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.

Monday, February 28, 2000

Noel & Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer, Andy Bell & Alan White - Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants EPK - 2000

Extract 1

Extract 2

Saturday, February 26, 2000

Noel Gallagher & Gem Archer - NME - 26th February 2000

The Fan-ish Inquisition Part 2

In the second of our two-part interview with Oasis, Noel Gallagher and Gem Archer ponder your posers...

We promised you the other three: we lied. In the end only Noel Gallagher - songwriter, guitarist, spokesman, Chief Of Staff - and his new axe foil Gem Archer made it to part two of our fans' summit with Oasis. Rookie bassist Andy Bell is sadly absent, still sulking over some cruel ancient NME slight directed at his former group Hurricane#1.

Did Guigsy and Bonehead play anything on 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants'? (Martha, New York)
Noel: "Erm...to be honest, Guigs didn't, no, Bonehead's probably there somewhere. No. I played bass on six tracks and a mate of mine who was the engineer on the session who's a really good bass player played on tour. Guigs, by his own admission, wasn't the best bass guitarist in the world and he used to get away with it. But stuff like "Gas Panic!" and "Who Feels Love", I couldn't even get me head round those and I wrote them! There's bits of lead guitar on there that I haven't played because I haven't got a problem with passing people guitars and saying, 'Go on then,' people like ('Definitely Maybe' producer) Mark Coyle. It keeps everyone involved. It doesn't fill me with pride saying they didn't play on the album, but Guigs just wasn't good enough."

NME: Did you kick Bonehead out because of his drinking?
Noel: "No. We had a word with him. We were going to get Liam to stop drinking or we weren't going to record the album and Liam agreed to stop while we were doing the album. Then when we got there Bonehead decided that he wasn't going to stop. We'd said that if Liam was going to stop we should all stop because it wouldn't be fair, and that when we got home we'd have the party, but by the time we got there Bonehead had forgotten that conversation So we had a quiet word with him and he got pissed off and then he left. But it isn't anybody's position to kick anybody out of the band."

You said that you wanted to finish the band after Knebworth. Why didn't you? (Larry K, London NW6)
Noel: "Didn't have the bottle, really. If someone especially Liam - had backed me up and said, 'Yeah, it's the right thing to do,' then I'd have done it. But they didn't see the point. I suppose the alternatives for everybody else wasn't much because they're not songwriters. It would've been pretty naughty of me because them lot would be like, 'What the fuck are we going to do?...

What was the worst thing the Inspiral Carpets made Noel do as a roadie? (Tom Sykes, Swindon)
Noel: "When they played Reading they had a pantomime cow onstage and they made me swing on an udder during the encore. That was quite embarrassing. They also made me appear in one of their videos, which wasn't one of my finer moments. The worst thing they made me do, though, was hump flight cases up 12 flights of stairs. But I've got fond memories of it, really. I was saying last night I should never have given it up. It was a steady £750 a week. Didn't have to dress smart, didn't have to do interviews. Didn't have a care."
Gem: "He was looking at the crew going, 'Look at them, they haven't got a care, brilliant...'"
Noel: "I love 'em. They wear the same Megadeth T-shirt every day, eat us much as they want; they don't give a shit. And if you want to know a good sitcom, the crew bus sitcom is the one. Sit on the crew bus in America, that is a marvellous sitcom. The sound engineer has always got the arse because he's the singer of the crew. The lighting guy is like the lead guitarist because he's the other creative guy. he roadies are all drummers because they just bang things together and go, 'Skol!'. All the people who put the lights up are all bassists because all they do is smoke pot all day and look at and go, (Perfect Camberwell carrot cockney accent) 'It's fucking beautiful, man. ou fucking missed it, man, there was a bit, right, in fucking "Champagne Supernova", man, where you and Gem, right, you were wielding your axes, right, and there was this luverly, luverly like mauve thing going at the back of your head...Yeah...(takes deep puff on the fag) You looked like Jesus, man."

Have you still got the brown Rolls-Royce? (Tony, Portsmouth)
Noel: "I have. It's in the garage, slowly rotting away. It's beautiful, man. It's a Rolls-Royce in an ageing English mansion."
Gem: "You want to get it on the front lawn, take the roof off it, wheels off it and put a flower bed inside along with the dogs."
Noel: "I've caught the dogs kipping in it. I like looking at it because it's a testament to how much money Creation never really had! 'Why don't you put out another album?' 'No? We'll buy you a Rolls-Royce."

NME: Can you drive yet?
Noel: "No. I took about ten lessons, but the woman kept making me do a three-point turn outside the local comprehensive in Slough and after about three days everybody twigged on that at about half-four knobhead was going to come round the corner in a Nissan Micra with a big triangular L on the top. How embarrassing! I'd pull in and all these kids'd go, 'Wooooohey..' Stalled the tucking car! After about two weeks I got really pissed off with it."

Have you a favourite film, TV show, book... (Rebecca G, Brighton)
Noel: "Film is Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. Book? I'm not big on books..."
Gem: "I'd go for The Wasp Factory by lain Banks."
Noel: "Student!"
Gem: "No, no, no.."
Noel: "Book would be the best of Viz. No, I'm not big on books' more biographies. The last good book I read was Revelations From The Memphis Mafia and it was Elvis' entourage and all their stories. It was brilliant. TV show? Top Of The Pops, probably. Or Sounds of The Sixties on UK Arena."
Gem: "I can't pinpoint one thing. Films: The Godfather, Jaws, Unforgiven, Serpico, Toy Story..."
Noel: "Nuns On The Run 2..."
Gem: Telly...when I was a kid it'd have to be The Six Million Dollar Man. Now I could miss anything. Tweenies is good."
Noel: "There's one on the Cartoon Network called Sponge Bug Square Pants! It's this little sponge bug and he's got chocolate square shorts and he lives at the bottom of the sea and it's about his adventures. Fucking mega! That's the best thing about having a kid. Legally, they can't touch me for watching cartoons all day. I sit there with me daughter and she can't even focus on it yet and I'm going, 'It's fucking brilliant!"'
Gem: "My Joe comes in and it's like, 'Dad! Simpsons!' I can't wait until he can tell what time things are actually on, like the TV guide."

Which cartoon character are you all most like? (Matt Tassell, Essex)
Noel: "Liam's the Tazmanian Devil. Andy Bell's the butler off The Munsters: doesn't say fuck all but when he does it's really funny. Alan is Cockney Wanker out of Viz. I'm Mr Burns off The Simpsons."
Gem: "We were saying that the other day. We were doing rehearsals without him 'cos he was ill and we were checking for bugs and hidden cameras. We could hear him from bed going, 'Do that again!...
Noel: "Gem's Scooby Doo."

What is the best drug? (Eric Jones, Willington, USA)
Noel: "If you're talking about the best chemical drug then it's got to be alcohol because it's freely available, it's legal, it gets you shitfaced and you think you're Superman and fucking Jim Carrey rolled into one. But otherwise I'd have to say love, man. I think they're all good, actually. They all serve a purpose. Apart from crack and heroin which are pretty bad because they kill you; or in the case of crack you kill other people, ha' I've had good times on them all. As long as you use them in the right way and don't abuse them and don't let them tuck you up they're fucking top...D'yer hear that? That's the sound of a million tabloid journalists' pens going, 'Yes, Noel says drugs are top!...

NME: What about that 'drugs as normal as a cup of tea' fall-out?
Noel: "I always get in trouble for being honest. The twats with the microphones go 'thanks for your honesty' and then phone their editor and go, 'You'll never guess what he said this time!' But that was probably not the right analogy-like having a cup of tea. But as soon as people accept that in this country we are in the midst of a massive drug culture the better. "I only know five people who haven't taken drugs and that's my mam, me gran, me father-in-law, me mother-in-law, and my newborn baby. Everyone else, lawyers, doctors, or what have you, they've all got their heads down once in a while. Nothing wrong with it, all part of growing up."

What's Your favourite biscuit? (Matt Roberts, Stockport)
Noel: "It's got to be the Chocolate Digestive, plain or milk. Unsurpassable in the biscuit world."
Gem: "True. But if you're feeling a bit fancy, perhaps a Hobnob."
Noel: "Ah, but when you're stoned all the little bitty bits get under your false teeth. Horrible. The Chocolate Digestive, though. I've had packets whilst stoned and watching Prisoner Cell Block H. Fantastic - those were the days."

