Select - December 1996
Noel on Oasis
So what is the real chemistry of Oasis?
"It's when we're onstage. There is no chemistry when we're writing,
because I'm alone with myself. I take a lot of things from TV and from
people I meet certain one-liners where I think, I'll have that. The
real chemistry is performing, and I suppose it happens in the studio
as well. Like, when I'm trying to get Liam to sing summat in the
correct manner, and he's just not gonna do it cos he's a stubborn
little cunt. I'll be like, Fuck off, I'll sing it then. It's amazing
how you get it in one take after that. I'll try and push the band to
do stuff. Bonehead'll just play the same thing constantly, so I'll be
like, It all fits, but surprise me, y'know? I just have a go, with
Alan as well. He'll do a great drum track, but you go, C'mon, you can
do better than that, can't ya?"
Surely you talk to people like Weller about your music, don't you?
"I don't see Paul all that much, actually, not as much as it's made
out to be. Haven't seen him for months. I've talked to John Power a
lot about music. Steve Cradock. Martin out of The Boo Radleys as well.
For some bizarre reason. Don't ask me why that is, cos he's a scouser
and he's in The Boo Radleys... I trust his instinct for music, he's
got a good ear. Paul Weller just thinks everything's shit apart from
him, which is cool as well. John Power's just as cosmic as the day is
long. He's like, Sounds like a pyramid, la', knoworrimean? Y'know,
Funnily enough, John, no I don't..."
Tell us about the new songs, then.
"We've been doing two of the faster ones live, Me & My Big Mouth and
It's Getting Better, Man, but there's a couple of quite slowish ones,
the same sort of mood as Wonderwall, rhythm-wise, but I definitely
wanna use some form of sequencing, and mad keyboard noises, just to
make them sound a bit more '90s. We've still got the rock songs, and
the rock ballads. But we've got four or five where we wanna make them
more into hip hop rhythm tracks with keyboard stuff - not just Hammond
organ and make it sound like The Charlatans, but I'm starting to get
me head round sampling and all of that now.
"I've got 15 songs on a cassette. Like I say, I went to Mustique with
Owen (Morris, producer of first two albums) with a digital 8-track and
a keyboard to do the strings on. I played them on acoustic and Owen
programmed the drums in. It's the first time I've ever done any
demo's, bar Live Forever and Up In The Sky. But it sounds good. My Big
Mouth sounds fuckin' excellent, like a cannon going off in your head.
There's about four like that, quite Stooges-like. Then there's the
stuff in the vein of Don't Look Back In Anger, and there's a couple of
Wonderwall's on there. It's Getting Better, Man is like the big
fuckin' party tune, quite camp as well - our Liam with his fuckin'
hand on his hips, ha!"
"What have we got? Don't Go Away, Stand By Me - that's pretty good. I
was looking for a bit in the chorus. It goes, (sings) "Nobody knows
the way it's gonna be", so 'me' rhymes with 'be', three syllables,
thank you very much. I thought it was a good title for a song, anyway.
All Around The World, The Fame, which are me being a sarcastic twat.
The lyrics go, 'I'm a man of choice/In an old Rolls Royce/Sat here
howling at the moon/Is my happening too deafening for you?' Quite like
that. It's about people who say fame's changed us, and us saying,
Well, it wouldn't fuckin' change you, would it? If you lived the life
we fuckin' live... "I tell you what I found funny the other day, me
and our kid pissed ourselves laughing. We opened the press to find out
that poor Johnny and poor Simon from Menswear have had nervous =
breakdowns because being Johnny and Simon from Menswear, (fake tears)
the press had all become too much. We burst... Like, you wanna try
being me and this cunt for an afternoon. You'd slit your own fuckin'
throat, mate! No wonder we've got a 40-grand-a-week crack habit as it
says in the News Of The Fuckin' World. You'd need one, as well.
(pause) That is the funniest thing I've heard since the ex-drummer
said White-y sagged. The pressure of being Menswear. Must be - nobody
knowing who you, playing to two people down in Camden. Pressure.
