LIAM GALLAGHER

IT’S BEEN A TOUGH FEW YEARS FOR THE OASIS SINGER–BATTLING THE BREAK–UP OF HIS MARRIAGE AND FOR­MER BAND, WITH AN UNEXPECTED LOVE CHILD THROWN IN FOR GOOD MEASURE. THE MANCUNIAN WHO CAME TO DE­FINE ‘90s SWAGGER AND IS, HIS WORDS, ‘THE GREAT­EST FRONT­MAN OF OU

GQ (Australia) - - Q&A -

GQ: It must feel good to be talk­ing about mu­sic and be­ing cre­ative, in­stead of the shit that’s been swirling the past few years.

Liam Gallagher: Oh, yeah, without a doubt. I mean, they’re al­ways gonna talk about the shit, be­cause the shit sells – so there’s al­ways gonna be a bit of that. And I don’t ac­tu­ally mind that, ei­ther, you know what I mean? ’Cause it can’t all be mu­sic, mu­sic, mu­sic – some fuckin’ muso, go­ing, ‘Oh, yeah, man, the album is great’, you know, be­ing a fuck­ing dork and do­ing in­ter­views like St­ing, talk­ing about how ‘This fuck­ing song’s saved my life’. It’s like, ‘Fuck off, mate’.

GQ: Yeah, ‘get back to your tantric med­i­ta­tion’ and all that.

LG: Ex­actly. So, yeah, I don’t mind a bit of the drama. Be­cause it’s real life, you know what I mean? But I’m def­i­nitely glad to have the mu­sic along­side of it.

GQ: Well, you’re back where you be­long, be­hind the mic. Tell us about the past three years and where you’ve been – be­cause we heard some­thing about mov­ing to Ma­jorca?

LG: After we knocked it on the head with Beady Eye, I was go­ing through a di­vorce and all the other stuff [court cases re­lat­ing to his fa­ther­ing of a love child with jour­nal­ist Liza Ghor­bani] – it was just deal­ing with lawyers on a daily ba­sis un­til I fuck­ing went to sleep at night. I was think­ing, ‘Fuck this shit’ and I planned to get out of Eng­land for a bit. So I went to Ma­jorca for a hol­i­day, had a re­ally nice time and thought, ‘I could fuck­ing live here’. But I didn’t. I came back, shook my head a bit, and I thought, ‘It’s time to make some tunes’.

GQ: We’re glad – as we can’t imag­ine you wan­der­ing about in thongs and shorts full-time.

LG: Me nei­ther, I sup­pose. I mean, I could do it, but I gotta put lunch on that fork. But what made me want to get away from Eng­land was just the fuck­ing con­stant bull­shit all the time. Which I made for my­self, I guess. It was my own do­ing. But still, I thought, ‘You know what? I need a bit of sun­shine, healthy food, get fit and fuck­ing make a plan.’

GQ: So it was sim­ply ar­riv­ing at a point where you needed to cre­ate again – to go solo.

LG: I just started out with a gui­tar, do­ing it in me room and that. And then I wrote a song called ‘Bold’. And then I wrote another one called ‘What I Need’. And I thought, ‘They’re pretty fuck­ing cool’. And I played ’em to a few friends. They were go­ing, ‘They’re fuck­ing re­ally good’. Then, I met this guy from Warner Bros and he said, ‘Let’s have a lis­ten’. So I played him these tunes on the gui­tar and he was like, ‘Yeah, they’re re­ally good’ and goes, ‘Do you want a record deal?’ And I said, ‘Well, yeah, go on then’.

GQ: Do a lot of the songs on the album re­veal more about you than what we’ve heard be­fore?

LG: To­tally, man, without a doubt. But I’m not gonna do too much of that, I’ve given enough away. And you gotta keep a lit­tle bit back for your­self. But there are bits in there about Noel. There are bits in there about my mum. There’s bits in there about my kid... my girl­friend... my other brother... They’re all per­sonal, but, you know, I haven’t sat down to write a song about ‘this’, or ‘that’, or ‘that per­son’ or ‘this per­son’. Ev­ery­thing just comes in, in a song. And sud­denly, it goes back out, sub­con­sciously.

GQ: It’s nice to have you back.

LG: It’s nice to be back – it’s nice to wake up in the morn­ing and have some­thing to do. ’Cause bore­dom will kill any­one and I’ve been bored out of my mind the past four years, and it’s been dread­ful. And it’s not like I’m cur­ing can­cer, this is just a fuck­ing good rock ‘n’ roll record – and there’s noth­ing else about like this at the mo­ment.

