Oasis Interviews Archive

A shitload of interviews from all the various members of Oasis and selected associates from the start of their career right up to the present day. These transcripts have been taken from various websites, forums and newsgroups over the years. Credit goes to those people who took the time to put these words online.

Friday, April 14, 2000

Noel Gallagher - Boston Globe - 14th April 2000

He stands by his band

Up the mountain, then down it. That's been the path of British rock in the last decade - and Oasis has seen both sides of that mountain. The Beatles-sounding band, starring brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, sold 29 million albums in the mid-'90s, but has struggled with its latest release, ''Standing on the Shoulders of Giants,'' which slumped to No. 185 in Billboard this week after just five weeks.

What's going on?

''All of these things come in cycles, don't they?'' says Noel Gallagher, the band's guitarist and chief songwriter. ''When we first started, people said that British guitar music was dead because everything was American grunge with Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and the Smashing Pumpkins. But then we came along, and all the American rock died down for a while. But now it's back with Korn and that type of music. Five years from now, you might be having a conversation and jazz might be back in vogue. Who knows?

''I think after about six months of this [new] album being out, we'll find out where we truly stand,'' adds Gallagher, whose group headlines the Orpheum on April 27. ''We've just come out of this whirlwind phenomenon that was Oasis between 1994 and 1997. The world was fascinated by British music and we were at the forefront of that. It has sort of tailed off over the last couple of years while we've been away, but everyone in the [Oasis] camp is still really positive about getting out and doing the gigs and then going on to make another record.''

Although record sales have dropped, Oasis is still selling oodles of concert tickets. The Orpheum show is sold out, as was a recent tour of Japan. The group will head back this summer to England, where it plays football stadiums and has already sold out two nights at Wembley Stadium, which holds 76,000 people.

''The new album is not a very singles-oriented album, so we weren't expecting it to be that successful in terms of record sales, but we're still a successful rock 'n' roll band,'' says Gallagher. ''To be successful is not just all about selling records.''

The new album, named for a saying on the two-pound British coin, is, frankly, not Oasis's best, and not up to the 10-million-selling ''(What's the Story) Morning Glory?'' CD, which put the band on the international map. Some new songs work, such as the single ''Go Let It Out'' and the psychedelic ''Who Feels Love?'' (with a ''Dear Prudence''- style riff), but some others are surprisingly inert, and one, ''Little James'' (written by Liam about his son), has the goofy lyric, ''Live for your toys, even though they make noise.''

Still, Noel retains a wonderfully carefree attitude toward the band's current sales malaise. ''I'm not in this for the career. I'm in it because I don't want to sit at home,'' he says. ''If this ended tomorrow, I'd just go and do something else. But I'd do something else with a guitar on my back. Even if it was decorating at home, I'd still have a guitar while doing it.''

Yet he's not unaware of the pressure heaped upon Oasis.

''We're the biggest band in England, but I always feel that we get an unfair amount of pressure that we have to do something ground-breaking. Whoever said that music had to always move forward? Who came up with that notion? To me, it's like I'm good at playing a Les Paul [guitar] through a Marshall stack. That's what I do. I can't be a member of Kraftwerk, you know? I like the way that I sound and I love the way that we sound. I don't see that I should have to change it because of some fanciful notion that music should always have to be moving in a certain direction.''

Oasis has two new members this tour - rhythm guitarist Gem Archer and bassist Andy Bell. ''We're just a better overall band now. It's as simple as that, and hopefully that will translate into the recording studio the next time,'' says Gallagher.

As for his famously tempestuous relationship with Liam, Noel says, ''It's the same as it always is. When he's sober, he's great. When he's drunk, he's a [jerk]. At the moment, he's more sober than drunk. Six days out of seven he's great; and on the seventh day, it's just batten down the hatches and walk in the total opposite direction from where he is.''

As to life outside Oasis, Noel and his wife recently moved to the country from London and had their first child, a daughter. ''I started having babies and started a farm! It's all gone wrong!'' he says kiddingly.

A country gentleman? Is he turning into George Harrison or something? ''Well, I haven't gotten his beard yet, but that's definitely on the list,'' Gallagher says, chuckling again.

Saturday, April 01, 2000

Noel Gallagher - Guitar World - April 2000

"Top Of The Pops"

Oasis is a huge deal in the U.K., enormous in the U.S.-and that's as it should be, says band leader Noel Gallagher.

"I think they're all too English for their own good," says Noel Gallagher. "They trade on their Englishness." Oasis' guitarist and sole songwriter is sitting in a Manhattan hotel lobby, nursing a cold with hot tea and pontificating about why his contemporaries in the Brit-Pop scene - Blur, Suede, Stone Roses et al. - have all failed in their efforts to conquer America.

"People in England think that if they're big over there, they have a divine right to be big over here, because the Beatles came from England. But nobody owes anybody anything. It's the songs that matter. Play us a song. Is it any good? No, I didn't think so-fuck off! Next!"
Like so many denizens of the hype-heavy British scene, Gallagher is a self-promoter par excellence. The words "we're better than the Beatles" have passed, without a trace of irony, through his lips more than once. "It's like a game of baseball," he explains. "The press hold the ball, but you hold the bat. So they toss you the ball now and again, and it's up to you to knock it for a home run and run around the stadium."

What sets Manchester's Oasis apart from the rest of the Brit braggarts is that Gallagher's loose cannon is loaded with live ammunition. He writes world-class hooks in the best British Invasion tradition and builds songs around them with deft popcraft, turning a chorus into a three-chord mantra that loops around in one's head all day long. While few would call him a true original-one song on Oasis' new album contains not-so-subtle lifts from Lennon, Dylan and Mott The Hoople-his gift for melody is undeniable. "When we get time off from the band, everyone else goes on `oliday, but I just start writing. I went away once over the summer, and our management wouldn't let me take a guitar with me-they locked 'em all up. They're afraid of me burning myself out."

Noel got his start as a roadie for the Inspiral Carpets, also from Manchester, who enjoyed a 15-minute heyday in the early Nineties. While on tour in America, he received a call from his mother who informed him that his younger brother Liam was singing in a band. When Noel returned home and attended one of their gigs, he was thoroughly unimpressed, but saw potential in Liam's snotty tunefulness and cocksure presence. According to legend, he told the band, "You either let me write the songs, and we go for superstardom, or you stay here in Manchester for the rest of your lives like sad cunts."

Noel joined the band and was promptly handed the reins. Two years later, Oasis was signed to Creation. An increasingly successful string of singles set the stage for their 1994 debut, Definitely Maybe, which entered the British charts at #1 and became the fastest-selling debut in UK pop history. That year's (What's The Story) Morning Glory, powered by the impossibly infectious "Wonderwall," is flying off the shelves here in America. In the same way that Led Zeppelin's Norse god posturing was enhanced by their domination of rock radio during the Seventies, Oasis' success fuels their excesses. With every sold-out tour, their anthemic choruses sound less bombastic, and 100,000 albums sold, their arrogance becomes more quaint and romantic.

Your love of certain bands is obvious in your music. Do you consider yourself a fan who writes songs, or a songwriter who happens to be a fan?
A fan who writes songs, definitely. I'm a fan of music who's celebrating that fact in my songwriting. I'm not saying, "I'm the greatest songwriter in the world. Listen to me." Usually, I'm saying, "These are the greatest songwriters in the world. And I'm gonna put them all in this song."

Your chord progressions and melodies bear more resemblance to those of people like John Lennon, Ray Davies and Ian Hunter than to anything that's come out lately.
The only person I have any respect for as a songwriter over the last 10 years is Kurt Cobain. He was the perfect cross between Lennon and McCartney. He belted it out like Lennon, but his melodies were so Paul McCartney. They were dead bouncy up and down-jolly melodies-but he was a miserable fuck at the same time. A lot of people have likened my songwriting style to Kurt Cobain's, which I tend to agree with most of the time. We both use basic chord structures-dead simple, no more than four chords. What's the point in fuckin' about? Then the melody slopes in and out and up. It goes up an extra bit and then down two bits. If you were to write out the music in sheet form, some of Cobain's songs would look exactly like mine, and vice versa.

You have a reputation for "borrowing" a hook or two. Do you ever stick other bands' riffs in a song so people will accuse you of nicking them from somewhere?
Yeah, of course! That's half the game. I want people to know where the inspiration for the song comes from. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. That really winds up other bands in England. They'll go, "Don't you feel guilty about having so much success by blatantly pinching riffs?" I'll go, "No. I don't feel guilty. But you feel pissed off because you didn't do it first." We have a saying: Why write your own songs when you can use someone else's? [laughs] If anyone has any doubt that the end of "Electric" comes from "With a Little Help From My Friends," they're being too generous. They all start off as jokes, but we can't get rid of them in the studio. It's like that Gary Glitter bit in "Hello" - we always meant to change that, but the damn thing wouldn't go away, and in the end we just said fuck it, man. It's a laugh.

What did you listen to as a kid?
The Sex Pistols, the Jam, the Beatles, the Who, the Damned, the Stooges, Small Faces. The first gig I went to was the Damned at the Manchester Apollo in 1980. I couldn't believe how loud it was and how tall the stage was. I'd only seen concerts on TV, where the camera is level with the band. When I saw the stage all the way up there, I was really struck. That was the moment when I said, "This is what I want to do."

After you joined Oasis, how long did it take to get to the point where you felt ready?
We were ready straight away! But we played to virtually nobody for two years before we got signed. And after we got signed we still played for nobody for almost six months. Then it sorta went [snaps his fingers] like that. We've done our apprenticeship, if you like.

Many of the songs on (What's The Story) Morning Glory? are played at a slow and dragging tempo.
Everything's so hundred-miles-an-hour these days. Everyone should slow down and get back into the groove. I always loved the pace of "I Am the Walrus." That's ace. Anyone can dance to that - "Hey Jude" and "Let It Be," too. But if you put 10 tracks like that on an album, it's gonna sound boring. That's why we try to change the pace. But we never go super-ballistic-over-the-top fast.

You have a very lyrical lead guitar style, not unlike [Mott The Hoople guitarist] Mick Ralphs or a latter-period George Harrison.
Yeah, some people say it's like Mick Ronson, too. I take them all as compliments! When I can, I follow the vocal melody. Or on something like "Champagne Supernova," I go completely over the top. When we're in the studio, the solo is the last thing to get worked out. For "Don't Look Back in Anger," I sat down and did it in one take. But I'm getting quite bored of hearing my guitar playing at the moment-it's really doing me in. I might start taking lessons or something. I always end up playing the same fookin' thing all the time. Everyone goes, "No, no! You're a great guitarist!" but I've jammed with [ex-Jam leader] Paul Weller, man, who is fookin' phenomenal, and it puts me to shame. I sit there thinking, "I wish I could play guitar like that."

Have you always played Les Pauls?
I've dodged between Les Pauls and Epiphone Rivieras. I've gone back to Rivieras at the moment.

Do you stuff them with cotton to keep them from feeding back?
I love feedback! Some people tape up the f-holes, don't they? I don't do anything like that.

You use a number of full Marshall stacks live. What do you record with?
I've got a lot of amplifiers. For most of the guitar parts, I use a WEM Dominator-a little 25-watt English amp that David Bowie used to use - a Marshall Bluesbreaker and a Vox AC30, which I use for all the rhythm parts. For the solos, I play a customized Firebird through Marshall stacks, to get that sustain. I've got a guy in England, Bill Puplett, who makes pickups for us. I brought him these Seymour Duncans that were the loudest fookin' things I'd ever heard. I said to him, "Make me ones just like these, only louder." I've got them in my Les Paul, and they're great. I regret having put them in my Firebird, though - I shouldn't have fooked with the guitar, man. I was gonna get some fitted into my Riviera, but that would just be too mental.

Your second album followed closely on the heels of the first. Do you feel you're racing against time?
If the songs are in there, I've got to get them out before I forget them all. I'm probably the only songwriter in the history of rock and roll who can't operate a four-track machine. I've got no recording devices at home at all.

Not even a one-track?
I don't even use that! I sit down, get a chord structure, then a melody and keep playing it every morning when I get up, or every spare moment, until it's locked in there [taps his head]. Then I write the words. The record company bought me an eight-track in a massive flight case. But I never use it. It took me two days to switch it on!

In many of your interviews around the time of Definitely Maybe you guys were a little, shall I say, immodest.
[pauses] You mean we were a bit arrogant? Well, yeah! In England, in that little NME [New Musical Express], Melody Maker world, you're supposed to be happy with your lot and ashamed of success. And that's been bred into kids and reinforced by the likes of Eddie Vedder-feeling guilty for selling millions of records. We were the first ones to come along and say, "What the hell is wrong with that? I'm selling millions of records, and I've got loads of money in the bank." If you've earned it, why feel guilty about it? If someone's making money, it might as well be me. But more than that, we were the first band to come along and go [points around the room] "You're shit, you're shit, you're overpaid for a start, you've got one song, and you, you're not ever gonna write even one of my worst songs." And people were like, "You can't say that!" We turned the whole thing upside down. [laughs] Of course, now everyone's getting into it. But I think it's OK; bands should be honest. We went a bit over the top - 30% was tongue in cheek, but 70% we meant.

