He may be a devoted dad, but Liam Gallagher is still berating everything in sight, including his “Louis Walsh”-esque brother. Jimi Famurewa ducks for cover
With a frightening snarl on his lips and his hand an inch from our face, Liam Gallagher is looming aggressively over ShortList. Don’t worry: things haven’t taken a turn for the worse after we criticised Songbird or revealed a pair of novelty Manchester United socks. The former Oasis frontman is merely re-enacting what it’s like to be confronted by a pushy paparazzo.
Rude snappers aren’t the only ones to feel his expletive-laden ire during our frenzied 30-minute interview at a west London hotel. Unbowed by Beady Eye’s modest record sales and celebrity detractors, the younger Gallagher brother still has plenty to get off his parka-clad chest. And he’s doing it in his usual delicate manner…
It’s been a year since you formed Beady Eye. How do you think it’s gone?
The first six gigs [we did] were a bit nervous but the pressure’s off now. We’re sh*t-hot live and we’ve been working on some new stuff. The next album will have bigger and better songs on it. This album was definitely a debut because there are certain songs that are just up and at you. But the next one is going to be mega — we’re not here to mess about.
Have you had to eject people yelling for Oasis songs at gigs?
I haven’t heard them, but they can do what they want. It ain’t going to happen. And that’s not because we don’t love Oasis, but because it’s over and we’ve got to move on. I think that 90 per cent of people want to move on too. Oasis had its f*cking time. People can go, “They were sh*t after the second album,” but I think we made some good [later] albums. We ended when we ended but up until that point we put out some good tunes, we were real and we didn’t take any sh*t. You need a band like that, so hopefully Beady Eye will carry that on.
Do you rate nu-folk bands such as Mumford & Sons?
I’m sure they’re all nice lads but that’s not for me, man. They look like f*cking Amish people. You know them ones with the big sideys that don’t use electricity? Growing their own food and putting barns up. I need music to be a bit more sexy and played by people who look a bit f*cking dangerous.
Brother are being compared to Oasis quite a bit...
I’ve heard a couple of tunes and it reminds me of Blur and Elastica. That to me is Britpop. Oasis weren’t that. Brother sound like they’re a bit more Camden than anything else. It’s not my cup of tea. I said, “I’m not having posh lads with tattoos,” but at least they’re playing guitar music. I was just seeing what they were made of, really.
So did they come back at you?
Yeah, they came back and said, “We don’t care what he says, we want to know what Noel says.” I wouldn’t give a f*ck what he’s got to say. Our kid looks more like Louis Walsh these days.
You’ve also recently been critical of Glastonbury. Are you not interested in playing it again?
I’m not, mate. Listen, I don’t wake up in the morning and go, “Here you are, the world according to Liam Gallagher.” Someone asked me about Glastonbury so I told them that last time I played there it was sh*t. You can hear the crowd talking while you’re playing, they don’t put any money into the PA and it’s just full of f*cking idiots. It’s like Bond Street with mud.
Were you disappointed with the low chart position of Beady Eye’s singles?
I’m not even worried. I’m certainly not arsed whether we go in at No1 or No71. I’ve been No1. If I was in a young band now then I’d be worried about it, but I’ve been there and had a look over the wall at what it is. It’s not guitar music’s time right now and that’s the way it is. You can’t force it to be in the charts and just because it is in the charts or at No1 doesn’t mean it’s any f*cking good. The f*cking Birdie Song nearly went to No1 and that wasn’t any good.
What do you think about people such as Lady Gaga?
I f*cking like her. Some of it’s bordering on ridiculous, but she brings it back around again because she can sing, she can dance, she’s out there taking chances and she’s not like all the other girl acts. She seems like she’s a bit f*cking mad and I like that. I like her, man.
After Oasis split, did you ever consider quitting music?
No. No way. Noel, for whatever reasons he’s f*cking spinning this week, left the band. We didn’t split up. He decided he wanted to get off and show the world he could turn a light switch on and off and write a tune. Everyone knows he can write songs and he was the main man in Oasis, but obviously that wasn’t enough for him. But I never thought, “That’s me. I’ve had my 18 years or whatever in the sun.” Music has always been a very big part of me. I’m going to do it until the day I die, man. And, hopefully, do some clothes at the same time. And look cool as f*ck until the day I die.
Since starting your clothing label Pretty Green, have the free clothes stretched your wardrobe to bursting point?