"If you were PM, what would be the first thing you'd do? (Live Forever, Sweden)
Noel: "I would outlaw the Conservative Party and make it a criminal offence to be in the Conservative Party. I would make it a criminal offence to vote Conservative and a criminal offence to have relatives who are in the Conservative Party, and to be part of any royal family or to be a fucking lord or lady. I'd have the lot of the bastards shot. And if that's a bit too extreme, at least seriously maimed."
Gem: "There's your headline."
Noel: "Well...fuck 'em.
Gem: "I'd resign and install The Natural Law Party instead."
Noel: "Fuck that! I'd make it an offence to resign and to have The Natural Law Party put in instead."
Gem: "You're not having tantric flying?"
Noel: "Fuck. Right. Off. It's eating cross-legged and farting, all that shit."

That's how it ends: with Noel Gallagher PM insisting on criminalising the right of wing. Hard, but no doubt fair. Noel Gallagher Rock Star, meanwhile, has an appointment with the BBC to play his songs on Later With Jools Holland. On Sunday 'Go Let It Out' will top the chart with considerable ease. Next week Oasis start their world tour...And the questions for Oasis continue to pour into NME weeks after the closing date. Please stop now. It's over.

Thursday, February 24, 2000

Noel Gallagher - Heat - 24th February 2000

Noel Gallagher says his biggest regret is "saying stupid things in interviews". But even though he's now a dad he can't help it. Miguel Cid gets an earful about drugs, those ex-members and Mr Williams.

January 2000. We're somewhere in the British countryside and Liam Gallagher's voice is blaring out of the car's speakers. The new oasis album, 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants', is being played for the first time to a handful of journalists on their way to interview Noel Gallagher in a remote studio where the band are rehearsing for their forthcoming tour.
Wheeler End, one hour away from London, seems to be in the middle of nowhere, a perfect hideaway for reclusive rock stars in need of privacy. It's not surprising Oasis have deposited themselves off the beaten track. A lot has happened to the Brothers Gallagher since the release of the last album, 1997's 'Be Here Now'. There is a lot to talk about. A lot to dissect.
Some things haven't changed, of course. The old rivalry with Blur hasn't been forgotten. When they were recently asked by Radio 1's Evening Session to pull out of a hat one of the songs submitted by the listeners and then cover it, the brothers vetoed 'Country House'. And 'Angels' for that matter. (Thankfully The Who's 'My Generation' came up first.)

But 1999 was also a time of much transformation. There was the departure of band members Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs and Paul McGuigan, and the subsequent new line-up featuring guitarist Gem and bassist Andy Bell. Alan McGee, the man who discovered Oasis, went off to start his own multimedia company. And Liam and Noel have become fathers Liam's son Lennon was born in September and Anais, the exotically-monikered daughter of Meg and Noel, arrived in January. In fact, it was the conception of Anais, named after Meg's favourite author Anais Nin, that made Noel and his missus abandon showbiz central, London NW3, for the rural life.
Although Meg had initially been reluctant to leave her London lifestyle and friends behind her, Noel had been suffering worrying panic attacks and was becoming increasingly alarmed at Supernova's transformation into "a nightclub", a bacchanalian hang-out for London's cocaine and champagne supernova set.

He wasn't going to let it continue. He took himself and Meg off on a month-long trip to Thailand, Supernova Heights was sold to Davina Murphy and the one-time king and queen of hardcore hedonism have apparently calmed down. judging from tracks such as "Sunday Morning Call" and "Gas Panic" it's a theme that runs all the way through their third album 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants'.

In the last two years you've cleaned up your act. Is 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants' the album of maturity?
No. I wouldn't go into it too deeply. I suppose it's just another record really. It's the first one I've written while I was straight. And it was recorded while everyone was sober. I suppose in that sense it's a bit of a first for us. As for being a mature adult, I don't really know what that means.

The lyrics seem to be your most personal to date. Is that because you were clear-headed when you wrote them?
That's exactly true. You become very emotionally stunted when you're on drugs, particularly on coke. With the last bunch of albums when I would eventually come to write the lyrics, I would write any old shit that rhymed really. "Champagne Supernova" for instance. What's all that about? Meaningless lyrics are not uncommon in great pop songs. In the case of "Champagne Supernova" it would be nice if it had some really deep meaningful lyrics but it doesn't really matter in the end because the tune in itself is so good. That's what separates the likes of myself from the likes of Richard Ashcroft and Them Yorke. They can articulate their feelings better than I can, whereas I'm probably better at writing music and melodies. That's a positive thing because that gives me something to strive for.

You've recorded this album with the old gang. Now you've got a new line-up. How different is it for you?
There's a better atmosphere within the band. Everybody seems to be pulling in the same direction. Everybody who's in the band now is completely obsessed with music and just playing well really. And everybody gets on well. We still have a laugh and we still like to go out and have a drink. But the band is the band and the recreational side is something else. We seem to have put everything in its right place now at the right time.

Not so long ago you were talking about doing three more albums and then packing it in. Now you're talking about making ten or 20 more. What made you change your mind?
At the time I didn't feel I could sustain my own interest in rock'n'roll for that long. I knew we were going to become a massive stadium band. That didn't particularly appeal to me, still doesn't. If the other two hadn't left the band, I probably would have left eventually. Now it's like being in a new band. It's almost like starting again. But because this album was recorded before Andy and Gem joined the band, the next album will feel like the actual rebirth of Oasis.

Why did the other two leave?
They said it was to spend more time with their families. I personally think it's for something a bit deeper than that. Whether they didn't like the music or whether they felt they couldn't contribute anything more to the music, I don't know. Anyway, it's all in the past now.

Wasn't it a bit like part of the family going away?
It was never a family. All that romantic notion about Oasis being a gang was all bullshit. I lived in London on my own for two years, the rest of the band lived in Manchester. It was never a gang. I never hung out with them, they never hung out with me. We never had the same circle of friends. We never drank in the same places. I was always a bit of a loner anyway.

How important is the success of the new album to you?
The album is already a success because we actually got the fucking thing finished. It's inspired me to make more music. That's how I define success. Whether it sells as much as 'Morning Glory' is debatable, it probably won't. Whether it even sells as many as 'Be Here Now' is debatable. But if we make enough money on this record to go and make another one and it doesn't cost us any money, then financially it's been a success. Spiritually and professionally it's already a success.

Why do you doubt it's going to be successful?
I hope that it will but I wouldn't bank on it. I think it's a better record but that doesn't mean that it's going to sell lots. Phil Collins sells a lot of records but he makes shit albums. Velvet Underground didn't sell any records but they were one of the greatest bands of all time. So fucking work that one out.

What was the decisive factor that made you give up drugs?
My health was suffering really badly. I didn't look well. I didn't feel well. You can lie to all the people around you pretending that you're fine but deep down inside you know that you're not going to last. It's just a case of accepting the facts.

In the past touring has brought a lot of problems within the band. Is it going to be different now?
To me touring is now like going to work, whereas two years ago going on the road was basically like going on an extended drinking session. Usually before we go out on the road nobody really wants to go but we have to because we've made a record. So everybody drowns their sorrows by getting absolutely wasted every day. That's not gonna happen to me this time. I intend to do a lot of sight-seeing on this tour. I've been in some of the greatest cities in the world and just sat in the fucking hotel room doing drugs and drinking.

Keith Richards once said everybody wants to be famous until they are.
I agree with that. Fame is great for about a year. Then it just becomes too much. And you can't back out, you're stuck with it. So you've got to learn how to adapt and to live with it as best you can. One of the ways I dealt with it was by moving out of London and into this part of the country. Not a lot of people live here and know who I am because it's a very rural lifestyle. The other thing is I stay in a lot. By doing that I can devote more time to what it is I actually like - writing music.

So you don't go down to your local in your wellies.
No. I used to go to the local all the time when I lived in London which is one of the reasons why I moved - there's too many distractions in London.

Is it true you bought Mike Oldfield's house in Ibiza?
Yeah, I wanted somewhere for Meg and the kid when I'm on the road. A holiday home that's nice and hot. They're going to spend quite a lot of time on their own. England is not a very pleasant place to live at the best of times, especially if you're a mother with a kid. It's a better quality of life over there, it's less dangerous than London.

What would you have done if you'd drawn 'Country House' on the Radio 1 Evening Session?
I would have gone into the studio, taken the lyric sheet and recited it while I was sitting on the toilet. We told Radio 1 that if we pulled out 'Country House' we wouldn't be announcing it on the air, so we would keep pulling out songs until we found the right one. There's no way I was gonna do 'Country House' or 'Angels', fuck that. I've got better things to do with my time.