Morning Glory got some negative reviews in England. Do you feel any kind of backlash coming?
Well, they're trying their hardest to start one, but fuck it, who cares? [laughs]

Do you want to ride this out for as long as you can?
I want to ride it out for as long as I think I'm good enough to do it. When I see myself slipping, or when I've written two bad records in a row, then I'll probably call it a day. But until I've written a bad record, I probably won't even think about giving it up. I'll know when the time comes. I want to get bored of it.

Liam Gallagher - Uncut - April 2000

Rumours of Liam Gallagher's transformation into a drug'n'drink free rock'n'roll saint have been greatly exaggerated. He's just as foul mouthed and furious as ever, as Carol Clerk found out when she met him for Part 2 of Uncuts Oasis special.

The location is Londons flashy Landmark Hotel, a place where palm trees loom over drinkers in the lobby and there's a better class of toiletry in your bathroom. We meet in a private suite, not long before Christmas. Liam Gallagher enters, perfectly, in a flurry of swearing about "fucking caffeine" and "fucking cocaine." He's not the tallest man in the world, but his pressence is colossal. He orders tea from room service, sits on the opposite side of a small table and streches his legs.

The things you notice first are the things that become transfixing, the tinted glasses, of course; the tuft of mischievous, Rod Stewart sprigs at the top of a head of newly washed hair; the drawstrings dangling down his pants; the parka done up to it's fur trimmed neck.

During the next hour, Liam is everything you want him to be, and a few things you never expected. By turns, he's impatient, angry, indignant, uncompromising, confessional and confrontational. He's driven, passionate to bursting point about everything that Oasis were, are and will be.

He's also suprising intense, hanging on to every word of every question as though he can barely wait to leap into his answers.

Exhibiting, none of his brother's diplomacy, Liam smiles rarely and is quite oblivious to everything except the thoughts that must be uttered. That they are rising directly from his emotions says everything about qualities like honesty and honour.

Which is why Liam Gallagher, important beyond Oasis, is the only proper rock star in this country.

He is the living, breathing, ranting, raving spirit of rock 'n' roll.

How has your life changed since your son Lennon was born?
l'm probably still in shock, you know what I mean, cos he's just a baby at the moment. I suppose he has changed my life, but not as in cleaned it changed it, you know what I mean? He's just made me aware that I can't be what I used to be.

Have you seen any changes in yourself as a person?
Little bits, little bits yeah. Well, I packed in the booze for a start.

Do you think you might have become a nicer person?
Yeah, I am a bit nicer, yeah. I'm nice round him. I've always been a nice person, you know. I have bad days, but I've always been a pleasant kind of guy.

Is anything bigger than having a baby?
No. It's gotta be the best thing. That's what we're here for, innit?

Were you at the birth?
Yeah, oh aye. We were still recording, and I got in a car and came home. And like, it was a month early, the baby, ancl I got a call saying I gotta go to the hospital and I was like, 'Fucking hell'.. . and she was there, having these pains and that stuff. And then he [the doctor] goes, 'Right, get your gear on.' I was like, 'Oh, what gear?"'

The hospital clothes! Were you shocked at how quickly everything was happening?
Yeah, I was pretty shocked. I was shitting it, actually. But it was good. I was there at the birth.

What did you feel like when you looked at Lennon for the first time?
I don't know. I can't explain it. Just buzzing. And I were a bit worried and all, make sure he was all right. But no, it was great.

How is your mum enjoying her first grandchild?
She doesn't like me anymore. She don't come down to visit me. And l'll tell you how it's changed me, how it has changed, yeah, is that before he was born, I was the most important person in my world. You know, I did what I wanted. I'm not the most important person in my world any more. He is.

You have to put yourself second.
Yeah, yeah, oh definitely. And it's like with me mam, I mean, she goes, 'Oh, I'm coming down next week,' and, I'm, 'WelI, you know, I'm not gonna be here,'and she's going,, 'I don't want to see you. I want to see him.

Have you written "Little Lennon" yet?
I've wrote one about him. 'Born On A Different Cloud' it's called, but I've not finished it, though.

Are we going hear it one day?
Yeah. When it's finished, yeah. it's good, man. On the piano and that.

Do you write on the piano?
I have been doing. But see, I can't really play it that well. I can do little bits, You know what I mean? I can get a tune out of it, but then I can't get a change. I leave that up to Noel. I get the gist of it and then I get the change in my head and I know how it's meant to go. It's just the way I write. I'll need help with it."

Noel polishes it up for you.
Yeah. Like with 'Little James'. With writing and that, I'm just doing it for myself at the moment. Mv main role is singing, and if I get a little song, every now and again, that's fine. And if Noel likes it, that's fine. And if he don't like it, I'm big enough to go,'Right, cool. it's shit.

Getting back to Lennon, there's been a lot of interest in his name. Did you see Paul McCartney on The Big Breakfast saying that he hopes his son has a boy and names him Lennon so he can be called Lennon McCartney?
I heard about it. Yeah, I thought it was amusing....but the funny thing about that is . I just got a phone call off Yoko Ono last night. She rang me.

What did she say?
She wants to meet me next week. She's staying in Claridges. What happened, she sent us this card about a week after he was born, like a little postcard with pictures - John Lennon used to draw pictures of him, her and Sean - and it's got, 'From the Lennon family'. It's got, 'To Lennon, welcome to the world, love, love, love, Yoko 99.' So I was fucking freaked, I was going 'Fucking hcll', went and showed it to everyone ...

Then a big box of baby clothes come from New York, cos she's doing online baby gear for kids and that. I was thinking, 'Fuckin hell, l'm gonna have to write a thank you letter.' "So now I'm thinkin, How the fuck ... [scratches head and mimes trying to write a letter]

'Dcar Yoko' . . . And I went,'Fuck it, I can't write that!' l didn't just want to write, like, 'Thank you for the clothes,' I wanted to write a bit more without sounding, like a fucking knobhead. So then I left it at that, and she's in London now and so we were rehearsing yesterday and I got this call saying,'Shc wants to meet you.'

So I got back last night and I rang her, the number was there, I got straight through. I said,'Is that Yoko?' She said,'Yeah who's that?' Oh, it's Liam.' She goes 'I'm in London for a bit.' I said, 'Anyway, thanks for all the gear you sent.'

"She does, 'Oh, the reason why I'm ringing is I'm getting more footage on John, Iike, Lennon when they were doing Imagine [for Gimme Some Truth, the new film about the making of the album]. She's in Abbey Road next week, but I'm away in America. She goes,'l wanted you to come and see it.' I said 'oh, I'm not going to be here.' She goes, 'oh, I'll send it to you anyway for Christmas and that.' She goes, 'But I'm back soon and if you want to come over for tea and biscuits and that, and bring the baby, I'd love it.

Have you changed your opinion of her?
"I never had an opinion on her. I'm not one of them who goes,'Oh, she split The Beatles.'They split themselves up, you know what I mean? She seemed dead nice on the phone and, like, listen, I love him, I've got respect for him, and I'm sure he was a c***, he had his moments, but if he was into her, then they're both the same person, I reckon. I'm not one of them who goes, 'That fucking Yoko.' I've got no problems.

Was it a challenging experience, working outside Oasis for the first time, with Steve Cradock on the "Carnation" single?
Well, I was a bit scared, you know what I mean? I didn't do it to be a single or anything like that. It was in Sweden or somewhere, I think, with Ocean Colour Scene when they supported us, and we were pissed and we was going on about the fucking Jam things. The Jam are all right, you know what I mean, but I was too young for them...

I never thought of you as a massive Jam fan.
No, I'm not. But I like some of the tracks, and I like Weller now. So we were speakin, about The Jam and mods and all this nonsense, so I went, 'oh, "Carnation" is the fucking best tune,' and Steve goes, 'Oh, that's my favourite tune. I'd love to do a cover of it one day.'

"So anyway, he went away and done this version and sent me a tape. He goes, 'I'm in London next week - do you want to sing on it?' l was going,'Oh fuck that,' so I kept ignoring his phone calls, and Patsy's going, 'Ring him back.' I'm going,'No cos I can't sing with anyone else, you know, I've never done it before.

I ended up, I got my fucking shit together and I went down there to Primal Scream's studio and we done it in the afternoon. And that was it. And no one ever mentioned putting out [the Jam tribute album] Fire And Skill. I don't even think that was thought of.

So the track existed before the idea of the album.
Yeah. Yeah. And that was, like, done last year [1998].

How was it different to working with Oasis?
Just length in trousers, I reckon. Ours are 34 Iegss, theirs are, like, fucking up there (points to calf), cos they're mods and they like to show their ankles.

Once it was released as a single, did you want a Number One?
No. No. I was gonna do Top Of The Pops and all that, cos we were getting back into the Oasis thing and I thought, 'Yeah, fucking, why not?' And then I thought, 'Well, it's a good song, I'm well happy with it, it's better than anything else around at the moment.' If it had gonr in at number one, yeah, great, but I get Number Ones with Oasis. Once you've had a Number One, you've had a Number One, You know. I'd have been disappointed if it hadn't got in the Top 10, only cos it was a good song.

Noel got involved in your TV appearances. Was he there to give you moral support or was he there as a mate of Paul Weller and Steve Craddock?
He was gagging for it. No, he was just there for the piss up, you know what I mean? It's a gathering, of the lads, leave the wives at home, have a good drink...

A lads' night out, really.
That's what it was.

When Bonehead left Oasis, the papers said he'd had a row with Noel over, Bonehead's drinking in France, where you were recording the album. is there any truth in that?
Not really, no. The thing was, right, no one turned round to anyone specifically and said,'Look, there's no drinking except for Noel with me. We were rehearsing the album a week before we went to France, and every fucking two minutes I was in the pub, and every time we'd have a break, I'd go 'fuck that,' go to the pub. And everyone was sitting about, fuckin, listening to it back, and i'd just go to the pub. And then I'd come back, do a bit more rehearsing, and I'd be a bit pissed up, and then a little argument would fucking start and that, so basically, the call was for me. Noel goes, 'Look, if you're going to be fucking pissed in France, don't bother coming.

And I was like,'You fuck . . .' and then I had a row with him on the phone, and I put the phone down and I went away and Patsy calmed me down. She went, 'Look, he's fucking right. And I'm glad someones' finally fucking told you.' Cos it seem, like no one really tells me, like, 'Fucking stop drinking,' when I'm being a c*** and that, and she goes, 'You're a knobhead when you drink.'

So I listened to her and went,'Right, fuck it!' So I said to Marcus [Russell, band manager], 'Ring him back and tell him I'll be fucking sweet. I'll be sober.' So I went there sober. There was no argument with Bonehead at all. There was no arguments with anyone. Bonehead was drinking, Whitey was drinking, everyone drinks."

Do you think the papers were looking for a sensational reason for Bonehead's departure?
Yeah, well, there was this big thing in the papers saying that Noel's banned booze and all this nonsense, he's banned drugs and 'They're going back to their fucking roots'. I mean, roots, what, in a £50 million fucking mansion, you know what I mean? That's going back to our roots!

And the thing was, when we were recording the album, everybody was fine, everyone was happy, he [Bonehead] is moving house in Manchester, he's done his bits dead quick, he goes,'Right, I'm going home to move house. I'll be back.' Now, if there was something going on behind the scenes, I don't know. I can only say what I saw. Everyone was happy, everyone was into the music, everyone was listening to it back, buzzin, having a drink, going "Wey, we're fucking top,' and 'Wey, that's great.' And then we get a phone call saying he's done his bits and he's leaving the band.

What was your reaction to that?
"At first I was thinking, 'Right, let it be for a bit, it'll be sweet.' You know, these things happen all the time in Oasis. Everyone gets the needle and goes home for a week and then they calm down, and then they miss it, and they go, 'Right...'

So we went, 'Ah, fuck it, he's got the fuckin, hump about something,' or maybe he just dosn't want to sort it. We can't tell unless we're speaking to him, cos he spoke to Marcus. So we carried on with our bits, we finished the album and came home. Then we carried on trying to get in touch with him and he was still going, 'Oh, no, I've had enough of touring. I want to be with my kids."'

