Noel Gallagher interview from Irish Times

I am a Ghost

New Member
Friday, October 3, 2008'I thought I'd been stabbed'
Three weeks ago, Noel Gallagher was assaulted onstage in Toronto, resulting in broken ribs for him and cancelled gigs for the band. Still recovering from the attack, the brains of Oasis tells Brian Boyd about his Irish attacker, his own Irishness, "that climate change bollocks", Pete Doherty's fingernails, Thom Yorke's singing, Silvermints and more

'IF I GO A bit silly and start talking rubbish during this interview, will you let me know?" asks Noel Gallagher as he awkwardly sits down in the offices of his central London record company.

"How will I know?" I reply. There's an ominous pause before a smile slowly spreads around Gallagher's lips.

"It's just these painkillers I'm on. They're the strongest painkillers known to man apparently, and people have been telling me I'm jibbering while on them. In my experience, the only fun time to take strong painkillers like these is when there's absolutely nothing wrong with you. Ha ha."

The Oasis guitarist is on painkillers because of three cracked ribs, sustained when he was pushed to the ground at a gig in Toronto last month. It's only when the words "Mark Chapman" crop up in the conversation that you realise how much of an effect the onstage attack had on Gallagher.

ON BEING ATTACKED ONSTAGE: "I WAS ABSOLUTELY SHITTING MYSELF"

"I'm a YouTube superstar," he grimaces. "I hear it's been the most-watched clip for years. People are talking about how well Liam reacted - you can see him on the clip going to clatter the guy who attacked me. But if you look carefully, you'll see he only starts to shape up when I'm surrounded by security guards. I've never told anyone this before, but the incident was worse than it looked; I actually thought I had been stabbed.

"The guy had been backstage where it had been raining. He than hit me from behind and I fell onto the monitor. I immediately felt a really sharp pain in my back, where the ribs had cracked. Then I looked down at my leg and he had left wet footprints on me. I though it was blood. I was absolutely shitting myself.

"Up until that point, everything had been going great. Paul Weller had just been on before us, and we had a monumental piss-up planned with him for later that night. Next thing I know, I'm in hospital. Where were security? The two of them were sidestage playing air guitar, that's where security were! This was a festival show, so we didn't have our own security. Obviously, now we have to rethink our security situation, but we don't want to get like Madonna and travel around with 400 people.

"And guess what I found out later? The guy who attacked me is Irish! He's 47 and I think he had just got Canadian citizenship. I haven't said this to anyone before because I don't want to be dragging the name of the Irish nation down all around the world."

ON IRISHNESS: "THERE'S NOT A DROP OF ENGLISH BLOOD IN ME"

"I clearly remember my mam saying to me and my two brothers when we were growing up: 'You're only English because you were born here.' And with a mother from Mayo and a father from Co Meath, there's not a drop of English blood in me. I recently had a child with my Scottish girlfriend, and there's no English blood in him at all.

"I feel as Irish as the next person. The first music I was ever exposed to was the rebel songs the bands used to sing in the Irish club in Manchester. Do you know, I think that's where Oasis songs get their punch-the-air quality - from me being exposed to those rousing rebel songs. It was all rebel songs and that godawful Irish country and western music.

"I grew up an Irish Catholic. I remember my mam would only buy Irish butter and milk. But then, during the 1970s with all the bombings, our local co-op wouldn't stock Irish produce, so my mam went elsewhere. I clearly remember my parents coming back from the Carousel Club in Manchester, the Irish club, and telling me about how all the cars in the car park had been vandalised by an anti-Irish crowd. It was scary."

ON SONGWRITING: "SOMETIMES I CAN ONLY MANAGE THREE SONGS A YEAR"

"I hit a real purple patch when writing this album. Sometimes I can only manage three songs a year, but this time I wrote the album super-quick. And even when we were mixing, I wrote another three songs at the mixing desk. I've about 30 songs going spare. I was talking to my manager last week about hiring a lyric writer to come in and finish them off. Three of the songs I hear girls singing - but no, Amy Winehouse isn't getting them.

