Liam Gallagher: It’s Time to Fly Solo
AS THE FORMER lead singer for Oasis, Liam Gallagher is one of the bestknown names in Britain - and, thanks to his outspoken nature, not solely for his music. That was established even before the singer ever released anything under his own name, but now that’s changed.
Gallagher made his solo debut this year with the album As You Were, released in October after a slew of singles. How ready was the world for this? As You Were debuted high around the world and particularly in Gallagher’s homeland, where it not only debuted at No. 1 but also became the fastest-selling vinyl album of the past 20 years in the U.K.
“I think people have missed me,” the 45-year-old Gallagher said, speaking by telephone during a promotional visit to New York shortly before the album’s release. “The reaction I’m getting from it is that people want a new Liam Gallagher record.”
It’s enough to make you wonder why he waited so long. “I guess I never really wanted to do all this solo stuff, but I guess it’s my last chance to really make music,” Gallagher explained in his rich Manchester accent. “It’s not something I really, really, really saw myself doing, but I guess it got easy.”
“There’s kind of no point in starting a new band,” he added, “because it’s only going to get compared to Oasis. So I might as well do this solo thing. It feels pretty natural, man.”
An acrimonious split
Gallagher, who was born in Manchester, England, did try another band after Oasis which he had formed with his older brother, guitarist/songwriter Noel Gallagher—broke up acrimoniously in 2009. He and the other members of Oasis formed Beady Eye, which put out two albums and enjoyed modest success before breaking up in 2014, but nothing like Oasis’ domination during the 1990s.
The Beady Eye split coincided with a rough stretch in Gallagher’s life, notably his divorce from second wife Nicole Appleton, which was spurred by the news that he had a 2-year-old daughter, whom he’d never met, by a journalist in New York. Gallagher took more heat after being spotted vacationing in Ibiza with his personal assistant before the divorce was final.
He’d never shied away from caustic comments, or from what came in their wake, but
I think people have missed me. The reaction I’m getting from it (promotional visit) is that people want a new Liam Gallagher record. There’s kind of no point in starting a new band, because it’s only going to get compared to Oasis. I might as well do this solo thing. It feels pretty natural, man.” Liam Gallagher
the events of 2013-2014 were enough to give Gallagher pause, leading him to lie low awhile and reflect on his life.
“I definitely had a wake-up check and a reality call,” the father of four acknowledged. “It makes you a lot more humble, and it makes you realize there’s more than music at the end of the day. There’s life. Life is life, and sometimes you need to get out of the bubble and all the bollocks that goes with (music).
“I enjoyed being out of it,” he said. “Sometimes it was a bit boring, but there’s more to life than rock ‘n’ roll, dare I say it.”
‘It’s beyond me and Noel’
Gallagher has kept things rocking since he resurfaced, however, particularly in his volatile relationship with brother Noel. The two have jousted about everything from Noel’s own new music to his touring as an opening act for U2. Liam was particularly vicious in castigating his brother for not taking part in the “One Love Manchester” concert in June, in the wake of the terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert the previous month in their hometown. Noel did donate his royalties from Oasis’ Don’t Look Back in Anger to the victims’ fund.
Of course this has been going on for decades at this point, which Liam acknowledged. “It’s beyond me and Noel now, isn’t it? It’s about something else,” the singer said.
“He’s in another world with his friends. I don’t know what it is. He’s still in a bubble. He’s still got the Oasis machine. He’s got Oasis management around him, so he’s not apt to change much.
“He wants to get on and do his solo stuff, which is fine,” Gallagher continued. “I’m certainly not desperate to be back in a band with him, because I think he’s a bit of a ... He’s still living in the Oasis bubble. God forbid it bursts one day, because I think he’ll have a nervous breakdown.”
His brother is not the only one the sharp-tongued Gallagher has attacked. He’s made up with some of them, notably Coldplay’s Chris Martin and television host James Corden, but he doesn’t go out of his way to apologize for his conduct. “You can’t keep apologising for the rest of your life,” Gallagher said. “You’ve just got to say it once and hopefully people get it and we move on.”
“I did apologize to (Chris Martin),” he admitted. “I said, ‘Look, I’m sorry for being a bit of a d**khead over the years.’ And he goes, ‘Nah, nah, man, don’t worry about it. We love it when you take the p*ss out of us.’ And I’m like, ‘Ah ... cool.’
“And he did lend me his private jet, so I guess I’ll send him a Christmas card.”
Noel’s in another world with his friends. I don’t know what it is. He’s still in a bubble. He’s still got the Oasis machine. He’s got Oasis management around him, so he’s apt not to change much.” Liam Gallagher
Liam’s divorce from his second wife Nicole Appleton was spurred by news of a secret love-child
Brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher have been at war since Oasis broke up acrimoniously in 2009