So you and Robbie are not friends any more then?
I've never been his friend. He was Liam's friend. Liam used to invite him to the gigs and stuff like that. I've been in dressing rooms with him, I've had conversations with him but I wouldn't even consider him to be a friend of mine. Why? Because he was in Take That! He's a fat dancer from Take That. Somebody who danced for a living! Stick to what you're good at, that's what I always say.

Looking back, what would you have done differently?
I'd change everything. I've made mistakes every day that I've lived. But I've never made the same mistake twice. I'd probably not have said so many stupid things in interviews. I probably wouldn't have courted fame. I'd change everything except the music. That stands for itself.
Knowing what you know now, would you still have gone to that party in Downing Street?
I wouldn't do that again. But considering that out of anybody I probably pay the most tax in England, I think it's my divine right to see what's behind that No 10 Downing Street door. So I went and had a look around and had a few drinks and left. If I'd known, I'd probably have stayed in that night. I wouldn't have gone because it wasn't a cool thing to do. But then again I've never been concerned about being cool.

Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Noel Gallagher - Melody Maker - 23rd February 2000

Noel Gallagher on 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants'

"This is a small step to where we want to be with the next record - the next one will be a small step further to where we're going. We're going to try and get into the soul side of things. We did have one track which didn't go on called 'Revolution Song'. It was demoed two years ago and it's on out-and-out gospel song, but not in the sense that 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' by U2 is a gospel song. I think it's a really, really good song. We were going to have the full-on gospel choir singing it until f***ing Blur put out 'Tender' and then we went, 'F***ing bastards!' That'll have to wait for the next one. They always nick our ideas!"

"It's actually a Mellotron machine. It's an old original Sixties one that they used for the Abbey Road sessions and it's actually got a setting on it which is a school choir. You press one key and it's eight schoolboys round a mic going, 'Ahhhhhhh'. If you press, like, 12 keys, you just get this f***ing massive sound and we'd just layer it and layer it until you get this huge f***ing choir."

Saturday, February 19, 2000

Liam Gallagher & Alan White - NME - 19th February 2000

The Fan-ish Inquisition Part 1

In the first of a two-part interview with Oasis, Liam Gallagher and Alan White ponder your posers...

Liam Gallagher springs from his cab and wipes a fabulously bejewelled hand across his nose as he saunters across the courtyard. He pulls open the door to his office. It's 1Oam on the dot. Time for work.

"What are you doing out here?" he asks a couple of workers who are standing on the doorstep, having a smoke.

"It's a no-smoking office," they tell him. "Oh, is it?" he replies, arching his famous brow and stepping through the entrance.

Inside, his office buzzes efficiently. Busy young women sweep through the reception area clutching files and cups of tea, while deals are being struck by fresh-faced execs through glass partitions. A copy of the excellent review of the new Oasis 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants' album from The Daily Telegraph sits proudly splayed across a table in reception (today's less complimentary review in The Guardian is absent, however). Meanwhile, Marcus Russell, Oasis' cheery and avuncular manager, busies with bits of paper in the main room, while also keeping an eye out for the youngest Gallagher. He was there a second ago.

Liam Gallagher emerges from the toilet and takes this all in for a moment. A secretary zips by and wishes him a cheery, "Morning!"

"Morning," he replies menacingly, and pulls a Benson & Hedges from his top pocket. He lights it. So what? This is Ignition Management and Big Brother Records offices in the heart of London's fashionable Baker Street. This is his own gaff .

"Hey, Marcus," he calls out to Russell, "where are we doing this interview?"

"In my office," replies Marcus, expertly ushering Liam and the smoke into a confined space.

"And these are all readers' questions?" Liam asks NME.


"Yeah, right! They're all from your editor," Liam snorts suspiciously

Actually he's wrong. They are all from you, dear readers. Generated from an ad on nme.com, there were 800 submitted within an hour of the request first appearing onsite. NME arrives this morning with over 3,500 queries. Sadly, they will not all be answered.

Presently, Liam is joined by Oasis drummer Alan White: the apocalyptic young voice of his generation and the tidy mod.

The chaotically surreal Manc superstar and his staunch Cockney henchman. Morning! Both will remark on there being a Ricky Martin tape in their office tape player.

Noel Gallagher, Gem Archer and Andy Bell were also due to join us, but Noel's got the flu, so we've postponed those three for seven days. For now, though, Liam and Alan are here in NW1, awaiting your questions.

Shall we...?

NME: There are a lot of questions about Liam's hair. They want to know if you're going to get it cut soon.
Liam: "Yeah, I am, I'm getting a Terrybarrygarry perm. Alright?"

NME: Brian Ashcroft also wants to know, 'Who has the best shoes?'
Both: "Me!"
Alan: "Me, without a doubt. I've got the best loafers."
Liam: "Me, you c**t. I have the best shoes."
Alan: "Sorry. My Prada moleskin loafers are top."
Liam: "I don't know what mine are. I just know that mine are the best and that's the end of it. Who's that from? Brian Ashcroft? That's Dickie Ashcroft, you sod."

NME: "What were the last pair of shoes you bought?"
Liam: "Nice pair of stilettos."
Alan: (Lifting a Clarks-clad foot onto table) "I bought these about three months ago."
Liam: "You scruffy bastard."

NME: Don't you get sent stuff?"
Alan: "Levi's try to."
Liam: "I got sent some shoes called Roots and they're made in the '70s and they're the best shoes in the world...I did buy a tasty pair of Docs the other day, though. Twenty-four holes, the lot."
Alan: "Red laces?"
Liam: "The lot, mate. Fucking top, man. I'm going out shopping later with them and a pair of pyjamas, and the pyjamas fucked into me boots. 'Where's me paper'."

If Patsy resumes her singing career at a later stage, Liam, do you see yourselves recording together, like John and Yoko? Of so, in what style? (Terry Makewell, Winchester)
Liam: "Definitely."

NME: What style?
Liam: "Ragamuffin style."

Has the Met Bar stolen your soul? (Matt Aarons, London)
Liam: "No, that's not fair. It has stolen a couple of grand off me..."
Alan: "And I got slung out..."
Liam: "Has it stolen my soul? How? My soul is fucking preserved and waiting. But talking about souls, he can come round my house and I'll steal his if he wants it. 'Cos if he wants it I'll rip his right out of his chest. Alright, whatshisname, Matty boy."

Are you scared of dying? (The Gaslight, England)
Alan: "Never think about it."
Liam: "No, because I've already done it before. Done it a couple of times and it's a piece of piss. There is nothing to it, you just sit there and wait for it to happen. Big deal."

Do you still want to meet the aliens ,and what would you tell them? (Louie, Eastboume)
Alan: "I'd like to meet them, if there's any out there. Well, there are loads out there. Have you met Noel Gallagher?"
Liam: "I'd tell them to mind their own fucking business and get back to their own fucking planet."
Alan: "See if they can lend you some money."
Liam: "Yeah, 'Fancy a lager?' And I'd ask them if they've heard fucking 'Be Here Now', you c**t, and if they haven't, they can get down to Our Price, £2.99 in the bin."

Did you mind Patty posing in a see-through? (Jay, London)
Liam: "No." NME: Would you do a swimsuit shot?
Liam: "Yeah! Speedo. Lunch box hanging out, Duncan Goodhew cap on. Totally, man."

Would John Lennon be an Oasis fan? (J Dragontree, Portsmouth)
Liam: "I reckon he'd hate it. He'd be going (adopts gruff Scouse Lennon voice) 'Fucking that's fucking mine there, gimme me fucking royalties on that there, mate! You fucking pinched that off me, you fucking little c**t. Get me lawyer round!' No, he'd probably hate us. Then again, who gives a fuck? He's a Scouser."

NME: So he wouldn't call his son Gallagher?
Liam: "Would he fuck, the bastard."

What are your favourite Pot Noodles? (Craig Laughton, Widnes)
Liam: "Pot Noodles,"
Alan: "I don't eat the shit."
Liam: "Fucking Westlife."

Have you ever considered moving to America? (Jiff Danson, New York)
Liam: "No. He has." Alan: "I have. To LA."
Liam: "To get in the porn industry."
Alan: "Well, yeah, for the porn, obviously. I also like the heat and the beach. I could do it when we've disbanded for a bit."
Liam: "He can do it when I've moved to Mexico."

