Noel Gallagher believes today’s rock bands are so dull that he would “rather drink petrol” than listen to an interview with Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner.
The 47-year-old singer claimed there are no real characters left in music because of the power held by the big record labels.
In an exclusive interview with the Standard, the former Oasis guitarist said: “There is a lot of shit pop music these days that’s just devouring everything at the minute. I’m hoping that will come to an end.
“There doesn’t seem to be any characters any more. When you have proper characters, the music sort of becomes secondary — it looks after itself. Look at bands like The Smiths and The Jam — all great characters.
“I would rather drink petrol straight from the nozzle at a garage than listen to an interview with Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys. Wouldn’t you? Alternative thinking is on its way out. They just don’t make for great copy.
“Is it any coincidence that all the indie labels got bought up by the major labels and things have started to get boring?” Gallagher spoke as he was announced as the first headliner for this year’s Calling Festival, on Clapham Common on July 4.
He believes the dullness has spilled into the Brit Awards, adding: “I remember the Brits in 1994 — we were all shit-faced on drugs. The new names like James Blunt, Ed Sheeran and Jessie J — they defer to the [record] labels. The bands that I grew up with had a healthy dose of indifference and contempt towards their labels. That has gone.” Gallagher may be a famous Mancunian, but insists he will never leave London, where he has lived for more than 20 years: “I can’t see myself ever leaving. It is the greatest city in the world. It is the capital of Europe. I’ve been to them all, but there’s something quite special about London in the summertime — the social life, the culture, the nightlife.
“I’d never go into politics, but if I was mayor I’d have to sort out the transport system. I can’t drive and I can’t be arsed sitting in traffic jams in a taxi, so I get the Tube everywhere.
“But when you go around the world, most cities have got state-of-the-art underground and subway systems — we are bumbling around on a post-war system that’s falling apart. I think the people deserve better.”
Gallagher, who lives in Little Venice with wife Sara MacDonald and their sons Donovan, seven, and Sonny, four, says he has no problems adjusting from being a rock musician to being a father: “I’m not a boring dad — I’m a rock star! But you have to adjust.
“My two young boys are not remotely interested in what I do. I could have just come off the stage at the Hollywood Bowl, and they’ll just give me a light sabre and say, ‘Right dad, we’re having it in the back garden now!’”
The singer is due to release his second solo album, Chasing Yesterday, next month and is playing at The Dome in Tufnell Park tonight. Tickets for Calling Festival go on sale on Friday at 9am.
Check out the current collection and offers from Pretty Green here.