"I can be a prolific songwriter when I put my mind to it. I had all of Definitely Maybe written even before there was an Oasis. I used to be a roadie with the Inspiral Carpets and I got to live the rock'n'roll lifestyle: I was touring the world and taking loads of drugs and setting up equipment in my spare time. I had all the rock'n'roll stuff without the hassle of doing photo-shoots or making videos.

"I never thought these songs would see the light of day. I wrote them to sing to myself when I was stoned. I used to play them when I was doing the soundcheck for The Inspirals. Then I was on the phone to mam one day from abroad and she said 'Liam's just joined a band'. I fell about the place laughing and when I got back to Manchester I went down to see them rehearse just to take the piss.

"Liam was one of the few people who knew I wrote songs, so he said, 'Play one of those shit songs you've written'. I played Colombia. They asked me to join the band . . . We signed for the now-paltry sum of $48,000 to Creation Records in 1993, but at the last minute Bono's label [Mother Records] offered to triple that amount. Now, that was a lot of money for unemployed Manchester kids. We stayed with Creation because Alan McGee had the contracts done up and had always said how much he believed in us."

ON EXCESS: "WE HAD ALL THE COCAINE IN THE WORLD"

"When you have all the time in the world and all the money in the world - which we did when we went to record our third album after two phenomenally successful albums - it's probably not a good thing. I should mention, of course, that we also had all the cocaine in the world. I still tell people that the Be Here Now album is the best advertisement against taking cocaine. It goes on too long, it's smothered by its self of self-importance - the same as coke users are. When I was writing these 11-minute epics, I kept waiting for someone in the studio to turn to me and say 'I think that's a bit long,' but no one ever did. We were the biggest band in the world at the time and no one would speak up.

"I still think there's some tunes on Be Here Now . You just have to uncover them under the 18 layers of guitars. I played an acoustic version of Don't Go Away recently on tour and, seriously, there were grown men in tears. I often think of going back to that album, using ProTools and re-editing the whole thing. The same as Paul McCartney did when he took Phil Spector's strings off The Long and Winding Road . Then I think, hold on, that album is part of the rollercoaster ride of being in a band. There's going to be all these ups and downs and ins and outs. Otherwise, you might as well be in Keane."

ON BROTHERHOOD: "I STILL BLAME LIAM FOR THE FACT THAT WE NEVER CRACKED THE US"

"The three songs I'm really proud of on the new album are Waiting for the Rapture, Falling Down and I'm Outta Time . I sing the first two. It's only on this album that I think I've really found my voice. Before, I've only sung lead vocals when Liam hasn't bothered to turn up for a tour - and I still blame him for the fact that we've never cracked the US. When we had one of the biggest selling albums in the world, and were about to begin a crucial US tour, he arrived at the airport, gave some ludicrous excuse when he couldn't get on the plane, and left us completely stranded.

"That aside, it can be difficult to be the second singer in a band where the first singer is such a great rock'n'roll frontman, as Liam is when he bothers to show up. But then look at the Edge in U2. He's got a great voice but you never really hear it because Bono is the main man there. One of my favourite tracks off Rattle and Hum is Van Diemen's Land , which Edge sings. So I regard myself as the Edge of Oasis. I will sing more in the future, though, mainly because I'm particularly proud of how I sing on Waiting for the Rapture . I really nailed that falsetto.

"On I'm Outta Time , Liam wrote a tribute to John Lennon. It could have turned out awful but I honestly believe it could be this album's Wonderwall . When Liam writes for himself, he sings better because he writes for his own vocal range. We even got a sample of Lennon's voice, which is the very last thing you hear on the song. We had to go to Yoko to get permission to use it. But that was easy; she loves us. Probably because she knows how much we all love John.

"Lyrics aren't my forte. For me, the words have always got to fit the tune. Whereas someone such as Morrissey, he gets the tune to fits the lyrics.

"Lyrically though, I'm proud of Falling Down on this album. You mentioned earlier that you thought it was about a comedown from drugs. That song started when I was sitting in my back garden this time last year and there was this beautiful early autumn sunset. I was thinking about all that climate-change bollocks and came to the conclusion that man really is incapable of destroying all this.