"Anyway, we go in and start recording in October, we're gonna do the
single, have it out in January, and around then we'll start recording
the album. The last one took about 15 days, so we're probably gonna
take about three weeeks this time. No, we're planning to spend about
three months on it, and hopefully it'll be out for June, with a single
first. All depending whether we split up in the studio and the usual
bollocks, walk-outs and bust-ups and trying to get Bonehead out of the
Cork, American tour, gig in Hawaii, Japanese tour, gig in HK,one in
NZ, then Aus tour, England in December, "where I do believe we're
doing something really really special around Christmas time. I'm not
saying any more, but we're doing a big gig somewhere in England around
Christmas. You'll have to watch out for that one."
Three-month holiday: what does a man like Noel do?
"I was writing nights, but I finally got my first suntan. It's gone
now, but when I got back to England everyone went. Look at the state
of you, you look double weird, man. You're like brown, man. But what
else? I had to buy an house. When I say 'had to', it wasn't that bad,
you know. But I didn't do a lot. Just took the phone off the hook sort
Liam seems more relaxed onstage at the moment.
"He went through this stage where he couldn't understand why people
were saying all these things about him, when he just stood there with
his hands behind his back. It done his head in a bit. He felt like he
should be doing more stuff, and he didn't know what to do. When he's
up there, he's just Liam, you know? Now he's rose to the fucking
occasion of being the big rock star. And he is, and he does it well.
Fair play to him. It's a good job he's the singer and not me. I'd be a
right cunt as a singer."
Is Patsy a steadying influence on him? Has she tamed the beast?
No, that's bollocks. Patsy and Liam were up at nine o'clcok this
morning, and he's got a gig tonight. It could be a monumental gig.
It's going out to 300 million people tonight, and he was still up at
nine o'clock this morning with her... So she's hardly a fucking
steadying influence, is she? But yeah, I mean, they got engaged. I
never thought I'd see the day. I was like, What for? He's going,
(snotty kid, holding out ring finger) Cos I loov 'er! Top one! I'm
like, I love her too, man, but y'know... He's like, You should get
engaged as well, man, it's top! I'm like, Fuck off! I've got enough on
my plate without having a fiancee to deal with."
Have parents met and everything?
"I don't know, because I try not ask him too much about his personal
life. I really don't know. I've never met Patsy's parents. I would
imagine they're fucking petrified of meeting Liam. She's met my Mam.
My Mam's arsed, she'll talk to anyone. She likes her. She thinks
everyone's great. (Breathless Paul Whitehouse character) Brilliant,
brilliant! Aren't birds brilliant! But you know, they must be in love,
What about you and Meg, then?
"Am I gonna be married with children? No, no... Meg's always going on
about it, when she's on the gin and tonics and that. (Tired and
emotional!) Why won't you marry me, you bastard! The way I see it, I'm
already married to you, and it's not as if I'm going to fucking leave
you or anything. If you wanna prance around in a fucking white dress,
I'll buy you the dress. But I'm not going through a big rock 'n' roll
wedding, and I don't feel like going to a registry office, because
it's not me. I'm married to her anyway. I've lived with her for two
years now, so she's me common-law wife, so... Why spend ten grand on a
wedding, honey, when you can spend ten grand on a car? Or a guitar,
Have you learnt to drive the Roller yet?
"Have I fuck! I refuse. Rock stars don't drive, mate. I wouldn't mind,
but I wouldn't drive that car, it's too big. I haven't even sat behind
the steering wheel yet. I've not even sat in the front. All I've ever
sat is in the back on the left hand side. That's my seat. That's the
only place to sit, like that (expansively smokes imaginary cigar) Take
me to Harrods, please. But I must say I get quite embarrassed going
out in it. I only ever do when we're going to the Brits and stuff like
that, when we went to the Mission Impossible premier. Only right,
innit, cos you might meet knobhead out of Blur there on his fucking
pushbike. You know, Have you seen that, spotty?"
Hasn't that hatchet been buried yet?
