Liam Gallagher has a fiery reputation. When he introduces himself, he wears his forever dark sunglasses and a long Stone Island coat that he just bought the morning of our interview. He does not like wearing shirts when on stage and prefers “comfortable” clothing. This is, however, perhaps the only visibly comfortable aspect of the founding member of the rock band Oasis. No longer in the band, the singer is known for his mood swings and battles with Noel, his older brother and former bandmate. We caught up with the 44 year old in Montreal to know more about his relationship with Noel Gallagher, future plans and life.
Last year, Netflix produced the documentary “Supersonic,” which traces your life and Noel’s, from the beginning of Oasis to 1996. Do you have the impression that this movie has allowed more people to understand you better, both as a person and as an artist?
Hmmm, I'm not sure...I don’t know. Maybe you'll understand me a bit more. But even me, I don’t understand myself. See what I mean? So, I wish you good luck! I know what my goal is. I'm not there to raise spirits, go life! I'm not an enthusiast of life. But it's a good documentary. I like it. I'm glad I did it.
You sell a T-shirt that reads, "Who the fuck is Liam Gallagher," a nod to Keith Richards’ famous t-shirt, which reads, "Who the hell is Mick Jagger?" Do you ask yourself this question?
Ah, completely! I know who I am, but...what comes first, the egg or the chicken, right? What came first? Do I ask myself this question or do I answer it? I think I know who I am. Yes. I think I know. But I'm still learning. You never finish discovering your own stupidities. Do you know what I mean?
During the Oasis years, the media put a lot of emphasis on your internal battles and your endless disputes with your brother. Do you think, in the midst of all this, they forgot about your humor? Because, despite everything, you have a great sense of humor! And love? And the fellowship that united you guys?
We had a lot of love, a lot of humor. Yes. Sometimes we had little fights. But I would say that 90 percent of the time I spent with Oasis was momentous. I lived sublime moments — sacred, magnificent. And the remaining 10 percent was awful. I have very good memories.
Your plan was always to regroup the band. Is it still?
My plan is to live my life. And one day, with a little hope, my brother and I will be brothers. That is all. What is Oasis? What is it? Oasis is Noel and me. If we do not understand each other, there is no Oasis. If we do understand each other, then possibly Oasis will return. But the important thing is that we will be brothers again.
Do you think this will happen?
Right now, no.
During your show in Montreal, you asked several times: "Are there any Oasis fans here? Where are the Oasis fans?" First of all, do you want to play for them? Even with your personal project?
Ehhh. I am well aware that people come to see me because I am part of Oasis, or at least, because I was a part. And because I play our old songs [“Rock 'n' Roll Star,” “Wonderwall,” “Morning Glory,” “Slide Away”]. They do not really come to hear the new material. I'm aware of this! I know there are Oasis fans in the crowd. I am happy to see them.
You will release a new album in October called “As You Were.” In the beginning, it was going to be called “Bold”. What happened?
We did a bit of brainstorming. And we said that “As You Were,” had character. Much more character. It’s better. I think.
For this album, you worked with new collaborators, including Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow. Was it disconcerting?
Yes, yes. We went to Los Angeles to write. We wrote “Wall of Glass,” “Paper Crown” and “Come Back to Me.” Three songs in three days. All excellent. I love them deeply. It was easy to do. I thought it would be an absolute nightmare. Meet with people I did not know, try to compose music with them. But it was as if we had known each other forever. Do you know what I mean?
The year 2014 marked the end of Beady Eye, the group that you formed in 2010 after the dissolution of Oasis. It was there, you said, where you really felt the impact of the first separation. Was it a big shock?
Yes, because I did not really have the time to meditate on what happened, about our separation. With Beady Eye, I kept making music with my friends, doing tours. It was not perhaps something big, maybe even small, but when Beady Eye ended, I realized, “Shit. Hell. It was me, between four walls, without the band.” It wasn’t a good time.
And how did you come out of that?
How did I get out of there? I have a good blonde who kept motivating me. "Come on man, stop whining, stop pitying your luck. You're worth more than this." She pushed me in the right direction, introduced me into the world and I imagine that, deep in my spirit, I always saw that everything was fine.
Was that the moment you realized how incredibly popular Oasis was, incredibly fast?
I never considered it. I was really bored. That was the worst part. I had nothing to do. I did not have a band. I did not need to get up in the morning. I had no rehearsals, no tours, no studio. The worst thing in life is boredom. Boredom kills. Now, I have things to do, a new band, concerts to come to. Everything returned to normal.
Getting on stage, is it still your favorite activity?
It's an amazing thing. To play songs for people who want to hear my voice.
I feel very fortunate to be able to do that.