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Liam And Noel Interview From Uncut Magazine Part One

Autumn 1995, and I'm being harassed by a mate's pissed-up girlfriend at my 30th birthday party. "I'm sure they haven't, darling, they've just clocked up their first No 1 single, they're probably past the handbag-nicking stage by now." Loaded, the magazine I edit, has in just a year become the country's biggest selling mens magazine. Oasis have enjoyed an even louder trajectory over the same period. The lads have crashed my party en masse and their presence has put, as they say, the icing on the cake.

From '94 to '98, I spend lots of time scowling through my shades as the dawn comes up, rubbing my fingers over the CD cases of Definitely Maybe and (What's The Story) Morning Glory? And rubbing the residue over my gums. The people in the room are talking about Pablo Escobar, The Clash and gangster movies. Oasis are the soundtrack of the times that no one wants ever to turn off. It's their moment, and mine.

Eleven years on, I look at Liam across a coffee table in a Marylebone management office surrounded by the accessories of rock'n'roll fame - gold discs, DVD's, magazine covers - and ask: "Do you ever wonder how all this happened?" To which he replies: "To be honest, I thought we'd be bigger by now." He laughs, then, and swaggers out of the room.

For this Uncut cover story, I meet them at Chalk Farm's Blank Space Studios.

Noel and Liam arrive separately, proceeded by Gem Archer and Andy Bell, former label mates on Creation as members of Heavy Stereo and Ride, drafted in when original band members Bonehead and Paul McGuigan departed in 1999.

Liam arrives before Noel, bouncy, excited. Noel's come from an earlier meeting, seems abit stressed. There's a businesslike dynamic between them, nothing tactile. As the shoot goes on. Liam grows noticeably testier, particularly when the set-ups feature just him and Noel. Make of this what you will.

When I interview Noel, he talks and talks and tells very long and funny stories about the songs that made Oasis what they are. He's extremely honest, admitting there were times he was driven by self-belief, times it was the cocaine talking, and other times when he lost the will to write songs but did so anyway and took on the criticisms that came his way.

Oddly, he confesses that his biggest moment of self-doubt came even as Oasis were celebrating perhaps their greatest triumph - their two Knebworth shows in 1996, after which Noel felt not so much all-conquering, but somehow lost.

"The plan was always to become the biggest band in the world," he recalls. "But I was the only one who believed it was going to happen. [Creation boss Alan] McGee and Liam, they'd say the words and all that, but...In hindsight, everyone was just going along with what I was saying. But I knew it was f*****g going to happen. I knew in me bones. After that - doing the biggest ever gigs in England, Morning Glory being the biggest album in British history - it was like, 'Well, what now?'

"It's like, what do you do when you've done everything? You kind of sink into boredom. I don't know. Kind of directionless."

Liam meanwhile, is like a great centre forward, furious he's not getting enough of the ball. Noel can sit and analyze and laugh at what's transpired, but Liam was action not words. To him, not recording or touring is like doing a stretch. We sit and go through the songs and the answers are testament to the old saying, "If you were really there, you probably can't remember what the f**k went on." After we finished the trawl through the bands back catalogue, Liam and I wander off to meet a mate who's interviewing Gazza.

They spend an afternoon on the sambucas, and it's all very good-natured, even when Liam sprays Gazza with a fire extinguisher, the foam leaving Gazza "looking like f*****g Santa". Two day's later, the Sunday papers have front-paged this as a huge brawl between the two of them. The Gallaghers are still up-beat, dripping with confidence. When they get round to talking to each other again, they'll probably remember they've got a lot in common.

Noel and Liam talk about the songs on Stop The Clocks, i will put up disc two ASAP.

Rock'n'Roll Star

Album Track: Definitely Maybe
Released: August 30, 1994
Highest album chart position: 1
Produced by: Oasis/Mark Coyle

Noel: "Rock'n'Roll Star" is the whole manifesto of the band. I've never wanted to say anything else in a tune. We're going to be rock stars, and even if we don't, even if we're just playing in the f*****g Boardwalk the rest of our lives, we're going to act like f*****g rock stars. When we started it, my ambitions were to have a jet, a monkey, a house with a swimming pool and a gaff in Ibiza. Did I ever get a monkey? I've got Liam. He's the only monkey I'll ever need. I wrote "Rock'n'Roll Star when I was on the dole. I wouldn't have put my f*****g council flat on it, but we knew we were the best thing that was up and coming at the moment.
When we signed, McGee wasn't saying anything that I didn't already know myself. We played it at the three or four gigs we played at the Boardwalk before we were signed and there would be about ten people by the end singing "Tonight I'm a rock'n'roll star" and the staff would all be sniggering.

Liam: John Lennon, I reckon he'd have f*****g buzzed off "Rock'n'Roll Star". All of em. Who knows? Maybe he'd have though we were f*****g shite.