"I'll tell you a funny story, right? You know what Brett Anderson was
saying about him slagging him off around Europe, I found the same
thing in America, right? Everywhere I went, he'd been three weeks
before. This bloke was going on about being working class, and how
Damon'd said I'd bought this disgustingly fucking large Rolls Royce,
that I drive around London in it waving to all the poor people! I'm
like, Number one, it's none of that twat's business, number two,
somebody gave it to me. What are you gonna do, No, don't want it,
stick it in your garage! Number three, how dare he... He was telling
this geezer we're not working class, that it's an image! fair enough,
but he is middle class, he wears fuckings rips in the fucking legs of
his fucking jeans. I'm working class, but I don't. I'm not trying to
project any sort of image. I'm just trying to better myself, mate.
People've seen through him now, which I'm glad about. People know he's
a cunt and he's a knobhead. He's had his day. Well, he has, hasn't he?
"I like the way every time I pick up a newspaper, it's how Oasis still
won't let go of this Blur/Oasis thing. How come every time I pick up a
paper and we're in it, we're talking about us, and how great we are,
and how massive we are around the world. With him, it's how much of a
cunt I am. I went to Cannes film festival, right, and he was there.
When I got back, I read a piece and he said, I went to Cannes and Noel
Gallagher followed me around everywhere... (pause to summon vitriol)
Like I've got fuck all better to do than get on a plane to Cannes to
follow you around with your fucking ugly bird! You know what I mean!
The thought of it! (gets up, paces around like hanger on) Can I come
with ya? (finally sits back down) I'd rather sit back at home and
discuss getting married with Meg."
What is there left for you to do? What's the dream?
"Nothing. I'd like to do a big free gig somewhere. I know it sounds
corny, but a big gig for charity, just to give summat back to someone.
It's like, we've made enough money out of this now. And not to get
publicity. I mean, like, me need publicity? I don't think so. No, I
think that'd be good. Do it on Salisbury Plain, somewhere really
massive that could hold, like, you know, a couple of million people.
So that'd be it really. It'd be nice to see Man City win something, of
Have you thought about putting money into the club? Alan McGee's
talking about buying into Rangers...
"McGee's full of shit. He's still on this 18 Wheeler bit. Won't let it
lie. And he won't drop the BMX Bandits, will he? Oh no. Alan McGee,
right? It was my girlfriend's birthday, she's having this party and
McGee turns up with a box. So she opens this box, and it's a load of
fucking lace see-through underwear. Meg's going it's really nice, but
I go, McGee, can I have a word, right? What are you doing buying my
bird see-through underwear? What are you, a ginger-haired Scottsih
person who owns my record company, buying my bird girlie underwear
for? Where's your fucking head at? Did you actually go into a shop and
buy this stuff, stand there...? "But a share in City? I don't think I
fancy the thought of waking up one morning and there's a load of City
thugs outside my house going, Gallagher out! I think it'd be more
trouble than it's worth really. I'd like to do something. Y'know, we
did two gigs at Maine Road which we paid them 100 grand for, and what
do they do? Spent it on a player, and you don't get that much for 100
grand these days, do you?"
You write about what's around you. These days you're surrounded by
bodyguards, other famous people and top-flight record execs. Is that
what the third album will be all about?
"The lyrics on the next album, and the vibe of the music it's a
reaction to the boredom of having to drag around in convoys with
police escorts. Definitely Maybe was me sat at home dreaming of being
a young, free rock star living it large. Morning Glory was actually
doing it. This one is wishing I was still fucking back at home doing
what I was doing before it all kicked off. It's quite up. There's a
lot of cynical lines in there, but funny as well. It's not moaning or
anything, it's just saying, (earthy Lancastrian tone) In't that
And you dream of being back in Burnage...