Yeah, man. Since I started Pretty Green my missus hasn’t been happy. I’ve always had more shoes than her [laughs]. I like my shoes. I just have to go through it every now and again and think, “D’you know what? I’ll give that to charity.” That makes me feel good. There’s loads of f*cking cool-looking tramps round our way now, mate.
How do you feel about celebrities wearing Pretty Green?
A few people like it. A lot of footballers, and Lewis Hamilton’s into it. There’s something in there for everyone. The prices could be a little bit expensive for people who haven’t got that much money, which is why we do the Green Label, but the Black Label looks f*cking tasty.
Any people you wouldn’t want wearing it?
Well, I would say [Manchester] United players, but they seem to like it a lot so we’ll leave them. Just f*cking axe murderers, paedophiles and people like that.
What about Jedward?
I don’t mind them little f*ckers. They don’t take themselves too seriously, do they?
Who were your style heroes when you were younger, then?
For me growing up in Manchester it was The Stone Roses. They always looked cool.
Where do you stand on The Stone Roses reunion rumours?
I’d love the Roses to get back, play that album and make a sh*tload of money for themselves, because I’m sure they didn’t make that much [before]. Do some great f*cking gigs, see what the reaction is and go make a new record. We come on to I Am The Resurrection at all of our gigs and the crowd go nuts. Apparently, Ian Brown’s worried about singing but he wouldn’t even have to — we’d sing it for him.
And what about an Oasis reunion?
What would be the point? We don’t get on with each other. Noel’s going down his path and I’m going down mine.
Do you miss singing those old songs?
No, because the songs we’re doing are equally good, I think. It’s early days. We only put the album out in February and some of those songs are going to grow into classics. I had a great time singing Oasis songs, without a doubt. But I think Oasis is beatable, man. There were certain things Oasis lacked.
A bit more adventure. I’m not saying like Radiohead, where they go experimenting — a lot of that sh*t is barking up the wrong tree. With Oasis we did experiment but Noel was holding back the reins a bit. The thing for me is rock’n’roll isn’t about analysing it. It’s about if it makes you jump up and go, “Yeah! That’s a tune.” I could do you a well-crafted tune tomorrow, but if it just goes over your head, who cares? I don’t want to make lift music. Noel would write a song, it’d cover all the bases but it lacks that killer punch. And that’s what we’ve got with me. The people that go, “Oh, Beady Eye is not Oasis,” well, I’ll tell you what — you wait until you hear Noel’s music because that ain’t gonna be Oasis either. It might remind you of it but there’ll be something missing. And what’ll be missing is f*cking me.
Do you think you’ve mellowed with age?
Yeah, without a doubt. People live in the past — I’m 20 years older than that person they talk about. I’ve still got bits of that guy, but I’ve grown up as well.
What else do you get up to away from music?
I’m into that Rastamouse, mate. But I don’t watch it too much because my kids are a bit too old for it now. The usual, man. I’ve been to watch the new Pirates Of The Caribbean. I’m into my little sausage dogs — I’ve got a new chocolate-dappled one called Brigitte Bardot. It’s mega.
Have you seen Peter Kay since his jibe at you at last year’s Brits?
I’ve not bumped into that c*nt, but you’d know it if I did. How could you miss that idiot? The thing with him is he says it behind your back. I didn’t throw the award into the crowd to be a “knobhead” [like Kay said]. I threw it in to give it to the fans because Oasis was over and it was theirs now. It was like a José Mourinho thing. But obviously that f*cking idiot took it the wrong way because he’s not worldly and he doesn’t come down to London. He just lives in ‘Boooorlton’.
How’s the Beatles film you’re working on coming along?
I’ve seen the first script and it’s f*cking funny. It’s not Austin Powers-y but it’s got great humour in it. It’s going to be mega. We need an actor to play Derek Taylor [The Beatles’ press officer and lead role in the film] and I’m going for Johnny Depp. He’s a big star, he’s a great actor and he’s got that quirky sh*t we need. Derek Taylor’s a bit like he’s always tripping his head off.
Finally, was there any truth to the rumour that you burgled Richard and Judy when you were younger?
Saying that I robbed their house… Are you taking the p*ss? It’s a good job I f*cking like them otherwise they’d have heard from our lawyers. I woke up that morning, saw it in the papers and went, “You f*cking what?” Some other c*nt could get uptight about that, I just laughed at it. I know who did rob their house, mind [laughs].
The second Pretty Green store is now open at 4 East Piazza, Covent Garden, London, WC2; prettygreen.com
(Images: Rex Features)