Oasis Q&A

Melody Maker 70th Anniversary Cover Story April 1996


What have the last couple of years been like ?
How would you describe it ?
“Mad. It’s been hard. But it’s gotta be done. There’s nothing else to do is there ? It’s our band, and if we want it to be as big as we want it to be, then we’ve got to keep on doing it. Keep plugging away.”
Has it surprised you, what’s happened to the band ?
“No not at all, and that’s not arrogance. It’s just that I’m not here to be surprised. I knew as soon as we had the first single out, what was gonna happen. Suede were the only big band in Britain at the time and although we weren’t doing gigs, we were stuck in a room all day, getting better and better, and I just knew that if we did a few gigs and got a bit of interest, that’d be it. It would just go fookin’ mad. And as soon as ‘Supersonic’ come out, it did.”
Do you feel happy with your life, with the way things are ?
“Most of the time, yeah. Totally. I have me bad days, but that’s life innit ? I had good days when I was on the dole and I had bad days when I was on the dole. I have great days being here, and I have bad days being here. As long as I know there’s a gig coming up, I’m Sweet As. That’s what it’s about, you know.”
Do you ever miss the dole ?
“Not at all.”
Do you think that in some ways you had more freedom on the dole ?
“On the dole, I had nothing. No motivation, nothing. I just used to watch TV and dream, just sit there thinking ‘What’s the point ?’ Now, with everything that’s happening, your life’s not your own anymore – but you know that’s what it’s gonna be like before you get into it, don’tcha ? Like, you’re expected to sign autographs – but that’s all right. The fans are great. They’re the people who give you your dreams, who buy your records.”
As you get bigger and bigger, so do the venues you have to play. Do you have any worries about playing stadiums ?
“To be honest, I don’t really want to do stadiums. But people want to see you and it’s sometimes the only way to do it. You don’t sell out when you play stadiums, do ya ? It’s just a bigger venue, and wherever you play, there’s always a space between you and the fans. That’s just the way it is, like the world is round.”
How have you changed since Oasis started ?
“I don’t think I’ve changed at all.”
You must have.
“I haven’t. I’ve got a better singer. I’ve got more into me own little world, in there, in me own little world, which is all right. And I feel at one in me own little world, and that’s what I always wanted. Simple as that.”
What about fame though, Liam ?
“Signing autographs doesn’t change ya. Just me writing ‘LIAM’. I wouldn’t not be in a band, never. No matter what the price of fame was. That’s what I’m here for – to play music. When I go on, at a gig at night, all that shit, fame and stuff, just goes out your head.”
What have been the real low points for you ?
“Black moods are always there, aren’t they ? At the back of your mind. And that geezer who jumped onstage and whacked Our Kid. That done me head in, a thing like that. Just a fookin’ mad-head. He either loves the band or he hates the band – you can’t sit around and think about that can ya ?”
Do you have any plans to start writing songs ?
“Not for Oasis, no. Not right now, anyway. When I’ve got time to chill out and all that, get a bit of a gaff, I might start writing a bit of shit, putting it down, see how it goes. If I wrote a mega, mega, mega tune, then put it to Our Kid, and if he said ‘No we’re not doing it’, then we wouldn’t do it. And the other thing is, if I do one, then Bonehead will want to do one. It gets all cluttered then, doesn’t
it ?”
What about lyrics ?
“I don’t think so, no. I’m happy with Our Kid’s lyrics. I think they are great. He writes them better than me.”
What can you tell me about Noel ?
“He’s just got right into it – he’s got right into being a guitarist, and a songwriter. After the first lot of success, you know it’s for real then, and he got really focused, wised up, got serious. Stopped smashing things up. You’ve got to do it right. And I’m just totally into being a singer now, that’s what I’m about. I don’t want to be the lyricist, I don’t want to be the fookin’ songwriter. I just want to be a singer. Not a frontman, not work the crowd or jump up and down and all that shit. That’s not what I’m about. Elvis never wrote a song in his life, did he ? I don’t reckon he was The King, though – I reckon John Lennon was The King. I just like Lennon’s rawness, but then again McCartney wrote ‘Helter Skelter’ which was a top fookin’ tune. I’m on that, me. Totally. The Beatles talk to me totally. I mean, they don’t talk to me, the music just channels in, especially Lennon.”
