"The first two times I met Liam and Noel separately, I was absolutely s—ing myself," says superfan and filmmaker.
It’s a stern warning that has been repeated many times throughout history: You should never meet your heroes.
But that is exactly what documentary filmmaker Mat Whitecross did when he set out to make a movie about music superstars Oasis.
“I had the posters on the wall, I had the albums, the singles, I was reading about them every week in all the music magazines — so it was kind of nerve-wracking,” recalled the director of Oasis: Supersonic ahead of the music doc’s theatrical release.
“I was expecting it to be a disaster.”
Whitecross had good reason for concern. Not only did Oasis rise to become Britain’s biggest band in the ’90s with hits like Wonderwall, but the Manchester act’s two leads — Liam and Noel Gallagher — became notorious for sibling squabbles and fights, erratic behaviour and caustic outspoken statements.
These guys weren’t exactly ambassadors of affability.
“That’s part of the reason we made the film,” insisted Whitecross of the impetus to profile the estranged Gallaghers.
“You’ve got the two brothers and that love-hate relationship; that volatile thing that played out so publicly is fascinating. Bands now don’t have anywhere near the kind of danger around them.”
Buoyed by archive footage and intimate tales of scandalous road stories, Oasis: Supersonic has been gaining acclaim for its inspection of both the discord and devotion between the brothers that once brazenly called themselves the next Beatles.
Yet, even seven years after their final performance, Whitecross still isn’t able to get the siblings together in a room to talk about the storied career that earned them a place in the Guinness Book of Records for most consecutive Top Ten singles.
“Liam will talk very affectionately about Noel and Noel similarly about Liam.
“Then five minutes later, they slag each other off,” laughed the 39-year-old filmmaker who has directed music videos for the likes of Jay-Z and Coldplay.
“I used to joke these are like therapy sessions. For Liam, definitely — it was like the therapy he never had, but they both seemed to enjoy the process of going back in a huge amount of detail over the past.”