Oasis: Liam Gallagher

Liam Gallagher

I’ve interviewed Noel and Liam Gallagher, separately, a bunch of times. They never disappoint. But I can never tell the difference between the Oasis siblings because they both look inbred and I was never a huge fan of the band beyond a couple of radio-friendly singles. I wonder if New York Times reporter Liza Ghorbani knew the difference before she was impregnated by Liam while writing a story about him?

Anyway, this is from my 2007 phoner with Liam (I’m pretty sure!) to discuss a new Oasis DVD called Lord Don’t Slow Me Down, a documentary about the band’s 2005-06 world tour.

The transcript is edited for flow. I also xx’ed all the naughty words, not because I’m a wuss, but because they might be blocked by some people’s browsers.


WHERE WILL THIS DVD RANK IN THE PANTHEON OF ROCK TOUR DOCUMENTARIES?

oasis I really don’t know. I don’t really care. We didn’t go into it for that, to get up a ladder or be put in a f–kin’ category. I really don’t care. I don’t know why we did it, and I don’t know whether we should have done it, or whether it’s any good or not. I don’t mind it. I like the way it’s shot. It shows us not miserable, or whatever. I’m arsed if it comes in at No. 100 or No. f–kin’ 10. I don’t care. I’m not bothered.

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH CHARLOTTE CHURCH? DID SHE SIGN OFF ON HER FOOTAGE BEING USED (SEE THIS CLIP)?

I don’t know, man. I really don’t know much about this documentary. I know it was done, and it’s been put out, I don’t know the ins and outs. I can’t give a f–k whether she was on it or not, to tell you the truth. She was there, we had a laugh.

YOU WERE VERY NICE TO HER. SHE WAS BORDERING ON OBNOXIOUS

Yeah, I think … I don’t know why she … I don’t care. Who cares? I don’t care.

THAT WAS AN INTERESTING SCENE AT THE RESTAURANT IN JAPAN WHERE YOU’RE ARGUING WITH NOEL

It was all to do with the NME thing. These f–kers, we’re on their cover once a f–kin’ month. And then they f–kin’ review your song and they slag it off. And it’s, What are you putting us on your cover for? If you don’t like us and you don’t like what we f–kin’ stand for, f–k yourself. And Noel was f–kin’, Oh we’re doing the cover. Another f–kin’ cover for the NME? Have you read the reviews that they give your f–kin’ songs? They’re always slagging them off, so why are you on the f–kin’ cover all the time? It was that kind of thing. I still stand to this day: they ain’t getting no cover off me for a long, long f–kin’ time. If people don’t like our music, I’m not going on your f–kin’ cover. See you later. There’s other magazines. It’s not like, You better give me a f–kin’ good review until I go on your magazine. I’m on that f–kin’ cover once a month. You can f–kin’ suck my cock. I’m arsed if I’m on it, or not. But if I’m gonna be on it, you’d better be f–kin’ nice about my music, or just both go our f–kin’ separate ways, full-stop. And that was it, basically.

I GUESS THE ISSUE WAS THAT YOU SAID, “HAVE SOME F–KIN’ RESPECT FOR THE BAND”-

-Exactly, exactly. That’s what I mean. If someone turned around to me and said would you go on the f–kin’ NME cover, I’d tell ’em to f–k right off, man, because I read the f–kin’ review of half of our f–kin’ records, and it’s just like, What’s the f–kin’ point? You don’t dig us, we don’t dig you. F–k you, you’re not gonna make loads of money out of me. But Our Kid seems to think we need to be on the f–kin’ cover of NME to get anywhere. I don’t need to be on no cover of no f–kin’ magazine to get anywhere these days. We f–kin’ make a record, we put it out, we f–kin’ sell the tours, and that’s where we’ve gotta be good is when we’re playing live, or the music’s gotta be good. I don’t read their reviews, so f–k ’em. That was my point.

SO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS THE MOST PROTECTIVE MEMBER OF THE BAND, IN TERMS OF PRESERVING ITS LEGACY?

I can be. I know when the wool’s getting pulled over our eyes. People think I’m away with the f–kin’ fairies half the time, but not at all. I know when someone’s f–kin’ having a pop.

THAT’S A COOL COVER TO HAVE: PEOPLE THINK YOU’RE CRAZY, BUT THE REALITY IS THAT YOU FULLY AWARE-

-I tell you what. When someone f–kin’ rubs your ego all the f–kin’ time, that’s the worst f–kin’ sleepy world (?) to be in. That’s the sleepiest world (??) to be in. Everyone’s going, “You’re f–kin’ great! You’re great!” I’d rather be out on my f–kin’ arse than be in that world.