Don’t you even think “Imagine” is horrendous ?
“I like ‘Imagine’. Totally. One of the best songs ever. In fact, it’s one of the most scary songs ever written. I agree Lennon lost it later on, oh yeah, totally – when she come in. He must have seen something in her.”
What about the Pistols ?
“The Pistols ? Top. Mad for it. Totally. Me favourite ? ‘Bodies.’ Me second favourite band, ‘cos it wasn’t meant to be music based. Top band. Lennon & Lydon, innit ?”
What sort of people come backstage to meet you ?
“I’ve come across John McEnroe. Came to New York, backstage. Had a spliff. Mad bastard. Fookin’ proper mad-head. Had his guitar with him, ‘cos he’s got a band. He was playing us these songs. (Impersonates McEnroe shouting/strumming). ‘Was it in or was it out ? Dum-dum-dum-ding-ding.’ Off his head. ‘You cannot be serious, dum-dum. Double faults hurt my head’. Proper mad. Simon Le Bon came back, too. Freaky. Pretty strange, him and John McEnroe in the same room. Adam Clayton sent us a cactus – an Oasis desert fookin’ cactus.”
Do you like U2 ?
“The music’s OK, but I reckon they’re just in their own little worlds and that, U2.”
Is it difficult to maintain a steady relationship when you’re on the road so much ?
“In the beginning, I never wanted one. I used to see a few girls and that, but I couldn’t really be arsed. Sitting on the phone all night in me hotel room, in America. ‘How are ya, have you got to go to work tomorrow in HMV and that ?’ You know, she’s fookin’ gutted and I’m bombing about, buzzing.”
Do you ever feel like slowing down, taking it easier ?
“If you want it, you gotta get right into it. Gotta let it suck you right in. I had a month off and it did me head right in.”

Do you every worry about the way some bands go away to the States, plug away over there and when they come back it’s not the way it was when they left ?
“Inspiral Carpets was like that. Bands like fookin’ Ned’s Atomic Dustbin were on a roll. Time moves so fookin’ fast – like the Stone Roses came back and it wasn’t really a big deal. The kids move on so fast now.”
Has there been a lot of pressure on you to tour even more in America than you have been ?
“You get to a certain level, the record company are gonna want you to come and fookin’ camp here and that’s physically not possible. No matter how big we are, if it comes down to England and America, it’s like, ‘Fook you guys.’ I’d rather just stay big in England. Financially, it’s not a problem. We’re not gonna sacrifice everything just for America. We’re from England. And there’s Japan, Europe, Australia. Japan is as important to me as America.”
Yeah, but Americans have this thing about the history of rock’n’roll and America being the place it all started.
“Yeah, but it’s the kids that are important. And there’s kids in Japan too. So we start getting into the realm of world tours. And then people just wanna hear the same old songs and the fact is, we’re moving faster than they can keep up with us. But I’m not gonna gig with the same old songs. I’ve been playing some of ‘em for years – ‘Rock’n’Roll Star’, ‘Live Forever’, ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’. To be honest, it’s getting a bit fookin’ tedious.”
Have you really got a masterplan ?
“Nah. Anything can happen. I literally don’t know what’s going to fookin’ happen next week. Now it’s one-off events, where you’ve got to pull the goods out to 13,000 people all the fookin’ time.”
You’re where you want to be, though.
“Oh, yeah. All the goals we set when we started the band, we broke ‘em all so fast.”
Is there a price to pay for becoming so successful, so quickly ?
