Oasis is either the best, balls-to-the-wall rock ’n’ roll band of the last decade or the worst case in recent memory of media notoriety trumping musical talent. Blame the group itself for these wildly divergent views. While Oasis has been often capable of crafting crowd-pleasing, stadium-size rock anthems, the battling Gallagher brothers have also undermined their artistic credibility with binges, brawls and generally boorish behavior. Liam, in particular, has earned his yobbo stripes through fits of arrogance, cussing like a dockyard worker and talking shite, to use one of his own favorite expressions.
With the release this month of the two-disc, career-summarizing Stop the Clocks and the band’s first full-length film, Lord Don’t Slow Me Down, there’s bound to be renewed debate among Oasis fans and critics alike. Some will argue with the song selections—where, for instance, is “Live Forever,” which recently topped Q magazine’s Greatest Songs of All Time poll? Others will be surprised that Oasis has even released a greatest hits package, since Noel has repeatedly insisted that the band would only do so if the group was breaking up, which it’s not.
To shed some light (and a little shite) on the subject, Liam gave a rare interview after Noel issued the following protest: “Because I’m so eloquent and Liam is the opposite—whatever that is—I always get nominated to do all the press interviews. He gets to walk around in stupid clothes, swearing and getting pissed. It’s a pain in the arse.”
INSIDE E: You don’t do many interviews, Liam, so why now?
LIAM GALLAGHER: I’m a bit bored, to tell you the truth. I had a bit too much time off, so I thought I might as well do a bit of work. I’m not one for sitting around.
IE: Many people didn’t think Oasis would release a greatest hits album.
LG: The record label decided to put it out and asked if we wanted to get involved. Judging by them, they’d have put out a load of shite, so we decided to give it our seal of approval and, to be quite honest, I’m very proud of it. It’s all our work that we’ve done over the years.
IE: The song choices lean pretty heavily on material from Definitely Maybe and What’s the Story (Morning Glory).
LG: Well, apparently they’re all the best songs. There’s no point in putting stuff out that people don’t fookin’ like, know wot I mean. I’d have put on “Rocking Chair,” without a doubt, and “Do You Know What I Mean.”
IE: How did you wind up choosing the 18 songs, which include B-sides like “Acquiesce”?
LG: Noel has pretty much done it himself. He decided and put them on there. There was no scrapping about it.
IE: Your composition “Songbird,” from 2002’s Heathen Chemistry, got included.
LG: Yeah, well, it’s a top tune, innit, know wot I mean. We want [the album] to be a success, so I thought we’d sling it on there (laughs).
IE: Are you and Noel getting along better these days?
LG: Sometimes we get along and sometimes we don’t. We don’t generally fight. If you’ve got a brother or a sister and you’re working with them all the time, then they piss you off sometimes, know wot I mean. It gets played up in the press, that’s all.
IE: The press recently reported that you got into a fist fight with (former English soccer star) Paul Gascoigne and wound up spraying him with a fire extinguisher.
LG: That was a lot of lies, mate. Me and Gazza are cool, man. He’s a top lad, man, a real geezer. I’ve known him for ages. The press just likes to make up stories because there’s nothing else going on.
IE: You recently had your 34th birthday. How did you celebrate?
LG: I just went out and got absolutely shit-faced—and I’m still hung-over from it now.
IE: Your fiancé (All Saints’ Nicole Appleton) is originally from Toronto, so do you spend much time in Canada?
LG: I like Canada ’cause it’s clean. I like the people. No one’s got an attitude, know wot I mean. I love Toronto. Yeah, it’s chill, man.
IE: What bands impress you right now?
LG: There’s a couple of bands I like and millions I fookin’ hate, without a doubt. I like The Arctic Monkeys and especially Kasabian a lot. I’ve heard a couple of tunes by The View—they’re looking alright. And that’s really it, man, to tell you the truth.
IE: What does Oasis want to accomplish next?
LG: We want to keep moving up. I don’t want to change the face of rock ’n’ roll. Rock ’n’ roll is cool as it is. We just want to make a better record than the last one.
IE: Do you see Oasis doing this for many years to come then?
LG: I think we’ll do it as long as we’ve got all our hair, because if the hair’s not there there’s no fookin’ point, is there.
IE: You’d never consider wearing a wig?
LG: I’d rather chop my fookin’ head off than wear a wig, mate.
Inside Entertainment 2006