"But you wouldn't necessarily get that from the song. I don't do really do biography or 'issues'. I hate it when there's a song you really love and you think it's about a certain thing and then, years later, the songwriter says 'that song is about X or Y', and it's totally different to what you imagined."
 

I am a Ghost

New Member
Noel Gallagher Interview from Irish Times today, brief Morrissey reference (Part 2)

ON OTHER MUSICIANS: "I LIKE RADIOHEAD . . . UNTIL THOM YORKE STARTS SINGING"

"I've never ever felt the need to do anything outside Oasis. The band is enough for me. This is not meant as an insult, but you look at Damon Albarn and if he's not writing an opera, he's doing this or that. I don't need all that. I have a life. I'm not a careerist. I really hate these bands who always seem to be saying, 'now, on the new album we've worked really hard to get out of our comfort zone'. f*** that. I spent 18 years building my comfort zone and I'm not going to leave it. And then bands such as Radiohead and their 'artistic progression' . . . Christ. I like Radiohead - until Thom Yorke starts singing.

ON CLASS: "I COULD NEVER BE LIKE PETE DOHERTY AND GO OUT WITH DIRT UNDER MY FINGERNAILS"

"The happiest time of my life will always be when I was eating at a Brunch bar - do you remember those? - in Charlestown in Co Mayo. Brunch bars and Silvermints will always have a special place in my heart because you could only get them in Ireland. We used to spend six weeks every year in Charlestown. It was magnificent. We were coming from a council estate in Manchester - and we lived at the end of cul-de-sac - to these 360-degree panoramic views. We loved it as kids. We could go fishing in the river or help with bringing in the hay.

"One of my earliest-ever memories is of going to the well by the house in Charlestown to get the water, because we had no running water there when I was a child. I still go back at least once a year, and even just the smell of the place immediately brings me back to those happy, happy childhood days.

"I still have a very strong sense of identity, a sense of being a working-class son of Irish parents. That's why I could never be like Pete Doherty and go out with dirt under my fingernails, a top hat on and my shirt hanging out. Working-class people take pride in their appearance. They'd never go out looking like that.

"One of the worst things that ever happened to me was when I said that thing about Blur [in an interview in 1995, Gallagher said he hoped Damon Albarn and Alex James would "get Aids", which he later retracted and apologised for]. My mam rang me up when she saw that and she was really angry and she said to me 'I didn't bring you up to talk like that,' and that stung me so much.

"Despite all that has happened - those massive selling albums, those huge gigs at Knebworth, being called 'the saviours of British music' - I've retained my identity. Even at the very height of our success, I never thought I was any better than the next person.

"In fact, the opposite is probably the case. I'm still sitting here waiting for my luck to run out."

• Dig Out Your Soul is out today. For more, see www.oasisinet.com

Attack of the 47-year-old man

Noel Gallagher was thrown to the ground onstage while Oasis performed at a festival in Toronto on September 7th. Grainy footage of the attack is available on YouTube and one version of it has received 1.5 million hits.

A 47-year-old man made his way onstage and shoved Gallagher from behind, knocking him to the floor. Security staff quickly led the man offstage, and Oasis finished the show. However, Gallagher was later revealed to have suffered three broken ribs.

The band cancelled September gigs in London, Ontario, New York, Cornwall, Koln and Paris. Their UK arena tour, starting next Tuesday, is scheduled to go ahead as planned.

© 2008 The Irish Times
 

I am a Ghost

New Member
More Noel Gallagher!!!

It's Noel Gallagher day in Direland, with yet another small Morrissey reference...

Still Mr angry
Noel Gallagher has a £14m fortune yet insists he's still working class. But, he tells John Meagher, the 'baggage' of kids and ex-wives has made him grow up
By John Meagher


Friday October 03 2008

'The boredom is driving me f***ing mad." Right now, Noel Gallagher is supposed to be in the middle of a world tour. Instead -- thanks to an on-stage attack by a fan in Toronto on September 7 -- he is recuperating at his London home. And he's not happy about it.