“I wouldn’t say I envy bands who’ve not had the success we did but… I still liked it better when we ‘ad to go and prove ourselves to people and didn’t have a Number One album, when that was something to reach for. Everything seems to be coming really fookin’ easy at the moment. I’ve only got to fookin’ fart and it gets into the Top 10. It stifles the interest at times – you know what’s going to happen to it before it comes out.”
Is it easy to get complacent in that situation ?
“Yeah. When the wolf’s never at the door some people get like: ‘We’ll put an album out when we feel like it.’ I’m sure we’ll get to that stage. We’ll just have to deal with it when it happens.”
Are you going to continue doing what used to be called EPs ?
“Yeah, definitely. It’s just that tradition – Adam & The Ants, The Jam, Madness, you know.”
It means you’re throwing some amazing songs away on B-sides.
“Yeah, ‘Acquiesce’ was going to be a single. I wrote it on the train on the way to the studio. By the time it was recorded, it was like ‘This should have been a single !’ But I like that thing The Jam and The Smiths had – classic B-sides.”
What pisses you off most about America ?
“All that fookin’ moshing bollocks. At home, a song like ‘Live Forever’, people do actually listen to it. Here, it’s fighting, moshing and stage-diving with a great big hole behind the front three rows, people bashing into each other. You stand there thinking: ‘You really don’t get it do ya ? You really haven’t got a clue.’ If it was ‘Bring It On Down’ or ‘Headshrinker’ or ‘Fade Away’ maybe – but not ‘Live Forever’. That’s not a fighting tune.”
Who makes the important decisions on behalf of the band ?
“Me and Marcus, the manager, we’ll talk. Sometimes I’ll just make the decision and that’ll be the end of it. But Marcus and me, we operate totally on the same wavelength.”
How would you describe the last couple of years ?
“Erm… (15 seconds pause)… for me, personally, I was mouthing off to every c***, saying we were the dog’s knackers. Man, everyone was so fed up. But I’m quite proud of the fact that everything I said was justified and came true. Other than that, just like fookin’ mind-blowing, and a total and utter fookin’ laugh, just taking the piss, all the wind-ups. We read all the old interviews and just laugh our heads off. From ‘Supersonic’ to the first album, we were seriously fookin’ totally out of control. People at Creation and managers of other bands were all saying ‘These guys ain’t gonna last a year. They’re either gonna die or kill each other.’”
You never seem to tire of talking about all that hotel stuff. So tell us some of it, Noel. Go on.
“Well it was just such a fookin’ laugh. All of us – me and Bonehead – would just walk into a hotel and just empty it out the window. Guigsy used to be completely and utterly stoned 24 hours a day – I don’t think he spoke to me for eight months – and me and Our Kid were just like fookin’ Punch & Judy.”
I thought Bonehead did all the hotels – we might as well get it on the record.
“The first one (laughing), I can’t remember the first one because there were so many. I think what it was, he watched a bit too much TV one night and had a bit too much to drink and he was getting serious encouragement from the rest of the band – ‘Go on man, do it, what are you a man or a mouse yer cunt ? ! Throw it out the window !’ So he did. I used to be doing interviews in either my hotel room or the bar of a hotel – and I only cottoned on to this after the third time they did it – and halfway through the interview, someone would walk in through the bar or wherever and say ‘Have you got a light ?’ I didn’t suss out that they were actually checking to see whether we were positioned by the window and I’d be saying to the journalist: ‘No, no, mate, it’s all bullshit,’ playing it all down, ‘we don’t really.’ And there’d be tables whizzing past and the journalist would be thinking, ‘I’m sure I’ve just seen a fookin’ television fly past’. I’d just be saying ‘It’s about music, man, it’s not about smashing up hotels’ – and the hotel manager would be walking in with broken tables. The hotels never did anything cos we used to pay for it. Or Bonehead did. It’s a bit of a cliché now – the novelty wears off. But I’ve got to tell you man, it was fookin’ fun.”
What was the best one ?
