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.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Noel Gallagher - NME - 3rd January 2004

The Ultimate Rock 'n' Roll Stars Are Back!

Have Oasis still got it? This is the year they show us what they're made of. Here's the inside track on their crucial sixth album - straight from Noel Gallagher's mouth.

The year 1994 was the year of Oasis. Ten years ago this August, the M&S clad gang of Burnage hoolies released their first album, the landmark 'Definitely Maybe'. It was the perfect distillation of the spirit of the times, a big-hearted, full-throated celebration of cigarettes and alcohol, of "sun-shee-ine" and the white line.

Now it's 2004 and everything has changed. The Gallagher brothers are the only remaining original members of Oasis. Noel Gallagher is a 36 year old father of one, Liam a happily coupled-up father of three (although the old madness is still there - after all, he did karate chop an NME journalist last year). The rock'n'roll landscape has been transformed by everyone from The Stokes to Dizzee Rascal and the cultural mood of triumphant optimism has been replaced by something much more downbeat. Is there still a place for Oasis?

Their live popularity isn't in doubt. But Oasis have to keep coming up with the goods on record too. This autumn, we'll find out if they're still a force capable of duking it out with the young bucks. Here, for the first time, NME brings you the story so far of Oasis' most important album yet.

Noel says the album - expected in September, with a single preceding in July - will be a concise, ten-song psychedelic rock'n'roll record with no ballads, string sections or self-indulgence. He says he's aiming for a cross between Bob Dylan's 1965 classic 'Highway 61 Revisited', The Rolling Stones' famously out-there 1967 album 'Their Satanic Majesties Request' and The Stone Roses' 'The Stone Roses'.

"Much as it paints me to say it," Noel told NME, "Liam's songs are amazing! I'm writing these six-minute long 'Champagne Supernova' things and Liam write all these three-minute pop songs. He's got the blues, man. His new songs sound like The Yardbirds."

One of them, 'They Ain't Got Nothing On Me, They Ain't Got Nothing On You' was written when Liam spent the night in a German cell, after a legendary fight in Munich in December 2002.

Gem and Andy have written a pair of songs, each of which, Noel days, "I wish I'd written." As for the Chief himself, Noel debuted 'Stop The Clocks' at an acoustic show last February. Written at the end of the 'Heathen Chemistry' sessions, it's musically somewhere between 'Wonderwall' and 'The Hindu Times' while the lyrics deal with lost love and growing old. It will definitely appear on the album, as with another called 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down'. Other rumoured titles include 'Revolution Man' (a demo from the 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants' session), 'Longer', 'Singin' Your Life', 'You Wanna Feel My Shame', 'Say It' and 'The Good Rebel'.

After years of being Oasis' sole songwriter, Noel's now keen to delegate. "I'm 36 now but when you're 21 and you're single and you haven't got any baggage you can just sit and write songs all night," he said. "Whereas now I've got kids and this and that, I don't have the time to write as much as I used to. I was talking to Weller about this and his next album will be his 640th album or something, and what more is there to fucking say? It's just a constant struggle to say the same thing differently."

Death in Vegas (Richard Fearless and Tim Holmes) teased out Liam Gallagher's best vocal performance for years on their own 2002 single 'Scorpio Rising'. "He's the greatest rock 'n' roll singer in the world," said Fearless at the time.

However, any suggestion that Oasis are 'going dance' is well wide of the mark. In a recent interview with Manchester City Life, Noel said, "I was saying to Richard Fearless, 'We don't really need anyone to freshen up the sound, we don't want anyone to produce it. The reason we want Death In Vegas to produce it is because we want you to, not because we need you to.' I'm quite capable of doing it myself, I can happily make a psychedelic rock record of my own. But I can't be fucking arsed this time... why should I do all the fucking work?

"Nobody else in the band wanted to use any outside producers, they all wanted me to produce it. Now I'd love to but I wouldn't feel comfortable telling other people, 'Now this song is shit and that and it's not going on the album.' So it was my idea to get someone who had no connections with the band and say, 'Here's all the fucking songs, now do summat with it.' The rest of the band were pretty dead set against that for ages and ages. Trying to convince Liam was the hardest thing. He'd always be like, 'What they fuck do producers do anyway? Sit there, drink coffee and tell you how shit you are.'"

Recording begins this week in Noel's own studio on his Buckinghamshire Estate.

