Liam Gallagher: “I want the crowd to love me or hate me”

Liam Gallagher is definitely having the time of his life these days: with his solo career soaring high and his second solo album doing great in the charts, the sky seems to be the limit. He’s actively touring America with his idols The Who, appearing on various TV shows like MTV Unplugged and Jools Holland and… already preparing to release his third album! The legendary singer dropped Why Me, Why Not only a month ago, but he’s already chosen a title for its follow-up which is now in the works.

Speaking to Zane Lowe on his Apple Music Beats 1 radio show, Liam has let it slip that the title of his third solo album is going to be Come On You Know: “It’s pure positive. As soon as I get the titles man, we are off”. Liam seems reluctant to take a break from his hectic lifestyle because he feels he has a great deal to catch up on since his long hiatus after the split of Beady Eye. These days the rock icon has obviously learnt from his past mistakes.

“Not having a band for a few years allowed me to mop up some milk that I spilt in my personal life. I think every now and again you need to remove yourself from whatever you’re doing. I just needed a breather, and so did the fans. If you’re going to make some sounds like 1967, you ain’t going to get on the radio. Now I compromise the sound of the production. When I was in a band called Beady Eye, it was very 1967 and no one would touch it. It doesn’t mean it was bad, but it definitely sounded retro”.

Meanwhile, now life really seems to be treating Liam well. Now that he’s fully focused on his successful solo career, the rock icon appears way more hopeful and optimistic than before. He’s eager to keep performing, credits the fans for giving him the motivation to do better and seems reasonably proud of his achievements since his comeback in 2017.

“I’m happy doing my solo thing. I love working with people. All I’ve ever wanted is to be part of the process of making music. I never wanted to be the main man. The thing that keeps me going is people, man. People! I’m in tune with them, even if I don’t know who they are. As long as they want me to keep singing and I can keep doing it, I’ll be doing it forever. If no one comes to see ya, you gotta knock it on the head. I couldn’t give a fuck about what anyone in the press says. I’m doing it all for the fans”.

Liam seems reasonably enthusiastic about his recent live performances. His voice sounds on point, the new songs already earn the love of the audience and his songwriting prowess has definitely taken up a level.

“To be fair, I didn’t expect it would be like this. I thought it would be a bit harder and that. But it seems to be kind of Oasis territory. My live shows are like early Oasis gigs, so I’m happy, man. Obviously people would go, “Oh the songs ain’t as good as Noel’s” and “They’re not as good as Oasis”, but there are some good songs on this album. It’s only two years since I released As You Were, and a lot of them songs are stone cold classics, so give it another 20 years and they’ll be up there for sure”.

Comparing his recent live shows to the early Oasis gigs seems to be overlooking Noel’s contribution though. The main strength of Oasis were Noel’s lyrics and Liam’s charisma combined with his iconic powerful vocals. Liam doesn’t hide the fact he misses the heyday of Oasis and freely admits they’re still “a big part of his life”. Nevertheless, his relationship with estranged brother Noel is full of bitterness and doesn’t seem to get any better. In a unique way, Liam’s brotherly affection towards Noel appears combined with sarcasm and contempt for his current way of life.

“It’s only Oasis when both of us are there, man. I miss my brother being there on stage with me. Deep down I feel the same way about him, whether I’m digging him out or we’re having a crack at each other. I adore him, I love him, he’s my brother. You can veer off and and go, “yeah he said that bit”, but the main core of it is pure love, man. I wish Noel and I could work things out only for the brother side of it. Not a bit about Oasis. The most important thing is me and him being brothers again”.

Liam believes Noel is so reluctant to get the band back together because he doesn’t understand his brother’s motives. And still, despite all Liam’s love for the glory days of Oasis, it’s his family he’s thinking about first.

“I’ve got another brother who Noel doesn’t speak to. It would be nice if all three of us would be together again. Obviously, our mum is still alive, and she gets upset about it. He thinks I’m desperate to get the band back together for money. But I didn’t join the band to make money, I joined the band to have fun and see the world”.

Liam then goes on to admit he can’t stay for a long while in his old house because he gets too emotional at seeing the bedroom he shared with Noel.

“I can’t hang about there. It’s too much, man. I pop in for a cup of tea and maybe hang out for an hour or two, but I can’t. Gotta keep moving. It’s a lot for me to take”.

Liam demonstrates he’s up for patching things up with his big brother anytime. He even paints an imaginary picture of them reuniting – with his usual sense of humour.

“I’d like him to come to my house, get on his knees and beg for mercy and say sorry, maybe bring me a cake with a little candle on it… I’m only joking. I’d just love me and him to go for a beer where he’d get off whatever is on his chest. I don’t think we should have split up. I don’t know what his problem is. Probably he just wants to be surrounded by all the yes-men he can hire and fire whenever he wants. He can’t do that with me. He needs a slap. The old Noel? I’d hang out with him any day of the week, I’d be round the house for some fucking tea. But the new one? What a dick”.

On the 10th anniversary of the Oasis split Liam brought out a video for his single One Of Us where he reflects on their happy days as brothers. Nevertheless, Liam insists on denying the obvious.

“No, it’s not about Noel. It’s about brothers, it’s about friendships, it’s about other people’s brothers, it’s about brothers in general, it’s about family. Family is the most important thing. Fuck everything else. Once that’s nailed, everything else is a bonus. There’s one line, “You said we’d live forever”, because Noel wrote this song and I sing it, but that’s about it. But the rest is not about him”.

Recently Liam has brought out a documentary called As It Was which depicts his struggles to launch a solo career. It also shows us a more tender, loving side of Liam and portrays him as a thoughtful son, a caring partner and a supportive father. At the same time, the film serves to promote his new solo album Why Me, Why Not.

“It was good to get some things off my chest in this film. There are always people spinning lies just for the sake of themelves. I think Noel is upset with it – but I think he’s upset with me breathing! He’s going to have to get over it – I don’t care what he thought about it. I’ve always been a bit vulnerable”.

Not only does the documentary show us the softer side of Liam. In the film the rock icon describes his own strengths and weaknesses with a brutal, unflinching honesty.

“I know how great I am and I know how shit I am. When I’m in good health and I’m singing, no one can touch me. My weaknesses are finishing off songs, my guitar playing – but that’s not my thing, is it? Lyrics, maybe. No one really knows what my songs are about. I party way too much. I’ve fucked up my voice a bit, but it’s pretty aggressive and it sounds alright to me. If you’ve lost it, then it’s game over, ain’t it?”

Liam straightforwardly admits his songwriting faults. He surely deserves a lot of respect for his openness since it takes a lot of courage to admit your imperfections. But he definitely compensates it with his usual modesty afterwards.

“Lyrics are hard for me, because sometimes I don’t say what I think I should be saying. I find it hard to spill the beans on an emotional song. Maybe I’m nervous to let people know the real deal. But I don’t think I’ve evolved over the years. I was born great, and I’ve just been great all the way”.

No matter what critics might say about Liam’s songwriting prowess, one fact remains for sure: Liam is one of the most iconic and talented frontmen of our time. And he lives up to that image.

“I live my life for the stars that shine. The stars are people in the crowd every night, they’re the stars, and I’m the Rock’n’Roll geezer in a band. And I love it. I was never uch of a performer. I’m more anti-performance. I want the crowd to love me or hate me”.

Controversial, talented, unapologetic and utterly entertaining, Liam is indeed the last true rock’n’roll star.

Source: GQ magazine