GQ: Do you think a lot of rock ‘n’ roll front­men have gone a bit soft?

LG: Oh, yeah, without a doubt. But I don’t think rock ’n’ roll has. It’s al­ways there if you want it. It’s just peo­ple are choos­ing not to do it be­cause ap­par­ently, it’s not trendy at the mo­ment... There’s a lot of these rock ’n’ roll bands, or so-called rock ’n’ roll bands – they’ve got gui­tars and that but they’re wear­ing ’em like pieces of jew­ellery. Plug the fuck­ing thing in and turn it up. The sounds are meant to be loud, and con­certs are gonna be loud, you know what I mean? And some rock ’n’ roll bands are mak­ing dance records – they’re sit­ting on the fence with a foot in the dance world... It’s like, ‘Make your fuck­ing mind up, man’.

GQ: Since you’re con­sid­ered one of the great­est front­men of our time… LG: Yeah. Without a doubt. Without a doubt! GQ: …well, what makes a good front­man – what are these frauds lack­ing?

LG: Life, man. Life ex­pe­ri­ences. No one seems to be get­ting in any trou­ble or get­ting ... I mean, I guess, it’s get­ting in trou­ble and get­ting out of it. They just seem to be do­ing a gig and go­ing home. And that ain’t hap­pen­ing for me. Ob­vi­ously, I’ve calmed down a lot from when I was 20 and 30 and that... Just these young bands to­day, man,

it’s like, they do the gig, they get it on and then they go fuck­ing home. Ev­ery­one just seems to be very cau­tious of hav­ing a good time. It’s like, I don’t know, it’s just all a bit shit. English rock ’n’ roll at the mo­ment is re­ally fuck­ing beige. And I’m here to shake IT UP.

GQ: A lot of peo­ple would say the same about what’s be­ing pro­duced in Aus­tralia.

LG: I don’t know much about Aus­tralian mu­sic – I know there’s that band DMAS, I went to see them a cou­ple of weeks ago, and I like what I see. Man, they got some good tunes in there. But I think ev­ery­one seems to be goin’ to bed after the gig, you know what I mean? No one’s go­ing out, fuck­ing get­ting in shit. Maybe it’s to do with the drugs. Maybe the drugs are shit? And the beer’s wa­tered down, and all... And it’s not just about the mu­sic for me – it’s about the look as well. Peo­ple need to look cool, you know what I mean? Ev­ery­one just looks like fuck­ing tramps these days. Or, they look like they’re off a fuck­ing a kid’s TV pro­gram. No one looks fuck­ing cool any­more. Don’t get me started. It’s far too early!

GQ: Good thing your fash­ion la­bel, Pretty Green is still around then. So what would you re­al­is­ti­cally be do­ing if you hadn’t found rock ‘n’ roll?

LG: Well, I’d ei­ther be in prison, or I’d be dead. I’d be fuck­ing off my tits on spice, this new drug that’s killing ev­ery­one in Manch­ester, this mad zom­bie weed. I cer­tainly wouldn’t be work­ing in fuck­ing ac­counts or Mc­don­ald’s. So God knows. So that’s why I treat rock ’n’ roll with the ut­most re­spect. It’s like, if you look after rock ’n’ roll, rock ’n’ roll will look after you. So I do believe there’s rock ’n’ roll an­gels up there, and they’re look­ing down on me, as stupid as it sounds, I do believe that.

GQ: You con­sider your­self spir­i­tual?

LG: Without a doubt. I don’t pray at Bud­dha, and I don’t fuck­ing pray at the Lord and all that. But I def­i­nitely just stand there. And I sort of take it all in. And I just fuck­ing put it back out again. I believe in me, man, and I believe in me fam­ily, and I believe in me friends, and me mis­sus, and I believe in real peo­ple. You know what I mean? I don’t have wind chimes on me fuck­ing house and stuff. And I don’t have a yoga mat.

GQ: A di­vorce, al­imony, a band break–up – this is tough for any­one let alone some­one in the pub­lic eye. How did you get through it. No doubt you’re sick of lawyers?