Have you spoken to him yourself?
I've not spoken to him, no. He's tried to call me and that but, you know, I'm busy. Now, that's the thing. He lives in Manchester and we're not that close as the band used to be. We're all married, you know what i mean, and we meet up every now and again. They don't go to parties. I don't really go to parties, Noel's the party one, and we'd only meet up when we were rehearsing or doing a video or something, and now that that's not happening... if they're not into a band with me, then I've not got nothing in common with them.

So you feel hurt by Bonehead leaving?
Yeah. I feel hurt because if he's got a problem, which I don't think he had, with the band, then he should've been able to speak to us about it. Cos we'd been in it so long I thought we were that fucking close. When we were together, the band, we talked about things. if I had a problem with the band, I'd say it. If Noel did, and if Whitey did, they did say it. And I just feel a bit gutted that they [Bonehead and Guigsy] mustn't have felt like we were mates, or something, that they couldn't come out and go, 'Oh, I got a problem'.

Wasn't Bonehead your main drinking partner on tour?
Yeah. And Whitey as well. And Noel. Noel's a fucking drinker and all. No, everyone was a drinker. The only one that really didn't drink was Guigs. We were all mates, you know what I mean? And I'm gutted that they couldn't speak about it then.

Did Guigsy also cut out without telling you himself?
Yeah, he cut out without telling us, yeah.

What did you think about that?
Well, I thought cos they were two mates together from previous, that that was it.

He went out in solidarity?
"Well, maybe, yeah. I think it was a bit of a like, 'I'll leave and then we'll both get back in,' or something. Do you know what I mean? It was like like maybe a little bit of a fucking 'We'll see how far we can push them.' But it was like, if you leave the fucking band, you Ieave the band, that's the end of it. If you don't want to be in it, then you don't want to be in it. We've got no time to be fucking cuddling each other and going fucking 'Oh, what's up, what's up?', do you know what I mean? We've done all that. We're here to fucking start a band, we're here to go on tour. Fucking, we're not social workers. I'm not your mam. I'm not your fucking dad. We do the fucking album, and it sounds hard, but you're there to work, do the fucking album, go on fucking tour. That's what it's always has been. If you've got a fucking problem, go and see your psychiatrist or something. Cos I've gotta go in there and do my bit to support my kids.

So it's like, if they don't want to he in the band that's it. Fucking see you later. We'll go and get someone who is into being in the band.

How did [Bonehead's replacement] Gem come into the picture?
Gem was someone that we knew. He'd supported us and that. We thought, 'Right, Heavy Stereo have been dropped off Creation' ... We didn't want to go and fucking poach him. We just went,'Look, what's Heavy Stereo up to?' And he's going,'Oh, we're writing songs,' and he's going, 'Why?' And we're going 'Well, we need a guitarist. Do you fancy being the guitarist?' And he went, Yeah, yeah.' We didn't go, 'Leave your fucking band.' It was only meant for the December dates, but he said, 'Yeah, I'm fucking in."

What made him a better person for Oasis than any of the other people that were considered?
We didn't consider anyone else. People were talking about Johnny Marr and fucking Aziz out of fucking Stono Roses. I don't fucking think so. You know what I mean - if you can't get it together in The Stone Roses, what fucking chance have you of getting it together in fucking Oasis? And [former The Vereve guitarist] Nick McCabe, it's the same for him. If he can't get it together in his own fucking band, he's got no chance of fucking getting it together in ours.

It was widely believed that David Potts from Monaco was joining on bass.
Right, that was Peter Hook talking. The bass player, we were a bit struggling. We tried, like, four bass players out, no one knows their names, and that didn't get out. And then we tried Pottsy, he came down to rehearse with us, and Peter Hook went blabbing to the fucking papers

He said it on the radio.
Yeah, and it was all over Manchester that Pottsy's got the job. Now, I feel sorry for him cos he's gotta go back up to Manchester and go I'm not in.' But that's not our problem, you know, what I mean?

Andy Bell joining on bass came as a surprise.
So what it was, I didn't rehearse with Pottsy cos I had the flu and that, but they were rehearsing and I was at home and Pottsy was good, but he just ... in the nicest possible way, he just didn't look the part. And it's essential, I think. No matter how daft it sounds, you've gotta look fucking right, you know what I mean.

And then with Andy Bell, I got home and we got a phone call saying Andy Bell had joined Gay Dad and I was having none of that. I went, 'Fuck that.' So we got his phone number and rang him up and said, 'Look, do you fancy doing it?' And he went,'Yeah.'

You don't like Gay Dad, then.
I've heard of their name. That's terrible. That'll do me.

Didn't you slag him off, Andy Bell, when he was in Hurricane #1?
Yeah. Yeah, cos he deserved it. I slagged him off, battered his singer, and that was it, yeah.

You battered Alex Lowe?
Yeah, well, he deserved it. He was slagging us off. We were on the same label and he was giving, it all this fucking nonsense. You don't shit on your own doorstep. I'd never slag any band off on Creation, whether I liked them or not. It's something that I wouldn't do, you know. And he's fuckin, definitely not doing it to me, the dick, without getting a slap. And then we had a bit of a scuffle and that was it. And Andy's cool as fuck, you know what I mean? He's a rock'n'roIler.

Did it feel odd playing for the first time with two people who weren't Bonehead and Guigsy?
I didn't think it did feel any different. No, it didn't feel odd, man. No, because I'm not like that. I don't dwell on the past. That part of Oasis is over. It's gone and it's dead and dusted, through them, not me. I walked in there that day, walked into the rehearsing rooms, two guys there, Gem was playing there. 'Right, where's my mic? Set me up. Let's fucking go.' And that was it. I'm not going to go, 'Oooh [mimes crying], having visions. They made the choice to leave the band anci that's the fucking end of it. And I'm here to fucking get it on. They're there to get it on. Let's get it on. And that's the way it is and that's the way it fucking should be, man.

Someone said that, with the new members, it was like a Creation supergroup.
A Creation supergroup? What, Heavy Stereo and fucking Hurricane? What's super about that? Nothing super about fucking Hurricane #1, except for Andy Bell, who's now in Oasis. And there was nothing really super about Heavy Stereo, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. it's an Oasis supergroup.

What is the balance of power now in Oasis?
Noel's in charge, full stop.

He's still The Chief.
Yeah, man. He writes the songs and he does the business side of things. He's the one who sits up and makes all the decisions. You know, I don't want to know the business side of it or the fucking covering artwork and all that, I just want'to sing. Alan wants to play drums. Gem wants to play his things you know, and Andy wants to play his bass. And I feel sorry sometimes for Noel, but he's the one who wants to do that, so let him do it. But I'm The Chief in my position, which is in front of the microphone. And he's in charge of his bit, you know, but he writes the songs. That's it.

Looking back at the Nineties, Oasis are one of the major events of the whole decade, not just musically but as a cultural phenomenon.
Yeah. I'd like to think so.

Has the novelty worn off?
"The last tour [1997/98] got a bit boring, you know what I mean? I personally wanted to come off tour. I couldn't be bothered with it, cos it was doing me head in. I was singing fucking rubbish towards the end and I was getting in too much fucking trouble outside the band, and that was not what it was about.

You built up a reputation as the wildest man in rock. Did you ever feel as though you were?
No. No.

You did fly the flag quite well.
Well, I probably was at the time. It depends, You know ... I just liked getting on the piss and fucking having a laugh and that. I weren't the wildest man in rock, it's just that every flucker else in a band was BORING.

I'd agree with that.
Brett Anderson, you know. Boring as fuck. Who else? They're all boring. Damon Albarn, boring as fuck. We called him Dermot Oblong

Throughout the whole period of Definitely Maybe and (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, it was like Oasis could do no wrong. Do you think you had it really easy during that period?
I think we worked, man. It didn't come to us on a plate. We were gigging everywhere, weren't we? We were getting up to things that no other band was. And it's because everyone else around at the time was fucking shit and boring. We're a great band and we're an exciting band and there's people in the band that arc exciting.

Do you think you can ever get that kind of acclaim back, where people think you walk on water?
Er ... yeah. Yeah, but it won't be on that scale, You know, because we were new then. When we'd been around a bit, we were in everyones faces, we were in the paper every fucking day. And people get bored with that. And that's sad, people knowing exactly fucking what move you're making and what you're doing. So you'll never get that sense of mysteriousness about the band back again, but all you can do is go on and make better records and that's all i'm about now, and that's all the band is about now. And then we were about fucking getting off our tits, losing it, and all the music side of it was getting fucking missed, you know. It was all about fucking what we're wearing, who we're fucking, shagging, who, we're rucking with. And that was right for a young band, I think.

Now that you've eased off on all the revelling and quaffing do you see anybody out there who can carry on from wherer you left off?
No. No, just me. I'll still be doing it every now and then. Mmm. I'll still be there, but not as much. [As if on cue, Liam embarked on his famous "Lost Weekend" just two days later, after learning that Alan McGee was ditching was ditching Creation ]

What do you think about the fans that actually don't want you to be sane and sober?
Well, fuck them.

Because there are people who expect that from you, aren't there?
Well fuck them. l've got a kid now. l don't want to die. l don't want to be an alcoholic. Cos they'll be getting on my case when they come to see me, I'm 50 fucking stone, I've got a big fucking beard and I'm taking loads of fucking slimming tablets and all that. They'll be moaning then, won't they? And I've got no teeth and look like Shane MacGowan. So fuck them, I'll be fucking rocking mate. If they want to come and see me, they're going to come and see a rock'n'roll show, and if they don't like that, they can fuck right off and go and see Robbie Williams or something.

Throughout '96 and '97, you had the paparazzi living in your hedge. Was there any parts of that constant attention that you secretly liked, or was it a pain in the arse the whole time?
It was a pain in the arse,man

Did you ever take them out a cup of tea?
I like the attention, when it's to do with the music and the band. When I'm going gigging and there's loads of fans around, you know, I love that. When everyone's going, 'Yeah!', you know, fucking there, at the gigs and all that. When I'm walking down the street, it's nice when people 'All right?' You know, I like that and I'd be a liar not to say it.

But when there's fucking paparazzi outside your house, and there's people writing on your fucking wall outside your house, and there's people slagging your missus off outside your house, then I don't like it. I fucking hate it. But the rest of the being in a rock'n'roll band, all that adulation, I love it. Oh yeah. And I want more it.

Do you every worry about losing it all or does that not even enter into your thinking?
No. Well, the only way I'd lose it is if I booze, you know what I mean?

So it's that big a threat to you?
Yeah, that's the biggest threat, because I'd get pissed and I'd have an argument with Noel, and I'd stick by my guns and he'd stick by his guns. I was wrong, he'd be right and that'd be it. Now, if I've got an argument where I'm sober with Noel, I can win it. If I've got an argument with Noel when I'm pissed, then he can go,'You're fucking pissed, you're a c***, you're singing shit,' and when I wake up sober in the morning, I go,'Oh, he's right.' You can always get blamed for things when you're drunk, even when you're doing something right. When things do go wrong and you're pissed, people can get on your case. When you're sober and things go wrong, they can't get on your case. That's the only way I could lose it, if I get into the bottle. Other than that, I'm rocking.

Do you feel Iike the biggest British rock star of the nineties, which you were?
I still am. But I don't walk down the road doing it, no. I walk down the road going, 'Fucking hell, I hope I can get on with my business.'

You allowed photographers to take pictures of Lennon, when you were walking around a park with him.
Yeah, well, I just didn't want to get fucking stressed out with my kid. I didn't want to he getting into big fucking verbal arguments with these photographers when I've got a two-month-old baby. I wanted to keep my cool. So I just said, 'Look, stay over there. If you're gonna fucking mither me, mither me from over there, but if you come near me, then . . .' They could've come near me and took pictures and nought I could have done about it.

Did you read in the papers a little while back that there was a poll of the most miserable people in Britain...

... and you and Noel where both in it. How close to the truth could that be?
You know, they must have fuck all else to do with their lives. It's pretty miserable, innit, for someone to sit down and go, 'Right then, today my quest is finding out who's the most miserable person in the world. 'What kind of fucking kick he gets out of life, writing about the most miserable people in the world - he's the miserable one. What, cos I don't walk down the road smiling and I don't smile for cameras? What, cos I tell people to fuck off cos they've got a camera pointing in my baby's face, and they're getting on my wife's case and they're getting on my case? And they're writing bullshit stories about me? Yeah,then l'm the most miserable person. If you ask anyone else, I'm fucking up for it all the time. Funny as fuck. I'm a jolly boy,man. A jolly lad.

Have you read Paolo Hewitt 's book, Forever The People?
No, I don't read his books.

It was all about his experiences on the Be Here Now tour.
What did he fucking know? He was in bed all the fucking time, the lightweight bastard.

I was amazed that Paolo went on the road with Oasis, because he was never a drinker.
He still wasn't. He's a lightweight.. So all the shit he writes about, saying what we was up to, he wouldn't fucking know cos he was in bed at fucking 10 o'clock every night, the LIGHTWEIGHT. I don't approve of it, to tell you the truth. But someone's gotta do it, you know.