Over the past year, Noel has bigged up new acts from The Hiss to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, showing a particular fondness for the new breed of Liverpool bands, such as The Stands. And he's less competitive than he once once. "To me," he told City Life, "the best band out there is Coldplay but we're not really in competition with them. Chris Martin is a fucking genius as far as I'm concerned. But all in all, this has been a fucking disappointing year for bands' second albums. Now I fucking love The Strokes, I love the way they look, I love what they stand for, I love the fucking drummer... but that second album? It's fucking dog's piss. And the same applies for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Vines. They're top live but the music's shit."

As for The Darkness, despite Liam liking them, Noel says: "I just find them really, really inoffensive. I don't know why people hate them or like them. It doesn't do anything for me. I'd actually put them in the same category as The Flaming Lips, where it's like I'm not even sure whether the people who like them genuinely like them. For me, it's like, 'Come on you weird fucking c***s. Try and play a gig without some 20 foot fucking vegetable jumping up and down behind you.' People go to a Flaming Lips gig to watch them, not listen to them. And I can't stand their fucking fans either - they can fuck off. Cat Deeley bands - that's what The Flaming Lips and The Darkness are, Cat Deeley bands! But nothing against Cat Deeley - I'm sure she's a very nice girl."

While even Noel admits that "at some point you have to accept that music has moved on and you're not the cat's whiskers any more", Oasis' fanbase will ensure that the new album will be a smash. Just as well, since as Noel told NME, the band's enormous anthems wouldn't fit any other context. "I think Oasis only really make sense if it's played in front of 50,000 people. I think if it's played in a pub it wouldn't make much sense. Size is an important part of Oasis. I couldn't imagine 'Definitely Maybe' being some cult album that 50 people owned. I could never see us being The Jesus and Mary Chain. That was one of the first things we said to Alan McGee. I said, 'Don't be happy selling 30,000 albums and getting on Top Of The Pops once, 'cos it ain't gonna be fucking like that. We're going to the top of the tree."

After all this time, can Oasis stay there? Only the next 12 months will tell.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Noel Gallagher - Unknown - Unknown 2004

Noel Gallagher - Glastonbury Festivals.co.uk - 2004

Noel Gallagher speaks exclusively to Glynn Pegler in a special interview for the Glastonbury Festival website.

Picture this; it's a hot sunny day, you’ve got yourself comfortable on a nice patch of shaded grass for a bit of a chill out when you notice a familiar looking Mancunian, donning sunglasses, swaggering confidently over. In this case the man in question, dressed discreetly in a white tee and blue faded jeans, is a music icon; part pioneer of the so-called ‘Brit pop’ music genre, and part all round contemporary rock music legend in his own right. His name, as he reliably informs me when he introduces himself, is Noel. And he’s brought with him two pints of cold beer. Sweet as!

Not known as a particularly forthcoming person when it comes to press interviews, (and fair enough, he’s done enough of them), it comes as a bit of a surprise that it was Noel who decided to talk to us, unaided by PR or record company pressures and currently in between albums, he comments to long-term girlfriend (Sara), now standing proudly beside her man, that he thinks the other journos who have been clustering around him are “pretentious t***s” and as “they” (me and my colleague) “aren’t up their own arses”, he doesn’t mind speaking to us. Nice of him to say so. Anyway, I digress. Read on for a few of the Glastonbury related gems revealed during the interview and find our what our kid Noel had to say on whats next for Oasis and some of the people he thinks we should watch out for in 2004.

Before we start, remember if you will, just a few things: Oasis are a band who on their own sell 120,000 tickets in just a few hours. In just one world tour they performed to a combined audience of 1.2 million people across some 23 different countries. They are one of the most successful music acts of all time, and they’re here for you, at Glastonbury 2004.

Currently in the studio recording what is now their sixth album, Oasis are taking some time out to headline at this years festival, silencing the critics with their first major gig for months. With a special 10 year celebration DVD released in September and the new album to follow shortly after, Oasis have got a lot to shout about. So, why choose Glastonbury and what makes it so special for them? If you weren’t a fan before - and lets face it how could you not be? - but if you weren’t, then put any pre-conceptions painted by the press of Noel and Oasis’ supposedly increasingly bizarre behaviour aside as all notions of this kind of behaviour are immediately dispelled as it becomes clear that in fact, as many of their hardcore fans already know, Noel Gallagher is a pretty top bloke...