YOU DON’T SEE MUCH OF THAT IN THE DOCUMENTARY

Yeah, well it kinda got swerved, didn’t it?

AS THE SOLE FOUNDING MEMBER, I GUESS YOU’RE THE ONE MOST INTERESTED IN PRESERVING ITS INTEGRITY?

Well yeah, I’d say. Yeah. Go on. Why not, eh?

I’LL STOKE YOUR EGO! WHY NOT?

I’m falling asleep, already.

I JUST GOT UP, MYSELF! SO ERGO YOU’D BE THE LEAST LIKELY TO DO A SOLO ALBUM

No, no. That doesn’t interest me one bit. The minute you start doing things like that, man, it’s just Clapton-esque, innit? Music is to preserve me. It keeps me as young as I can. The minute you start sitting on f–kin’ stools, to me, you’re in that f–kin old-man f–kin’ brigade. You know what I mean? It’s not for me, man. I need to be standing up when I’m f–kin’ singing, not sitting down. And I don’t appreciate people f–kin’ sitting down watching me either. You f–kin’ pay attention and stand up. I’m f–kin’ standing up, so you f–kin’ stand up. I’m not into all that sitting down and keeping it … Our kid’s obviously into it, but not me, man. Nah! Ugh!

SO HOW ARE SESSIONS GOING ON THE NEW RECORD (DIG OUT YOUR SOUL, FALL 2008)?

We’re fine, man. Doin’ really well, man. Really good.

ARE YOU IN THE PROCESS OF WRITING SONGS?

All the songs are wrote, man. We don’t f–k about, man. We don’t do that sh-t, paying 1,500 pound a day for the studio to f–kin’ write songs? Nah, we’re not U2, and we’re not Metallica either. We’ve got our sh-t sorted, man. We’ve just gotta come in, pick the song, f–kin’ amplify it, electrify it and see whether it sits with the one that we’ve just before or not. Because this record’s gonna be f–kin’ rockin’. There’s no acoustic on it, man.

YOU’RE NOT ON EPIC/CREATION ANYMORE?

We’re the biggest band in the world, unsigned, man. I kinda like it like that.

DO YOU THINK YOU’LL DO THAT RADIOHEAD THING, PUT IT ON THE WEB AND LET PEOPLE PAY WHAT THEY WANT FOR IT?!

Nah, over my f–kin’ dead body, mate.  You’re getting your f–kin’ money for me, man. Do you think I’m coming here (into the studio), f–kin’ graftin’ my balls off, paying out my own f–kin’ money, for some little f–kin’ student to get it for nothing? I can’t see the sense in that. And then slagging it off. F–k that, mate. You’re getting your f–kin’ wedge (money) out. And then you can f–kin’ say what you want about it. As long as I have whatever it f–kin’ costs to f–kin’ pay  for CDs today, then you say what you want, you can do what you want with it, you can stick it up your arse, your mam’s arse, your f–kin’ granddad’s arse. I’ll have had the wedge off you, so f–k you.

THIS WILL BE YOUR SEVENTH ALBUM. THE BEATLES’ SEVENTH (U.K.) ALBUM WAS REVOLVER AND THE STONES’ WAS BEGGARS BANQUET. DO YOU THINK YOU’RE UP TO THAT LEVEL?

Oh yeah. Without a doubt. This has got lots of things going on, man. It’s a f–kin’ great, cool f–kin’ sound. It’s sounding cool already. There’s lots going on. It’s not your normal straight trashed-out f–kin’ Oasis songs. There’s lots of cool parts, man. Really, we’re throwing everything at it. It’s gonna be cool, man.

WOULD IT BE FAIR TO SAY THAT YOU’VE BEEN TREADING WATER A BIT WITH YOUR LAST FEW ALBUMS?

We’re still learning how to f–kin’ plug the thing in. I think the songs have always been cool. We’re sorta still getting the grasp of the studio, because we spend so much f–kin’ time out of it. We’re always on the road. Maybe. You could say that. You could say that. You can say what you want. You could say that. I’ve always thought we’ve made decent records. Sometimes we’ve got it right, and sometimes we haven’t got it right. But that’s life, you know what I mean? Without a doubt, we’ve always f–kin’ tried our best, man. We’ve never gone into it halfheartedly. We’re getting better, man, all the time. That’s all I can say, man.