NME: Are you moving to Mexico, then?
Liam: "Yeah. I'm off next week. I've had enough of it here."
Alan: "You can make sombreros."
Liam: "Make what?"
Alan: "Make those hats.
Liam: "I'm going to Mexico to make hats."

Are Oasis entering their psychedelic period? (Stephen Sequeria, Sacramento, USA)
Liam: "Maybe. What's psychedelic'?"
Alan: "We've done it, probably, the psychedelic shit."
Liam: "What is fucking psychedelic?"
Alan: "I don't reckon you'd even know if you'd hit the psychedelic period."
Liam: "You'd be too off your head to know you'd even hit the psychedelic period. If you're psychedelic you've got to be off your twat anyway, I certainly don't think The Beatles knew when they were being psychedelic, they probably think 'Sgt Pepper' is a punk album!"

Who got the top bunk out of Liam and Noel? (Mark Flanagan, Bolton)
Liam: "Me. I was a good looking lad. Our kid always got the ugly ones."

Do you believe in heaven and hell - and what are they like? (Bobbie Lane, Northampton)
Alan: "I don't believe in any of that stuff."
Liam: "I do. Yeah, man. But it is not red and it is not blue. It's just, fucking, I'll tell you: heaven is City and Maine Road, hell is Old Trafford and United."
Alan: "Why have we got a tape of Ricky Martin in our offices?"

What is life all about? (Ringo Mountbatten, Afford)
Both: "WHO?"

NME: Er... Ringo Mountbatten.
Liam: "This is an NME question here, this is Steve fucking Sutherland. Ringo Mountbatten? Ringo Mountfuckingbatten? That's what life is all about, stupid names like that."
Alan: "I reckon it's about changing your name, Ringo."
Liam: "Definitely. I hope that's answered your question, Ringo. Change your fucking name and move out of Afford immediately."

Who are your real friends? (Claire Lange, Glasgow)
Alan: "Ringo Mountbatten is my only real friend."
Liam: "I haven't got any, actually."
Alan: "Me neither. They all fucked off."
Liam: "Me'n'all. All fucked off."

NME: Aren't you lonely?
Alan: "Nah, laughing, mate."
Liam: "Not fucking lonely. Can't be arsed with all this having loads of people to please."
Alan: "They all get on your case. They all come out of the woodwork as soon as you're doing a Wembley gig. They get on the phone going, 'How's it going mate?' Fuck off!"
Liam: "I've got a few mates in Manchester, but you don't need mates when you've got a kid."

NME: Are you really friends with Hugh Grant?
Liam: "Not really, no. I've had a few drinks with him and he's alright. But we're not the Likely Lads, no."

What is your favourite jungle animal? (Tony Saunders, Manchester)
Alan: "I like tigers."
Liam: "Ian Brown."

What is left for 0asis to conquer? (Helen Varley, White Lodqe)
Liam: "Crack."
Alan: "We don't want to conquer anything. There's plenty of things for us to do, plenty of new tunes to write and play."
Liam: "There's lots of shit for us to do, lots of countries we've not been to."
Alan: "Ain't been to Poland."
Liam: "It's not a question of conquering, not at all. We're just going to keep making music 'til we die. And if we conquer anywhere...conquer?! Fucking stupid. What are we, the Normans? William the fucking Conqueror? 'Off we go, don't forget the beans!'"
Alan: "Set sail, Oasis!"

What was the last movie that made you cry? (Lindsay Bowlin, Maryland, USA)
Alan: "I'll tell you one and this is the fucking truth. Two Sundays ago I watched Life Is Beautiful, an Italian film about the Jews. It was top and I cried."
Liam: "Subtitles?"
Alan: "Mmmmm."
Liam: "Fucking rubbish. What was the last movie that made me cry? Stupid question. I don't cry. I'm a geezer!"

You said that the new album would be radically different to 'Be Here Now'. What happened? (Fergal Corbott, Taigarth)
Alan: "It is different. Two members have gone."
Liam: "It is different, there's a lot of different stuff going on, and I don't think that I did say that because I don't use stupid words like 'radically'. Who's that c**t? Alan: "That's an NME question."

NME: It's not! It's Fergal Corbett.
Liam: "FERGAL CORBETT!?!?!?!"
Alan: "It's a wind-up. That's what's his name..."
Liam: "That's fucking Steve Sutherland. 'Radically different'...we never said that so fuck off. The reason why this one is different to the last one is because you bunch of bastards hated the last one so we thought we'd change it, alright you c**t! I suppose you don't like this one now? Fucking rnake your mind up, you bunch of c**ts."

Who's your favourite character from The Muppets? (Jessica, Trowbridqe)
Alan: "Animal."
Liam: "Kermit The Frog, innit."

Did you take Andy Bell on because of his bass-playing or because of the brilliance of his previous groups, Ride and Hurricane#1? (Diemer, Berlin, Germany)
Liam: "Don't know about the latter."
Alan: "We took him on because he's a nice chap, got his head screwed on and because he can play the bass well. What more do you need?"
Liam: "Actually, we took him on because of his striking resemblance to Mick Fleetwood. And 'cos he's good on the bass."
Alan: "Mick Fleetwood? I thought he look more like Rodney Trotter."

NME: Will you lot him write stuff for Oasis?
Alan: "No. Skint as it is."
Liam: "I'll never get me house in Mexico if we start letting Andy Bell write our songs."

Alex James said he got on really well with the Oasis boys. Is that true? (Serene, Athens, Greece)
Liam: "He's pissed."
Alan: "Who, Aled Jones?"

NME: Alex James.
Alan: "I don't know him."
Liam: "He's alright, he's one of those Hooray Henry boys. Hit him a slap every now and then and tell him to get to the bar. I wouldn't say he gets on well with us, though. The only thing he gets on well with is his yacht."

Rumour has it that Noel is going to be doing a solo album after five...
Alan: "Aaaaaah."
Liam: "He's already done four, give it a rest."
...would you call it a day after six? (Kate Eddon, Teddington)
Liam: "Depends on what's going on. Depends if we've got anything in the pipeline. When will the sixth be done?"
Alan: "It's only two, three years away."
Liam: "Fuck that, I'm definitely carrying on. I'll be a sad old fart like The Rolling Stones."

What's your favourite film, TV show and book? (Rebecca G, Brighton)
Liam: "Movie: Scarface. TV: Heartbeat. What's the other one, packet of crisps?"

NME: Book.
Liam: "Book? Fucking arsed about books."
Alan: "I like Meantime, top Mike Leigh film, always pull that out on a Sunday. I don't read many books. And TV show is fucking EastEnders, innit."
Liam: "Nah, it's got to be Heartbeat. I'm double serious about that. It's fucking rocking, Heartbeat, the way they have two stories going on at the same rime. It does my head in. Greengrass? Mega, man."
Alan: "He used to be in The Gaffer. He was top in that."
Liam: "Selwyn Froggitt? He's a geezer, man. He rocks, he's got a Jaguar. He's a fucking top man. I've followed his career all the way right from them early days."
Alan: "Nice one, Selwyn."

What three Premiership players would you have playing for Man City, money no object? (Tim Berr, Knutsford)
Liam: "Three? Flo from Chelsea. That geezer from Arsenal, Thierry Henry. And Posh Spice."
Alan: "I'm a Charlton fan."
Liam: "He'd have Bruce Forsyth, George Formby..."
Alan: "We don't need any 'cos we'll be up next season, anyway."
Liam: "You like Nigel Winterburn."
Alan: "Fucking Nigel Winterburn is the best defender in the world. And I'd have Posh Spice, too."
Liam: "And Ringo Mountbatten."
Alan: "Charlton are having it. We'll be back up next season."
Liam: "Fucking rubbish. Straight back down again."
Alan: "We'll do the double this year."
Liam: "Don't be stupid."

NME: Someone else wants to know if Rivaldo really deserves the World Player Of The Year award?
Liam: "Rivaldo? No. Who is he, anyway?"
Alan: "He plays for Barcelona."
Liam: "There's a lot of good players out there."
Alan: "Like Winterburn."
Liam: "Fuck him, the big nose c**t!
Alan: "You watch the next Arsenal game, he's always there."
Liam: "He's always there because he gets paid to always be there. He's shit and he's double lucky to be there at all. Nigel Winterburn is not the best player in the world. Best player in the world is...Rivaldo. Why not, eh?"