“The best one was Sweden – in the hotel with Primal Scream and The Verve. We got deported and banned. Thirty grand damage. All fookin’ great memories.”
Being on the road is meant to drive you mad, isn’t it ?
“Oh yeah, totally. You go insane, go bananas. The first two tours, at the height of it, there was five in the band and all the equipment in a van with two roadies – no tour manager, or driver. They used to book us into these hotels on our own, we’d check ourselves in and pay for our own extras. We were on tour with Whiteout. It was like we were a bunch of Vikings, invading England for the first time ! Whiteout had had a single and were signed to Silvertone. They had a massive tour bus, we had the van. They had a proper lighting rig and crew, and all the kids were knocking on their van thinking it was ours. They’d send us out every week, on the road with this bag of money as a float, and literally three quarters of an hour after putting the money in my hands, it was gone. On drugs, usually.”
So who was telling you when to be in the lobby, to check out, etc ?
“Oh that was me. I was. But no one was ever there ! We used to get the van round and I’d be at the counter, putting extras on the bill, being really co-operative, counting them onto the bus and then we’d drive it round the corner with the engine running. They’d say ‘390 quid plus two table lamps etc.’ and I’d be like ‘Oh I’ve left me cheque book in the van.’ Our travel agents had to pick up all the bills and charge it back to us. We got banned from four separate chains of hotels. In the end, we used to do gigs and stay 20 miles outside the city. When we were checking into the hotel for Glastonbury, I’d done this pre-recorded interview saying, ‘If it’s not nailed down, we’ll have it !’ And, as luck would have it, as we were checking in, the manager saw it. So he was like, ‘You lot, out now.’ We got barred from The Columbia when someone threw something out a window and it went through the window of the manager’s Mercedes.”
How has all this touring affected your health ?
“Once, I’d had two days, doing gigs. No food, loads of drugs, loads of drink. I flaked out with chest pains and stayed overnight in a hospital in Detroit. The doctor said: ‘You’re 27, it’s a good job you’re not 47, cos you’d be dead.’ He said, ‘Look kid, you wanna just calm down.’ So I’ve been trying to get a bit more sleep and eat a bit since.”
Does the band have its own doctor ?
“Band fookin’ psychiatrist, more like. I’ve been to this rock’n’roll doctor in Harley Street – last time I was in there, haha, it was hardly rock’n’roll. Jason Donovan was in there and Craig MacLachlan from ‘Grease’. The three of us. Veryrock’n’roll. I have a lot of trouble with me ears – I play so loud, me ears are shot to bits.”
Have you learned anything from them though, the doctors ?
“I only ever had one problem with drugs and that was why I gave up smoking pot. I developed really low blood pressure – every time I had a fookin’ spliff I used to fookin’ faint. When you have a draw, it lowers your heartbeat and it can’t pump the blood round the body so fast, so I used to get a bit dizzy and have trouble breathing. I used to smoke fookin’ loads of it all the time. The doctor said: ‘Basically, you’re all right with anything that gets you going. You’re cool. Because you need that !’ (Laughs). I love my doctor.”
What about cocaine ?
“I used to do a coupla days and then kick it in the head. On the last American tour, I had to take the rest of the band aside and tell ‘em to get rid of it and stop, cos they don’t know when to stop. Or rather they did – when they ran out. Everyone’s chilled out now. It used to go on for days and days – we used to plough through loads of it.”
Not that you’d actually know, but, hypothetically, how would you get sorted if you were playing, say, Nowheresville, Missouri ?
“Well, I imagine you get to the gig and you go to the promoter and say to him: ‘It would be in your best interests for you to sort out some exotic substances for the lads, because if you don’t they’re gonna be in a pretty bad mood and the gig might not be all it could be.”
You wouldn’t expect the record company to sort it out ?
“We don’t even speak to them. The less we have to depend on the record company in America, the better for us. It always comes back to you in the end. So we never asked for anything off the record company.”
Do you do any of all this “meet and greet” nonsense they go in for in America ?
