In the summer of 1996, Oasis were at the peak of their career. The Gallagher brothers had been declared legends, and in front of the castle Knebworth they were crowning their success with the biggest double concert ever in the United Kingdom — in front of 250,000 fans.
Fifteen years later Oasis have split up, brothers Liam and Noel only communicate through their lawyers and they have separate music careers. Liam has Beady Eye, and last month Noel released “Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds,” his first solo album.
“F—in’ hell,” Noel swears and sighs while flipping through messages on his phone. “You can start asking your questions now.”
Before the 1996 castle concert, Noel answered questions sitting on a throne. Now Metro meets him slouching in a beige sofa; an aging icon, and a father of three.
He has been talking to the media all day, and looks tired.
This is your first solo album. How has it been different recording “Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds” compared to working with Oasis?
I guess you can imagine the differences. It used to be five guys who were painting, now I’ve been alone with the brush.
What’s the biggest difference writing songs at 30, compared to when you’re 44? Have the lyrics and the music changed?
The circumstances in my life have absolutely changed — I have three kids now. And a cat. But no, I don’t think it has affected my song writing. I don’t write songs about my amazing kids — that would be a pretty boring album. I hope that whoever listens should see something of themselves in my songs.
You have said that the recording of this album reminded you of the time when you made “Definitely Maybe.”
The similarities are that this is my first solo album and that was Oasis’ first album. The excitement about the unknown is the same, I think. We didn’t have an audience then — and I don’t have an audience now.
How are things between you and brother Liam?
We haven’t spoken in two years.
How does that feel? He is your brother after all?
But he isn’t your brother. And if he were, you wouldn’t talk to him either.
Will there ever be an Oasis reunion?
I doubt it. When I close my eyes I can’t see it. And, when I listen to my soul I don’t want it.