Well, anyway, he suggested that Oasis were shocked and bewildered when Be Here Now started getting a kicking.
No. That's bullshit. Noel, bee's knees as a songwriter, he might have been shocked. I think it's a fucking great album. I think it was overproduced, there was a lot of cocaine going on, loads of drinkin,. We were getting followed to the studio by the paparazzi, five cars from my house to the studio, waiting outside, five cars back. It was like fucking 'Band On The Run.'

To me, that's no way to go to work. You know what I mean? If you're stressed out when you go to work, it's gonna show in your work. So I was stressed out, and that was happening to everyone. That's the only problem I've got with Be Here Now. It was better than any other fucker's album around. There was a lot of cocaine doing on, there was a lot of fucking hangers on in the studios, and it shows. But other than that, it was a great album.

You've defended the album before but Noel has said that, looking back, he' doesn't think it's that great.
Yeah, but he would do, because he's like that, Noel. He's one of them that go, 'oh, forget it,' you know. It's a fucking great album. If it weren't a great album, why did he fucking record it? And he pisses me off when he says that. He's saying it just to agree with the fucking people who slag him off. But fuck that. It was a great album and he knows it was great, cos I seen him when he was writing it. He was loving it.

But when you look back at it, it was a bit crazy. The producer [Owen Morris] was just as mad as us, you know what I mean, he was drinking as much as us. It was just we weren't concentrating on the job that we were doing. But the songs are fucking great. I don't particularly think my singing was good cos I was off it and that, but other than that, it was a fucking great album. You know, it's not a fucking shit album. it's the Phantom Menace of albums. Listen, it was the album we were out to do and that was the way it was done. I'm not saying it's the best, but it's definitely not the worst. Maybe we didn't go any further, maybe we didn't take a step forward, but we didn't take a step back.

And going down to the sales, it sold six million copies. People say it's poor sales . . . six million people fucking liked it, so what are you talking about?

You've been away for a while and during that time, bands like the Manics, Stereophonics and Catatonia have been on the rise. How do you rate them as competition?
I don't rate them as a competetion. No.

How about Travis, who have a massive album?
Travis are a beautiful band, I love Travis, right, and they've got great songs. I don't think of them as competetion. They're definitely not, although they're a great band. And like Catatonia, for a fucking start, they ain't no fucking competition, right. Fuck them. I'm arsed about her either, right.

The Manic Street Preachers are a good band. They're not in competition with me. Stereophonics, I like his voice. The rest's a bit Bryan Adams. They're not competition, but I hope they do well.

Let's talk about Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants. When you were recording it, did you feel any pressure to deliver, given the slagging dealt out to Be Here Now?
No, honest to God, no. Cos when I heard the songs.....I'm totally, 100 percent behind Noel's songwriting ability. No question at all. The pressure could be on Noel, cos he's the guy who writes the songs, and people go, 'Oh, they're shit.' I'd be disappointed, you know what I mean, but I'm sure he'll be more disappointed, cos he's opening up to the people with his songs. I'll be disappointed if people don't like 'Little James' right, cos it's my first attempt and I'd like itif people like it, so I'll be a bit disappointed if they don't, but it won't fucking kill me.

Do you think that this album will restore the band's critical reputation?
I don't know and I don't really give a fuck, to tell you the truth, because at the end of the day, it's like with Be Here Now. All right, yeah, it might have got a bit of a slagging, but they loved it at first and then they fucking hated it, and I'm not a psy-fucking-chiatrist, I can't get into the mind of a fucking person who reviews. That's their problem, not mine. And this album, I'm into it, I'm happy with it, I'm happy with it, and whether they like it or not, it's still going to get toured.

Did it turn out the way that you personally envisaged?
Yeah. Yeah.

I remember, I think it was on the Steve Lamacq show ages ago, you were saying you wanted it to be a bit psychedelic, and you said something like you wanted to splash a bit of paint over the music. Is this what you meant?
Yeah. You know, you've gotta have a good song before you go fucking weird and all that. 'I Am The Walrus' was a great song on acoustic guitar. You can strip it down and it's there. I just wanted it to be not so fucking rock'n'roll. I wanted to put a bit of colour into it, and I think we've done it. Whether people like it or not, I don't know, but we're writing for us. You can't fucking write for the critics or the fans.

Do you think you're going to take some stick over 'Little James' being so sentimental - "Wild Man Of Rock IN Soppy Sod Shock" Or do you think people will listen to it in the spirit in which you wrote it?
Hopefully. People who've got any soul, people who know who they are on a day-to-day basis, will actually realise that there is a day when you go home and put your feet up and cuddle your kids. there is a day when you watch fucking TV. Now, if anyone slags it off, they've either got no heart or they fucking don't know what the meaning of life is. THey just fucking go out and fucking do-do-do-do the same thing every day. So fuck them, you know what I mean.

What does James think of it?
He thinks it's hilarious.

And what does Patsy think?
She thinks it's lovely. What it's about, it's about me and him, right, and his mum. And it's about 'It won't be long before everyone has gone,' it's like explaining to a little kid, you know, you've got all them fucking slags outside the house, the press and that...

Are they still there?
No, they're not there no more, not at the momoent, but it's like, I've got to go outside the house with him, cuddling him, through all these people, so when he got a little bit older, he's going. 'Whoare all them people?' It's weird, you know. I just had to tell him it won't be long before all them people have gone.

It seems to be inspired by a combination of Lennon's 'Beautiful Boy' and The Beatles 'Hey Jude'.
Yeah, a bit of both. More Beautiful Boy. Music's music you know. And you can't win with these people. You know, they're going, 'You're the wild man of rock, you're fucking this , you don't fucking care,' and when you do show a bit of fucking caring, then they fucking call you a poof.

I suppose that's being Liam Gallagher, isn't it?
Well, it's not my problem. It's theirs.

Are you happy that the song was built up into a big production ballad at the end?
Yeah, yeah. Well I just wanted it to be acoustic. Have you heard Lennon's demos? And they're just, like, dead crackly, like, and it's just on a guitar and that's the way I'd like to write music. But if he's gonna go on an Oasis album, it's gotta be a bit big, hasn't it? So then I played it to him [Noel] and he just went away with the band and he goes, 'What do you think of this?' And I went 'It's fucking top.'

It's the same thing with Noel's ballad, 'Sunday Morning Call'. It's got the big treatment, too hasn't it?

That's the feel of the album, really. There's quite a grandeur about it.
Yeah. I like it.

Are Oasis becoming more at home in the studio?
It sounds like you really enjoyed using the studio this time.Yeah well, we are. We're getting right into it now.

Can you go too far with that, or do you think you've found the right balance?
No, I think we're ready now, you know , to spend a lot of time in the studio and really get right into it, wheras we didn't do that before cos we were just rocking - 'Do, doo, doo, let's get out and let's play.' And I'm not saying we're spending two years in the studio making cos we don't do that. I'm on about like, really getting to fucking grips with what's around in the studio.

The lyrics of Little James are quite joyous and that's different to a lot of Noel's lyrics on this album. They're dark in some ways, and a bit depressive.
Oh aye, yeah.

Is that the way Noel was feeling when he wrote this album?
Probably, yeah.

Do you ever talk to him about his lyrics?
He doesn't explain them does he? He just won't explain.

Do you have to interpret them in you own way, then, when you're singing?
Yeah, I've got my own things, yeah. I don't like to talk about other people's songs, cos they're not mine, but when I sing 'em, I sing them about what I'm thinking about.

Do you think that Noel is alright with fame, cos quite a lot of the lyrics on this album seem to be a bit disillusioned?
With fame? If he didn't want to do it, I don't think he'd do it. He's a clever man, he knows exactly what he wants.

He's having a go at certain people on this album.
I don't think he's having a go at friends. It's not necessarily, like ... what do you mean, like fame as in what?

Well the trappings of it. The hangers-on.
It's just goes to show, doesn't it, 'You try and sit around my table but you never bring a chair,' It's about the liggers. That's what I get from it.

You don't put up with them.
With what?

With the hangers-on.
No, I don't. My house is a home house. It's not a party house. I think they're all dicks anyway, to tell you the truth. All celebrities are all fucking knobheads. And I'm sure they think the same thing about me, but I'm not the one wanking it about with everyone else. They're the ones that are all wanking around each other, saying how great each other is, and slagging each other off from behind their backs. I tell them to their face when I see them - they're all knobs.

There isn't anything on the album that's really optimistic like 'Live Forever' or a huge celebration like 'Champagne Supernova'.
You can't do that all the time, can you? Life's not great all the time, is it?

Moving on to 'Go Let It Out' - it's quite a laid back song for a comeback single, isn't it?

Did you want to come back subtly rather than with a big bang?
I don't know, you know. I wanted to come back with 'Fuckin' In the Bushes', to tell you the truth.

That's a mad song. I have no idea what it's about.
Neither do I. I don't think there is an idea what it's about.

Tell me about the voices on the samples.
It's 'We put this festival on you bastards, we waited for one year for you pigs, you wanna break our walls down, well you go to hell' And it's from the festival on the Isle of Wight, when all the hippies were trying to break the walls down. And there's a bit in it going, 'Kids are running around naked, fucking in the bushes.' And then there's a bit at the end, where an old lady's going, 'Music, love, loife, beautiful, I'm all for it.'

It's a very dramatic opening to the album.
I fucking love it, man. I think that should've been the single. But it wasn't gonna get anywhere, it's not gonna get any airplay is it? It's just fucking rocking, man. You ain't gonna get a better rocker that that. Now that, right, to me, is the ultimate fucking rock'n'roll song. I know for a fact, me personally, I'll die happy being involved with such a song like that. It's just fucking mental. It's rocking, man. I love it.

The video for 'Go Let It Out' is a bit Magical Mystery Tour.
No, it's not as good as that. The video's fucking shit. I hate videos. It's all right. We're no good at videos, you know what I mean? We're not there to make ground breaking videos, but we're trying our best. It's all right, it's nothing fucking amazing. I think the weirdo's on the video should've looked at bit weirder, but it's all right...

But Go Let It Out, to me is like, fucking jesters and little clowns that capewr and sawdust rings and...

The Big Top.
Yeah, I love it. I know, I know, its a slow one, and wheather it was the one to come back with, I don't know. But it's all part and parcel of the album.

Do you think that Oasis fans will be suprised by the album? I know I was.
Oh right. What, in a good way?

I expected Oasis to get back to some straightforward rock songs, really. After the criticisms of Be Here Now, I thought you might react by simplifying everything.
Well everyone wants Definitely Maybe, do you know what I mean?

I didn't say I wanted Definitely Maybe.
No, no, I know that, but, like, with you saying about the fans and that, how will they react. I don't know, but every fan I speak to, they go, 'Oh, I don't like your first album.' Yeah so did I, but you can't fucking stand still. And I don't want to.

Is that really what they expect?
Yeah, but it's like I said before, we're not writing for the fans. I hope they like what we're doing but if they don't, then they don't. They can do and fucking listen to Stereophonics or whatever. You know, it's not my problem. I like the album and.... you know, there'll be someone who'll like it. But it's just what we want to do. I think it's fucking great and I love it. I love the sound of it.

There aren't too many songs here that jump straight out at you. It takes a lot of listening.
Yeah, Well I think that's a good thing, actually. Music's about listening to innit?

Do you think that could work against you?
Oh, probably will

Are you ready for the slings and arrows this time?
There might not be any. But I'm ready for anything.

You're pretty bulletproof, aren't you?
The thing is, if they slag it, they slag it, you get on and do the next one. That's what it's about. It's not gonna knock me dead. we've wrote half the next album anyway. We've got fucking loads of songs. We're always writing man. Soon as we finish touring next, we're back in there, you know, and write the next one.

With this one, certain Oasis trademarks are missing, like the irresistible melodies of Som Might Say or the big singalong anthems of D'You Know What I Mean. It's a lot darker and denser in many ways isn't it?
Yeah, Yeah.

Do you like that?
I do, yeah, I just think that it's time for that. You can't keep writing anthems all the fucking time. That's up for someomne else to be doing now. As a young band, you know, we were brand new, everything was fucking great, you're famous, you've got all this money, you're fuckin out at all these parties - that's when your anthems are coming out. We're seeing the shitty side of it now.

Do you think this is a more drown-up album than anything you've done before?
Yeah, a well grown up album. When you see the shit we've seen... That's for fucking new bands to be writing all these 'Life's fucking great, it's fucking mega, wehey...' They don't know what's coming. That's for them to be rejoicing. They don't know that if they get to where we were, that it can get a bit shitty. So that's for them to be writing the anthems. We're where we are now, and life's a bit shit sometimes cos of what's going on, and that's coming out in the music. And all you can write is how you feel. And that's how Noel's obviously feeling. See, if people give this really good reviews and all that and treat us really nice, then we'll write a nice anthem album next time.