"There's always some f***ing calamity that happens to us on the road, and I'm just glad we got it out of the way quickly. I just didn't see this one coming." Quite literally, as it turns out. YouTube footage shows the intruder running up behind the guitarist, pushing him to the ground. He sustained broken ribs. His attacker was subsequently arrested.

Today, sitting with Day & Night in his management company's office near Paddington, London, he looks pale and drawn -- something he puts down to being the father of an 18-month-old son, Donovan.

The last thing he expected to be doing a week before the release of Oasis's seventh album was babysitting.

"I just can't get my head around the fact that we still aren't on the road," he says. "I'm waiting for the doctor to give me the all-clear for the UK dates, but it should be fine. I'll go out of my f***ing mind if I can't play them."

The British arena tour kicks off in Liverpool on Tuesday and will give fans an opportunity to hear the new songs for the first time.

The album, Dig Out Your Soul, could only have been made by Oasis and there are plenty of moments on it that are likely to sound incendiary live. But after something of a creative upswing with their last offering, 2005's Don't Believe The Truth, this collection is considerably less inspired.

Tellingly, Noel -- once Oasis's sole songwriter has penned roughly half the tracks -- with the remainder contributed by brother Liam, guitarist Gem Archer and bassist Andy Bell.

"People ask my why I don't write all the songs any more and I say, 'What's the point of being in a band if I write all the songs?' I might as well go solo if that's the case."

Noel wrote everything on the band's milestone 1994 debut Definitely Maybe -- as well as fantastic b-sides like The Masterplan and Acquiesce. It was a prolific time -- and a far cry from today's relatively spartan output.

"When I was writing those songs, I was 26 or 27. Everything I had was in an adidas holdall -- that was my life. The older you get, the more baggage you get -- kids, ex-wives. I've started to write quite frequently again, but not as much as back then. Who knows? Why hasn't Paul McCartney written a good song in a hundred f***ing years?"

What does he say to those who suggest that he writes the best songs and Liam should stick to his frontman duties? "I'd congratulate them on their taste. I like Gem and Andy's songs. I genuinely like what they do -- and Liam as well. If I didn't, they wouldn't be on the album."

Yet, there were a pair of his own compositions that got squeezed out. "They were left off because of Liam ... " he trails off. "F*** knows what happened, but he got a bit emotional one day and stormed off and the songs got shelved. They'll be on the next one.

"It wouldn't be an Oasis album if there wasn't a point where Liam decided he didn't want to be in the band any more. Oh, and there was an incident when some f***ing lunatic turned up at the studio saying he'd written all the songs that we hadn't yet recorded. The police had to be called -- he threatened to kill us, although not Liam funnily enough."

The lyrics feature a myriad of references to The Beatles -- no surprises there, then -- and snatches of a John Lennon interview conducted by the BBC shortly before his death. The album was recorded in Abbey Road, the first time the band have used the fabled studio since their bloated 1997 album Be Here Now.

"It wasn't like we went to Abbey Road to rekindle our f***ing mojo," he says. "The ghost of John Lennon -- Liam and Gem feel it, but I f***ing don't. I don't believe in ghosts. Sometimes, the pair of them act like f***ing cats producing their own LSD -- and I'm a bigger Beatles fan than either of them."

There's a psychedelic, druggy feel to some of the songs but Noel says the days of "snorting my own body weight in cocaine" are over. "Haven't touched any class A drugs since 1998. I did it all, I enjoyed some of it and I decided I didn't need it any more. But if somebody invented a new drug ... yeah, I'd be having some of that. I'm a 41-year-old father-of-two -- those days of a three-day bender are over for me."

He has little time for the much-publicised benders of Pete Doherty et al. "They're attention seekers. Doherty and Amy Winehouse romanticise about being dirty little f***ing street urchins carrying guitars around with them and living some kind of poetic f***ing torture.

"We're different, Oasis -- we're working class. I would never be seen out with dirty fingernails or the same clothes for three days because the working class have pride. And you'll find those two are middle class who are rebelling against their mam and dad."