"Well... So that was ludicrous. Having to throw Mick Hucknall out of
the backstage area yesterday was quite ludicrous. We've got a tent for
our family and friends, and he was in there. I'm like, Correct me if
I'm wrong, but he's neither a member of my family nor a fucking friend
to us, so can you get him out. He's pissing me off. Just looking at
his head. "Then there was... Sat in Burt Bacharach's hotel room one
afternoon singing This guy's in love with you, just me and him on
piano that was quite ludicrous as well, just for the fact that he's 67
and I'm 29. Could be my Grandad. I mean, what do you talk to him
about. I was just coming on like, (looks blank for a few seconds) D'ya
like The Clash? He's like, (Bacharach's foppy West Coast bur to a tee)
Uh, I can't say I've ever heard of them. Then he idles over to the
piano on the other side of the room and starts playing the intro to
This Guy's In Love With You. Then he turn around to me and goes, Just
join in, man. I'm sat there thinking, How the fuck did I manage to get
here? Doing the show at the Royal Festival Hall was nerve-wracking
because I'd never sang without being up there with an electric or
acoustic guitar. I was sat on a stool with a microphone like fucking
Val Doonican, with a 36-piece orchestra behind me being directed by
Burt Bacharach. It was ace. Mad. "I can't remember half the stuff
that's happened to me over the last two years. I just switch off half
the time and just go with it. I don't go out in London now, either. I
used to go out all the time, but it just became too much of a hassle.
It pisses me off because I like going out. I used to love going to
gigs, watching new bands. The first time I ever saw Kula Shaker... A
year ago, I'd've been at their first gig in London. Yesterday was the
second time I'd ever seen them and the first was when they supported
the Presidents Of The USA at Brixton Academy, where I was taken by an
entourage of security guards for my ownm safety type of thing... I
came back from holiday and I was like, Who's that at Number Five in
the charts, Kula Shaker, what the fuck's that all about? So I'm asking
loads of people, and they're going, They're really good, man, been
about for a while... I'm like, Why haven't I seen them, I'm supposed
to be really up on music, me! Things like that piss me off."
NoWaySis: you've taken them under your wing, haven't you?
"They're here again today. I met them before when they played at the
Forum. Really nice lads. They were nervous, thinking I was gonna start
kicking off and all that. I was like, If you can make a living out of
my music as well, then fair enough. It's better than being on the
dole. After we came offstage at Loch Lomond, Jerry the geezer who does
me was there, and I asked him what they thought of the new songs. I
mean, he wasn't gonna say they were shit, was he, so it was alright...
"I gave him a guitar at Loch Lomond. I was on one of my benevolent
trips, (weepily) I fookin' love you, man! It's the gold Les Paul I
used on Some Might Say. He was going, how do you get that guitar
sound? So I wrote down all the pedals we use, but I go, You've got to
get a guitar with these pick-ups, which I'd had specially made. He's
like, Fuckin' 'ell, man, how am I gonna be anble to afford that, so
I'm like, I know, I'll give you the guitar! I got him up onstage and
gave it to him. "They're ace. They've got these stacks of bootleg
videos, and they do just little things where only I'd really notice
from little gigs, and I laugh me head off. They're gonna do the
Newcastle Riverside where I got attacked onstage, and they're gonna
one of their mates to jump on and twat Jerry. There's gonna be a mock
fight, then they're gonna pull the gig and do one after four songs.
How classic's that, man?
Noel on America
America: you're selling, but do they get it?
"Americans just fundamentally do not get it. That is the one thing
about Yanks, right? They. Do. Not. Get. It. Whatever it is, they don't
fucking get it. We did an interview for Rolling Stone. Now we've been
photographed by some pretty fucking famous photographers down the
years, but we turn up for the cover shoot, me and our kid, right? And
we go, Right, an hour, and then we're fucking leaving because we've
got bad hangovers... We only do half an hour for any other cunt in
England, so it gets to an hour and this bloke's been fiddling about
all afternoon. It suddenly dawned on me that he didn't know what the
fuck he was doing. So I says to him, Have you ever done this before,
you cunt, or what? He says, No no, I usually do fashion shoots, this
is the first time I've ever photographed a band. So I said to the
woman from Rolling Stone, Are you taking the fucking piss? And she
goes Well, usually our cover shoots take about eight hours - when
Pearl Jam done it... We were like, You could not have picked one
single worse fuckin' sentence in the world. You have got precisely
another eight minutes left to get this cover and we're out of here.
Anyway, this cunt was an fuckin' arsehole and the woman was a bitch,
so in the end, we just booted over a few chairs, told her to fuck off
Is that why the article turned out pretty nasty?
