Music

Noel Gallagher: Oasis wouldn’t be anything if Liam hadn’t asked me to join

In the '90s Oasis were on top of the world – but Noel Gallagher says he "never knew what mood" his brother Liam would turn up in.

Oasis in 1994: (l-r) Tony McCarroll, Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs, Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Paul ‘Guigsy’ McGuigan.

1994: (l-r) Oasis: Tony McCarroll, Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs, Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Paul ‘Guigsy’ McGuigan. Image: Michel Linssen/Redferns)

At the summit of their powers, Oasis were unquestionably the biggest band in Britain. From the moment Definitely Maybe became the fastest-selling debut album in British history, they were unstoppable. With 70 million albums sold worldwide, their pomp peaked when they played to a quarter of a million people at Knebworth. And at the heart of it all – driving thousands of column inches in the tabloids and the music press – there was always the warring Gallagher brothers, Noel and Liam.

The rivalry may have been a boon for scandal lovers, but in an exclusive new cover interview with The Big Issue by Jane Graham – out today – Noel Gallagher has revealed the toll it took on him.

“You never knew what mood Liam was going to turn up in and I found the whole thing really fucking stressful,” he recalled. “My overriding feeling was this is just so fucking unnecessary. This is the dream that we’ve all lived for, and you’re still moaning about some shit that went on 18 hours ago. It’s just nonsense.”

Gallagher blamed his brother’s behaviour on “insecurity and fear on his behalf”.

“Singers are the kings of blaming shit on everybody else,” he continued. “I was writing the songs, so I was directing it. I knew what I was doing. I often wondered what it would feel like if I was in a band and I had no control over the direction of it because the guy who wrote all the songs was so fucking good. There would be no point in getting involved. So no wonder he went off the rails. But you can balance that by saying, well, Oasis wouldn’t be fucking anything if they hadn’t asked me to join them.”

Noel’s comments came as Liam Gallagher announced plans to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their seminal debut album, by playing Definitely Maybe in full next year in a tour of “biblical venues”.

Earlier in the year there had been rumours that the eagerly-awaited Oasis reunion may be coming. But maybe not yet. Liam’s announcement delighted fans, as rumours swirled that he’d bring back the classic Oasis line-up – all of them except his older brother that is.

But as he releases his new album, Council Skies, with High Flying Birds, Noel said he was not looking back in anger. “I’m certainly not getting nostalgic for the past, no way,” he said. “Things are fucking great in the present. Man City are great, my life is great. I’m happy and healthy. I’m about to go on tour around the world. It’s happening now for me.”

Noel Gallagher on the cover of The Big Issue

Read Noel Gallagher’s Letter To My Younger Self exclusively in The Big Issue, on sale until May 21.

Sign up to the Big Issue newsletter to read some behind-the-scenes details from Noel Gallagher’s interview and don’t forget to find your local Big Issue seller so you can get a copy of the magazine. If you don’t have a local seller, you can buy the edition at the Big Issue Shop or take out a subscription to make sure you never miss an edition.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ new album Council Skies is released on June 2 via Sour Mash Records. UK headline tour dates are on sale at noelgallagher. com/live

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