Liam Gal­lagher: It’s Time to Fly Solo

Khaleej Times - City Times - - TOP TUNES AND MORE - (Gary Graff, The New York Times Syn­di­cate)

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

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