Some Might Say

Single taken from the album: (What's The Story) Morning Glory?
Single released: April 24, 1995
Highest chart position:1
Produced by: Owen Morris/Noel Gallagher

Noel: We'd just signed and I was living in a bedsit in Manchester. Alan McGee would phone up on like a Wednesday, "All right, we're having a party in the office, come down." If somebody's got their own record label and they're having a party 'cos its Wednesday, that's where I fu**ing need to be. So I come down to London with a guitar, jeans, trainers - not even a toothbrush - and had a fu**ing brilliant time. The offices were out in Hackney, and he sent the staff round the pub to come back with a tray of Jack Daniel's and coke's, it was like: "Fu**ing hell man, no way am I going back to Manchester, I can't live there any more." I finished with me bird, moved down, and I remember just writing this song, I think I was off my head on drugs. Some of the lines are quite deep: "Some people say they don't believe in heaven, tell that to a man living in hell". But then the chorus is just absolute nonsense. I can't believe that was our first fucking No 1. It's probably still my favourite Oasis song, and I remember recording it for the first time in Wales, and all our crew from Manchester, Wigan, some Scousers, and we just ended up listening to it over and over and over and over again. Thinking 'this is going to be fu**ing proper, man' when this comes out. There was something in the air. It was the first track from Morning Glory, so the explosion had already happened in England, it was about to take off around the world. Fu**ing great days, man.

Liam: We were'avin'it, man, on the piss, avin'it. They were the days, man, no kids an'that, just go out on a fu**ing Friday and come back Monday.

Talk Tonight

Some Might Say
Single released: April 24, 1995
Highest chart position: 1
Produced by: Owen Morris/Noel Gallagher

Noel: It was Liam's birthday as we crossed the International Date Line on the way from Japan to LA to start our first proper American tour, so he had two birthdays. It's the first night of the tour at the Whisky A Go Go and everyone but me were wasted on crystal meth, someone got hit in the face with a chair, there was a big fight, the press called us a bunch of drug addicts and I got the tour float, my passport and fu**ed off to San Francisco. Creation sent [former creation MD] Tim Abbott to find me, probably the worst person in the fu**ing world to do that. He says, "We've got to cancel loads of gigs, whats happening?" and I was like, "I can't be arsed, man, these c**ts are just amateurs. And I've come over here to do the fu**ing business, man." I had six grand. So we went to Vegas and stayed in the Luxor hotel in the Pharaoh suite, the room service guy comes dressed as a Pharaoh, we were eating fu**ing Pharoah burgers and having one of those terrible cocaine conversations about water pressure in the desert. Anyway I wrote that song in those three or four days. The line "Sitting on my own, chewing on a bone" is about chewing your face off on cocaine, a thousand miles from home. Liam fu**ing hates it to this day. 'Cos when it come out that I'd wrote that and "Half A World Away" on that trip, he was going. "Oh he's gone all country and western, it's acoustic guitars and he's singing it with an American accent," which I've never really understood.


Single taken from the album: Don't Believe The Truth
Single released: May 16, 2005
Highest chart position: 1
Produced by: D Sardy

Noel: "Lyla" might have been started after I listened to a track by The Who, called "Armenia, City In The Sky". I'd written the song and it was originally called "Smiler", but Gem had already had a song called "Smiler", so I had to change it, and the only girl's name I could fu**ing come up with that rhymed with Smiler was Lyla. It's about a heroine, the line "catch the silver star" I think I might have nicked off the Woodstock video. That fu**ing done the business for us, that that song, and itnearly never made it onto that album. I had a really low period, I'd lost all enthusiasm for writing, after Be Here Now, then Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants, and parts of Heathen Chemistry, I didn't know where I was going to go with it. I didn't know how good it was 'til the first night we played it. it's a great pogo-ing song.

Liam: At the moment, this is my live favourite. It's fu**ing stomping man. And vocally I can just attack it, d'you know what i mean! I love singing, I'm mad for it. I'd do a gig right fu**ing now if I could!

The Importance Of Being Idle

Single taken from the album: Don't Believe The Truth
Single released: August 22, 2005
Highest chart position: 1
Produced by: Noel Gallagher, mixed by Dave Sardy

Noel: the title is from a book of quotes about the importance of being a lazy bast**d. I was lying on the couch at home, two years into making this album, we'd scrapped it twice and Liam was on the phone going "What the f**k are we going to do?" I was saying "Look, it's all gonna be alright, don't worry about it. Everybody was trying to throw as many ideas into the mix as possible as how we could make this album. And i was like, it'll all come right in the end, stop panicking. All the songs were great, and it happened. That song is about that period. it's also one of my favourites. I love singing it, and I'm so fu**ing made up it went to No 1 as well.

Liam: if the critics feel it was a return to form, then that's what they feel. To me, I don't think we ever lost our form. I'm not being arrogant about it, but it's just that we've always written decent tunes, it's just that everybody started nit-picking at Oasis. I've never heard anybody go on about fu**ing lyrics, I read every music mag there is, and it's all the lyrics of this, the lyrics of that. It's like, who gives a f**k? Basically it's about not really giving a f**k and 'I'll do it tommorow'.


