Noel Gallagher: “If Thom Yorke fucking shit into a light bulb, it’d get 9 out of 10 in Mojo”

Noel Gallagher had a frank talk with Esquire. He talked about his life, Oasis, the Nineties and his brother Liam.


Noel-Gallagher-December-Esquire-5-433 | “The stadium’s going to fall over!”

Metaphorically, in 1993 youth culture was dead. Acid House had petered out. The stage was set for something. And we turned up. And the people said, “Yes,” and boy did we deliver. And then it just exploded.
There is this magical moment at the start of your trip, and it only lasts for about six months until you become wealthy. It’s when you’re wearing the same clothes as your audience and you’re in the same circumstances. And there’s probably people in the crowd that are better off than you are, got a better job than you have. So it’s a moment of truth. You’re not a rock star. You’re in a rock band but you’ve not yet got the supermodel and the drug habit and all that. You’re just a fucking guy with a guitar.
The first album is a bona fide fucking moment in culture. Nobody is ever going to fucking tell me any different. That was when we were just a gang of guys. We had fuck-all and we made this music. The second album, Morning Glory, if you listen to the songs, the second verse of every song is just a repeat of the first verse. But that was our time. And I think when we were good, we were fucking great, and I think when we were bad we were still pretty fucking good.
The good years were from ’91 to Knebworth [in 1996]. Then it levelled out. There was nowhere else to go. What do you do? It was the apex and then we made the mistake of coming off stage and going to America for six weeks when we should have come off stage at Knebworth and disappeared.

Am I aware of a hierarchy? I’m aware that Radiohead have never had a fucking bad review. I reckon if Thom Yorke fucking shit into a light bulb and started blowing it like an empty beer bottle it’d probably get 9 out of 10 in fucking Mojo. I’m aware of that.
I used to put us at number seven. It went The Beatles, the Stones, the Sex Pistols, The Who, The Kinks… who came in at six? I don’t know. We were at seven. The Smiths were in there, The Specials. Where would I put us now? I guess I’d probably put us in the top 10. We weren’t as great as the greats but we were the best of the rest. We did more than The Stone Roses could fucking even fathom. We’re better than The Verve: couldn’t fucking keep it together for more than six months at a time. If all the greats are in the top four, we’re in the bottom of the top four, we’re kind of constantly fighting for fifth, just missing out. Just missing out on the top four, I’d say.

Morning Glory was slated when it came out. And then when it became the biggest thing ever – and I’ve been told this by two editors – they thought, “We’re not going to be caught out next time.” And they lauded Be Here Now, which was clearly a shit fucking album, full of fat fucking rock stars, and then they got caught out again. And they never forgave us. They were just like, “Wankers. We can’t fucking get on it.”
I’ve never seen Oasis live but there couldn’t have been that many better than us. I’ve been to Wembley to see many bands but I’ve never seen the entire stadium pogoing, ever, at anybody else’s gig. You’d be on stage thinking, “It’s going to fall over. The stadium’s going to fucking fall over!”
I had 30 to 40 kids sleeping outside my house every night, so much so that the council put in two benches, fucking bolted them to my wall. And a litter bin on a fucking side street in Primrose Hill. The neighbours went fucking ape-shit.
We’d be partying with supermodels and all sorts. It’d be like, “We’re out of cigs. Who’s gonna go to the shop?” “No way. Press are outside.” So, you just go out and say to one of the kids, “Do us a fucking favour: go round the Tescos and get us 400 Benson and Hedges, can you?”
In the Nineties, all of us were high on fucking cocaine, all the time. Having it. The last party. Nobody gave a fuck.
I haven’t got a “My Drug Hell” story because it was fucking brilliant. [But] what happened was I started getting massive panic attacks. You think you’re going to die. So I stopped. I haven’t done it since ’98. I did one line maybe, a couple of years after I gave up, because I was pissed and I had to sober up quickly. And I haven’t touched it since. It is a shit drug.

I might have had my midlife crisis in my thirties. I started wearing fur coats, doing loads of cocaine and thinking, “I am a rock star. Fucking get me that fur coat.” “But it’s made out of rabbit.” “I don’t give a fuck. Give it here.”
I smoke a bit. And drink a bit. Too much, really. But nothing else. Even now I’ll be at a party and I can sense the night takes a turn when people are off to the toilets in pairs and suddenly it’s not fun any more. Everyone gets very serious.
Liam was on that programme The Word at 19 years of age. Left home a week later and moved in with Patsy Kensit.
I tell you what I think about Liam and this is just an opinion. He would fucking aggressively disagree. He was rightly put up there as this fucking huge rock star but he didn’t write a note, not a word. From my perspective I don’t know how comfortable I’d feel about the mania surrounding us, and you knowing in your fucking soul that you were responsible for really wearing the clothes. And that’s not a dig. But when you’re doing interviews about an album you’ve not written… I know it did his head in a little bit that he was just the singer.
Liam was a great singer and a great frontman in a great band. At his best he was the best. I think maybe inside himself, after Knebworth, Liam thought, “You’ve done it now.” It didn’t last long, you know?

The fame thing, some people it hits them hard. I flourished. I love it. I’ve never gone out of my way to be famous and I don’t go to the opening of a fucking envelope but if somebody wants to lend me their superyacht just because I’m famous, “Thanks very much, man.” I do enjoy that side of it and you should fucking enjoy it.
The longer that it went on the stronger I felt because nobody else was responsible for my success: not a producer, not a fucking A&R guy, not a guy who did these videos, because they were all shit. I wrote the songs, I wrote the lyrics, I came up with the parts, I did the interviews. I felt so bulletproof because I did it all.
I fucking hate whingeing rock stars. And I hate pop stars who are just… neh. Just nothing, you know? “Oh, yeah, my last selfie got 47-thousand-million likes on Instagram.” Yeah, why don’t you go fuck off and get a drug habit, you penis?
Fame was not wasted on anybody in Oasis. It certainly wasn’t wasted on me and Liam. And wealth, notoriety and all that, wasn’t wasted on us.

Source: Esquire