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Thursday, December 05, 2013
Noel Gallagher recaps the year in music
Excerpt from RollingStone.com
The Britpop vet praises Kanye, slams Arcade Fire and hints at new solo material in the works
Noel Gallagher did not enjoy 2013 very much. "Fucking had a shit year," says the British guitarist and songwriter, formerly of Oasis, when Rolling Stone reaches him by phone. "All I've done is sit around the house and become a fucking hypochondriac. Dog-shit year. Can't wait until it's over."
Yes, it's been a quiet year for Gallagher, if someone like him can ever be said to have a truly quiet year. (His last shows were in the spring, including the Teenage Cancer Trust charity gig where he performed onstage with Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon of sometime arch-rivals Blur.) But the man is full of typically barbed opinions about what everyone else in music did over the past 12 months. Read on for Gallagher's uncensored thoughts on Kanye West, Arcade Fire, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, David Bowie and much more – plus an update on what's next for his solo project, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. "I don't think I'll ever take this much time off again," Gallagher says. "I can't wait to get back to work."
Do you think 2013 has been a good year for music, overall?
It's been okay. There's been some catchy tunes, for sure. I think any year that David Bowie puts an album out has got to be a great year, eh?
So the Bowie album lived up to your expectations?
I thought at the time, and I still think now, that it's a fucking masterpiece. I love it. Nobody has the right to be that fucking good at this point in their career. Apart from Neil Young, all of the people that are in his league are basically fucking shit. Do you know what I mean?
Well, I'm not going to start naming names! We all know who they are. But "Valentine's Day," that song is just fucking outrageous. There's at least three songs on there that you listen to them and immediately pick the guitar up and just think, "Fucking bastard! Why did I never write that?" I think it's some of the best stuff he's ever done. I'd give it 10 out of 10. I'd give it 11 out of 10, if I could.
Did you get a chance to talk to Bowie this year?
Me? [Laughs] Me, talk to David Bowie? Fucking hell, no. I've met him a couple of times down the years. But why would I get a chance to talk to David Bowie? Just, like, call him up? I don't think he's been in England. As soon as he lands in England, he's going to get taken to the Tower of London, and they're not going to let him out until he's done a gig, so I don't think he'll ever come back.
What else did you like this year?
Half of the Arctic Monkeys record is really good. You know, the other half is like, "Eh, yeah" – but half of it is really fucking good. And I actually, for the first time ever, listened to a Kanye West record.
Oh, yeah? What did you think of that?
I'm not really a fan of his or anything like that. I don't really like that kind of modern hip-hop, whatever you call it. But somebody told me to watch this interview he did in England [with BBC DJ Zane Lowe], so I watched it, and I thought it was one of the best interviews I've ever seen. I fuckin' loved it! Especially the bit about the leather jogging pants or whatever he's going on about, fucking claiming he invented them.
I was at a party quite soon after that, and that track "Black Skinhead" came on. I didn't know who it was – like I said, I'm not wised up on that kind of shit. I was like, "What the fucking hell is this?" And turns out it's off that new album. So I got the album, and it's fucking great. I really like it. Particularly that track – it's fucking out there, do you know what I mean? It's got a great low-fi, punk vibe to it.
I'll tell you what's a great record. Have you heard that record by Disclosure?
Yeah, that's a good one.
That's fucking mega. I went to Glastonbury this year. It was my seventh time, and it was the best one I've ever been to. I saw Disclosure in the dance tent, and I thought they were truly fucking amazing. I love that record. It's got a really old-school fucking acid house vibe to it, which I really fucking like.
And what else? There's singles on British radio that I don't know what they're fucking called. I have no idea. I hear them when I'm getting my kids ready for school. As for what they're called? Fuck knows.
They all seem to be quite urban, though. There's not a lot of guitar music being played on national British radio, anyway. That being said, it does sound pretty good to me, some of it. I could sing you some songs, but I couldn't give you any titles or any artists. [Laughs]
Why do you think there aren't more new guitar bands making waves?
Well, I don't think there's a lack of new guitar bands. I don't think that guitar music is any better or worse than it's ever been. There's just a lack of exposure to it. The game has shifted to shiny, urban pop, you know? It's like, back in the Nineties, when I was going, guitar music was the main thing in Britain or England. Now the focus has shifted to something else. But that's all right. You've got to find it yourself. It's kind of like going back to what alternative music was before Oasis ruined everything by being massive.
Read full interview
via L4e / rollingstone.com
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