Liam Gal­lagher is still cranky af­ter all these years

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - AL­LI­SON STE­WART Chicago Tri­bune

Twenty-three years af­ter Oa­sis be­came one of the big­gest bands in the world, and eight years af­ter its bit­ter breakup, for­mer front­man Liam Gal­lagher is re­leas­ing his first solo al­bum. Of “As You Were,” set for re­lease Oct. 6, Gal­lagher fig­ures, “It ain’t the best record in the world, it ain’t the worst record in the world,” which is his way of say­ing he re­ally likes it.

Oa­sis broke up af­ter the feud­ing be­tween Liam and his brother Noel be­came un­en­durable (the two have still not rec­on­ciled). Noel was the first to leave; for years, Liam and the other mem­bers car­ried on as Beady Eye, in a sort of Brit­pop in­ter­reg­num, be­fore dis­solv­ing in 2014.

In May, Liam Gal­lagher played his first-ever solo show in his home­town of Man­ches­ter, Eng­land, just a week af­ter the ter­ror­ist at­tack at the Man­ches­ter Arena. He re­turned a few days later to per­form Oa­sis’ “Live For­ever” with Cold­play at the One Love Man­ches­ter con­cert. Gal­lagher had colour­fully (and un­print­ably) in­sulted Cold­play in the past, so this was awk­ward (other re­cent tar­gets have in­cluded his brother, and One Di­rec­tion).

Gal­lagher has a prickly rep­u­ta­tion, but in a phone in­ter­view from Spain, he was cheer­ful and pro­fane and seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble to of­fend. An edited tran­script of that con­ver­sa­tion fol­lows.

Q: Your first solo show ever was in Man­ches­ter in May, right?

A: I think that was a week af­ter that ter­ror­ist at­tack. It was pretty in­tense. Man­ches­ter is al­ways pretty in­tense, any­way, it’s your home­town — but it was a good gig, man.

Q: Do you still get ner­vous be­fore a show like that?

A: Not ner­vous like, “I want me mommy and I want to go home, I wish I’d never both­ered with this rock ’n’ roll thing.” But I get a ner­vous en­ergy, like, “I just want to go on and get it ... done and see whether I’ve still got it,” you know what I mean?

Q: What was the song­writ­ing process like for “As You Were”?

A: Af­ter Beady Eye split up, I had four years of just sit­ting around my house do­ing (noth­ing). I had a bunch of pri­vate stuff go­ing on, I didn’t want to make mu­sic. I wanted to go away to Spain, buy a house and live there, walk on the beach and get a sun­tan, eat some nice food, then come up with a plan. I just needed some time out. All of a sud­den, I picked a gui­tar up, and I wrote a song.

Q: Do you think you’re fun­da­men­tally a band per­son?

A: Yeah, with­out a doubt. I pre­fer be­ing in a band. I’m lik­ing this at the mo­ment — I’ve only done eight gigs — but I def­i­nitely pre­fer to be in a band. There’s too many solo peo­ple, and bands are suf­fer­ing. There’s too many great bands that have split up be­cause some­body’s got an ego, and then he goes solo.

Q: In new sin­gle “Wall of Glass,” you seem to take a gen­tle dig at One Di­rec­tion.

A: Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s a dig. It’s about peo­ple who are — I don’t know. It’s not about ... One Di­rec­tion. I don’t know what it’s about. It’s not about them.

Q: Af­ter Beady Eye broke up, it seems like that’s when the end of Oa­sis truly hit you.

A: Yeah, that’s cor­rect. Beady Eye was like a safety net, I think. Af­ter Oa­sis, we went straight into that, and car­ried on mak­ing mu­sic, which was the right thing to do. Go­ing on (is bet­ter than) sit­ting there twid­dling your thumbs.

Q: Oa­sis is still huge. You’re on the cover of NME all the time. Does that spill over into suc­cess for your solo stuff ?

A: Yeah, but that’s the same for ev­ery­one. It’s the same for Paul McCart­ney, it’s the same for Ray Davies. Oa­sis is a big thing, and it seems to get big­ger and big­ger. I’m not hid­ing away from it. It’s like, lis­ten, I was in Oa­sis, I still feel Oa­sis, the first thing that comes out of peo­ple’s heads when they meet me is Oa­sis. I’m proud of the fact that I was in Oa­sis.

Q: You could dis­cover a cure for can­cer, but if you died to­mor­row, the first line of your obit­u­ary would still men­tion your brother.

A: I love my brother, I just don’t get on with him. I’m very proud of what me and my brother did.

Q: How was the One Love con­cert?

A: It was a no-brainer, we had to do it. That’s me home, and I’ve got fam­ily and friends in Man­ches­ter. It had to be done.

Q: Did Chris Mar­tin know that you’d said vaguely in­sult­ing things about him in the past?

A: Oh, yeah. When I met him back­stage, I said, “Lis­ten, I’m re­ally sorry about all (that), I’ll pack it in.” He went, “No, no, no, carry on. We like it.”

Q: The One Love con­cert must be a nice way to go into your solo ca­reer, with all that pos­i­tive en­ergy.

A: It’s nice to do nice things, in­nit? I’m a nice per­son, deep down, I do nice things all the time. I did it be­cause it was the right thing to do, it put some smiles on peo­ple’s faces, show­ing a bit of sol­i­dar­ity. I did it be­cause I’m from Man­ches­ter, and they’re my peo­ple.

LAU­RENT BENHAMOU, TNS

Liam Gal­lagher is re­leas­ing his first solo al­bum, “As You Were,” in Oc­to­ber.

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