This isn't a commercial album, full of obvious singles.
You've gotta listen to it more.

Was this a concern for you?
No, Not at all. Otherwise we'd be writing hit singles. I think it's a new stage in our life. If it's not gonna get on the radio, I'm arsed, you know. Maybe that's what the problem is with music today. They're always looking for that big, fucking hook. We're going back to fucking proper rock'n'roll music. I mean, it's a proper fucking rock'n'roll album.

Do you think it will go to Number One?
Yeah, Definitely. Don't know if it'll stay there, though. Course it'll go to fucking Number One. It's Oasis, man.

Is it a perseve album to put out at this stage? Some of the songs are quite long and there are long instrumental passages, which are things that people criticised about Be Here Now.
Do you mean it's the same?

No. But there are certain things that people thought you shouldn't do and you're doing them again.
Yeah, well, fuck them. So you're saying what? Who's saying we shouldn't do that? The press?

Including the press.
Right, the press, right, because the press are saying. 'Don't do that', I'm not writing fucking music for some knobhead who couldn't tie his fucking shoelaces, let alone play a guitar or write a fucking song. Do you know what I mean? That's the fucking bottom line of it. If they don't like it, then that's fucking fine. If they slag it off, that's fine. We're the musicians, they're the fucking knobheads who write about it.

If Oasis' previous albums were fulled by booze and white lines, would you say that this is more of a spliff album?
Yeah, I think so, yeah. Definitely: I'd say so. Not that we've been spliffing it. It's a listening album man. It's not fucking chaos.

Is it a satisfying album for you as a singer?
Yeah, Oh yeah.

Even though there's a lot of instrumental work in it?
Yeah, I think I'm singing pretty well.

Do you approve of Noel singing?

You don't mind him having a couple of songs on every album?
They're his fucking songs, aren't they?

Are you not dying to sing them?
No, I'm not really dying to sing thingy; 'Where Did It All Go Wrong', to tell you the truth.

You would sound good on "Sunday Morning Call"
Well, I tried singing it, but I think that's Noel's favourite, his little beauty. I think it means a lot to him.

It's the most melodic song on the album.
Yeah, well, I sang it and it's like I was singing it a bit too hard. I can't sing soft.

You can still carry a ballad.
Yeah, I know, but, anyway. I think that was his thing - 'I want that, I want to do that,' so I done it and even if it was probably good, he probably went. 'Oh, no, no, I don't like that, you're singing like a bumble bee. I'll do it.' And then he done his version of it and I went, 'A, fuck, I'm not gonna get in an argument about it.

The future of British rock depends on this album.
Does it?

No, you can't put that weight on us baby.

Is it too much responsibility for you?
The future of British rock revoloves on fucking bands, mate.

People are waiting for this album, Liam.
Well, I'm sorry, darling, that's to do with fucking dickhead writers who slag people off before they've given them a chance, do you know what I mean? It don't depend on us, mate. This album is for us and for the fans who like it. British rock's for fucking people who've joined bands and are writing shit music. That's what British rock depends on.

But there's a lot of people holding their breath for this album, and that's a compliment.
Well that's good, yeah, but that, fucking, that can go against you man. And I'm not having none of that.

Everything can go against you in this business, though.
Well whatever you want. The future of British rock will not go against that album. If people don't like that album, that'll go against us.

Do you think Oasis are still the biggest and best?
I think we are, yeah. Well I think we're the biggest... We've been away for two years - it's different, do you know what I mean? We were the biggest when we left off, and I'm gonna carry on where we left off.

Can you do that?
I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't think the glory can go on. You know I wouldn't be here today if I didn't think we can get bigger and better. And whether people come in around us, you know, and it get's other bands rocking again, then that's fine, but I'm not arsed about it. I couldn't give a flying fuck about the future of British rock. Listen, all I'm bothered about is Oasis. I've done my bit for the fucking futures of British rock.

Noel Gallagher - MSN Webchat - April 2000

MSNLive says: MSN in association with Oasisinet.com, Sony Music, and Electric Live, are proud to present a live WebChat with Noel Gallagher singer and songwriter with the best Rock 'n' Roll band in the world, Oasis.

The chat comes live to you from The US where Oasis are on their North American leg of their world tour. You can see Oasis live online late next Saturday Night 29th at 1:45am UK time

MSNLive: MSN has been overwhelmed with email questions from all over the world for Noel so we will get started immediately and fit in as many live questions (11,000) as possible. To ask a question live please whisper to one of our hosts and they will pass them onto me. Noel is in his Hotel Room in Philadephia.

MSNLive: Noel, Welcome online!
Noel Gallagher: Thank you.

MSNLive: Despite Boybands and tiny blonde girls clogging up the Radio and MTV playlists. Oasis are having no trouble packing huge stadium gigs across North American and beyond - do you think real Rock and Roll is only really a success for live acts in the US?
Noel: I just think that real songs written by real musicians played by real bands is just not in vogue at the moment. We'll just have to wait until this cycle passes. This isn't anything that anyone in my band or anyone that I have spoken to is worried about. I think the charts are just a reaction to what was happening three or four years ago.
We're gonna have to sit tight... and our turn will come again, you know

MSN Live: A fan asked 'Hey man, I have to say, you are probably the best band I have never seen live. I hoped to see the MTV unplugged out on CD, which takes me to my question: "Will the band ever put out a live CD?"
NoelGallagher: I think that now we are thinking of doing it now that we have a really good band. Maybe we will do one in the next two to three years.

MSNLive: 'How do you feel about broadcasting your live concerts over the internet,' asked Neil from London.
Noel: I only go off the advice from the people that work for me. They thought it was a good thing to do, and I have to take their word for it. I don't have an opinion on it one way or the other. If it means people in countries that will not see us perform can hear us play, then I think that it's good.

MSNLive: True and english folks can see the live act as a taster of the Wembley, Murrayfield and Bolton shows. What current bands (if any) are you listening to in the States?
NoelGallagher: There is a band from Texas called Cotton Mather. They have a CD out called Kon Tiki, right now, it's the only group I've have had time for. This morning I have been listening to Fleetwood Mac, a session recorded live at the BBC in 1968, it's really, really good.

MSNLive: Where are you looking most forward to playing... Bolton or Wembley?
Noel: I suppose Bolton because it's up north, and the highest collection of our fans are up north. Wembley, because, well it's Wembley. You know, a lot of famous bands have played there. I'm excited to play there, but mostly I'm just looking forward to playing in England again.

MSNLive: Shane Merriam in Toronto asks what you think of other acts covering your material (i.e. Rod Stewart, Cigarettes & Alcohol and Third Eye Blind?
Noel: I wasn't aware that Third Eye Blind had done a cover. I haven't got a problem about it. Unfortunately, I dont own any of my own material. Sony owns it so it's not up to me.

MSNLive: A fan named Sue asks ''was it you who nicked my car stereo in June 92? If so, you could have kept it and not thrown it away in next doors hedge. It wasn't that bad!''
Noel: (Laughs) No comment!

MSNLive: Joej1742 asks how much of an impact becoming a father has had on both Noel and Liam? And on the music?'
Noel: I think it has had some more of an impact on Liam. Every song he does is about is little boy now. I have probably touched on the subject on one song. You know, I haven't had enough time to spend with my daughter. She was only six weeks old when I had to tour. I look forward to spending time with her. I expect she should change my life, though.

MSNLive: Gaz asks 'Do you think your music has changed much with the influence of Gem Archer and Andy Bell?'
Noel: I don't think so. We haven't really started to write anything yet since they joined, so I can't answer that. I think you'll be able to hear the difference when you play the record.

MSNLive: Fan Ben Crawford asked, 'I heard that you were writing material for a solo album. Is this true and if so, when will it be out?'
Noel: That is true. But I don't know when it will be out. I only have three songs so far.

MSNLive: Pat Jones asked 'I would like to say that SOTSOG is an amazing album. There has been huge talks on the Internet that Gas Panic should definitely be a single, and that with SMC will raise the sales, so any chance of Gas Panic being a single?
Noel: For it to be considered to be a single will have to go down to three minutes. It's really just too long, and unfortunately, I don't think that songs sound right when they are edited down. So no, probably not.

MSNLive: The internet polls rate it very high.
Noel: It is my favorite song the album. It's just too long, though.

MSNLive: Scoob asks 'Noel, you seem to know Richard Ashcroft pretty well. Going to work with him in future? Any thoughts on his new video?'
Noel: I've never worked with Richard. His new video is great. The song didn't get me at first though after a couple of times, and I thought it was great. First and foremost, I think he's just an incredibly cool guy. If I ever had worked with him and forgotten, that would mean that my memory is really f****d up. I would like to work with him, I think he's a genius.

MSNLive: Aatomant asked 'Does Oasis plan to release My Generation as a B-side?'
Noel: I would like to go and remix it. I don't think we own the recording think the BBC owns it. I would like to re-release that whole session as a live EP. There was some talk of it.

MSNLive: Wonderwall21 is asking 'Have you enjoyed your stay in the US, which stop on the tour have you enjoyed the most?'
Noel: I really enjoyed it this time. I've grown to really appreciate it more as some place to come and work. I think one reason is that I don't hang out in bars as much anymore. So I don't get to meet so many wankers. We've done a run of really good gigs. All great, I really don't think we've done a bad one yet. I like Seattle, it was a bit dodgy because of first-night nerves. But it was good. New York is great, you know, so much to do. Really love it all.

MSNLive: Tom Scott asks 'Noel its my 18th birthday today and as you are reknowned for your partying, can you suggest the best way to celebrate? Keep up the good work.'
Noel: (Muses a moment). Hmmm... 18th birthday... Well, my suggestion is highly illegal. I'd probably get taken to court by your parents. I think you know what I mean, though. Go and have some fun.

MSNLive: Bree Mercer from Sydney in Nova Scotia is asking 'You started writing music at a young age. Do you remember the first song you ever wrote, and what was the name of it? Thanks, and Oasis rock.'
Noel: I do remember the first song I wrote, but I really can't remember the name. Do remember the first song I wrote. But I'm sure that it was some jingly jangly indie shite. I wasn't very good then, I didn't know very many chords.

MSNLive: A fan asked where you see the position of Oasis in two years? Bigger than ever?
Noel: (Pauses) Two years... hmm. A lot of people have been asking this question, but the truth is that I don't know. If you would have asked me a year ago, I wouldn't have said that we'd be playing Wembley. The next album could sell five million or it could sell 4,000. Either way, if I'm still making music, I really don't give a shit. If people enjoy it. At some point, the numbers really become irrelevant.

MSNLives: A number of fans have asked if you have looked at or like any of the Oasis fan web sites around?
Noel: Like I was saying before really, I don't get the time to spend much time online. I really don't have any spare time now. I would need someone to work it for me. Most of my spare time I spend with my family or studio. And I can't type. I'm aware of our site, and that it's good but I don't really get involved in to be honest.

MSNLive: Have you ever thought about recording a cover of 'Ticket To Ride,' as it is favourite Beatles song?
Noel: Yes, it is my favorite Beatles song. I think that I might actually have a recording of it somewhere, done on an old acoustic.

MSNLive: Will you be doing any acoustic sets on this tour?
Noel: I think I am going to give it a rest for awhile. I do enjoy doing it, but it's not planned for this tour. I suppose if public opinion demands it, I might get me back doing it on stage.

MSNLive: There certainly was enough email (about acoustics).
Noel: We have a problem with our singer, you know. He doesn't like anybody else getting the limelight but him.

MSNLive: matthew in Edinburgh asked 'Who is Sally, and why is she mentioned in so many of your songs?'
Noel: Who? I only mentioned her in one. I haven't got a clue who she is, but she fit that bit of the song. It couldn't have been Sandy or Molly or Debbie or Angie.

MSNLive: Or Robbie and Liam?
Noel: Listen it is all f**king pathetic. Two singers with two massive egos the sizes of their arses. And they're not small arses... as big as all. So I'd just leave it done. I wouldn't pay any attention to it.

MSNLive: Geoff Watts asked 'If you were able to time travel, and went back to Abbey Road in the '60s, which Beatle song would you choose to be able to record with them?'
Noel: Probably something from the early years when they were still just a f**king great little rock 'n' roll band. Maybe from the first few albums, maybe 'I Saw Her Standing There.' From their later years, I would say 'A Day In the Life.' That's just a beautiful piece of music. But I think I'd really like to be around in 1962, '63, before they where too wealthy, because they decided to just become a studio band.

MSNLive: Both McCartney and Lennon did that one in later life Lennon in the U.S. and McCartney at his return to the Cavern.
Noel: Yeah.