BOB DYLAN RECENTLY SAID THERE’S A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT HE HEARS IN THE STUDIO COMPARED TO WHAT HE HEARS ON THE CD. YOU JUST LOSE SO MUCH, NO MATTER WHO THE PRODUCER IS, NO MATTER WHAT SORT OF RECORDING EQUIPMENT YOU’VE GOT.

Yeah, well. A lot of our demos sound f–kin’ great. We should have put them out half of the time because it’s the first couple of takes. It just depends, mate. If you dick around with a record, you’re gonna lose it. If you just f–kin’ take it easy and just bang it out. Don’t wrap it up in cotton wool, just bang it out and let’s f–kin’ go, man, you know what I mean? Hopefully that’s what we’ll try to  do with this one. The last one, we did dick about with it, a lot. We recorded it f–kin’ a hundred times. Hopefully our kid’s learned his lesson, and we can just get in and f–kin’ belt it out. It shouldn’t be hard making music. we’ve been doing it long enough.

WHAT’S THE VIBE LIKE BETWEEN THE BROTHERS?

Yeah, cool, man. We don’t really speak that much. We just do what we do, you know what I mean?

YOU’RE PROBABLY THERE AT DIFFERENT TIMES?

No. I’m in all the time. Last week we were laying the tracks down, so I was in there every day. Today, yesterday, I was singing. So I’m sorta just easing into it with the voice. I’ve not sang for a couple of months. I’m just doing it easy, man. It’s going good, man.

DO YOU FORESEE YOURSELF HITTING THE ROAD FOR ANOTHER 18-MONTH WORLD TOUR?

Yeah, man. Why not, eh? Wherever they want us, I’ll f–kin’ play it, man. I’ve got no problem with doing long tours. Wherever, they’ll ‘ave us.

NOEL DOES COMMENT ON THE DVD THAT HE’S SICK OF THE TOURING GRIND.

Well, listen, that man changes his f–kin’ mind every f–kin’ day, so who knows, you know what I mean? That’s fair. If that’s what he don’t want to do, then fine. But I think he’ll be doing it. He’s just full of sh-t, innee? He’s starting to sound like Thom Yorke, already. Ugh!

IN THE DVD, YOU’RE ON THE WAR PATH AGAINST BLOC PARTY AND FRANZ FERDINAND-

-To me, it’s not British rock ‘n’ roll music. It’s just f–kin’ indie, f–kin’ nonsense. But they may not like us. I’m sure they don’t. So each to their f–kin’ own. I don’t want anything bad to happen. I’m not f–kin’ wishing them f–kin’ death, or anything. But I’m not interested in talking about them. It’s just like whatever.

IT SEEMS TO BE EASIER THESE DAYS FOR BRITISH ACTS TO BREAK THROUGH IN AMERICA. DO YOU THINK YOU HELPED MAKE THAT POSSIBLE?

We didn’t f–kin’ break it there. We don’t sell any records. All we do is just go there and tour. We do nice tours there, and I’m enjoying it more as we get older. But I wouldn’t say if that’s the f–kin’ case. We didn’t really happen there. Can’t have it all.

IT’S NOT THAT YOU DIDN’T HAPPEN. PEOPLE KNOW WHO YOU ARE

Yeah, fair play to them if that’s what it is. But I’d rather go there and behave the way we do, and write the music we do, than write f–kin’ sh-t like James Blunt. And have a f–kin’ No. 1 or be big or whatever the sh-t Coldplay or whoever we were talking about. But yeah, man, fair play to them. I’ll never change the way we do it. Did it.

IT SEEMS YOU’RE COMFORTABLE IN AMERICA AND AMERICANS ARE COMFORTABLE WITH YOU?

I like it. The more I go there, the last tour we did there was amazing. I really like it. I’ve calmed down a bit, so maybe I’m just not going f–kin’ looking for it. I was looking for just parties every f–kin’ night when I first went there. It can f–kin’ do you in, you know what I mean? This time, I party enough before I even get there, and I’m enjoying it, man. The cards (?) are cool, and all the fans are cool.

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NOTE: Unrelated to the above intervuiew, my gossipy rock bio Strange Days: The Adventures of a Grumpy Rock ‘n’ Roll Journalist in Los Angeles is available here. For more info, go to strangedaysbook.com

Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Dean Goodman. PLEASE DO NOT CUT AND PASTE THE WHOLE THING

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