Rock’n’Roll is definitely without maybe Liam Gallagher’s thing. It’s been 25 years since Oass brought out their classic debut album, and Liam is still in the spotlight, rocking the crowds while stood motionless on stage with his hands behind his back. He doesn’t seem surprised at the success of his second solo album Why Me, Why Not that has hit the top of the charts following its predecessor As You Were. Despite being reasonably proud of the Oasis legacy, Liam is certainly far from a has-been. In an entertaining new interview with Paste Magazine, the rock icon opens up about his values and connections with younger fans.
The rapid escalation of Oasis from playing small clubs like Boardwalk to headlining massive stadiums and festivals is a story that never loses its magic. However, perhaps even more magical is the fact that Oasis hits remain extremely loved and popular even ten years following the band’s split. Oasis simple, genuine songs have earned huge love among all generations of music lovers and have crossed cultural and linguistic borders. Even at Liam’s current solo gigs you can spot lots of young faces, people that weren’t even born in the glory days of Oasis. And yet Oasis classics have proved to be timeless. Liam fully recognises the importance of feeling connected to the younger generation of his fans.
“If I didn’t have young fans, I’d be devastated. What’s the point in it all then? You make music to live forever. You make music to go round and round in cycles. If it stops at one generation, then it obviously wasn’t that good, was it? The music only lives on through generations. If it’s only one generation that likes it, that will die at some point, so therefore your music dies with them”.
Without a doubt, both the young and the old relate to the heartfelt lyrics of the Oasis hits and appreciate Liam’s charismatic stage presence and powerful vocals, but there’s an abundance of haters as well. Liam often gets criticism for his apparent lack of prolific songwriting and the inconsistency of his vocal performances. Critics often say, “Some days his voice really sounds on point, but on others it’s an absolute downfall”. Nevertheless, Liam never really lacked self-confidence. He takes all the criticism in his stride and admits he doesn’t actually take himself seriously.
“I’ve slipped up before and we got by just the same. It’s not us against the world. I think there’s a lot of love. I’m sure there’s a few people out there that are not happy in the way it’s going, and they’re probably waiting for me to fuck it up, but I don’t really pay attention to those clowns. I just get on with my life. I know how to take the piss out of myself though. Music is serious. Being on stage is a serious thing as well. I don’t take that lightly, but for the rest of it, before you go on and after you come off, it’s a mad house, innit”.
Haters are always gonna hate anyway. Most of the recent criticism has something to do with Liam’s songwriting skills. The ridiculous thing, though, is that Liam never really claimed to be among the best songwriters around. He views himself as a singer and frontman and fully commits to his thing. Liam doesn’t seem ashamed to admit he co-wrote his new solo album with the famous songwriters Andrew Wyatt and Greg Kurstin. Meanwhile, if you need someone to fill your lyrics with passion and attitude, Liam is exactly the man for the job.
“If you write a song, you write a song. What’s a professional songwriter anyway? Noel Gallagher is a professional songwriter, but he seems to give a fuck about other people being professional. They’re all just songwriters, you know what I mean? There’s two styles of songwriters: there’s good ones and shit ones. It’s as simple as that! I’ve tried writing songs, but it just wouldn’t happen. I’m good at verses though. Probably I can bang out verses all day long, but when it comes to choruses, I need someone else to do that. That’s only because of the guitar playing really, so I prefer to pass it on for the choruses”.
No one would argue the final product, the beautifully arranged Why Me, Why Not turned out catchy and brilliant. Liam enthusiastically rants about the highlights of the record, starting with the poignant Once and ending with the happy-go-lucky Glimmer.
“Once is one of my favourites, it’s got a bit of the Floyd thing, it’s got a bit of Bowie, a bit of Lennon. It’s just classic, man! The River is a beast. It sounds horrible in a good way, you know what I mean? Glimmer is a bit unusual for my style. It is what it is, but I like it”.
Despite his solo career soaring high these days, Liam fondly looks back on the glory days of Oasis. In his opinion, his best shows were the early Oasis gigs, with the audience having the time of their lives and reliving the songs together with their favourite band.
“I’m not thinking about it as a solo thing. I know it’s my name above the door now and that, but when I get on stage, I’m still surrounded by the band. The gigs I’ve been doing in England, they’re like Oasis gigs. People are losing their shit and kicking the fuck out of each other, a bit of violence down in front. People are getting moved, so I don’t feel like it’s any different than being in Oasis. Except for the fact Noel’s not there”.
No one can recognise the importance of a talented frontman for a band’s success better than Liam. He attributes the magic of his iconic stage presence to his Rock’n’Roll attitude and unflinching honesty. But what makes a band that charismatic and instantly recognisable? Let’s ask Liam.
“First of all, you need a good rock’n’roll singer to put it in the back of the net. I’d also say guitars, melody, lyrics with a bit of a bite. You need the singer to spit it out. You don’t want to hear a rock’n’roll song politely sung. I think that’s the problem that a lot of these singers have got today. None of them can spit it out”.
25 years on, Liam remains the legendary, entertaining and immensely talented frontman he’s always been. And he definitely recognises his greatness.
“I stand with my parka on, my shades on and put my hands behind my back and clean my teeth. Constantly doing that to remind myself where I came from”.
Liam’s piercing, passionate, powerful voice is one of the main reasons behind Oasis’s rise from poor working-class background to superstardom. Whatever the legendary frontman does, he puts all his heart and soul into it. And thousands of fans from all walks of life appreciate him for it.
Source: Paste magazine