MSNLive: 'Are Oasis bigger than Jesus?' asks Kristj n Sigurj¢nsson.
Noel: I think if we were all to stand on each others shoulders, we would be taller than him -- just.

MSNLive: When will you start to sign bands to big brother, asks Martin McKenna from Scotland.
Noel: Well, first of all don't really know. The label has a deal with Sony. I'm not sure if we're allowed to sign bands right now. I supposed if I felt strongly enough about a band, I could make it work out. There are records I'd like to see released, but the problem is that most artists don't want to get out of band for less than 10,000 pounds, and proper order. Unless there's some individuals up for putting their own money into it. There are some bands I'd like to see get going...

MSNLive: A fan asked 'Considering the status you now have as one of Britain's most successful rock groups and with success you are enjoying in the States, what aims and ambitions do you still have and would like to accomplish on a professional level?'
Noel: On a commercial sense don't see us getting anything in the future that we didn't already do in the past. I would be surprised if we sold another 30 million albums. It's just difficult to sustain that level of interest over several years. I just want to make better music, write better songs, and become a better guitarist. I would like to just get on with my life. If we do end up as the biggest band in the world again, I really do hope that I enjoy it better than I did last time. I just want to be happy, really

MSNLive: What guitars have you got with ypu on the tour which is your favourite?
Noel: I have really been enjoying lately playing a 1980 pink fender Tellicaster guitar with Seymore Duncan antique pickups. I also have a 1980 Rickenbecker, although I don't know the serial number. I got it from a shop that Gem used to work at and recommend to me. And I also have a brand new Gibson les Paul, it's a 1959 reissue that looks like an antique. But my favorite is the fender Tellicaster.

MSNLive: Helter Skelter says 'Ask Noel is he looking forward to the Dublin gig.'
Noel: (Laughs a bit) I'm looking forward to the drinking in the bars more. It's par for the course. We always have a good night out in Dublin. So, yeah, I am.

MSNLive: Why did you call you daughter Anais?
Noel: There was a book by a French writer named Anais Nen. We were in bed looking through baby name books and we glanced over and saw ait. We just thought it is a really cool name. It doesn't exactly rhyme with Gallagher, but it's a cool name.

MSNLive: Loads of people said on mail it was a cool name.

MSNLive: LittleJamesFeelsLove asked 'Will Revolution Song, Gettin' Older, Let There Be Love, or Carry Us All be on the next album, b-sides, or on your solo album?'
Noel: No comment.

MSNLive: Favouite footballer?
Noel: I'd have to say Shaun Goater. He's really doing the business for city now. If you asked me the greatest footballer of all time, I would say Maradonna.

MSNLive: luvbeatles wrote 'Ask Noel what is his favorite piece of Beatles memorabilia that he owns?'
Noel: I've got a carpet that was in John lennon's library, that's my most famous bit. But it's not really memorabilia, is it? I guess of that kind of thing I've got badges and stuff like that you know, old original badges. And the records, of course.

MSNLive: What has been the most memorable part of your career, asked Marci Wilson.
Noel: I remember being sat in the basement flat in Camden, 88 Albert Street. It was a Tuesday morning, and I'd had a party the night before, so I was in bed with a really vicious hangover. The phone had kept going constantly for an hour. I finally picked up the phone and it was my manager. I called him every name under the sun because of my hangover. He said that 'You've officially just become a millionaire.' I've had a few phone calls like that since, but that was the best memory of my career.

MSNLive: Meneses Bustamante sends this one for you, 'What inspires you the most for writing songs?'
Noel: What inspires me? Just listening to other people's music. I don't like personal stories, although a lot of the songs on the new CD are based on some personal experiences. But mostly, other people's music inspires me.

MSNLive: Would you take a part on the Royale Family on BBC?
Noel: Absolutely! I think they are making a film. I'd take up a part in the film. It's fabulous. Totally, I think it's just the best.

MSNLive: Helter Skelter says 'Ask Noel where is Liam at the moment.'
Noel: Liam is out shopping or in bed... but wherever he is, I know he isn't f**king working.

MSNLive: MrFen asks 'Would you consider Gas Panic to be the best Oasis song since The Masterplan?'
Noel: I have to think on at that one. [Noel thinks a moment] Best Oasis song is 'Know What I Mean.' And I do like 'Roll It Over.' Yeah.

MSNLive: Petethemeat says 'Who are your favourite British bands at the minute?'
Noel: UK bands. [Mulls a minute] Primal Scream, without a doubt.

MSNLive: Lucy In the Sky asks 'What were you thinking of when you wrote Rockin' Chair?'
Noel: What was I thinking of? I don't really know... I just remember that song happened very quickly toward the end of the session. I was probably thinking of going home. It's all about being alone, isn't it? I was probably looking forward to seeing my wife again.

MSNLive: Would you ever consider doing a movie?
Noel: Not really, I think we should stick to what we are good at.

MSNLive: Is there a documenary being made about the current tour?
Noel: Funny you should say that... I think that Channel 4 thought they'd get the access worthwhile to make a documentary. But we put a stop to that. Wouldn't want anyone to know the truth about us, would we? So I don't think there is anymore.

MSNLive says: Julie-Ann Cooper-Nichols asked 'I would like to know will the Gallagher brothers be encouraging their children to venture in the music field for their career?'
Noel: I will not encourage or discourage my kids to do anything. They can be whatever they want, a musician or actor or a dancer. I don't care as long as they're happy and healthy, they can do whatever it is that they want to do. I don't give a shit, as long as they love their dad.

MSNLive: Who is supporting Wembley ?
Noel: I think Happy Mondays. I'm not too sure. Maybe with someone else. I can't remember. That's terrible, isn't it. So that should be some interesting backstage fun.

MSNLive: Will they be at Murrayfiled ?
Noel: Yes, they're on the whole tour.

MSNLive: Ice queen says 'Ask Noel what he thinks of Communism.'
Noel: I think it's stupid. It's as ridiculous as capitalism. Any extreme is so f**kin' stupid. I think you should take some capitalism and some communism, mix with some liberalism, a little bit of socialism ... take a bit of everything ... what a perfect world it would be.

MSNLive: Would you be voting for Ken if you were in London?
Noel: Would I vote for Ken? Well i don't live in London so I don't have to f**kin' answer that. I'm well out of it.

MSNLive: One last question, Noel. Susan McKenna asked 'How many fights with Liam have you had on this tour?
Noel: None. Hardly any. Well, actually, maybe once. He would stop f**king playing the drums while I was trying to do a sound check with someone.

MSNLive: Thanks Noel.
Noel: Thanks everyone... Cheers!

MSNLive: Good luck on the rest of your tour ....
Noel: Thanks...

MSNLive: we're really looking forward to saturday night!
Noel: So are we. See you there!

Liam Gallagher - Toronto Sun - April 2000

British rockers Oasis are Webcasting their sold-out show at Maple Leaf Gardens around the world on Saturday night. But frontman Liam Gallagher doesn't pretend to know why T.O. is hosting the Oasis "Net All Nighter," as it's called. "I don't know anything about it, to tell you the truth," says Gallagher, still under the covers in bed while chatting on the phone from his hotel room in Columbus, Ohio, yesterday. I just show up and sing, keep me mouth shut, and go away."

Still, Saturday night's event has been billed as the world's "first major live broadband Webcast," which essentially means that viewers with a cable modem connection or better, will get a full, video-quality picture and stereo sound. Gallagher, however, appears to have no interest in the Internet despite his young stepson James' playing on a computer at home.

"No, I don't like it, man," he says in his thick Mancunian accent, which, coupled with his horizontal state, makes him harder than usual to understand. "I feel like a f---in' ass with it, to tell you the truth. I don't like computers and it's probably because I can't use them, but I'm just not into it. I'm just an old fart," he adds, joking. Speaking of his family, Gallagher hasn't had any visits since he's been on the road. His own son Lennon, with wife-actress Patsy Kensit, is just seven months old. "He's teething at the moment so I don't think it (the road) would be the best place for him," Gallagher says. "He's got two new teeth so he's really proud of them. But I'll see him when I get back. I do miss him, yeah, but you've got to get on with it, I suppose. I'm not the first person to have a kid. I'm not the first person to have to go off to work."

Gallagher, known in the past for his heavy drinking and outrageous antics, adds too that he's been behaving on this tour despite going off the wagon. "I'm not drinking before I go on, I'm not drinking on stage," he says. "I don't want to get into trouble. I've had enough trouble to last me a lifetime." Still, he was conspicuously absent when Oasis recently appeared on the Jay Leno show. He maintains he was never scheduled to sing, since it was brother Noel's song, Where Did It All Go Wrong?

"These people should just f---ing get their facts straight," Gallagher says of the British tabloids, who reported he stomped off the set. "There's no point in me being there if I'm not singing the f---ing song. I had a lovely day off down at the beach in Santa Monica." (Oasis are scheduled to appear on David Letterman on May 2.)

Better news, reports Gallagher, is that the band, whose latest album, Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants, is dwindling, saleswise, after just two months in stores -- is sounding better than ever live. He credits new band members, rhythm guitarist Gem Archer and bassist Andy Bell, along with hot Scottish opening act Travis, for Oasis' revitalized performances.

"It's the best one ever," says Gallagher of their current North American tour, which wraps up May 5. "I think the band's playing the best it's ever played." He said part of the reason is that they are playing smaller, about 2,000-seat venues, although the Toronto show is an exception. Despite Standing's lack-lustre sales -- it's sold 110,000 copies in Canada and about 450,000 copies in the U.S. -- there are five of the new songs, F---in' In The Bushes, Go Let It Out, Who Feels Love?, Where Did It All Go Wrong? and Gas Panic! -- in the current set list.

"It doesn't affect anything," says Gallagher. "That's the album we wrote at that time, that's how we felt. And that's it, you got to put it out, haven't you? Then what you've got to do is tour it 'cause people who have bought it want to hear it. I'm proud of it. I think it's a great album." Oasis will waste no time in recording a followup, though, after their world tour ends in August. "We're going to record it pretty quick," says Gallagher, who expects it to be released in 2001. "Get in there, get it going in a month or something, 'cause we're playing all the songs in the soundcheck now. By the time we finish the tour they'll be pretty tight, so we want to record it live."

The sound of the new material, Gallagher says, will be determined only when Oasis returns to the studio. "We don't know what paint we'll splash on it, you know what I mean?" he says. "They're just f---in' amazing songs. And it's a bit more up. We've got the anthems back."

Noel Gallagher - Q - April 2000

Noel Gallagher has seen the future - no drugs, no Creation, no porcine feedback epics - and it looks pretty good to him. So what else is on his mind? Poetry, his nose, driving lessons, the "shit" songs on his new album and the little matter of Anais Gallagher, aged 0. 'I'm really, really excited," he tells Danny Eccleston.

It's a dewy November morning and this is Wheeler End studio, Buckinghamshire - the property, until very recently, of Alvin Lee from Ten Years After's ex-wife. From the outside it might be any old yuppy farm conversion, but the interior - cables and pedals, a battered Mellotron, baby grand piano, racks of '60s-centric electric guitars - could have oozed out of Paul Weller's dreams. At the back, computer screens flicker, while on vivid red and blue walls, posh posters tug a forelock to The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan, and quaintly warn of the dangers of smoking "reefer".

Driven, on the bladder's whim, into the unpromising lavatory, the visitor discovers quality toilet roll and yellowing photographs of Elvis Presley's personal Boeing 707, including one of the King's own gargantuan in-flight throne. If you needed a reminder of fame's rewards and - perhaps its spiritual costs, you could do worse than hop off the M40 and have a dump here.

The studio's most remarkable treasure, however, is a collection of miniature figurines. Astonishingly, they are The Beatles in full-on Rishikesh retreat garb, 1968. Cross-legged in front of the begarlanded band sits a tiny Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. "No Mia Farrow, though," winks Wheeler End tenant Noel Gallagher, swishing by with tea.

Gallagher is dressed rehearsal casual. Slim, bootcut indigo jeans cling to a barely existent arse, whilst on top a casually expensive, untucked powder blue shirt fights a losing battle with sprouting chest hair. He is markedly slimmer than at this stage in Oasis's last album campaign, when 'Be Here Now' emerged to its blistering fanfare of martial trumpets and subsequent chorus of crest fallen raspberries.

Less than five miles thataway, at home in Chalfont St. Giles, sits wife Meg, still two months away from giving birth to their first child.

Is she craving soil sandwiches yet?
"She's not even had morning sickness," relates Gallagher, puffing on a Benson & Hedges Special Filter. "All my mates who've had kids were going, Oooh, after about three months they start going weird. And I was waiting for this weirdness onslaught. But she's not gone weird. She's not started eating coal. She's not biting lumps out of any ofthe chairs. I was dreading the morning sickness, patting her on the back as she threw up in the sink. That'd be a bit of a role reversal. I've had morning sickness since she's fucking known me."

