Liam Gallagher is not new to Rock’n’Roll lifestyle.
Throughout his soaring career with Oasis, he was the embodiment of no-nonsense attitude, self-confidence and hedonistic way of life. These days he can boast of a much calmer behaviour, but the spark is still there.
The 2019’s Liam is a mature man that appreciates every opportunity that comes his way. Earlier this year he brought out his second solo album Why Me, Why Not to a huge critical acclaim. Yet Liam is not one to rest on his laurels. In a new interview with the HuffPost magazine he shares his plans for the next record, refelcts on touring with the Who and ponders about the possibility of reconciling with his estranged brother Noel.
After the split of Beady Eye and many years out of action, Liam finally seems to be enjoying life to the fullest. His enthusiastic ranting about his new record is contagious: he certainly knows how to make the listener intrigued. And the fact the rock icon still has no clue about how to use Spotify doesn’t hinder the creation of hundreds of playlists with his music by other users of the popular service.
“I stay away from the modern music industry. I don’t think I’ve ever used Spotify once in my life, and I don’t even know how to use it. Part of it is, ignorance is bliss. All these new ways of listening to music have gone way over my head, and I’m quite happy with it. I listen to tunes on the record player”.
Despite Liam’s preference for the old-fashioned approach, his music still sounds pretty much modern. The fanbase and critics embraced his new record and flooded it with positive reviews. Liam seems reasonably satisfied – and determined to keep getting better.
“I don’t go searching for praise, but if people tell me the album’s going down well, of course I’m happy. If the fans love it, then I’m happy, because at the end of the day they’re the ones who come and listen to it or buy it or whatever. If they’re digging the tunes, it makes it a lot easier for me to get onstage and sing them”.
His brother Noel once said great frontmen only come to life when they come onstage. Truer words have never been spoken. On stage Liam is still full of energy, passion and enthusiasm. Despite the 25 years in the spotlight, the rock icon seems to be striking chords with the younger audience no less than with the older Oasis fans. And Liam definitely appreciates this whole grassroots thing.
“You definitely see lots of young people coming to the gigs that are 16, lots of young faces. And they’re bringing a bit of a vibe. It’s nice to have the youth jumping up and down and making a bit of noise. Oasis was a big band that made a big impact, so I think we’re lucky to reap the benefits of a lot of different generations coming to the gigs. Obviously the people in our band were characters. We weren’t wallflowers. We spoke out and talked a lot of shit and we still are. Good music, good singing, we also looked pretty cool. We said what was on our minds, I think that’s what’s lacking today. Today everyone’s minding what they say, in case they get trolled. I think the more shit you talk, every now and then you’ll hit something that is a bit genius”.
Despite Liam’s love for ranting and saying things on the spur of the moment, he’s actually not a big fan of long setlists. He’d much rather prefer to keep his gigs short and sweet – and leave the audience craving for more.
“The Stone Roses would only play live for an hour. If it was down to me, I’d be doing an hour gig as well, smashing, grab mine and get the fuck out and leave the fans wanting more. I think the lifestyle of rock’n’roll business is important to appreciate. I never want to do just music. There’s musicians, and there’s rock’n’roll stars. I think I’ve got a good balance. The rock’n’roll side is very important to me, as much as just sitting down and writing a song. If I never wrote another song, I get someone else to write it and I’ll sing it. I want to do exactly what it says on the tin as much as I can”.
And Liam indeed lives up tp his words. He’s giving it all at every live performance, giving the fans what they want. No wonder his live shows get sold out at a supersonic speed. Liam fondly speaks about the Oasis songs which make up an essential part of his every setlist and get a huge singalong every time.
“I’ve always had the utmost respect for those songs, man. And they always meant everything to me, and they still mean the exact same as they did back then. I put my heart and soul into singing them, so I never went at them lightly. It’s nice to go back to them and feel you can still sing them. I like doing Rock’n’Roll Star, I would never leave home without that one. I like doing Morning Glory, Slide Away, Columbia, Live Forever, Champagne Supernova… All of them. I like them all, man”.
Liam admits the process of recording Why Me, Why Not was a bit different from his previous experience with As You Were – mainly because the goals were more ambitious this time.
“We thought the songs needed to be a bit better. As You Were was good, but it had places where we could definitely improve. I think I did a little better with me doing my own songs – just that, the killer instinct. And these songs are all co-written, and I think it’s a better album for it. It’s a little bit of glam rock, just classic music. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. I’m quite happy with my rock’n’roll guitar music”.
Liam’s loyalty to the traditional Oasis sound has led to a bigger consecuence: some of the reviews have started likening Liam’s new solo record with his glory days in Oasis. It turns out it’d be harder to come up with a better compliment for Liam.
“I’m over the moon when I hear this. A lot of people think I’m stuck in the 90s. Well, obviously I am. I’m certainly not desperate to run away from the sound that made me who I am. I could sing a fucking reggae song, and it would still sound like Oasis. Some people think it’s all about Noel. He wrote the songs, but it was my voice on them! So my voice is always going to remind you of Oasis. I’m not stuck anywhere, in the 90s or whatever. I’m in 2019, and I’m standing out like a sore thumb and I’m proud of it. You know, I pretty much wear the same clothes as I did when I was in Oasis. I’m still sort of not joining the party. I’m still a bit punk, still resisting to join in the bullshit, I’m not playing the game”.
For Liam staying true to himself is very easy: he knows who he is and sticks to doing what he’s best at. Despite recently turning 47, the legendary frontman admits to still feeling young at heart. Sticking to the principle of living forever, I guess.
“You’re only as young as your outlook is, and I feel like I’m 18. I do like to look out for myself. But I’m not obsessed with being super healthy. If I run, I run. If I go out to the pub, I go out to the pub. A lot of people seem to be still trying to find themselves. And the music thing, I wouldn’t sing anything that didn’t move me. I think in this I’m kind of like the people who come to my gigs”.
Ten years after the Oasis split, the audience are still actively pressing for Oasis reunion which so far, sadly, isn’t on the cards. Meanwhile, Liam already has plans to bring out a third solo album.
“If it happens, it happens. My mum would like to see us on stage again. I’d much prefer to be a brother with my brother than to go around touring with him, hating each other and just cutting the coin. I wouldn’t do that. I’ll put another solo album out next year. The main thing is to keep making music and having a good time. While everyone is having a good time, let’s bang out the music, man!”
Controversial, funny, bold and unapologetic, Liam is really one of a kind. He still stubborny refuses to compromise and sticks true to his values. That makes him inspire generations of aspiring musicians. But what would the legendary frontan advise to upcoming bands?
“Don’t join a band with your brother. No, I’m only joking. Honestly, get your vibe going on. Find what you like and just try to master it”.
What a beautiful and truthful principle to guide ourselves by.