Single taken from the album: (What's The Story) Morning Glory?
Single released: October 30, 1995
Highest chart position: 2
Produced by: Owen Morris/Noel Gallagher

Noel: "Wonderwall" started off being called "Wishing Stone", a fu**ing shit title. It's not about any girl in particular. The girl who used to work on the reception of with the long blonde hair is on the cover in a picture frame, and everybody assumed it was my ex-missus [Meg Matthews] in the picture. So when it came out, like "An ode to his fucking girlfriend" I did'nt have the heart to tell the missus. Outside of England, it's the one song that we're famous for all over the over the world, and it's not a fu**ing rock 'n' roll tune. There's quite a vulnerable statement to it, "be the one that saves me", but they're great chords. When people come up to me and say it's one of the greatest tunes ever written, I think, 'Fu**in' hell, have you heard "Live Forever"?' But I can't knock it, man, it's paid for a many night out. It's paid for many a night in.

Liam: "Wonderwall"? it all came from videos really. "Wonderwall" was a bit Burberry. I don't think we were paid then, so it's probably some Marks & Spencers job. Definitely Maybe, was just cords, maybe Clarks, then we started getting a few quid in. We were just wearing marks & Spencers V-necks, T-shirts, polo shirts, Wrangler cords, then the money started kicking in, yeah, and we got into the Burberry and stuff.

Slide Away

Album track: Definitely Maybe
Released: August 30, 1994
Highest chart position: 1
Produced by: Dave Batchelor and mixed by Owen Morris

Noel: "Slide Away" is the unsung hero on that album, round about the time, that was everybody's fu**ing tune, everybody's bird.Again it's about an imaginary individual, it's teenage love affair stuff that I wrote off the cuff in the studio. Johnny Marr gave me one of his guitars, he took it out of the case, and out came that song. he reckons he's due royalties! You know, we never get to sing it live, 'cos Liam won't sing it. he reckons it drags on a bit. He was 19 when you first heard him sing it, and he's 35 next year! There's that line - "Let me be the one that shines with you" - well, liam reckons he spontaneously came up with that. But I've got a demo where I can clearly can be heard singing it. It's just a fucking tune, man.

Liam: Classic. F**king top vocal. We should do it more often. For the birds man, for the lovers.

Cigarettes And Alcohol

Single taken from the album: Definitely Maybe
Single released: October 10, 1994
Highest chart position: 7
Produced by: Oasis/Mark Coyle

Noel: I remember bringing it to the lads in the rehearsal room, and Bonehead always use to do this thing where I'd come in with a tune and I'd say I got a new tune 'ere' and he'd go, "What's it called?" and I'd say, like "Fu**ing whatever", and he'd go "Fu**ing whatever!" So this time, I called him, I was really excited: " I've fu**ing written a blinder man! Fu**ing bloody brilliant!" And he says "What's it called?" I say: "Cigarettes And Alcohol". So he goes to our kid and says: "'Cigarettes And Alcohol', have you 'eard this?" And it started up with the riff, and the guitar, and he was going "Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah - you can't fu**ing do that, that's fu**ing T.Rex!" I said, "I don't give a f**k, it's fu**ing Oasis now!" I remember the first time Liam sung it, and it was one one of the first times I thought 'F**k me, he's got a good voice." The "aggravat-i-o-n", and the "sunsh-i-i-n-e", was mega, mega when I first heard it.

Liam: We were shitting over everyone else. All them other Manchester bands. The Stone Roses were the only other ones we gave a shit about, and they were splitting up. We never fu**ing hung out with other bands. They fu**ing hung out with us.

The Masterplan

B-side -
Single released: October 30, 1995
Highest Chart Position: 2
Produced by: Owen Morris/Noel Gallagher

Noel: "Wonderwall", it had been deemed, was gonna be the next single, and it was back in the day when you to have three b-sides. D'you remember that? You had to have four tracks on a fu**ing CD. So we were one song short, and a session was booked in Maison Rouge in Fulham. We had one day recording, and one day mixing, to do this B-side, and I had no fu**ing songs left whatsoever, I had the songs that I wanted to be on Be Here Now, but I hadn't actually finished writing them. I thought at the time they were all fu**ing brilliant. So I just told myself I'll write this B-side when I get in there. I remember I was living in Camden, that was round about the time everybody was at my house, all the fu**ing time, it was brilliant. I remember going into the studio and that's what came out, and it still does my fu**ing hean in to this day, I remember McGee hearing it, going: "That's not a B-side man, you cannot put that out as a B-side." I remember, not quite shouting, but going "Look, you've fu**ing booked a studio, told me to write a song, I've written it, that's it." Y'know? But he was going: "Fucking hell, no way, man, it's go to go on the fu**ing album."

Liam: Big tune, man. Good Words. What's it about? Haven't got a clue.

Source: Uncut Mazine

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