“All that ‘Maybe I’ll come back later and introduce you to my wife !’ It’s just like, ‘What the fookin’ ‘ell do I wanna meet yer wife for ? !’ They don’t even get offended. I never said I’m gonna change this, I’m gonna change that. But what I said, and I meant it – as a roadie, I’ve seen how it all works – and I fervently and fookin’ 100 per cent believe that you don’t have to do ‘meet and greets’. I don’t give a shit about that. To me, bands come over here and because the band that came over before did it, then it’s expected of them to do it. I just got to the point where I said, ‘I ain’t doing it. My band ain’t doing it.’ I don’t give a fook about meeting a guy from Tower Records for this territory or that territory, in Bogarse or somewhere, that’s sold two copies of our CD and will display it or put it on heavy rotation or whatever. I always say to ‘em, ‘Are you seriously saying that if I don’t go and pat his arse, you’re not gonna do your job, because if you’re saying you’re not gonna do your job, then I’ll have you for breach of contract, you fooker, and make no mistake about that.’ Then they go, ‘The kid’s got a point there.’ We owe it to the next generation of bands who come here – someone will say to them, ‘Well, Oasis never done it, so you don’t have to do it.’”
You do name-checks, and radio interviews and stuff though.
“They say to me and Our Kid (does LA accent) ‘We’re gonna open the show with you and Liam having a mock fight.’ We say ‘Well, why don’t we just fight with you ?’ and they go, ‘Great idea guys ! After five, you pretend that you two are beating the shit out of ME !’ And I’ll go, ‘No, we’re serious. If you want us to beat the fook out of you, we will. We’ll fookin’ break your nose.’ On Canada’s equivalent of MTV, this woman says, ‘When the show starts, can you have me in a headlock ?’ And I was going, ‘No.’ And she said, ‘It’ll be a laugh.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m not in it for a fookin’ laugh, you know what I mean ?’ It’s like, these people, they think Sonic Youth are punk. Er, no way. I don’t think so. Green Day are just a modern-day version of The Dickies.”
What do you think you’ll end up being or doing ?
“I don’t know. I wanna realise the band’s potential. I wouldn’t want to call it a day when we could’ve actually done more but didn’t do it. You’ve gotta fulfill your potential. Have a go. Pulp said to me: ‘Only twats play stadiums.’ But, you know…”
Can you keep the quality up ?
“The Smiths and The Jam didn’t split up early. The Smiths did five albums, high quality, same line-up. That’s impressive. Their timing was good in terms of quitting.”
Can you last five albums, though ?
“I always said it would be three. Like The Jam, they never waited around long enough to be shit. I’d say realistically it’ll be five. I’d rather it was three.”
Then what would you do ?
“I’d never be a session musician, nah. There’s loads of songs that I can’t sing and our Liam can’t sing – not in our vocal range. Keep writing songs for Rod Stewart or someone. Maybe start a label, be a producer, or start a band that I write the songs for but I’m not in ! Also, I reckon the time is right for the first post-Seventies supergroup.”
Who with ?
“Me, Johnny (Marr), Weller – one album and a tour would be a blast. Asia was the last one, someone shite. Paul Weller singing and playing keyboards, me playing rhythm guitar, Johnny on lead guitar. Drums and bass ? Reni from the Roses on drums. I’d like a big band – like Sly & The Family Stone, a 15-piece band.”
You could get Jean-Jacques Burnel on bass…
“Fook off.”
I still think “Some Might Say” is the best thing you’ve ever done, the most raucous and threatening. Where’d that come from ?
“We were recording ‘Whatever’. I was living in Chiswick at the time, and the rest of the band was living at The Columbia. We finished at Maison Rouge one night and had to be there at 11 the next morning. They all go back and get completely shitfaced, get barred from the hotel, and stay up all night. I get to the studio at 11 on the dot. No one turns up until eight at fookin’ night. By two, I was bored shitless, so I just sat down and wrote that song.”