"They send this journalist all the way to England. He doesn't
interview any of the band for more than five minutes, he goes to the
Brits and sees us pissed up swearing on the telly, and then goes on
about all the drugs and rock & roll behaviour, two years behind
everybody else. And his whole vibe when he interviewed the rest of the
band was, How much of a cunt is he to you lot? They were like, Well,
he ain't! And he's going, No, no, it's the same in any band, Kurt
Cobain was a cunt to everyone else... He kept on and on, and until one
by one, they all walked out. Americans think that English bands have
got a foul attitude, because English bands have got a foul attitude
towards American journalists, because American journalists are fucking
wankers. Simple as that."
Rolling Stone weren't the only people to criticise the lyrics on
'Morning Glory'. Did that hurt you? Or make you want to try harder
"It doesn't hurt me. Everything they say is fundamentally true. My
lyrics don't mean that fuckin' much. "You've gotta roll with it" what
the fuck does that mean? It pissed people off that I just admitted to
it and went, Well, it must mean something to someone. Because all
these people (gestures towards 125,000 crowd) don't turn up for
nothing. Ryder's lyrics don't mean fuck all, but he's a genius, inne?
People say, Why are we not supposed to look back in anger? I don't
fucking know. Because it sounds good on a fuckin' record, you stupid
cunt. Just sing it, you might have a good time. "I must say, I've
tried harder this time. When you've got no-one, a Keith Richards or
someone, to push you on and say, Maybe that's a bit shit... With the
last album, it was like, Fuck it, that'll do. This time, I sat down
and thought about why I was writing the song in the first place, tell
a few stories. So they took quite a long time, really. But people have
got a set attitude towards the band. I'm the songwriter, the brains
behind the band, the quiet, calm one. Liam's the nutcase, and then
there's the other three. The tunes are really good and catchy, but the
lyrics are shit. I don't think that attitude's ever gonna change, so
I'm arsed, me."
Noel on Being Big
So: what does it feel like playing in front of 125,000 people?
"I can't put it into words. I can only understate it really, cos you
can"t see the back of the gig cos it's dark and it's fucking 2 miles
away from where you're playing. I've been doing interviews all day
trying to put it into words and I'd rather not fucking try to tell you
the truth. Absolutely mind-blowing. "Now I know what the word big
means. We thought we were big when we played Earls Court, then Maine
Road. But after last night... There's big, then there's bigger than
big, and then there's fuckin like last night... Now that is big. Now
that is big. It's big."
Will it get bigger?
"I can safely say we won't be going any fucking bigger than this,
because to be quite honest, we can't supply the demand for the band at
the moment, right? We're trying, but to do things like this, it's just
a fucking pain in the arse. It's brilliant to do it, but I wouldn't
fancy doing it again. I'd rather... But then you get into the
territory of four nights at Wembley Stadium, but by the third night,
it must become a bit of a fuckin' chore. You've got to keep it special
for the band. But we sat down yesterday, me and Marcus. We were
saying, we're a fucking big group now, we've got to start fucking
dealing with it, it's as simple as that. In an ideal world you'd be
playing Shepherd's Bush Empire every night. That'd be fine because
it's big enough, but small enough to create an atmosphere. But y'know,
they'd have to fucking shut down Shepherd's Bush. They'd have to build
a wall round it. 'Indoors is the place to play, because it's dark and
you can actually hear the crowd singing. Out there, last night you
could only see the first... (laughing) It's a fucking shiity thing to
say, like, I could only see the first 50,000! Y'know, there's another
75 somewhere! But you've just gotta try and put your head down and
play. I think for a gig this size, last night was pretty fucking
"Just now, I was watching a video playback of 'Champagne Supernova'
from last night. It's like, that's me onstage with John Squire. He's
playing this mad fucking Jimmy Page stuff, all over the place on his
guitar. I turn around to Marcus who's stood behind me, and he goes,
'Look at the crowd with all the lighters'. I go, Fuck the crowd, look
at that cunt there! Check him out, what he's doing! I'm thinking,
that's another moment in my life. He's never played with anyone else
bar the Stone Roses and we've never played with anyone else bar us
lot. So that was a first. We were out with him one night getting
pissed up, and we asked him, but he's a bit reserved, a bit like
fucking Roger Moore (raises eyebrow creakily). As the months went
past, we're going, You still up for this or what? In rehearsals in
Birmingham, he turns up with his guitar, doesn't he, plugs in for
Champagne Supernova and we're like, (eyebrows meeting hairline) I
looked over at Bonehead and went, Could be time for you to leave the
band, mate! Squire's band are all here. I met the singer- he's off his
tits. Course, all singers are, aren't they? They look the part. Our
Liam's heard some new stuff, reckons it's brilliant. If he says it's
good, it must be, cos he doesn't fucking like anything. I"d been
telling him, I've seen one of the best fucking groups the other night,
Kula Shaker. I'm about to put a cassette of "Tattva" on, and he goes,
Tell you what I heard on the radio the other day, have you seen them
knobheads that lived in India for fucking years, that cunt with the
blonde hair, all that fucking Indian music they're playing? I'm like,
that's what I was just telling about. He called me a cunt and walked
out. There again, this is the man that said Talk Tonight was shite.