And you'll be at the birth?
"Oh yes. I got a massive bollocking for suggesting I wasn't. So I'll be there, with me little green mask on, saying, Push!"

Today, Noel Gallagher has another gestation on his mind. The new Oasis album, 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants', is finished. He is rehearsing a new band, containing Gem Archer from Heavy Stereo on guitar and Andy Bell, once of Ride and Hurricane #1 and very nearly of Gay Dad. Tomorrow, Alan McGee will announce that he's to leave Creation Records, setting in motion a sequence of events that will result in the label's dissolution by the end of January 2000.

Gallagher looks relaxed. Even his hair - mid '99's over-sculpted Badfinger "do" having mercifully grown out - looks relaxed. You're struck that even if 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants' were to bomb ("and I do expect it to get panned," he shrugs) Noel Gallagher would remain what he has become: a proper rock star.

When was the last time you met someone who didn't know who you are?
The General Election, 1997. Me and Meg were trying to get polling cards, 'cos we'd just moved and they hadn't been sent. Anyway, the woman in the office was going, You can't prove who you are. And I'm like, You know who I am! What sort of stone have you been hiding under for the last years? I've got my passport but they're asking for another form of ID and I'm going, (cocks eyebrow) Do you want me to sing you a fucking song? My guess is she knew who I was, she just hated me.

Maybe she was a Blur fan.
(Grinning) Probably. Most people have an idea who I am. Sometimes you meet people who on purpose forget who you are. They always seem to be friends of friends of friends. (Adopts robotic social banter tone) "What's your name?" "Noel." "What's your name?" "Dave" "Alright Dave" "What do you do?" "I work for Tesco, actually." "No you don't" (Angry) "So why'd you fuckin' ask me for? You know what I do and you know what my name is" I'm not arsed whether people know me or not, but that sort of bullshit.

Do people stop you in the street?
Not as much as you'd think. I could walk up Oxford Street this afternoon and by the time people realise who they just saw I'm thirty yards down the road. And they're going, I'm sure that was him...I'm sure that was (comedy pause) Ian Brown. The best is being recognised in record shops. You sell ten Oasis albums in a minute. Then they buy what you just bought: What's he got there - Captain Beefheart? And then they'll get it home and think, What the fucking hell is this rubbish? Or they'll go, for them, so that's where he stole it from.

You handle the paparazzi far better than Liam...How does that affect Liam?
It comes with the territory. Liam will rant himself into an early grave about this. He takes his kid out the other day for a walk in the park and then has a kick-off at a photographer for taking a picture. I'm going, Have you lost your fucking mind? You make a decision. Either you say, I'm not a person, I can't take my kids out for a walk. Or you take your kids out for a walk and you accept that you get photographed. I've never had any trouble with them. I give them their two minutes and they leave me alone. I've never had a camera stuck in my face and I've never been followed.

So Liam brings it on himself?
If you're going around chinning cameramen every two minutes they're gonna be really up for it. They're gonna create a shit-storm for Liam. Every time he gets nicked there's a photographer on the spot, and that's suspicious. I mean, I've been in some scrapes, fallen out of nightclubs out of my brains at four in the morning, but they don't want me. The paparazzi've got it in for Liam 'cos he's got it in for them, and now it's a battle of wills.

How does that affect Liam?
The really sad thing is it gets him down. You know, he makes the best entrances of all time. I'll be sitting here when you're gone and that door will come flying open with a big fucking boot and in he'll come. "Alright?" "No I'm not fucking alright. Some fucker stuck a camera in my face when I was out walking my kid so I fucking chinned him so now I'm up in court next week on tucking GBH." And I'm going (affects playground "thicko" voice) Durrr!

How's Liam's restricted alcohol regime working?
Well, he only drinks twice a week now, which is Monday-to-Thursday and Friday-to-Sunday. The thing is, if he's trying to convince the nation, or his mates, that he's given up drink then that's fine, but when he's trying to convince himself, then fucking that's a bit sad.

How much of Liam's last Q interview (Q160) was the Liam you recognise?
When I went out and bought it and started reading it I was thinking, It's a pity that the guy who done the interview isn't the guy who's in the band. 'Cos the man that done that interview isn't the person that I work with. All that stuff about God, I thought it was hilarious to be honest...

What's your all-time favourite Liam story?
The funniest thing Liam ever did was at that Sony showcase in 1993. All those suits, no-one knew who the fuck we were but Liam just didn't give a shit. Anyway, we go to the bogs, and who's there having a slash but Jamiro-fucking-quai. Liam goes to have a waz in the urinal to the left of him, me to the right. Suddenly, in mid-slash he leans over, and right in Jamiroquai's ear, he goes (emulating Jay Kay "scat" at deafening volume): "Diddi-dit-dit-de-deee-dit-di-deee!" I laughed so hard I pissed all over my trousers.

Aah, those were the days. From their explosive arrival in 1993 until the summer of 1997 it seemed Oasis could do no wrong. Even as 'Be Here Now' neared release, record business pundits were heard to discuss the "Oasis Effect": how the record-buying public (already tiring, it seemed, of the Britpop party) would be dragged back into record shops by the lure of Oasis and cough up for all those unbought CDs by Cast and Sleeper.

The need for what Oasis offered was so great that 'Be Here Now' - regardless of its musical merits and demerits - became the fastest-selling UK album ever, clearing 750,000 units in the first three days of release. The band's power - buoyed by'(What's The Story) Morning Glory?'s 12 million sales and the Knebworth/Loch Lomond effect - was such that humiliating contracts were forced on journalists before they were allowed to even hear the record.

"The way the record company set that album up was immoral," tutted Gallagher to Q at the end of 1998. "I was waiting for them to put a contract in front of me at one point. I remember someone holding up the record on the telly and putting his hand over the cover 'cos he wasn't allowed to show it. It was so embarrassing.

As it transpired, Oasis and Creation had written a credibility cheque even six million copies of 'Be Here Now' couldn't cash, and nothing would be the same again. Over nine months, the Be Here Now tour, preposterous stage set in tow, lumbered on, Bonehead and Liam frequently "out of control" and Noel Gallagher - according to Paolo Hewitt's on-the-road biog, Forever The People - harbouring paranoid Colonel Kurtz delusions and insisting he be addressed as "The Chief" ("That was bullshit," insists Gallagher today. "I've been called The Chief since I was little").

In March 1998, Noel returned to Supernova Heights completely bereft of songs. But the party didn't stop. The booze and powders flowed on through spring and kept going until the middle of June. Most days, Noel would awake at three in the afternoon to find another unknown set of friends of friends of friends reviving in the kitchen.

"It was, Hello, who the fuck are you?" fumes Gallagher. "That wanker DJ, Sasha, said the scene round my house was 'seedy'. Well, I didn't see him complaining at the time."

Finally, the drugs got the better of him. And then, having resolved to give them up, the giving up got the better of him, too.

"I'd wake up in the middle of the night sweating, feeling like I couldn't breathe and that I was going to die. It was a dark time for me I because I'd just started writing a record but I was not feeling a hundred per cent about myself. All the people around me were still doing loads of drugs and it was quite hard for a while, I'd start having a panic attack even if I had a drink. But I thought, I don't want to go to the doctor, 'cos he's just going to put me on Prozac and I don't want to be like that. I just had this 'vision of Robbie Williams in me head.I was thinking, Fucking never, I'd rather fucking die.

"So it was at that point I said to the wife, Get your gear. Put it in the fucking car. We're leaving. The bar's shut. Meg at first was like, You lightweight. And I was like, I've got to do this because the way we're living is fucking me up. I'm just not happy. "So I moved out of London, moved up to the country permanently. Stopped doing all the fuckin' drugs and that and then I thought, Right, well, I'd better start writing an album."

Will you never take drugs again?
My motto is just Say No For The Foreseeable Future. I've been lucky; I had the best years of my life doing it and I'm having a great time not doing it. I'm proud that I could stand up and say, Fuck this, I'm not doing it any more, 'cos I'd been caning it since I was 14. But now it's just the odd Guinness, and I fall over after three.

Were you tempted by the Priory Clinic dry-out?
It was nice to do it without going there and hanging out with a bunch of twats for six months. I know a lot of people who've been there, and I've seen 'em come out of there looking worse than when they went in.

What do you do with your days now?
I get up, have something to cat, take my dogs for a walk and sit around and...talk, basically. I'm getting to know my wife again. I met her five, six years ago and I was whacked out of my head on drugs. So it's like reacquainting yourself with...yourself and your missus as well. It's actually quite nice. I've got back to the point when I was on the dole, where drugs wasn't a major part of my life - because I couldn't afford them - and getting the band off the ground was my obsession. So it's come full circle now. I can't stop writing. I'm writing for fun. No lyrics yet, but melodies, arrangements. I'm really, really excited.

When was the last time you were in Manchester?
Last time I played there, unfortunately. We used to make a point of going back to see me mam up there, but it got to the point that we'd get on a plane at Heathrow airport and before you know it someone would have rung through - "The Gallagher brothers are coming home!" - and the Manchester Evening News would be waiting there and it would be a fucking "symbolic visit". It's like, Oh fuck off, I'm just here to have a cup of tea with me mam. To be honest, if I hadn't married Meg, I'd have probably moved back up there by now. I was certainly getting sick of London, six years down there is enough. But there's no way Meg's moving up north. Fuck that! Not enough Gucci shops up north.

Appropriately, nine months after snorting his last line of cocaine Noel Gallagher - abetted by long time Oasis aides Mark Coyle (computers, sitar, funny fags) and Paul Stacey (guitars, strangeness, being an ex-Lemon Tree) - had shaped the bulk of a new Oasis record. Songs about loving life and kicking drugs, songs written in London, Bucks and Thailand during the summer and autumn of 1998 and demoed at Supernova Heights and Wheeler End, were taken to Chateau De La Colle Noire, Montaroux, in the spring of 1999 to be properly recorded. Which is where the other trouble started.

"The thing about Liam," reports Noel, "is that when he gets drunk he's got a nasty side to him and he's just not nice to be around. So when we were getting ready to go to France we had a meeting and said, Let's give up drinking. Which we all did...except for Bonehead."

Beverage-related differences were only the half of it. Owen Morris, producer of '(What's The Story) Morning Glory?', 'Be Here Now' and The Verve's 'A Northern Soul', had been replaced by Mark "Spike" Stent - renowned for his engineering and mixing work for, among others, U2 and The Spice Girls. The new addition to the team had a surprisingly irreverent approach.

"Owen would take sides in the studio. He'd be like, It's a band thing and you've all got to do your bit. But Spike was like, Look, I don't give a shit who plays what, I just want to make a great record. Because he wasn't a mate of ours he didn't mind upsetting anybody."

Was that what drove out Guigsy and Bonehead?
"Personally," frowns Gallagher, "I think that the statements they put out, I think they're just cover stories. If they wanted to spend more time with their families - well, I don't think you come to a decision like that over a two-week period after you've finished a record. So I think the way this record was made did have a lot to do with their dissatisfaction, but until they say any different I don't know for sure. Maybe it is the family thing...Or maybe they were worried that they wouldn't have been able to do it live."

Either way, when Noel returned to Wheeler End in summer 1999 with the tapes of 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants', he was unhappy with what he had. The airy, humble ambience he'd sought was there in essence and the drums were fine, but the rest sounded "too posh". Then Guigsy and Bonehead bade their shock farewells and the French tracks were quickly jettisoned - drums aside - for vibey demo recordings and new guitar and bass tracks.

"Fuck it," sighs Gallagher, "what they played wasn't really much cop anyway...so...now they're not in the band I don't mind about putting some noses out of joint. Guigs didn't play anything on the album. I think Bonehead might be on it - not that you'd hear him, though. After Guigs left, we started again with the bass, redone it all. I played bass on six tracks and Strange Boy (Paul Stacey) played four."

Can you still be friends?
I'd like to think we could all get on one day, but I haven't spoken to either of them since the day my manager rang and told me that Bonehead had left.

Oasis are literally not the band you were. Can you ever be as big again as you were in 1996/1997?
I'm not saying we're gonna be as big as we used to be. If we were gonna have a massive, massive impact on music then we should have done it last time and we missed our chance. In England we'll probably sustain the same amount of - what's it called? 'profile' and that. But outside in the world it's like starting again. A lot of people round the world won't have heard 'Be Here Now'...lucky bastards. So we're coming back with this, a good record.

