We've brought you some of Noel Gallagher's pearls of wisdom over the last few days, and today concludes our interview with the comic genius-cum-musician.
Read on for his thoughts on Morrissey and Johnny Marr, his kids following in his footsteps and more.
'Chasing Yesterday' is released today.
You've spoken before of how new song 'Riverman' was inspired by a night out with Russell Brand and Morrissey in LA. Do you see Morrissey much?
No, no. He's come to my shows and stuff like that, and I've met him at awards ceremonies and I'm on speaking terms with him. He's a good friend of Russell's, and Russell will show me the emails he sends to him – and I swear to god, these emails between the two of them are artistic. They're fucking so funny. I've not got his number or anything, but he's great. One of the last times I saw him, I happened to be in the bar at Claridge's and he was sat in there. My wife was in another part of the hotel, and she fucking loves him. I said to him, 'Can I go and bring my wife? She'd love to meet you!' and he goes [Morrissey impression] 'Hmm. Is she nice?' I said 'What? Yeah, she's gorgeous!' and he said 'Hmm. Go on then.' (laughs) He's a fucking brilliant man, I love him to bits.
Have you read his autobiography?
Yeah. It's great. It's better than great. As he refers to [Rough Trade label boss] Geoff Travis, standing in his dressing room in the corner 'like an untouched sandwich at a buffet' – I think there might be a little teardrop on the page from me laughing so much. He's fucking great, though. He's one of the greats. I was listening to The Smiths this morning, actually. And Johnny as well, the pair of them.
Which brings us nicely to Johnny Marr's guitar-playing on the album track, 'Ballad of the Mighty I'.
He was supposed to play on 'What a Life' on the last record, but I ended up playing it. I called him, and he was actually at the Oscars when I called him. I said 'Alright Johnny, I'm doing this fucking thing', and he said 'I can't talk, I'm at the Oscars'. 'Fuckin' hell, what are you up for?!' (laughs). He'd just done some soundtrack and he was up for one with Hans Zimmer. So this time, I was doing the track and there were specific bits that he plays on.
Producers used to always say this to me, making Oasis records – 'We kind of need a Johnny Marr thing there; can you play a Johnny Marr thing?'. I'd be like, 'Can I play a Johnny Marr thing? I can fucking get Johnny Marr, but I can't play like him – are you fucking insane? He's one of the greatest guitarists ever.' So this time, there were these gaps and luckily enough I've got his phone number. I speak to him quite regularly, and I sent him this track. It just so happened that there was a week spare that we did it, and it was fucking great.
He was there for six hours and we can both talk the back legs off a donkey, so it was amazing anything got done. As Johnny left the studio, my engineer slumped in the chair and went 'Fucking hell.' I went, 'What?' and he said 'I'm just exhausted listening to you two for six hours! Talk about fucking…. , guitars, football and Manchester and fuckin'…'. I was like 'Really? Were we talking a lot?'. He said 'Fucking neverending. I'm amazed anything got done!'. (laughs) He's a dude, man. He's fucking great. Top man.
It's a great song.
Thanks. When I wrote it, I said to Johnny 'Let me send you a demo' and he said 'No no, let me just react to it on the day.' When we got to the studio, he said 'Fuckin' hell, it's so awkward!' and I went 'I know'. (laughs) Currently, that song sounds fucking appalling in rehearsal. It's all played live in the studio by white guys, but it doesn't sound like it – but when we're in rehearsals, it sounds like a load of white guys trying to play disco music. It's not the best at the minute. But if we can pull off 'What a Life', we can do anything.
You've spoken before of adapting an old school approach to releasing albums – going down the digital/surprise route was never an option?
I like albums. I want there to be a cover, I want there to be a CD with a cover that is the artistic representation of the music. I want the words to be inside that. I want to keep that going. I put 7-inches and singles out. If other people wanna [do things differently], that's up to them but to me, I can't function like that. I'm looking forward to the release date and then the week after, and the week after that. That's what was so fantastic about the last record; it blew up on the road.
I'm not gonna give music away. I'm not gonna say to people 'Pay what you want'. Fuck off, d'you know what I mean? That's a nonsense. This is what you're gonna pay for it, the end. If you don't wanna pay for, don't fucking buy it. If you can't be arsed paying 99p for one of my songs, then I don't want you to have it. Because quite frankly, 99p is a piss-take. It should be a pound. Round it up to a pound, fucking hell! Never mind £9.96 for an album, gis a tenner! Know what I mean? Gotta put the kids through school. So I don't know, I'm not into that. I'm after putting my balls on the line and saying 'This is what it is'. You can find out how many records I've sold this time next year; there'll be no mystery behind it. There'll be no, like, 'Well, 4.8 million people might have paid for it.' 78 million people getting an album is irrelevant to me. If 78 people fall in love with it, bought it, took it home and think it's their favourite album, give me that any day.
What do you make of the music industry in general these days?
I don't care about modernism in the music business. It's ruined it. The charts are embarrassing now. My mum, who as you're aware is from Mayo and in her mid-to-late seventies, we were watching Top of the Pops on Christmas Day. We're sat down, and she's sitting there, and she says 'Is this the music that's in the charts now? They all sound the same!'. And I'm like, 'I know.' If my mam from County Mayo can fucking get her head 'round it, why can't the powers-that-be? The thing is now that the industry requires a certain kind of thing, and people are only too willing to fill out those requirements.
Your kids are starting to grow up – how does it feel to be the father of a teenager?
Anais is smashing it. She's actually living with me at the minute. She takes up too much room on the couch, she spends all day on her fucking phone, and all night on it when she's not at school. She eats us out of house and home. She does laugh at all my jokes, though. But she's great, yeah, she's cool as fuck. She's loving life, working for the BBC and doing her modelling thing and all that. What can I say? More power to her.
Are any of them showing any musical inclinations?
Not really, not really. I can't see that fucking lightning striking twice in the same family. Cannot see it. You think about great musicians, their offsprings never really do it, do they? I've got instruments lying around the house, so if the boys ever want to pick up, they will. Every time I pick up a guitar, they tell me to put it down. I don't know what kind of review that is. (laughs) In the car, taking them to school, they'll say 'Dad, got any new songs?', I'll play 'em one, get to the end and say 'Eh? Good that, innit? Wanna hear it again?' and they'll go 'No.' (laughs) It goes as far as that.