LG: Oh, I’m fuck­ing sick of them, mate. That was just every day. It was morn­ing, noon and night. But you’ve just gotta fuck­ing stay strong and stay fo­cused. I came into this without money, I’ve come out of it without money. I don’t do it for money, you know what I mean? I’ve got a great life, I’ve got more than enough, more than what I need. So you’ve just gotta stay fo­cused, and just go, ‘Lis­ten, you ain’t gonna take what is not up for fuck­ing grabs, and that is my spirit. Lis­ten, it’ll pass. Don’t go jump­ing off the bridge, don’t go tak­ing a bot­tle of pills, and don’t fuck­ing start to put a fuck­ing rope round your neck. It’ll pass. It’s just a lit­tle part of your life that you fuck­ing got your­self in, and you’ve gotta nav­i­gate your way out of it.’ There was no doubt that I would go back to mu­sic. I knew, once I got my head straight, and all that, I’d def­i­nitely go and try and make some mu­sic.

GQ: Is it hard be­ing a dad, when so much of your life – all the beefs and crazed times – is on pub­lic record?

LG: I guess, but I don’t re­ally think about it. The peo­ple in the press don’t re­ally know me. They’ve in­vented who they think they’ve in­vented. And the stuff that they write about me is, like, fuck­ing ridicu­lous. I just go, ‘You’re way off the mark’. And my kids know me – they’re with me fuck­ing, three, four times a day. Or four times a week. They know where I’m at. They know I’m still con­nected, I’m not some fuck­ing fruit­cake. I’ve still got my feet on the ground, you know what I mean? It don’t mat­ter what them dicks write in the press, it’s not in my head.

GQ: So no con­cerns about your own men­tal health, given all you’ve con­sumed?

LG: No, no, no, no. I was mad be­fore I joined the band. It’s just the fuck­ing thing – you’ll never get me in fuck­ing re­hab. I had my drugs when I was 14. Chew­ing my face off in Manch­ester, on magic mush­rooms and all that. It’s a piece of piss. Peo­ple think that you join a band, and you go, ‘Right, I’m in a band. Let’s take drugs and drink al­co­hol.’ I was do­ing that when I was fuck­ing 14. So my mind is very def­i­nitely psy­che­delic. It all comes to what­ever’s go­ing down. But I can def­i­nitely toe the line. And I can do nor­mal. I get up and go for a run every day. I go and do me own gro­ceries, and then I come back here and I sit and watch a bit of TV. But when nine o’clock comes, and there’s a mi­cro­phone, it’s time to kick out the jams, as we say.

GQ: Are recre­ational drugs and booze still part of your life?

LG: I booze it – don’t re­ally do much of the other stuff, no good­ies any­more, not proper stuff... I cer­tainly can’t drink be­fore I go on stage or a night be­fore. The voice don’t han­dle that any­more. I’m 44 now, so it’s like, get a good night’s kip, get out for a run in the morn­ing. Get to the gig. Do the gig. Give the peo­ple what they want. And then, it’s my time. I’ll never be fuck­ing sober. Well, I’ll be sober – I’ve been sober for six months once there be­fore, and it’s fucked. Be­ing sober drove me to drink.

GQ: This is what made you want to skip out on Eng­land – so­bri­ety?

LG: Ex­actly, yeah. I’d been six months sober, I was go­ing, ‘Fuck this shit. This is bor­ing. Gimme a drink!’

GQ: How much do you en­joy wind­ing up your brother Noel – it feels like you have some fun with it.

LG: Oh, it’s my favourite thing to do. But there are some se­ri­ous is­sues in there as well. I think he stitched me up with Oasis. We got to a point where he was like, ‘Look, we might not be sell­ing as much as what we were, I could do with go­ing solo’. A lot of peo­ple were piss­ing in his ear. And he ba­si­cally fuck­ing set up a cou­ple of booby traps and I walked straight into ’em. Then he went off and did his solo ca­reer. And I was left with the fuck­ing mess of ‘You split Oasis up’ – one of the na­tion’s favourite bands. I’m pissed off about that, and I al­ways will be. We didn’t just split up over a fuck­ing ar­gu­ment. There was some fuck­ing dark ac­tiv­ity at play there... That shit still hurts me. But he’s had four years of run­ning amok. And now I’m back. I wanna shine a light on how fake he is. But all the fuck­ing wind­ing up and stuff, is pure fuck­ing... yeah, I love it.

GQ: Be­cause you know the pub­lic get off on it too, right?

LG: Yeah, I get off on it! And so be it, man. I don’t wish him any fuck­ing harm, I just wanna let peo­ple know that he’s a fake and I’m not.

GQ: It ap­pears that age has mel­lowed you a bit – all said and done.

LG: Def­i­nitely, man. But not to the point where fuck­ing peo­ple pull the wool over me eyes. I still got me eye on peo­ple, you know what I mean? I’m watch­ing what’s go­ing down. I’ve def­i­nitely chilled out, though. Yeah, I have, but not too much.