So it is creative, all the debauchery. Have you written any others like that ?
“’Talk Tonight’ was the same, except we were in Texas – we were recording the B-sides for ‘Whatever’. Me and Owen got to the studio on time – at one o’clock. The rest got there at four. We’d recorded it before they got there.”
What about “Acquiesce” ?
“It was written on the way to the sessions for ‘Some Might Say’. I needed one more. I had the first riff. On the train, there I was panicking a bit, and the train stops in the Severn tunnel – we were in there for fookin’ two and a half hours. I had my acoustic guitar. By the time I got there, it was written. There was only one woman in the compartment. She said (snooty voice) ‘What are you doing ?’ I went, ‘I’m writing a song actually.’ ‘Gosh !’ she says. ‘Are you in a pop group ?’ ‘Yeah, I’m in Oasis, actually.’ She goes, ‘I suppose my daughter’s probably heard of you.’ I thought, ‘Yeah, I’ve probably shagged her.’ All of them songs were written out of boredom, really.”
You don’t like writing lyrics, do you ?
“The lyrics – in an ideal world I wouldn’t write them, I can’t stand it. It’s the one thing that pisses me off.”
Are there any lyrics about Liam ?
“Yeah, ‘Too big for your boots’, haha. ‘Take Me Away’ – he was doing my head in. ‘You could be me, and pretty soon you will be.”
What about “Cos we need each other/We believe in one another” from “Acquiesce” ?
“Well Liam would think that was. He grasped this concept that it was me and him singing to each other. I was like, ‘You cheesy bastard, it’s about me girlfriend. I don’t need you, you daft cunt !”
What can you tell me about Liam ?
“Big Mouth. Big Mouth Strikes Again. He’s just a bit stupid half the time. Like one night, he was threatening to leave the band cos nobody would go out. I don’t like going out. I’m not a going out type of person. There’s nothing to do, especially in America. You either go to some bar full of stage-divers who’ll just be in your face all night or another bar full of old people, which is even less fun. He makes me laugh.”
What did you say when he threatened to leave ?
“I said (resigned voice – like someone’s mum): ‘All right, then. If it means that much to you… you can leave the band.’ And he knows that if anybody had turned up with a big bag of drugs, we’d have all gone out.”
How’s he changed in the last year ?
“He’s just got more stupid. His statements have become more outrageous – he outdoes himself each time. I’ll be sitting there during one of his rants, thinking, ‘Well, I’ve seen it all now and if I don’t throttle the bastard now, I never will.’ And the next day, he’s surpassed himself again. I say to him, ‘What is it you’re trying to say ?’ He can’t express himself the way he means, and he’ll just say ‘Fookin’ meat and potato pies mate.’”
What was he like at school ?
“I was leaving when he was joining. He was just a child then really, a young kid – he was quite normal. Now he’s definitely mad, he’s mental. He’s not mad like Mark E. Smith from The Fall. That fooker’s mad. Mad. He’s madder than mad. He’s just mad. Here’s a funny story, actually. Mark E. Smith, right. I’m ranting away about fookin’ Scousers and how they never shut their mouths, they just talk incessantly for hours. On and on. And he’s not saying anything. Then he looks at me and goes: ‘The wife’s a Scouser.’ So, I thought, well I could either apologise and look like a cunt, or stick to me guns. So I said, ‘I bet she never shuts up.’ And he went, ‘You can’t get a fookin’ word in edgeways.’
What about the whole star thing, what do you think it’s doing to him ?
“It’s making him more mad. It’s the same for us all really – maybe not the other three so much.”
He’s the front man, so he gets more attention.
“He gets a lot of girls after him. I get all the spotty students who try and dissect the lyrics. I’m a lot older than him. I don’t know what goes on inside his head.”
He seems to think everyone’s looking at him. I guess they are.