Suggestions that he has left his middle-class days long ago for the cosseted life of the London multimillionaire are given short thrift. "My credentials are impeccable. I came from f***-all. I didn't get a head start in life. When I was growing up in Manchester there was nothing -- no jobs of any description. You couldn't even be a f***ing drug dealer because there were no drugs.

"In monetary terms, I'm not working class. It's a state of mind. It's in here" -- he points to his heart -- "the fact that we're still doing it and still take pride in it is working class. We haven't forgotten where we've come from."

He retains a fascination with the U2 machine, its size and longevity. "For about eight months, we were as big as them," he says. "But we didn't do the sort of things that keep you that big. For instance, we never played the game in America and we would have been really huge if we had. But I don't regret it -- it's too f***ing corporate over there.

"Right at the height of it all, the record company booked us on David Letterman the night after we did a gig and we're going, 'Why do we have to do it the night after -- why can't we do it the night before?' They said it couldn't be moved and we said we wouldn't do it -- because we would still be out on the piss. They couldn't believe it. That's the way that we are as people."

He says he has no regrets. "If we were to do it all again, I don't think we would do anything differently.

"We wanted to enjoy it -- it's hard work being in the biggest band on the world."

And, he adds, with a wicked grin on his face: "I'm not greedy -- £14m in the bank will do me just nicely."

Noel on..
In his chinwag with Day & Night, Noel Gallagher had plenty to say about everything and anything.

- On Arctic Monkeys: "[Frontman Alex Turner] is a scruffy little bollocks, but I thought their first album was good. The real test for it will be how many bands in the future will say they formed after being inspired by that album. Think of all the bands that started because of hearing us for the first time."

- On Oasis's 1994 debut, Definitely Maybe: "It's a milestone up there with the Sex Pistols' album. I don't sit down and listen to it now, but when I hear something from it on the radio, I think it's f***ing brilliant. But you know, it almost feels that I didn't write it. People love it to the point now where it's seen as the best f***ing thing since the resurrection."

- On his Irish roots: "It's like that Morrissey song, Irish Blood, English Heart. I have no English blood in me at all. I go over as much as I can -- I take my daughter [Anais] over and when my son is old enough, I'll take him too. I love the smell of the place -- brings me back to my youth. Bought my mam a house in Mayo -- it's somewhere they can all get together."

- On his admiration for Coldplay: "I listen to Violet Hill and it's like The Beatles. I just think Chris Martin is a great songwriter. Liam f***ing hates them -- thinks their stuff sounds like Annie Lennox, but Liam can be a f***ing idiot sometimes."

- On U2: "I f***king love U2 and I always have done -- I love the size of that band. Whether you like them or not, you cannot deny that U2 have written some great f***ing songs. People will not accept that Bono is sincere -- in this cynical age, they think he's really just a c***. But he's not."

- On Tom Chaplin of Keane: "He's going on and on about being taken out of his comfort zone when making his new album. What the f*** does that mean? Why would you want to be uncomfortable when making an album? No matter what direction Keane take, it doesn't matter -- they'll still be shit."

- On the art of songwriting: "When I pick up a guitar and I sit down to write a song I don't sit there and think, 'What do I really want to say?' I don't have anything to say to the world. I don't give a f*** about the world or anybody in it. I just write songs and they come from a place of truth to me and that's it."

- On critics: "They always say we're writing the same stuff. What does that mean? That I'm writing Live Forever again with different lyrics? They can't understand that a band like Oasis are so successful and can sell out Wembley Stadium ... I don't consider myself to be an artist. I don't make music for the people at the Guardian."

- On his epitaph: "Here lies Noel Gallagher -- who should have f***ing done that solo record."

- John Meagher
 

Musley

wild and free
Thanks. I love Noel to bits, never ever does he fail to make you laugh:D
 

Discarnate

New Member
Great articles, thanks for posting those. :)
 

soundofthenorth

I'm Not Sorry
Oasis Radio1 week. noel did a interview on zane bore yesterday, listen again on website. im sure it's very boring with that annoying zane interviewing
 
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