Noel, Glastonbury Festival; how would you describe it to someone who maybe hasn’t ever been before?
Glastonbury Festival is something very, very, very special. Everything you’ve ever heard about it still can never really prepare you for the whole event once you get here and it can’t ever really be put into words. (Smiles a cheeky grin), And if there are good bands on at the same time, its even better.

Which festival acts would you suggest people make sure they get along to see?
As far as line-ups go, having Morrissey there makes a festival for me. I’m looking forward to seeing Kings of Leon. (Second on the bill, playing just before Oasis on the Friday night - Ed). They’re a really good band. The Stands are a great live band also.

As a festival regular now, have you got any stories from Glastonbury Festivals past that you can legally share with us?
(Laughs and thinks for a LONG time). The first year I came here I remember sitting up in one of the fields somewhere and it was about half past one on the Saturday afternoon. I had been at the festival since the Friday and all I remember from then is being tapped on the shoulder on that Saturday afternoon and turning around to see that it was two official looking chaps who had come to tell me that I was due to play on the stage in about 15 minutes! (Laughs) I spent my time then trying to convince them that i’d played the day before. I didn’t know where I was, I was out of it, (sunstroke perhaps? - Ed) but I got there in the end and it was great!

How was it for you when you popped your Glastonbury cherry?
I could take that question some well rude places, man! (Grins). Seriously though, the first time at Glastonbury is always the best. The second time there’s not quite the same impact but perhaps you enjoy it more, although you don’t have the surprise of seeing just how many people there are there, and how big it is. You know your way around though when you go the second time, and in the Glastonbury environment, thats a definite advantage.

We’ve heard lots of different stories about Oasis taking a new direction with the sound on the next album, whats the latest?
We’re all in the studio writing separately at the moment and we don’t put timescales on these things anymore. We’ve all got stuff thats sounding really good now. I’m really proud of Liam with some of the stuff he’s been writing and the album will be ready when its ready. Its just one of those things and we’ve never listened to the pressure that other people try to put on us, just hopefully deliver the goods in the end, in our own time and in our own way.

All bands seem to get on the collaboration bandwagon at some point or another, is there anything new like this in the pipeline for Oasis?
Well, if we could collaborate with anyone, for me it would be Neil Young. I’d only choose Neil Young slightly above Morissey because for me they’re both legends in my house and I think it would be really cool. There’s nothing sorted in the form of a collaboration as yet.

What do you think of the current trend by the majority of the music press in constantly feeling the need to pigeon-hole bands and put them all under a certain label, which if you don’t fit sometimes means you're not acceptable?
Pigeon-holing bands is a sign of the times. Its the 21st century and this is a sad sign of the times and I think that its really bad that this is the way that the music industry is going. You have to have a badge on you that labels you by the rest of music industry before you’re accepted and its not just about the music anymore, its got to be either one thing or another and thats really bad for the whole industry. Don't even get me started on all that Pop Idol shite either - more bands like The Stands, The Bandits and Basement; that's what the UK needs right now. Thats just my opinion though and people can always take it or leave it.

Whats your opinion of Glastonbury in comparison to other festivals?
They should actually ban all other festivals and just hold Glastonbury for a whole week at the end of August each year and make it the people’s festival.

The rest of the festivals out there don’t even match up. -The rest of the festivals are all only good until you’ve been to Glastonbury, and then once you’ve been to Glastonbury you think well (clenches fist and sticks middle finger up) to everything else! All the other events are gigs - Glastonbury is a festival; the other festivals are just big gigs in a field and Glastonbury is a proper festival. The mother of all festivals!

You can see Noel, little bro Liam and the rest of Oasis performing live on the Pyramid Stage, Friday night, headline slot at Glastonbury 2004. If you weren’t one of the lucky people to get a ticket this year, you can catch the whole thing live on the good old BBC; one not to miss!

On 6th September 2004, Oasis release ‘Definitely Maybe – The DVD’ to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of this landmark album’s release. Including rare vinyl-only track ‘Sad Song’, the DVD also contains over four hours-worth of archive and new footage, including an hour-long documentary about the recording of the album featuring interviews with the band, label, friends and entourage. Memorable live and TV performances of ‘Definitely Maybe’s twelve era-defining tracks and more extras besides make up the rest of what is a treasure chest of classic Oasis music and footage.