(pissy voice) Wonderwall, it's fucking dance record, innit? All that
hip hop drum beat - we're not a fucking dance group. Of course, once
he's sung on it it was the best record ever made."
You have to have ludicrously tight security around you these days.
Does that spoil it for you?
"Back here, it's been really well organised, there's been no hassles,
no fuckin' lunatics knocking about... last night, someone told me
there was three arrests yesterday. I was flabbergasted. Like, we're
fuckin' losing our touch here somewhere!
"But around me, I don't like that, man. To be honest, I come from
Burnage, I was 21 before I was ever in a band, I can look after
myself. I don't particularly like looking around and there's three
bodyguards there and everyone's clearing a path for you before you get
there. Because if I was a kid there looking at me walking past with
all this entourage, I'd think, what a wanker! I'm not. I'm just a
normal fucking geezer, but these things are thrust upon you. I'm
scared of my security guards, let alone anybody else. I daren't tell
them to fuck off, they'd probably chin me. Like, when you're walking
out backstage, and some kid comes up for an autograph, you see this
big hand come from nowhere and move them to one side. You wanna say,
No, just fucking leave them alone. All they want is an autograph and a
picture. I don't particularly like all that, but it's a necessary
evil. The one person walking towards you could be the one who'll smack
you in the face."
Have you ever found yourself in archetypal rock 'n' roll situation and
laughed out loud?
"Tell you what, I went away to Mustique to write the album. Johnny
Depp and Kate Moss turned up because Meg's known Kate for years. Now
they were staying in Mick Jagger's house. This is really fuckin'
surreal, right? Meg and Kate are on the back getting fuckin' pissed as
arseholes, Johnny's in this little adjoining room writing a script for
this film, I'm sat in Mick Jagger's fuckin front room with an acoustic
guitar writing a song for the new album, looking around at all these
original Andy Warhol paintings, going, Fucking hell..."
Is it getting harder to hide? There's a story about The Beatles going
on holiday to the Phillippines because it was one of the few places
they thought they were safe, and someone went up to George Harrison on
"I went out to Mustique which is out near Venezuela, right? Like,
fuckin' no-one's gonna've heard of us out there. Geezer in customs in
the airport pulls out a fucking copy of Morning Glory. I'm like, How
do you know the band? He's like, (tribal chief voice), Um MTV man...
That's the power of America. "I did that Chemical Brothers track. It's
gonna come out as a single at the end of this year now, but there's
been a lot of fucking about. I wrote the lyrics and the melody, and
then I went off on tour, but when I came back, I didn't like the
finished version. I thought it could be a bit shorter, so they had to
go back and remix it. So then it was great, finished. Then of course,
they're on Virgin, I"m on Sony, so they started bickering about whose
label it should come on. Me and Tom and Ed are mates - we're arsed.
Virgin are like, My lads wrote the music. Sony are going, But my chap
wrote the fucking lyrics. We're sat there in the middle going, Will
you just fucking put it out, we wanna hear it on the radio! Then the
managers got involved that it slowed it down by another two months.
