Oasis has been a rock radio staple since the mid-'90s. But the band came apart in 2009 when, after years of infighting, Noel Gallagher left the outfit. His brother Liam and the rest of the group have since soldiered on under the name Beady Eye.
With the release of their debut, Different Gear, Still Speeding, at the beginning of the year, Beady Eye showed they aren't trying to replicate their former sound; indeed, the quartet's new brand of stripped-down rock is looser and more ambitious than anything Oasis put out.
Ahead of Beady Eye's show this Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Wiltern, we spoke with Liam by phone. Topics discussed included Noel, Noel and, oh yeah, we talked about Noel, too. (The pair remains enmeshed in legal disputes: Noel has accused Liam of attacking him with a guitar, while Liam has sued Noel for libel.)
Since Noel left the band, it seems like there's been a lot more harmony between the four of you. Has this been reflected in the band's live shows?
I'd say so. All I think about when I go onstage is putting my head down and getting on with the music.
I don't try to think about any of the other nonsense. The gaps are short between each song — that's the big difference. Noel used to tune up for nine hours and kill the vibe as far as I'm concerned. But now we don't tune and get straight into it and it's very good, like proper geezers.
Why did you guys choose to play smaller venues?
We've only got one album and we're a new band still. The big thing is we're not playing Oasis songs. If we were, the venues would probably be a little bit bigger. But no one there [in the United States] has heard our music yet.
Do you find it difficult to go before a crowd that may have come for Oasis and play only Beady Eye songs?
It takes balls to go onstage and not play Oasis songs. I don't miss those songs yet, but we're definitely going to play them on the next tour. We just wanted to get this album out and let people know who we are and that we're [just fine] without Noel Gallagher. As long as you don't let nostalgia take over, we'll definitely keep our eyes on the future. So instead of playing 10 Oasis songs, we'll play two or three.
In recent interviews, Noel is saying he's going to be playing 70 percent new material, and 30 percent Oasis songs …
I'll tell you what: He's playing 50 percent Oasis material, which says to me that he's a complete fucking parasite. He's a complete fucking shitbag.
Do you think he's jealous that the four of you stayed together and are continuing on without him?
I'm sure he's not, because Noel's ego is way too big for that. He's surrounded by a lot of ass-lickers who tell him he's great every fucking minute.
Have you found the writing and recording process to be more democratic without your brother?
With the Oasis stuff, I'd have to wait until the end of the session to record. It was pretty fucking boring and frustrating. When I'd come in and do the songs, there would be no one there except me and the fucking producer. Now, I can get the vocals down with the guitars and everyone else there, so it's really cool.
There have been reports that you would consider going on tour as Oasis with Noel for a 20th-anniversary tour playing (What's the Story) Morning Glory? in its entirety. Is there any truth to that?
I'd do it for the right reasons. If the fans want to hear it, then I'd do it. I'm not doing it for the money, and that's not me being big-headed. I'd do it for the fans and I'd do it for the album, but that's basically it.
That's not me saying I'd want to getback in a band with Noel — I'd rather eat my own shit than be in a band with him again. He's a miserable little fuck, if you know what I mean. But if the fans want it, though, I'd do it.
In a recent interview, you said New York is your favorite city here in the United States. Why isn't L.A. No. 1?
It's nothing against L.A., but New York is what does it for me. I've had some nice times in L.A. and shit times in other places, too.
Oasis' infamous 1994 gig at the Whisky allegedly was fueled by heavy drug use. How do you think your first show in L.A. with Beady Eye will compare?
I honestly can't remember that one. A lot of shit gets talked about that concert, but I really don't remember. I can say this much, Beady Eye is ripping it at the moment, and we're ready to play Los Angeles again.
Is it true that some of the material on the Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds album, like “Stop the Clocks” and “(I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine,” were once intended to be Oasis songs?
Well, that's what I thought, too. But you have to ask Noel Gallagher, he's obviously got a master plan. But we don't care about that or him now. We're Beady Eye; we're loud and proud.