THE ULTIMATE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL STARS ARE BACK
Have Oasis still got it? This is the year they show us what they’re made of. Here’s the inside track on their crucial sixth album – straight from Noel Gallagher’s mouth
The year 1994 was the year Oasis. Ten years later ago this August, the M&S clad gang of Burnage hooligans released their first albu, the landmark ‘Definitly Maybe’. It was the perfect distillation of the spirit of the times, a big-hearted, full throated celebration of cigerattes and alcohol, of sun-shee-ine, and the white lines.
Now its 2004 and everything has changed. The Gallagher brothers are the only remaining members of Oasis, Noel Gallagher is a 36-year old father of one, Liam is happily coupled-up father of three (although the old madness is still there – he did karate chop an NME journalsit last year). The rock n roll landscape has been transformed from everyone from The Strokes to Dizee Rascal and the cultural mood of triumphant optimism has been replaced with something more downbeat. Is there still a place for Oasis?
Their live popularity isn’t in doubt. But Oasis have to keep coming up with the goods on record too.
This autumn, we’ll find out if they’re still a force capable of of duking it out with the young bucks. Here, for the very first time, NME brings you the story so far of Oasis’ most important album yet.
ITS GOING TO BE A PSYCEDELIC ROCK N ROLL RECORD!Noel says the album – expected in September, with a single preceeding it in July, will be a concise, ten-song pyscedelic rock n roll record with no ballads, string sections or self-indulgence. He says he’s aiming for a cross between Bob Dylan’s 1965 classic ‘Highway 61 revisited’, The Rolling Stone’s famously out-there album “Their satanic majasties Request” and The Stone Roses’ ‘The Stone Roses’.
LIAM’S WRITTEN LOADS OF SONGS!
“Much as it pains me to say it”, Noel told NME, “Liams songs are amazing! I’m writing these six minute-long Champagne Supernova things and Liam’s writing all these three minute pop songs. He’s got the blues man. His new songs sound like The Yardbirds.”
One of them, “They ain’t got nothing on me, they ain’t got nothing on you” was written in a German cell, after a legendary fight in Munich in December 2002.
SO HAVE NOEL, GEM AND ANDY!
Gem and Andy have written a pair of songs, each of which, Noel says “I wish I’d written.” As for cheif himself, Noel debuted “Stop the Clocks” at an acoustic show in Liverpool last February. Written at the end of the Heathen Chemistry sessions, its musically somewhere between Wonderwall and The Hindu Times, while the lyrics deal with lost love and growing old. It will definitly appear on the album, as will another called “Lord don’t slow me down”. Other rumoured titles include “Revolution Man” (a demo from the SOTSOG session), “Longer”, “Singin Your Life”, “You wanna feel my shame”, “Say it”, and “The Good rebel”.
After years of being Oasis’ sole songwriter, Noel’s now keen to delegate. “I’m 36 now but when your’e 21 and your single you can just sit and write songs all night”, he said. “Whereas now I’ve got kids and this and that, I don’t have the time to write as much as I used to. I was talking to Weller about this and his next album will be his 604th album or something, and what more is there left to fucking say? It’s just a constant struggle to say the same thing differently.
THEY’RE WORKING WITH DEATH IN VEGAS!Death in Vegas (Richard Fearless and Tim Holmes) teased out Liam Gallagher’s best vocal performance in years on their own 2002 single “Scorpio Rising”. “He’s the greatest rock n roll singer in the world”, said Fearless at the time.
However, any suggestion that Oasis are “going dance” is well wide of the mark. In a recent interview with Manchester mag City Life, Noel said, ” I was saying to Richard Fearless, ‘We don’t need anyone to produce it. The reason we want Death in Vegas to produce it is because we want you to, not because we need you to.’ I’m quite capable of doing it myself, I can happily make a psycedelic rock record on my own. But I can’t be fucking arsed this time…. why should I do all the fucking work?
“Nobody else in the band wanted to use any outside producers, they all wanted me to produce it. Now I’d love to but I wouldn’t feel comfortable telling other people, ‘Now this song is shit and that it isn’t going on the album.’ So it was my idea to get someone who had no connections with the band and say ‘Here’s all the fucking songs, now do summat with it’. The rest of the band were pretty dead set against that for ages and ages. Trying to convince Liam was the hardest thing. He’d always be like ‘What the fuck do producers do anyway? Sit there, drink coffee and tell you how shit you are.”
Recording begins this week in Noel’s own studio on his Buckighamshire estate.
IT’S GETTING TASTY OUT THERE!
Over the past year, Noel has bigged up new acts from The Hiss to BRMC, showing his particular fondness for the new breed of Liverpool bands, such as The Stands . And he’s less competitve than he once was. “To me”, he told City Life, “the best band out there is Coldplay but were not really in competition with them. Chris Martin is a fucking genius as far as I’m concerned. But all in all, this has been a fucking dissapointing year for bands’ second albums. Now I fucking love The Strokes, I love the way they look, I love what they stand for, I love the fucking drummer… but that second album? It’s fucking dog’s piss. And the same applies to BRMC and The Vines. They’re top live but the music’s shit.
As for The Darkness, despite Liam liking them, Noel says: “I just find them really, really, inoffensive. I don’t know why people hate them or like them. It doesn’t do anything for me. I’d put them in the same category as The Flaming Lips, where it’s like I’m not even sure whether the people who like them genuinely like them. For me, it’s like, ‘Come on you wierd cunt, Try and play without a 20 foot fucking vegetable jumping up and down behind you.’ People go to a Flaming Lips gig to watch them, not listen to them. And I can’t stand their fucking fans either – Cat Deeley bands – thats what the fucking Flaming Lips and The Darkness are, Cat Fucking Deeley bands! But nothing against Cat Deeley – I’m sure she’s a very nice girl.
IT’LL STILL BE BLOODY MASSIVE!While even Noel admits that “at some point you have to accept that music has moved on and you’re not the cat’s whiskers anymore”, Oasis’ fanbase will ensure the new album will be a smash. Just as well, since as Noel told NME, the bands enormous anthmes wouldn’t fit any other context. “I think Oasis only really makes sense if it’s played in front of 50,000 people. I think if its played on a pub it wouldn’t make much sense. Size is an important part of Oasis. I couldn’t imagine “Definitly Maybe” being some cult album only 50 people owned. I could never see us being The Jesus and Mary Chain. That was one of the first things we said to Alan McGee, I said ‘Don’t think your signing some band that’s gonna be happy selling 30,000 albums and getting on Top of the Pops once, ‘cos it ain’t gonna be like that. We’re going to to the top of the tree.”
After all this time, can Oasis stay there? Only the next 12 months will tell.
Special Thanks : C R M Oasisforum & Choco*fish