Now it's all sorted. "Then I remixed Beck's next single, The Devil's
Haircut. I got a phone call off the record company. On the album
track, there's one bassline, the drum machine and a vocal, that's it.
So there were like, 60-odd channels left on the desk to put guitars
on. So I just sat there putting fucking loads of guitar parts on. It's
like ZZ Top meets Beck, man. Good, though!
"I had to mix the sound for the video of Maine Road which is coming,
but otherwise,I just sat around watching telly and reading the paper.
But I still write music all the time, even when I don't have to. I'll
never get sick of it. never, You couldn't, could you? Thank God for
B-sides, that's what I say! There's always something to do!"
What happens when you get into the jetset superleague? Do people just
start acting like your best mate when you've never met them?
"Two years ago, I wouldn't've been asked to the Cannes Film Festival.
Fine, arsed. Now of course, after Wonderwall and Don't Look Back In
Anger, they draw up their celebrity wishlist and I'm on it. Of course,
I've never been invited to these places before, of course I'm gonna
turn up, cos it's a trip. Look, there's Elton John. (brickie taunt)
Hey, Reg! And of course, it's free. Somebody'll fly me over there on a
Lear jet - I'll fucking have some of that, thank you very much! "Now
all these people wanna meet me, see. Al Pacino, Mick Jagger... Their
PR'll go, See that geezer over there, that's the bloke from Oasis,
it'd be really cool if you all were over there stood beside him and
you had your picture taken. So they come over and it's like, (ponytail
smarm) Hey man, I really fucking love the rec... I'd like to get one
thing straight, you guys kick ass! Suddenly all the photgraphers are
Doesn't it freak you out? At all?
"I don't think about it too deeply. I won't be going to Cannes again
cos I've been there now. Now if the Queen phoned me up at home and
said, D'ya fancy popping round for a cup of tea, I mean, you'd have to
go, wouldn't you? Just to see what it's like, just to see if she
fuckin' racks 'em out or summat! You wouldn't be, (trendy lefty voice)
I'm a Socialist, I couldn't possibly endorse... I'd be like, 'Ere
Maggie, you see that brown fuckin' Rolls Royce, that's me! You'd have
to go in there, have a look at the carpets, see how the bedrooms are
done out. You'd have to."
Face it: you are bigger than The Beatles.
"Yeah. We have sold more records than The Beatles. We've played bigger
gigs than The Beatles. I will say, yeah, we are bigger than The
Beatles, man. But you've got to look at it this way, right? If the
roles were reversed and Oasis formed in 1964, we'd've have been them
at their level. And if The Beatles had formed in 1991 and started off
with Rubber Soul or summat, they'd be bigger than us now. They had
better songs than us."
But it doesn't get any bigger than you are now, does it?
"No. No, you can't. You can't. We are the biggest band in Britain of
all time, ever. That's bar no-one. The funny thing is, that fucking
mouthing off three years ago about how we were gonna be the biggest
band in the world, we actually went and done it. And it was a piece of
piss. It is a piece of piss. We were thinking as big as The Stone
Roses at Spike Island, if we're fucking lucky. Not this. We were
talking out of our arse as well, though. We hadn't even recorded a
record at that point. You could sense that the vacuum was there. It
was in the air. You could sense that something big was gonna happen.
Let's face it, if Suede are the biggest band in the country...
Bernard's a genius, as a matter of fact, and Brett seems to know what
he's going on about in interviews, but I'm sorry, man, he sounds like
???? when he's singing. There wasn't a band for the kids to get
passionate about, so along comes us singing about gin & tonic,
shagging birds and doing drugs, and everyone went, Fuckin' 'ell,
that's a bit more like it! We just took it from there. As long as the
snowball keeps rolling... Who knows. We're not splitting up, and I've
got no plans to go solo within the next fuckin' five years. I suppose
a solo record is inevitable. It's gonna have to come. We are gonna
have to go off and do other things. That's what people do to keep it
"I fancy doing a jungle record, something really fuckin' bonkers, man.