Liam, why don't you wear a bit of eyeliner, you'd look absolutely stunning? (Slobhan Duffy, Ireland)
Liam: "Who's that from, Placebo? Eyeliner?!"

NME: She says you'd look stunning.
Liam: "Is that right? I look stunning already."
Alan: "You'd look like Selwyn Froggitt, more like."

Alan McGee is always referred to as the man who made Oasis famous. Don't you think it should he the man Oasis made famous? (David McCarthy, Aberdeen)
(Round of applause)
Liam: "Too right. Get in there, David, you are totally spot on and you are getting a Christmas card off me."

What Is Liam's fascination with Elvis Presley? (Robert, San Diego, USA)
Liam: "My fascination with Elvis? Just the wiping his arse with gooses' necks does it for me, man. That just kills me."
Alan: "What d'you mean; wiping his arse with a goose's neck?"
Liam: "That's what he did, apparently. He'd have a big fuckoff box of or bucket of gooses' necks that had just been chopped off and he's a proper yellowbelly from down South (Dixie accent momentarily), 'That's me boy', and he'd wipe his arse out the window with gooses' necks. The dirty fucking...he is the king. That's what kings do, innit? You know what I mean? They do, don't they?"
Alan: "I'd much rather bit of Andrex or something."
Liam: "Ah yeah, of course but you're not the king, are you? King. That's what kings do. He's mega, man. And goes out there and the it, man. Wiping his arse, then going out there and giving it all that (Elvis voice) 'huhhuhuhuh'. The fucking cheeky bastard. He's a geezer."

NME: Would you do that before going onstage?
Liam: "I fucking would, mate. No, I wouldn't."

Who would win a brawl out of you and Rolling Stones? (Joey Hodgson, Regina, Canada)
Liam: "I'd knock fuck out of every fucking one of them. Put together."
Alan: "Even Charlie? Charlie's a bit tasty."
Liam: "Charlie's alright, no. I don't mind Charlie."
Alan: "Yeah, leave Charlie."
Liam: "But if he wanted it I'd have him, know what I mean? But Jagger, Richards...Ron Wood's a bit geezer, actually. But them other two are fucking idiots as far as I'm concerned and I'd slap the pair of them. I might just do it next time I see them."
Alan: "That will be when they support us at Wembley, then."
Liam: "No, it'll be when I'm delivering them hot fucking food around their houses on a Sunday. Meals on fucking wheels, that's me."

Has Liam really got a photographic memory as he once boasted? (Paula, Staines)
Liam: "Absolutely. Totally."

NME: Really?
Liam: "What is a photographic memory?"

Now that you've written "Little James", does Liam plan to write another song soon? And did you enjoy writing it? (Jack Ryan, Milwaukee, USA)
Liam: "Yeah, 'Big Lennon''. Just going to get me cigs. (Opens door to office and shouts) 'What was that question? 'Do we plan to be working with Marcus Russell in the next two years?' Don't know about that!' (Closes door, chuckling, and sits down). I enjoyed it immensely. I wouldn't go crazy about it, though. It only took me ten minutes to do. I'm not a songwriter, I'm a singer. If there's any more in the pipeline, then so be it. If not, never mind."

What would you say to Tony McCarroll if you saw him in the street!" (Anita Rana, Calgary,Canada)
Liam: "'Do you want to borrow a fiver?' And, have you learnt how to drum yet?"'
Alan (to NME): "Are you smoking weed in our office?"

NME: It's rolling tobacco.
Liam: "He's on the Johnny Jazzers, him! (Puts On Jazz Club voice in bad impersonation of NME and leans on the table) 'So, er, Liam, man what do you think of the price of beans in Yugoslavia? Don't you think inflation is just bouncing about, man...has anyone got any crisps? Hey, should we just, like, take our clothes off and start running around the office shouting Happy fucking Mondays!?' Pothead."
Alan: "I was actually thinking about getting me hair permed like McCarroll, like The Mickies."
Liam: "You big tease, you."

Does Liam know how to play guitar or is he just winging it? (Bernard Badjarl)
Liam:"Wingin' it! To fuck."
Alan: "Everyone's a winger in this band. We are the wingers.
(Enter Marcus Russell) Alright, Marcus?"
Liam: "This is top, Marcus! I love this."
Marcus: "Good questions?"
Liam: "There's fucking loads of Steve Sutherland questions, loads."

NME: He hasn't even seen them! Marcus: "It must he 'cos he's such a fan."
Liam: "There's a geezer in here called Ringo Mountbatten! He wanted to know what life was all about!"
Marcus: "Changing that name."
Liam: "That's what Alan said."

How do you feel about people downloading your new album for on the lnternet? (Terry Thomas, London)
Liam: "I think it's scandalous."
Alan: "Fuck all you can do."
Liam: "Yeah, but I think it's scandalous. They should get their hands in their pockets and get down the shops like the rest of us."

What do you think of the Queen? Would you like to kick her arse? (Cosmo Kramer, Lichfield)
Liam: "She's alright."

NME: Would you kick her arse?
Liam: "I don't hit women."
Alan: "I don't like her but I wouldn't kick her, mate."
Liam: "I couldn't give a fuck about the Queen. I think that people should get used to the fact that the royal family are here and that is the end of it. There's fuck all you can do about it. They're always going to be here, just like...the lampposts. Like the white lines in the road. All these anti-royalists should fucking turn off their TV sets and go and do something useful with their lives. The reason why the royals are so important is because loads of potheads go, 'Oh fucking hell, man, this is like, heavy, knowarrimean?' Shut up you dicks and ignore the silly cow and she might just stay in her house. The more publicity you give the bitch...no, I love her."

Did you think it was a bit strange Bert & Ernie living together? (Matt Senuik, Leith)
Liam: (Astonished) "Fucking yeah! Mega. That is the best question ever, that."
Alan: "Yeah, couple of fruits, weren't they?"
Liam: (Amazed and impressed) "'Did you think it was a bit strange Bert & Ernie living together?'! Brilliant that!"
Alan: "With their stripey tops and their big hooters?"
Liam: "Pair of fruits, man."

Is Liam friends with Paul Weller, it always seems to be Noel who's seen with him? (Damon Beckham, London)
Liam: "I have the odd livener with him, have a little chat with him. Top man."
Alan: "I've known him the longest, he's a good lad. He put my candles down my toilet last time he came to my house. He'd got a bit pissed on a few Stellas in the garden, next thing I go in the toilet and all my candles are in the bog!"
Liam: "He's a freak."
Alan: "He's a crank. Flushed them down there."
Liam: "He's trying to put the water out. (Weller voice) 'Who done that big turd in there? Bung the candles in!"'

Is Liam ever going to do a solo album? (Jaswant Singh, Birmingham)
Liam: "I'm not ever going to do a solo album. And if I was, I'd use Bert & Ernie. We'd be a power trio. I'd also want Rodney Marsh in there. He's fucking amazing. That programme on Sky Sports where he slags everyone off? Top. He is the geezer. I'd love to have a beer with him."

What are better, Jaffa Cakes or Clubs? (Pat Tinley, Burslem)
Alan: "I like Clubs."
Liam: "I haven't had a Club for ages. I tell you what the best biscuits are, man. Those United biscuits. Remember them? Honeycomb in the middle and there were three parts to them. Blue-and-white wrapper. Fucking delicious, man."
Alan: "I do like those Clubs with the bits of fruit in them..."
Liam: "Bert & Ernie nonsense. I'll tell you another top biscuit: Garibaldis. They are boring as fuck but mega. And fig roll, man."
Alan: "Fig roll?"
Liam: "Fig rolls are the bollocks, mate."

Liam, are you really scared of going bald? (Bamey, London)
Liam: "No. I'm going to settle this once and for all. I got asked the question, 'What would stop you singing?' And I said, 'I want to sing in Oasis until I die.' And he said, 'What if you lost your hair?' 'Look, if I lost my hair you would never see me on that stage again. 'Cos there's no place for baldness in rock'n'roll. End of it. How can I go onstage with a slaphead and get a point across? They get on my case enough as it is. They'd be whacking each other on the heads with truncheons and trying to copy me.' I'm not paranoid about going bald. I would prefer it if I didn't lose my hair, but everyone's a little paranoid."

NME: Would you shave it off, comb it over, or wear a wig?
Liam: "I'd chop me head off."