Do you feel the pressure of being the band whose job it is to pick Britain up by its bootstraps?
I do. You read these newspaper stories, these obituaries of the British music industry and right at the bottom it'll say, Now everyone's banking on the new Oasis album to do it round the world or British music's fucked. And it's like, Fucking cheers mate. Thanks for that. If you let it get to you you'll go back and listen to the record you've made and think, Is it fucking good enough? Frankly, though, we've done our bit for British music. The Stone Roses did their bit. The Smiths did their bit. The Jam did their bit and the Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy did their bit. Now it's up to someone else.

Everyone's talking about the 'decline of music'. How do you see it?
I think everyone's chasing their tail waiting for the new form of music. People are convinced that the new Clash are just around the corner. But I don't think that's gonna happen. I think the kids in general are so polite these days. There's never gonna be a new punk because people are so whacked out on drugs that they've almost become a form of mind control. Unemployment isn't as bad as it was. The majority of people got the government they wanted. Drugs are freely available. Plenty of night clubs. Lots going on. Plenty of money. What is there to rebel against, I ask you? Fuck all.

Sometimes you don't sound completely convinced by this record...
If this was the last record I was ever gonna write or make then I'd be thinking, Oh dear. But the next one's half-finished already. It's an ongoing thing. In the final analysis, this is just another record by another band in the "O" section -just before The Osmonds. It's not a sonic fucking headfuck like the next Prodigy album is bound to be, but I'd like to think that people will go, (cocks head to one side and raises eyebrow) Oh aye, I wasn't expecting that.

What do you mean by saying there are two 'shit' tracks on it?
"Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" and "I Can See A Liar" could have been better explored. When I said there were two shit tracks, those are the ones I mean. We weren't even gonna put "I Can See A Liar" on the album but Liam threw one of his bottom-lip fits: (affects Neanderthal grunt) But it's me Sex Pistols song!"

'Be Here Now' seems to have damaged your confidence. But it's also put you in touch with your fallibility.
Well, when we made 'Be Here Now' I wasn't in a fit state to make any decisions. Also, the record company are hardly gonna come round when you've sold 25 million albums and tell you that you might want to shorten down the arrangements. And your manager's not gonna say anything 'cos he doesn't want to upset anyone. Everyone's going, It's brilliant! And right towards the end. we're doing the mixing and I'm thinking to myself, Hmmm, I don't know about this now. I don't think it's a bad record but I certainly don't think it's a good one. It's just average.
It sounds like a better record now there's a full stop after it...

And that's why, in the final mix, we decided to have a door slamrning at the end. That was a conscious decision. We were saying, The party's over now.

When raffish, Faces-influenced guitar group Heavy Stereo were dropped by Creation, Gem (hard "G", regulation Creation hair, scampishly chipped front tooth provoking a faint lisp) Archer stopped going out for a year. He worked in a guitar shop and trekked regularly to Newcastle, where his mother was in hospital. He was there on his son's birthday last year - feeling particularly glum - when Noel Gallagher rang his wife.

"There was a houseful and he spoke to her sister and everything," he relates in mellifluous Geordie. "He said, Look, I need a guitarist. I thought, Fucking hell, there is a God."

Today is Monday, January 17, and God wants Gem (Gem because of Gemmill, because of Archie, because of Archer - it's a '70s football thing) for an acoustic guitar player. Being a member of Oasis means he has already seen Pete Townshend naked but for a small towel. Now there is work to do. In a glass tomb deep within Yealding House, London W1, he, Noel and Oasis/Sheryl Crow keyboard player Mike Rowe are recording a Radio 1 session for Steve Lamacq. Afterwards, Gallagher will pick a cover version - to be played by Oasis at a future ful-band session - out of a bag of suggestions made by Radio 1 listeners. Since the Beatles have been excluded, front-runners include 'Come As You Are', 'Sympathy For The Devil', My Generation' and - ho ho - Blur's 'Country House'.

"Apparently Bonehead rang in," deadpans Noel. "He nominated Ernie: The Fastest Milk Cart In The West."

Luckily, Gallagher will pick 'My Generation'. "Luckily", since this is the song Oasis have been rehearsing with suspicious assiduity all week.

In the meantime, the red "on air" light engages and "Sunday Morning Call" - 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants' best conceived song about Noel's drug'n'fame hangover - chimes out. Gem stares intently at the stubby Gallagher fingers. Noel cocks an ear to Gem's upper-fret twanglings. Tiny, twinkly Mike Rowe - playing Paul Weller's Wurlitzer electric piano - is bet £50 that he'll mess it up. He doesn't.

The session dispatched, Gallagher peels five crisp tenners off a fat roll and slaps them into Rowe's open fist. "He wouldn't have coughed up if you lot hadn't been here," Rowe whispers to Q.

Accompanied by a larger-than-necessary entourage and interrupted by precisely three autograph hunters (they have photos taken with Noel - not Gem - and "The Chief" pulls his uncomfortable new photo face), the party repair to the Landmark hotel, where there is ample opportunity to test Noel Gallagher's "three pints and I fall over" promise as Guinness flows like booze in a pub. It was here, on November 10, 1994, that Gallagher - having been suddenly turfed out of his Chiswick flat for self-styled "recreational activities" - met Meg Mathews. Inauspiciously, he'd just witnessed Manchester City beaten 5-0 by Manchester United and she thought he was a "miserable wanker". For about a week now, he has been the nominal head of his own record label, the Sony hosted Big Brother, and in ten days time he will be the father of a baby girl called Anais.

Does fatherhood bring any fears?
Yeah, 'cos I don't know what kind of father I'm gonna be. They say that you'll always be the opposite of what your Dad is, which suits me 'cos my Dad's a twat. But how am I going to react when I first catch 'em taking drugs? Which is inevitable. How am I gonna react the first night they stay out and you don't hear from 'em for twelve hours? Which is inevitable. What are you gonna act like the first time they say, Er, Dad, we're thinking of going to Ibiza for two weeks...?

Will you send them to a Comprehensive?
Urn, they're probably going to go to school near home, and they're all posh schools round there. I think if the kid went to a normal Comprehensive school he or she'd probably get their head kicked in by some yobbo - some Man United fan's son. I suppose you owe it to your kids to give 'em the best education you can. But I have to say that as soon as they can understand things about life then they're getting in that car and we're driving up to Manchester and they're seeing where I come from. 'Cos it would be easy for them to take a lot for granted, since they're hardly gonna have to save up for their own car or a stereo for their own bedroom.

Go Let It Out seems to be having a pop at the Royals...
Oh aye. For me it's saying, it's no wonder that the royal family are the way they are, because they're just tucking clowns, and the longer we keep them that way the more fucking bizarre and banal they'll seem to us. 'Cos if someone said to you, Here's sixty million pounds a year and the rule of the country, wear a daft costume and go out and get pissed every day, you'd be the biggest fucking arsehole that ever was, of course you would.

Would you get rid of them?
A public flogging first. I'd seriously maim them for a few years - at least one leg each would have to come off - then I'd get rid of them. Maybe an eye out, something like that. It really pisses me off when there's a big disaster in this country and they turn up at the scene of the crime going (clasps hands behind back and walks stiffly up and down), Oh, right. OK. (Coldly) Hmmm. Pretty bad isn't it? I see. Right, OK, fair enough (rubs hands together) Now where's the fuckin' party?

(Now thoroughly insensed) And the Duke Of Edinburgh, he's a fucking lunatic. He has no conception of how fuckin' disgustingly potty he is...That thing he said about that junction box looking like it was "put in by an Indian", he obviously doesn't give a shit about how someone might feel about that. He probably thinks we still have a colony out there somewhere. What a fuckin' knobhead! And that's why, before I got rid of them, there'd be a couple of floggings at least.

How did you feel about Creation's collapse?
If Alan McGee was still head of Creation Records then we'd be on Creation Records. But when he left we thought, Fuck that. The decision was forced upon us. We were never shouting about getting off the label. I'd sign back up tomorrow if he was back on board.

How did Alan McGee break his departure to you?
I think he thought that we'd go Fucking ballistic. But we just went, Look, if you want to go and do something else then just go and do it. It doesn't make any difference to us. We're the biggest band in England. It's not like we're Teenage Fanclub. And he goes, Well, as long as don't fall out. But what is there to fall out about? If it wasn't for you I'd still be on the fucking dole.

But hadn't Alan lost it?
I think his track record over the past three years speaks for itself. He hasn't signed any good bands since Super Furry Animals.

Isn't it a testament to the philosophy of the label that you and Gem and Andy Bell could all end up in a band together?
The legacy of the label will be the fact that us five are now in a band together and it's a testament to the fact that Alan McGee never signed bands; he signed people. Really cool people. In the rehearsal room it's like we've been in a band for ten years already, and in a sense we been in the same band for ten years, and that band was called Creation Records.

You can't drive, can you?
No. I took loads of fucking lessons. Imagine the scene. I'm learning in this housing estate in Slough rough as a Paddy's arse. I'm in red Nissan Micra with a big red triangle on the top that says, "Knobhead". On the other side it says "...from Oasis". So the instructor's going, Do a left here. Three point turn here. It's a quarter to four in the afternoon and all the kids pile out of this school at the end of the street - all these top scrubbers from Slough going, Is that the geezer from Oasis? Second day, there's about seven or eight kids there waiting for me. Third day, there's about a hundred and fifty people. I did a forty-five-point turn and kangarooed up the close. Now I could just about handle the kids watching me on my lesson but I wasn't gonna fail my fucking driving test in front of two hundred kids. I'd rather have a chauffeur.

Can Meg drive?
Oh yes. The worst day of my life was when she passed. I'd just come back from the 'Be Here Now' tour. I wake up, wrecked, and she goes, I'm my driving test today - aren't you gonna wish me luck? I goes, No way are you going to pass. If you pass your driving test today, I'll buy you a fucking Porsche. One and half hours later she's back - I've still got two golf balls up me nose, can't breathe, fucked - waving this fucking green paper. So she drags me out of bed, into the car, down to the fucking Porsche garage, picks the fucking convertible with the fucking fancy paintwork. How much is it? Sixty (feigns difficulty breathing) seven (choke!) thousand (erk!) pounds (cough)...To her credit, she's going, And put the right year on the cheque!

How did you break your nose?
I was in Manchester town centre. I getting off a bus, going into a amusement arcade, coming out of the amusement arcade, saying, "You what?" to some fucking United fan and waking up in the bus shelter with a crowd stood around me. I had two black eyes, a tooth knocked out and me nose bent. And me mam goes, What happened to you? (Sulky teen voice) I fell over.

What does Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants mean?
To me it means, the greats of music will always be the greats and we're down there, the little boys, still creeping up. I consider us a great band of the '90s, which is a great thing to be, but, you know, let's see we can span two decades. We'll be toning down the touring of course, that's a young man's game. But I'm always going to be making music and as long as Liam looks after his voice I think we can do some really great things, but I'd hate for us just to fucking disappear and just crop up on '90s revival programmes every now and again. Oh, by the way there was this band Oasis...It'd be nice to get another five years out of it.

Recently, on a promotional trip to Paris, Noel Gallagher, 34, had an out-of-body experience. "It was the last interview of the day. It was eight o'clock at night and I'd been doing 'em since ten o'clock in the morning. I'd been up since five. So I was giving the standard answers: Gas Panic!... blah blah blah...panic attacks...blah blah..cocaine withdrawal, and suddenly my whole head went numb and I whited out and I heard myself echoing in the background, as if God was gradually turning the reverb knob. Suddenly I came to and the guy's sitting there nodding, going, That's fantastic man, and I have absolutely no idea what I said. I used to pay 60 fucking quid for a feeling like that."

Noel Gallagher is charismatic company. He is the multi-millionaire businessman who - almost effortlessly -keeps Sony Records afloat and Anais Gallagher in pampers. Equally, he is the Guinness-swilling ex-drug addict who - he admits - stole the microphones from his first ever press conference. He swings in a second between intensely modest self-knowledge and outrageous bluster, exhorting his drinking companions to check out Texas Beatles clones Cotton Mather and California Jesus & Mary Chain clones Black Rebel Motorcycle, whilst imagining his brother in women's underwear and comparing his bass player to "a joss stick". He knows the glory of Mick Jagger's lyrics ("My name is disturbance"; that's genius at work) and the wonder of Dave Hill ("Anyone who has four hair cuts on the same head has got to be respected") He reveals that his mother-in-law sends him books of poetry, presumably in the hope that they will improve his lyrics.

And whatever he really thinks of 'Standing On Shoulder Of Giants' - just a "good record", remember, with "two shit tracks" - there's no doubting his enthusiasm for what comes next: an Oasis record written and recorded with the aid of Andy Bell and Gem Archer. The true Second Act of Oasis's story starts here.

"The future's wide open now," fizzes Noel. "All bets are off. As soon as we get these gigs out of the way it's gonna be, (rubs hands together) Right now let's really go to work."