“Yeah, but he’s the one going on in the press saying he was a star the day he was born. He’s the one saying Kurt Cobain blew his head off because he was a sad cunt who couldn’t handle the fame. If it fucks his head up, then he’s no different from Kurt Cobain, is he ? So he shouldn’t make statements like that.”
He’s a bit like your Frankenstein’s monster though, isn’t he ?
“(Grinning) Yeah !”
What would it do to him if tomorrow you just said, “That’s it, I’ve done it. I’m going to write songs for other people, be a producer, open a trout farm’ ?
“Oh, he’d be devastated. The only reason I don’t, the only reason I keep it on, is that me mam would bollock me. Cos he can’t do anything else. I only keep the band going for me mam’s sake ! So he can pay me mam the rent.”
It seems being on the road for Liam has become normal life. But it’s not. You can do whatever you like on the road – especially you lot.
“It isn’t normal. He understands that. But he’s out all the time and he can’t take a joke. I get it in London all the time. You just don’t go to places that play Oasis records. Him, he does. It’s all right when all the girls come up to you, but there’s always one idiot who comes over and says, ‘I think your band’s shit.’ Me, I’ll just say, ‘I’m arsed.’ They’ll say to me, ‘You’re a cocky cunt, too.’ And I’m like getting a £ 50 note out and saying, ‘Suppose you won’t be wanting a drink then, will yer ?’ Liam’ll take it personal.”
He’s a bit like a lamb to the slaughter.
“He’ll live.”
What’s he gonna do then ?
“I don’t fookin’ know. To be quite honest, I couldn’t give a fook.”
Have you got any other ideas ?
“Yeah, I’m gonna write a book soon. It’s the chronicles of Oasis. And I’ve got a top title for it, man. It’s gonna be called: ‘Sad But True: The Rise And Fall Of Oasis.”
If there was a “meet and greet” tonight, would you go ?
“Don’t be stupid. Me and Our Kid went to one, the last one I ever went to. We walked into the room and they all stood up and applauded. I was like ‘Fuck off’. This guy stands up and says, ‘I’d like to thank LELAND and NORTON for coming.’ I looked at this bloke and said, ‘You callin’ me a motorbike, yer cunt !’ And he’s looking at me saying ‘What ?’ And Our Kid’s saying, ‘Yeah. You calling Our Kid a motorbike ?’ As far as I’m concerned, if they can’t be bothered to get me fookin’ name right it’s Goodnight from Liam and Noel. They always tell you what a great job they’ve done for you and how you should be proud of the whole team. I say, ‘Hang on a minute, I wrote the fookin’ songs, mate. So I ain’t being proud of no cunt. Except me and my band. I’m certainly not proud of you.’ Or they say, ‘I really want you guys to know I’m doing a great job for your band.’ Fine, what the fook do I pay you for ? ! You’re paid to do a great job you fookin’ idiot.”
And what’s their response ?
“’You British ! And your sense of humour, it’s so John Cleese !’”
So that was your last “meet and greet” ?
“There was one more after that – in the middle of fookin’ nowhere. The record company had put on this dinner. We had nowhere to go and eat, so I thought, ‘Fook it, go to this thing for a meal.’ I walk into this big room, a bit after everyone else is there. They knew the rest of the band was coming, but didn’t think I was, so they were all ‘Thanks so much.’ I said, ‘I’m here to fookin’ eat. I ain’t saying nothing to nobody.’ At the end of dinner, this bloke gave a speech and said, ‘Thanks to the band. Nobody speak to Noel.’ And they all started clapping.”
Out of interest, do you have a separate manager for America ?
“No. It’s like every band in England has got an English manager for England and an American manager for America. Except us. We were like, ‘WHY ? ! We’ve got a manager. Why pay someone else 20 per cent ?’ We don’t even have a contract with him, we just shook hands with him and that was it. That handshake meant more than a piece of paper.”
What if he left with half the money ?
“I’d sue him.”
Yeah, but there’s no contract to break.
“Well, I’d burn his house down. And he knows I would. I might not get the money, but neither would he.”