Time, friends, is our enemy. And so with a shake of the hand, a ruffle of the hair and a punch of the air, Liam Gallagher and Alan White leave the room and the interview. It has, says Liam, been the most enjoyable interview he's ever done. Thanks to you, Ringo Mountbatten and Matt Senuik. "Right," says Alan to Liam as they leave. "Fancy a pint?" "Oh, aye," agrees Liam. "It's always nice to break the day up with a Guinness." Indeed. if only the local publican had decided to open today at 11.15am.

Tuesday, February 01, 2000

Noel & Liam Gallagher - GQ - February 2000

Oasis' new album is set to reaffirm their status as the world's biggest band, even if they've binned the rock'n'roll behaviour which nearly split them. Noel Gallagher reveals how he dumped coke, rediscovered music and disowned his dad, while Liam gets serious about fatherhood and fashion.


Free champagne and Air Miles. That's what Noel Gallagher calls the spoils of rock'n'roll glory. And although Oasis have had more than their share, it was never about just the free champagne and Air Miles. There was always a lot at stake for the Gallagher boys.

It is self-evident by now that if it weren't for Oasis, rock music would have been left to its memories years ago. If it weren't for Oasis, rock music would be a 20TH-century art form, all Stone Roses compilation albums and boxed sets by The Clash. If it weren't for Oasis, Bono's self-satisfied face would be the final nail in rock'n'roll's coffin.

But Oasis saved the music from becoming the stuff of museums. And in return the music saved them - from a background of unimaginable domestic violence; from a living death of soul-numbing jobs and petty crime and signing-on and bad drugs.

It's a long and winding road from a council house in south Manchester to a football stadium in north London. Mistakes have been made along the way. But spend some time in his company and you will believe that Noel Gallagher has stopped taking himself seriously as a rock star. And started taking himself seriously as a songwriter, a musician, a man.

The bad stuff has mainly gone Noel's cocaine habit, Liam's beard, the rivers of booze - and been replaced by marriage, fatherhood and something resembling stability. Oh, and the best set of songs that Noel Gallagher has ever written.

There was a time when Oasis could have disappeared faster than a line of Bolivian marching powder. But at the very last moment, the Gallagher’s took their fingers off the self-destruct button.

This shouldn't be overstated neither of the Gallagher brothers are the type to check into the Priory but they have certainly pulled back from the brink of becoming rock’n'roll cliches. The distinguishing characteristics of Oasis have been well-documented - the arrogance, the lippy hedonism - but they are also the most class-conscious of bands, and there's a stubborn, working-class pride that has prevented them from throwing it all away. Oasis have decided they are not content to be the world's forgotten oiks. There comes a point when some things matter more than being mad for it. And maybe that's when the boy becomes the man.

It's a misty morning in the Buckinghamshire countryside. At the end of a private road is a farmhouse that has been converted into a recording studio. We are out in the wilds. When you go to the loo, a cow is looking at you through the window. This is Noel's neighbourhood now. That's probably Noel's cow.

He has sold Supernova Heights, his London home - the biggest tourist attraction in Belsize Park and moved to a house in the country. The fans at the door were not the problem. It was more the coked-out strangers crying in the kitchen when Noel got up at three in the afternoon. It was having a house full of people when he was trying to find his way out of a life-threatening blizzard of white powder and nights plagued by panic attacks.

You see him in silhouette through a window. Wearing an overcoat buttoned up to the chin. Holding a guitar as if it were a baby. The rock star who famously compared taking drugs to drinking a cup of tea sticks his head around the door and pops the inevitable question. 'You want a cup of tea?"

A nice guy, Noel. Intelligent, articulate, brutally honest - a long way from e creature of Oasis mythology, the leering yob sticking up two fingers to the world. But this 32-year-old man is also the head of a multimillion-dollar band, and you can see in his dealings with those who surround him that he is V aware of the power he holds.,

From his haircut to the posters on the wall - you are encouraged to check them out while he makes the tea - it's clear who his heroes are. These are the standards that I set myself, say the lovingly framed shots of John and Paul in all their Beatle-fringed pomp. This is what I measure myself by.

But listen to the cracking, new record, ‘Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants’, and it's clear that what has always stopped Oasis from being a nostalgia act is exactly what made their heroes so good in the first place. It's those perfect moments. It's that spark. It's that glazing of something that feels like magic.

You said the first album was made when you were young and hungry, and the last one was made when you were fat and drunk. Where does the new one fit into the canon?
It's a lot more personal. I'm more proud of it than any of the last three. The first album was like sticking on your helmet, getting out of the trench and taking on the world. The last two...I listen to the words now and it just sounds like I'm winging it. I like some of the tunes but I listen to the words and think, "Well, that's just tucking shit." I used words like music - for the way they sounded.

For me, the big song on the new record is "Gas Panic" which sounds like your 'Midnight Rambler'.
It's about when the demons come to visit you in the middle of the night. I had a spate of six months when I couldn't sleep. I was trying to get off the drugs. The house where we lived in London was constantly full of people. And I would wake up at four or five in the morning having these wild, wild panic attacks. Anxiety attacks. Sweating. On the verge of tears. Constant racing 0. Heartbeat. Cold sweats then hot sweats. Couldn't sleep. Getting the shakes. "Gas Panic", if I can get pretentious for a minute, was the chosen name for the ghosts that came knocking on my window at five in the morning when my panic attacks were coming on.

And they always came at night?
After I came off the gear, I'd be walking around and there would be butterflies in my stomach and I'd think, "Right, I've got to go home now." But they usually came at night. One particularly bad night I had a doctor out. Quite a young doctor. He looked at me and said, "I'm not even going to ask you if you take drugs.' I asked him if there was anything he could give me. He said, "There's nothing we can give you. The longer you go on, the more intense they're going to get. just stop doing it." And I said, "No man, I can't! I want to keep partying! I can't just go out and drink water!" Then he left. And I thought, if that's the way it's going to be, that's the way it's going to be.

So you stopped taking cocaine?
I thought it was going to be a lot more difficult than it was. After a few months it was out of my system and it was gone. Now if people are round my house and whacking them out, I don't feel anything any more. But the panic attacks weren't just the gear. A lot was stress-induced.

Didn't you feel that a tough working-class lad shouldn't be having panic attacks? As men, we're not supposed to admit to these things, are we?
Totally. When I first told Liam, he was going, "You fucking what? Panic attacks? What are they? Bollocks, man. You lightweight." And I was thinking, 'I'm invincible. I'm Noel Gallagher. I can't be packing it in." But I think it comes to all of us in the end. Do I want to be Keith Richards or do I want to be me? Do I want to do the Sid Vicious thing? Live fast, die young, fucked-up. Slashing your wrists and all that stuff. Kurt Cobain. That's mad for it gone mad.

There have been times over the last few years when Oasis seemed on the verge of collapse.
When I walked off that American tour, I was just sick of it all. On that American tour, Bonehead and Liam were just fucking out of control, man. I thought, I just don't want to be around for this any more because it's just getting on my tits. People had just stopped talking about music, it was all about the behaviour of the band, and if it's not about music, then I'm leaving. Because I'm not busting my arse for 18 hours a day in the studio so that when we go on the road, every time we get to an airport, you two fucking act like knobheads. So I said, 'Right, I'm leaving. I quit."

You said of Be Here Now, 'We lost it down the drug dealers.'
I was pretty much whacked out all the time. Because I didn't like the band I was in, it had become too big for me. We should have split up when we came offstage at Knebworth because that would have been the logical conclusion of everything. We came off the dole five years before and played the biggest ever free-standing gig in England, 250,000 people. And that's never going to be topped by anyone. That rounded everything off and we should have ended it there. But nobody else wanted to do it because they haven't got the balls to do it.

How do you come to terms with that transition from signing-on to playing in front of 250,000 people? When you start off you're a young, working-class kid and nobody knows your name, and then suddenly you're a big rock star and everyone loves you.
The whole thing about Oasis is that we were supposed to be the ones who turned up at the awards ceremonies poking fun at the Establishment and getting pissed and getting on everyone's nerves. As it panned out we became the Establishment, and 1 didn't particularly like that.

Most of the great bands have had a songwriting partnership at their heart. Oasis are built around a different kind of partnership with you and your brother.
It's not a creative partnership. But Liam's the biggest fan of the band. He's got a good car for music. As long as you play it to Liam and he does his little dance behind the desk, then you know you're getting somewhere. Although Liam doesn't write the songs, if you spoke to him you'd think he wrote every word and every crotchet of music because he believes in it so much. Play something to the rest of them and they were like, "Well, when are we going on tour so I can pay my tucking tax bill?'