I used to write dance music with Mark Coyle before I was in Oasis. We
wrote about six or seven bangin' tunes, they were really happening. We
used to come back from clubs boxed and put 'em. Acid house and ecstasy
was all new then, so it was like, Put the guitar and see what this
fuckin' mad thing can do. Dance music to me as a musician has its
limitations, because if the equipment doesn't supercede itself... It's
all about sounds and samples. I'm into it. I love it when you hear a
great sample, but chords and melodies - you can't really do it with
dance music, but for about six months it was really interesting. Never
raised me hands in the air once, though. When we went to raves, they
used to go, Let's see some hands, and I'd go, You're not fucking
seeing mine, pal."
Noel on Playing Live
It's not all been about Noelrock, has it?
"Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Dreadzone - it's not got anything to do
with rock, has it. Or Noel. You know, if it was down to the people in
the band, they'd have Cast, The Charlatans, Ocean Colour Scene and all
that type of bands on. I'm like, There is 125,000 people going to be
there - people who like Oasis are actually into dance music. I was
stood on the side of the stage when The Prodigy was on and the whole
fucking field was going apeshit, right, so I was going to our kid,
Told ya! He's like, 'S fucking crap! But it's all about the kids.
Imagine you're 14 and yesterday was your first concert... I had to
fucking sit through The Damned in 1979 which seemed alright at the
This must be the last British gig for ages. Where next?
"Well, this is Morning Glory's last stand in Britain now, because
we're gonna be doing our album. It'll be the last time you hear the
likes of Hello and... (thinks) Fuckin' 'ell, the rest of 'em are all
singles, aren't they? We play for two hours now. That's ten singles,
and about five fuckin' B-sides that should've been singles. I've got
about 15 songs for the new album, so you know, I'm not playing onstage
for three hours, it's bad for me back, man. What do you do? All you
can do is sit and laugh at it. We're laughing our heads off. We don't
know what to do anymore. Where do you go? Sooner or later it's gonna
get like that in America... It's just mental. "The one thing is, you
can't ask for advice off anyone who's been there before, because
no-one has. Apart from fucking Dave Gilmour and that, but I'm not
going to ask him. You know, I've got a few things to say to Phil
Collins, but asking for advice wouldn't be fucking one of them.
No-one's been this big, not even The Beatles.
Them and the Stones - they just didn't play for three years. That
won't happen, will it?
"No, fuck that. We like doing it too much, you know what I mean? We'd
love to go back and do smaller gigs, but then, small gig now is like
Earls Court, 20,000... We did a gig in Stockholm the other day, with
The Bluetones supporting us. It was outdoors, 18,000 people there, a
dirty great big fuck-off field with a lake at the back of it. The
Bluetones were like, Fuckin' 'ell, look at all them people, and we
were like, (shrugs) Huh, 18,000, that's nothing, my friend! We all
walked on nonchalant as fuck like that (picks up imaginary guitar,
strums out opening chords with ennui). Played for two hours and got
off like it never happened, you know what I mean?"
Loch Lomond started off under a cloud. The Charlatans had to pull out
because of Rob Collins' death. Then a roadie died on the site. Were
you worried that these four gigs might turn out to be your Altamont?
"The first night, I'd seen the geezer get killed that day which put a
big downer on it for me, obviously. I turned up early and I was just
jamming away onstage. There was this articulated lorry no further away
than from here to where that fence is - 50, 60 foot away. This geezer
was doing something at the back of the lorry, and then this forklift
truck was reversing up towards him. And I thought, That bloke better
get out the way in a minute. And it just went (smacks hands together).
He just fell over. I thought, he'll get up in a minute, then the
ambulance came and they put a cover over him. The gig wasn't that
important after that. Before the gig, I got interviewed by the police
for about four hours. I'm supposed to be going onstage to play to
40,000 people, and I could hear the Manics playing outside, and the
bloke's going, Well, was the driver looking? Not the best way to
prepare, but you know, shit happens. (long pause) But Altamont, that's
a bit over the fucking top. It's not as if it was done by Hell's
Angels, or we were all wearing spandex trousers and fucking capes or
Thanks to Andrew Turner for typing this out