because he could work with choirs and orchestras to create a huge sound, and he thinks his writing style is most suited to singalong epics.
He told Q magazine: "Doing this, my heart lies in orchestration and choirs, more than just guitars. I always think big, I never think small. Then, as the album took off, 'Everybody's On The Run' is f***ing stadium massive and I'm arriving back at a familiar spot. Man, what do I do now? I'm cursed with writing big singalongs. I can't help it."
Noel believes Oasis' sound changed after Gem Archer and Andy Bell joined the band because they encouraged more of a "rock" direction.
He said: "Gem and Andy joined and essentially, at heart, they are indie kids. Liam [Gallagher] isn't arsed one way or the other.
"Also, I felt a bit like I'd done all that. When you've been that grandiose, calling a track 'All Around the World' and it's 11 minutes long and the reprise is four minutes... Gem said, 'No, we don't need that s**t', and we became more of a rock band."