When did Liam become your equal rather than the annoying kid brother?
He always dodges between the two. There're days when he's just the most annoying twat that you could ever imagine being in the same room with. And then there're days when he's just like the rest of us, just normal, quite a funny geezer. I never talk down to him. I never tell him how to sing the songs. I'll sort of guide him through a song and say, "You might want to sing it a bit like that." And then he goes and does it different.'

He's a great frontman.
He's the best. He goes over the top. He's a bit like Prince Naseem. When something's good he gets really overexcited about it. He overreacts to every situation. He's really extreme. He's not a man for common sense and talking things through logically. He's either up there or down there. He's never in the middle.

The three little words that always come up are: 'Mad for it.'
When you're in your twenties, I'm all for a bit of madness and chaos. Because you're young. But you can't be mad for it forever. I'm 32 now. I think when you get into your thirties, it's time to rum it back over to the young people. I remember when I was 19 or 20, I used to look at pop stars who were over 3o and think, 'Oh, give it a rest, man." And there's probably someone out there thinking the same about me.

But you are acting your age, aren't you? Becoming a father, jacking in the gear...
I am now. But when I was 30, 31, we went to every single party every single night of the week and everyone had to come back to my house and have a party at seven in the morning. My house in London became a nightclub. We enjoyed it for a while. It was brilliant. I met so many great people. But there're only so many times you can wake up at three in the afternoon, go into the kitchen and there'll be four total strangers there from the night before, and you've forgotten who they are.

You can't stay up all night when you've got a kid, can you?
I remember a lot from when I was younger. I remember pretty much everything from the age of five. And I am determined that my kids are not going to wake up at three in the morning and find mum and dad still up talking shire on the couch, cans of Guinness everywhere. I've had my time as a young person. I've had my time as a rock'n'roll star. I've had my time as a hellraiser. And now it's time to rucking settle down, man. Just get into the music more, be totally into it for the music. I'm even considering stopping touring. After we do the big shows next summer, it's going to take a good reason for me to go back on the road again.

It's difficult to imagine what rock music would be like without Oasis.
Before we came along, the greatest hope for British music was Suede. They don't write songs that mean anything to people living in council blocks in Glasgow. We were not into chin-stroking. We were very naive. We were quite pure in a way. It was just all about rock'n'roll. After that came the rock'n'roll behaviour, and that was tab for a bit as well. We were a wake-up call to a lot of kids who maybe thought, "Well I'm a little bit of an obnoxious twat too.'

The whole dust-up with Blur was class war the Northern working class against the Southern middle class.
But they were the ones going down the dog track. With Blur, people from London were going, "What's all this rucking pie and mash shit, man? That was the Forties." And I'm like, "Well, don't ask me mate, I'm from up North."

The title of the album, ‘Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants’, sounds quite humble - as though you are just putting the finishing touches to the work of great men.
We shift a lot of records. But I think that the greats in music - the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, the Sex Pistols are unassailable. I don't think anyone's ever going to top that, either musically or the way they affected culture. If the top four bands of all time go into the Champions'League, then I see us in the UEFA Cup. Eternally.

Where's the point at which you part company with the Beatles? I can't see you getting in a bag for peace or showing your bum on an album cover.
No! No! It's purely musical with the Beatles, you understand. All that screaming and shouting in bags that's not me. John Lennon was probably clinically insane. I don't like much of his solo stuff, but I think musically he did it with the Beatles. And some of the clothes he wore were quite cool. The only reason people revere John Lennon is because he's not around to be shit. I don't separate the two of them. To me they're Lennon and McCartney. And that's it. I don't think one was ever the same without the other. If Liam was a songwriter, we would have fallen out a long time ago. Because we wouldn't have needed each other. But I can't sing and he can't play.

Are you and Liam at peace now?
At the moment, yeah. We haven't had a proper fight since Morning Glory.

Your father's violence when you were growing up has been well documented. Was that violence booze-related?
Totally. And that's why I don't drink so much myself Because every time I'm getting a bit drunk and a bit lippy, i always have this picture of my dad. That's when i think, "The bar's shut and it's time to go home.'

Do you have any relationship with your father now?
I haven't seen him since I was 18.

Absent parents often try to make contact if their child becomes famous.
Because they want some money. The News Of The World did bring him over to a gig in Ireland once. They were going to have this big family reunion in the foyer of the hotel. We got to hear about this and had the News Of The World thrown out. And him as well. I thought it was pathetic. For a man who spent ten years in a boxing match with me to then want to tucking shake hands and put it all under the table, it's just a joke. I'm not even going to go to his tucking funeral. I don't give a tuck about him or his family. My old fella was always a bit of a jack-the-lad. I think he resented the fact that he had kids because we got in the way of his lifestyle. And we got hammered for it. I would always question things. But you couldn't have a decent conversation with him because it would always end with someone getting a black eye.

But all that must have strengthened the bond with your mum?
Yeah, but I think Liam's on my mum a bit too much. She's always down in London looking after him when he steps out of line. She's always down there wiping his arse. She lets me just get on with it. As soon as we got a load of money, Liam was like, "Mum, you're leaving your council house where you've lived all your life and we're going to buy you a huge rucking castle in Cheshire.' And me mum's phoning me up going, 'But 1 don't want to move." And I said, "Stay where you are mum, nobody says you've got to move. Fuck Liam. It's all right for him living in a big mansion in London, but you've lived in that house for 30 years. Why do you want to live behind a big wall?' I said to her, 'If there's anything you ever need, just give us a ring." And she phoned me up and said, "I could do with a new garden gate because the old one's just falling off." So that's what I bought her - a garden gate.

Was it difficuit for you to leave London?
I just thought, "I'm not going to end up in the Priory.' A sad, miserable tucker who is either getting high or coming down and always inoaning about something. So it came to the point where I thought - 'This is it. We are going to the countryside. I'm getting off the fucking gear and that's it.' At first, Meg was a bit, "Hang on a minute, all my friends live in London.' And I'm going, "Get in the car." The relationship with the missus started to deteriorate. I said, "If you want to come, come." She said, "Well, I can't. All my friends are here." I said, "I'll get you a rucking chauffeur.'

Were you ever bothered by the media image of Oasis as foul-mouthed yobs?
We were the token oiks for about four or five years (adopts poncey Southern accent), 'Let's invite the scruffy Northerners down and have a laugh at them.'

But when you were invited to Downing Street, it wasn't just so they could have a laugh at you, was it? It was because you represented a large constituency.
All the press expected me to turn up in jeans and trainers with a can of fucking Stella and a fag and stick my fingers up on the steps of No 10. But I thought, for once I'll try to make me mam proud of me. I said to the Prime Minister, 'It was the greatest thing when you won the election and you turned up at the big party at seven in the morning. How did you manage to stay up all night?' Tony Blair said, "Probably not by the same means as you do.' And 1 thought, "He's a smart cunt, him.' The press didn't get what they wanted from me that night. I wasn't going to be the working-class kid from Manchester who was, "Fuck off, I'm just here for the beer.' It was more important than that to me. I didn't get an education. I didn't go to university. I didn't get any qualifications. I've been in trouble with the police. I've been through the drugs thing. But I'm not just some thug.


Manc of the people. Liam Gallagher is still Oasis' centre of attention but, as GQ found out when it spent a day with him, he’s far from the V-sign-flicking creature of media mythology
Liam can’t remember whether he’s been photographed by Mathew Donaldson before - "I’ve been so off my head over the last seven, eight years, I couldn’t say," he admits. "I’ll be in focus for this one." Odds are then, that he won’t remember a ten-minute chat five years ago which had me grinning for an hour afterwards. After the pub one night, a girlfriend and I found ourselves at the Roof Gardens in Kensington for a record industry do in honour of Celine Dion. The event was predictably flashy - wedged-up and tanned suits blowing cigar smoke over towering good-time girls, with La Dion at a roped-off table, gushing away in a gold lame dress. We did what we came to do - guzzle pink champagne, pick at sushi and laugh a lot - then made to go.

Now I’m not sure, but I like to think I suggested having one last look around, so we went to the back bar. Astonishingly, there among the froth and gilded tack was young Gallagher the biggest star there, behaving very unstarrishly. Thick as thieves, we settled down at the bar for one last drink and played it cool. Soon, the girl Gallagher was talking to left and he looked round, extended his hand to us and said, "Eh, I’m Liam. Youse two having a good time?" I made some lame remark about being a huge fan of Dion’s and very excited to be there, but he was too dignified to slag off his hostess, so we shot the breeze about clothes (he’d bought his trainers at Woolworths), magazines (didn’t like them on the whole) and music (he liked my then boyfriend’s new single - he was in Kinky Machine), until some other people turned up and we wandered off.

