Liam Gallagher says he's not really worried about whether or not faithful fans of Oasis will follow the singer's latest venture, Beady Eye.
The new band features three of the four members of Oasis, excluding just Noel Gallagher, the U.K. quartet's guitarist and principal songwriter. He quit Oasis amid another public slanging match with his brother in 2009.
But the reliably outspoken Liam Gallagher says he's not concerned with whether Oasis devotees welcome his new outfit with open arms or not.
"I'll tell you what mate, they've got no ... choice in the matter 'cause we're doing it," Gallagher said in a telephone interview, punctuating the sentence with a choice profanity.
"We hope people get onboard and enjoy it as much as we do, and we understand if it's not their cup of tea at all ... but we're going to do it regardless, whether they like it or not, know what I mean?"
And yet, it's unlikely Oasis fans will take issue with Beady Eye's debut disc, "Different Gear, Still Speeding," since it picks up almost exactly where Oasis left off.
All the typical Oasis hallmarks are here: stadium-sized riffs drenched in reverb, passages that could have been plagiarized from '60s Britpop (one tune is even called "Beatles and Stones"), and throwaway lyrics that are meant to be chanted, not analyzed.
The record does sound more sure-handed and fleet-footed than some of Oasis's bloated later work. First single "The Roller" ambles along winningly on a simple melody, shimmying rocker "Standing on the Edge of the Noise" is a throwback to in-their-prime Oasis, and "Four Letter Word" opens the album with an invigorating blast of stadium bombast.
In other words, little of "Different Gear" could be considered a departure for these guys.
"It's not like we sat long and hard about trying to get a new sound or anything," Gallagher said.
"That's what's in us, and that's what was in us 10 years ago. This is the kind of (stuff) we like, you know what I mean?
"We haven't had a makeover, where we go, 'Right, now let's go and try to sound like Jerry Lee Lewis.'
"We're just glad to be making music again, man — this is what we like to do.... We like to perform, not making music again was horrific."
There were other reasons the past few years might have felt so "horrific."
In 2009, Noel Gallagher quit the band suddenly following the cancellation of a couple of important gigs and another high-profile fight between the brawling brothers.
At the time, Gallagher released a statement announcing the split saying that he was sick of the "verbal and violent intimidation towards me, my family, friends and comrades." He also felt that he didn't receive enough support from his bandmates.
On this day, however, Beady Eye guitarist Andy Bell (who played bass with Oasis) did have Noel Gallagher's back when asked about his former bandmate.
"I have absolutely no problem with Noel — he's cool," Bell said. "I hope he likes (the album). I haven't spoke to him, but I hope he likes it. I'm sure he will. It's good."
While Liam Gallagher kept quiet then, he couldn't resist taking a shot at his brother a little later in the interview.
Bell mentioned that the band's last visit to Toronto was "horrific," referring to their 2008 gig at the Virgin Festival, when a man jumped onstage and attacked Noel Gallagher during their performance.
Daniel Sullivan pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm and was sentenced to 12 months house arrest. Gallagher, in a statement read aloud in court, described the impact of the hit as akin to being "hit by a bus."
But during this interview, Liam Gallagher snorted when the incident was referred to as an "assault."
"It's a big word, 'assault,'" Gallagher said. "I think (Noel) milked it a bit."
Liam Gallagher has already gone on record declaring that Oasis won't reunite. Similarly, he has no interest in performing his old band's tunes during Beady Eye's upcoming tours.
"Going and nicking about and playing Oasis songs is just ridiculous," Gallagher said. "(Our) set is absolutely storming. We're just going to do what we do, that feels natural.
"I'm very happy with what we've got, man, and I think we can give people a really good time."
Many of the early reviews have been positive, though some of the critics have actually seemed a little surprised that they like Beady Eye. One BBC critic wrote, "It's actually quite staggering that Beady Eye's debut album is anything less than abysmal."
That skepticism is largely the result of two factors.
First, the last Oasis album to generate much critical goodwill was 1997's "Be Here Now," and even that record was coolly received in many corners.
And secondly, the low expectations for Beady Eye could also have something to do with the fact that Noel Gallagher was always credited as Oasis's mastermind, the one who penned nearly all of the band's biggest hits on his own.
But Bell says such thinking does a disservice to the rest of the group's members.
"I never felt underrated ... (but) it is kind of surprising when people assume that you'd just be useless," he said.
"Say, for example, I was a Stone Roses fan, and three of the Stone Roses started a new band — I'd probably think I'd expect to like that band."
Whether fans warm to the new group or not, Bell and Gallagher say Beady Eye is here to stay.
They're clear that this isn't a side project, nor a temporary arrangement meant to kill time before the Gallagher brothers finally announce a truce.
"We're extremely happy with the album, we made it the way we wanted to make it, we knew that it would probably get slated in some quarters, and hopefully praised in other quarters," Bell said.
"Really, we're a little bit older, so it's not all about the impact of it right now — it's 20 years down the line. We wanted to make a timeless album."
Added Gallagher: "We can't wait to get on the stage, with a load of people, and do what we've been doing in the rehearsal room but better, and just see what the reaction is. We want to make people smile, man, and make people jump up and down and have a good time."
And after that?
"We want to make great music all the time," Gallagher said.
"So yeah, we'll tour this album, come back ... and then back in the studio."
Visit my newly launched Beady Eye fan site www.standingontheedgeofthenoise.com by clicking here.
24 February 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011 stopcryingyourheartout.com 1 comment