GQ: It’s been a few years since you were in Aus­tralia. How do you look back on the times that you’ve been here?

LG: I like it, man. My mate lives out there. He lives in a place called Wagga Wagga or some­thing like that?

GQ: Yeah, Wagga Wagga – so good they named it twice.

LG: It’s like the New York of Aus­tralia [laughs]. Every time I’ve been out there, it’s been cool. And we’re com­ing out there, do­ing the Falls Fes­ti­val. So, we’re gonna be there for New Year’s Eve. So I can’t wait, man – I love it. It’s beau­ti­ful. I’m bring­ing me two boys out as well, they’re at the age now where they can come and travel. They’re mad for this stoner car­toon, The Big Lez Show. It’s like a fuck­ing Aus­tralian Cheech and Chong. They love a bit of that Aus­tralian vibe.

GQ: What’s your take on the cur­rent in­flux of bands who are cash­ing in on this so– called ‘90s re­vival’?

LG: I don’t mind it. I’m all for a bit of nos­tal­gia... Bring it on, you know what I mean? I don’t sit there and go, ‘Oh, they’re a bunch of cunts for get­ting back to­gether’. If it’s gonna pay their bills, so be it, man.

GQ: Well, you know what we’re go­ing to ask next, right?

LG: Yes, ma’am.

GQ: What would it take to get Oasis back to­gether?

LG: We’ve been of­fered lots of money. But it’s not about the money – I don’t need it. And I’m sure Noel don’t need it, ’cause he keeps telling ev­ery­one how rich he is and that... To get Oasis back, it needs me and our kid to have a real sit-down and be­come friends again. And broth­ers, you know what I mean? And so, it’s not about how many notes we keep putting on. It’s ir­rel­e­vant. Oasis was not about the money – it was about spirit and the hon­esty. And I mean, not fuck­ing fall­ing into them bull­shit traps, and be­com­ing a fuck­ing U2, or what­ever. Not be­com­ing a part of the fuck­ing sys­tem...

GQ: … so some broth­erly love is needed?

LG: Once we do that, if we ever get to do that, then it’s on, but at the mo­ment, it’s so not. If that hap­pens, we start talk­ing, start hang­ing out, and then, I think, it’d re­ally be a nat­u­ral thing. It’d be like, ‘Look, should we fuck­ing have another crack at it? Should we fire up the char­i­ots?’ Un­til that day hap­pens, there’d be no point in me go­ing on­stage if I still hate Noel, and Noel still hates me, be­cause peo­ple will see right through it. Lis­ten, we get of­fered lots of things when we were Oasis, to do things for money. I got of­fered some fuck­ing Calvin Klein ad­verts when I was 23. I turned it down. We got of­fered fuck­ing Coca–cola ad­verts. We were like, ‘No, that’s not what we’re about, you know what I mean?’ ’Cause the minute you go into that zone, it’s very hard to get out of it. And that’s why I think peo­ple still have a real soft spot, be­cause it was fuck­ing real. It was su­per, su­per real. And to­wards the end, it just got, su­per fuck­ing not real.

GQ: How do you feel about the mu­sic now? Do you get a twitch when you hear ‘Won­der­wall’?

LG: I like all the songs. We did it the other night for the first time in ages, and peo­ple fuck­ing loved it. So I’m not one of them peo­ple that are like, ‘I’m not gonna do it’ be­cause I’ve had the hump with it. Peo­ple pay their hard–earned cash to go to a gig... give them what they want. Send them home happy. Peo­ple don’t play their hits any­more, be­cause they’ve got an album out, and this is where they’re at in life. Fuck off, mate. Get over your fuck­ing self. Play the fuck­ing hits, and some of your new stuff as well.

GQ: Look­ing back, any re­grets?

LG: I’ve got a few. But not too many. Ob­vi­ously, I’ve fucked a few things up and that, per­son­ally, but ev­ery­thing hap­pens for a rea­son. So, only per­sonal ones. Mu­si­cally, no re­grets. Fash­ion sense, no re­grets. It is what it is. I might have fucked a few things up on the way. But it’s all been dealt with, and it’s all been picked up, and apol­o­gised for.

GQ: With all the noise and bull­shit aside, how would you like to be re­mem­bered?

LG: As a great rock ’n’ roll singer who did not give a fuck – who did ex­actly what it said on the tin. Liam Gallagher’s de­but solo album, As You Were, is out Oc­to­ber 6.

“it’s just all a bit shit... And I’m here to shake IT UP.”

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