Half an hour later we really did have to go, but I was determined to kiss Gallagher goodbye. After all, we’d bonded, hadn’t we? We looked around and found him sitting outside between two blondes. Hunched over in his simian way with a bottle in both hands and legs wide apart, he definitely filled up his space. I tried to catch his eye, but he didn’t recognise us. It didn’t matter. He’d charmed us silly.

Because of this meeting, the image of Liam Gallagher as unreconstructed lout has never made sense to me. For the GQ shoot he shows up on time, alone, and self-styled like his brother, in Hush Puppies, jeans and a brown corduroy Fake Of London parka decorated with a target that he’s keen to show off in the pics. "I bought a change of clothes," he offers, before adding, "Oh fuck. I forgot the jacket." When someone offers to go and get it, he tells her his address and doorcode in front of a roomful of strangers.

Without any advance warning, he agrees to an outside shoot, for the sake of variety. Four of us walk, minder-less, across Parkway in the heart of Camden. Liam even has his hood down. A few pedestrians do double takes, but that’s it. He must just be one of his many clones, doing that flat-footed scally step that looks like a thin person walking like a fat one. He’s quiet and, say the others later, unapproachable with his stolid, leaden, po-faced presence - but to me he seems to be deflecting attention from himself, happy to listen rather than join in. Not loud, not brash. This must be a nightmare for him, mustn’t it? Naah, I go anywhere I want to, "he replies." The only thing I don’t like is walking past old drunks who just want to have a pop at you." In a seedy car park, he stares impassively into the camera, hands forever in pockets, stance proud, directions quietly obeyed. A couple of old workmen peek out from behind a shack. "Is he modelling that coat then?" asks one. "It’s "G" something, isn’t it?" Supermodel G doesn’t flinch.

Gallagher is about to embark on yet another round of promotion and touring, but it all feels "brand new" to him. Whether this is because he’s on still mineral water nowadays or because ‘Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants", the new album, has been a long time coming, isn’t clear, but he’s got no idea what his schedule is and prefers it that way. I wonder how his voice is these days. Is it up to scratch? "Oh, it’s higher than scratch, yeah! Better than ever," he smiles, holding the door open. The number he wrote, "Little James", is "the best song on the album", of course. Although it’s plain this famous braggadocio of his is playful when he then says that little James himself "thinks it’s ridiculous. He’s my harshest critic, worse than the NME."

Back at the studio, Liam’s aura is almost tangible, although he contributes so little to general conversation someone later says it was as if he wasn’t there. As equipment is set up, he sits patiently in his buttoned-up parka, but there’s a watchful nervousness about him and he welcomes banter. He loved Fight Club, which is about "how fucked-up America is", thought Meatloaf was "top" and is enthusiastic about a catalogue of the photographer’s father’s "top" paintings. His stepson is "top" with Lennon. He really looks after him". Lennon has blue eyes and blonde hair just like he and Noel did as babies.

Did he see the paparazzi shots of him and Lennon in the Sun?

"Yes," he says with expected bile. "He’d been hiding outside our house for days. I said, "Can’t you do your job properly? How come it takes you days to take a simple fucking shot?" I nearly grabbed the camera off him and showed him how to do it." Lennon will be christened after the tour as they don’t want to go through another wedding-type fiasco when, hours before the ceremony they had to cancel after seeing on The Big Breakfast the amount of cameras parked outside the registry office. In the end, they married at 7.30am on April 7,1997.Did he get the words out properly? "Just about," he says.

"I should have pre-recorded it though, taken along a Dictaphone."

"The christening is very much Patsy’s thing," he says. "All that Catholic stuff, it doesn’t mean anything to me." As a godparent myself, I ask him what’s expected. He sweetly asks how often I see the kid, and then advises me to remember birthdays. "I lucked out with my godfather," he says. "He was the richest one, so I used to get loads of Tonka toys and that."

Liam wants the photographs to look great. He has dispensed with hair and make-up, choosing instead to occasionally re-adjust his shiny mop, but has gone to the effort of embellishing a beige military-style jacket he found in New York: "I found that gold Scouts badge and sewed it on myself," he says boyishly.

Clothes and music are obviously of paramount importance to Gallagher, a secret dandy. He checks out what people are wearing ("I like your boots. Where did you get them from?") and is happy to play DJ. First he plays a new album by American band Cotton Mathur (he has also brought Reef and Groove Armada CDs along) and becomes very animated when people like it (pretty much the only time he breaks from his self-contained demeanour). "Is this your CD?" I ask. "No," he replies, thinking I thought it was by Oasis. "But I fucking wish it was." He goes to adjust the sound levels. "This is pure Beatles. It was recorded on a four-track but it sounds unbelievable. I play it all day at home. We’re trying to get them to tour with us in the States, and then maybe back here as well. "Later on, after I’ve played the Clash and the Beach Boys, I ask for requests. He looks at me cheekily as if to say,"I’ll take care of it this time, if you don’t mind", and leaps up to stick on Counting Crows.

Looking at the initial Polaroids, he teases the photographer: "is that the best you can do? I’ll give you £50 to do better than that." Subsequently, he is all praise: "It looks fucking top. Really Sixties and old. Cool." Noel, who will be shot later on, is in a meeting: "He’s always in a fucking meeting. Never stops talking." We suggest Noel’s delay is just a ploy so that they won’t be photographed together."I don’t know why. He’s better off with me in the picture - he’s bound to spoil it with his Adidas trainers and Prada jacket."

All this is said for entertainment, and he’s not too cool not to smile when people laugh. When I marvel at his ability to hold his expression, unblinking, for long exposures, he can’t hide his pleasure. Liam is really a big kid with a soft heart who’s on his best behaviour because, for the time being, he’s bored with the alternative. When I comment that the Polaroids look romantic he looks disgusted, as a ten year-old boy would, then decides to have fun, grabbing me for a comedy waltz and saying, "We’d better tear them up then, otherwise all the boys will be running down the street after me." After two hours of Liam looking mysterious and re-arranging himself without objection for the camera, his PR asks him whether he’s finished. "It’s up to Mathew," he replies, gesturing towards the photographer. On his way out, he says goodbye to everyone, looking each of us in the eye. Hate to disappoint you folks, but Liam Gallagher is a gentleman.

Noel Gallagher - Select/Q101 - February 2000

DJ: "You have some kind of new members, but I guess these guys were friends of yours for a while. Are they in the band or...
Noel: "If they wanna be, yeah! I mean it's up to... yeah. Well they are till next September when the tour finishes and they are welcome to stick around. They're not getting paid, like, but..."

DJ: "Really?"
Noel: "No. No. They're more then welcome to come and make the tea and stuff."

DJ: "The CD comes out in February, what's, er, is anything..."
Noel: It's a little bit different. It's a little more... You see, the last album rocked, but that's basiclly all it done. This one's a bit more focused an thought out, and it's just got better songs is the main difference."

DJ: "With this CD, I know you wrote everything, but Liam wrote a song for this one, the first time..."
Noel: "He did, yeah... It's a song called 'Little James' and it sounds very much like a certain band from Liverpool, as you'd expect. It's a pretty good attempt for the first song he has ever written. He wrote it all by himself and everyone was quite amazed really, And we decided it was good enough for the record..."

DJ: "But, like don't get carried away, man!"
Noel: "Yeah , do you know what I mean? You got your one, now sit down and shut up."

DJ: "Did he bring that to the table, or did you..."
Noel: "When we were in the studio, you'd always hear him in a room somewhere, just fanning about with an acoustic guitar. We finally nailed him onto the seat on day, 'Either play it to us, or it's never going to be used.' So he played it and we recorded it on a video camera. He went away on holiday, and when he came back, we'd done the backing track, and he walked in and sung it. It's a catchy little number. But he's had the great teacher."

DJ: "Is it all going OK with this, the cohesiveness of the band?"
Noel: "Everyone's getting on fine. As I say, it's the first time we've been on tour together. So, we're getting to know the two new members' more drunken nature, which is quite funny, cos usually we're sick of Liam's drunken babblings by about the second gig, which is tonight. But now there's tow more class drunks in the band, it should make things a lot more interesting. Yeah, it's good , man!"