Noel Gallagher tells Radio 1's Colin Murray that it was easier writing Dig Out Your Soul than 2005's Don't Believe The Truth, admits he can't remember the recording of second album (What's the Story) Morning Glory? and says he'd like the four members of Oasis to record their own material.
Colin Murray suggests Noel Gallagher has "the worst handshake in rock 'n' roll"
Is Dig Out Your Soul better then Don't Believe The Truth?
Yeah, I think so. Don't Believe The Truth is a great collection of songs but it doesn't really hang together as an album. This is more like an album in the sense that Pink Floyd made albums. It probably won't have as many big singles on it as Don't Believe The Truth but that's not a bad thing.
Does it feel like a second album because Don't Believe The Truth was a bit of a rebirth critically?
It feels like a first one, because we're on our own record label now. Not that we ever got any interference from Sony but it's quite liberating to think, 'This is for us now'. We've fulfilled our commitment to them and we've left them to do their own thing and vice-versa.
I'm not saying you'd like to release a solo record, but have you got any tracks that you've recorded that you set aside or didn't get recorded?
I don't specifically put songs aside. There are songs that have just fallen by the wayside that are still great but have missed their moment. Like Stop The Clocks for instance. That needs to come out soon. At the end of this tour, I'd like everyone to do something separately. I think it would be interesting for our fans.
At the end of this tour, I'd like everyone to do something separately
Noel Gallagher on the possibility of Oasis doing solo records
But I also think because we've ended up with this album at a place where we were working to for the last five years. It's kind of like, 'What do we do next?'. Liam's always the first person to start rushing things. I think if he wants to get back in the saddle that quick, he should do it for himself. He's got tonnes and tonnes of songs.
Is making records getting easier with age and perceived wisdom?
For a while. From Be Here Now to Don't Believe The Truth it was getting progressively more difficult. But this one was a bit of a breeze. We were working in London. We were going home every night. Our producer had this idea to make this kind of psychedelic, monotonous drone-rock album. We went along with it. It was just what we needed at our age, for somebody to say, 'Why don't you go away and wrote some songs like this'. We were like, 'OK'. Whereas usually we'd be flicking through CDs going, 'What about that one? We could do something with that one'. The previous one, Don't Believe The Truth, was a nightmare, an absolute nightmare.
Are you saying you needed somebody to say no?
No. It's nothing to do with that. I would assume control of most things. Halfway through Don't Believe The Truth I realised that I can only do one thing with Oasis, that's make it sound like it's sounded for 10 years. Once I finally got it in my head that I was going to let it go and let someone else do it, it was very liberating for me in a way.
The best Oasis songs have always been the ones that were quick to write. What were the 10 minute jobs on Dig Out Your Soul?
Shock Of The Lightening and Falling Down. We had a weekend off and my missus went up to Scotland with my little lad. I wrote the pair of them, one on a Saturday night and one on a Sunday night. The Importance Of Being Idle was pretty quick as well actually. Saying that though, I remember Rock 'n' Roll Star taking forever to write. Nine times out of 10 a quick song will be great and one that takes a week or two will be rubbish.
You said you were a fan who writes songs. Critics say you've plagiarised other people's music. As a songwriter is there a line you have to draw?
I'll lay it down on the line for you. What I actually do is I sit and listen to Beatles' records and I play along with them and then I gradually take the most obvious components of their songs, take them out and just put some of my own words in and hey presto, we've got a song. Of course not. I don't sit and listen, play along with them them and go, if I'm listening to This Guy's In Love With You by Burt Bacharach, call it The Sky's In Love With You. Who would know?
Oasis tour the UK from 4 June next year starting in Manchester
Have you started sleepwalking?
I woke up one morning on a different floor of my house than the one I went to bed in. I wasn't drunk and I hadn't been out the night before. I can't remember getting there. Sarah came down and she said, 'Maybe you've started sleepwalking'. I was like, 'If I started sleepwalking at 41, life just keeps getting better and better. This is incredible'. Where would you end up? You could end up anywhere. I haven't done it since though.
There was a great story when you signed to Creation that you told them you had 50 songs written but you only had six. Did you have all those songs?
When we signed at the Sony offices we were saying, 'We could complete this six-album deal in three weeks'. And they were going, 'How many songs have you got'. And we started writing down all these songs and it got to about 11 and we stopped and we just started making up stupid titles.
Are there a lot of things you can't remember?
'94 to '98. None of us have any recollection of recording Morning Glory. I don't remember any of it. When we were coming up here Don't Look Back In Anger was on the radio. It only took 12 days to record so they're basically a bunch of demos. There was a massive fight in the middle of that so we had to abandon the studio for a few days. None of us had any cameras, no-one had any mobile phones, it hasn't been documented and there are no different versions.
Noel Gallagher was talking to Radio 1's Colin Murray.