“Ahhh, God no. I hate it. I hate that sport,” Liam Gallagher moans over the phone in regards to the results of the latest Ashes test. “I once went to the cricket with my mate Guigsy, he was in my band - Oasis - and he was like ‘come and check it out’ and I said alright and went to Lords, had a couple of beers and fell asleep, then woke up and it was still fucking going on.”
It’s quite the trip to be chatting to one of the most iconic characters in rock music about something as mundane as the cricket. Gallagher however, as per usual, seems to be quite in the mood to talk, and why wouldn’t he be? Even after the setbacks of Oasis’s (and follow up project Beady Eye’s) breakup, a very public (and ongoing) spat with brother Noel and a marital collapse – made all the more scornful by the relentless UK tabloids – Liam Gallagher managed to rise from the ashes and reclaim his spot at the top with his acclaimed 2017 solo debut, As You Were. Now, Gallagher looks to double down and prove he’s more than just ‘90s nostalgia with his upcoming record, Why Me? Why Not.
“Listen, man,” he commands down the phone line. “I loved being in Oasis, I loved being in Beady Eye and I love making music, it’s just what I do. So it’s nice to put another record out. I think there’s some decent songs on there. It’s not about being back in the spotlight, it’s just a bit of fun for all the fans, and if you haven’t got a good record you haven’t got any gigs, y’know what I mean?”
Why Me? Why Not sees Gallagher again link up with super producers Greg Kurstin (Adele, Foo Fighters) and Andrew Wyatt (Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars) to form a formidable trio of songwriting talent. Despite copping flak – mostly from Noel – about choosing to work with a team of songwriters, Liam makes it clear that he doesn’t see collaboration as a dirty word.
“On the last one I wrote quite a few on my own,” Gallagher explains.” But I felt that this one had to be a lot bigger and a lot more bigger, so they’re all co-writes on [Why Me? Why Not.]. If I’ve got an idea I’ll go and send it over to them, but when we started the sessions we did six songs together in the first week, so we got all the singles out of the way and took all the time we needed to finish the rest. It was good, man! It was an easy record to make. There was no stress.”
Despite the immensity of his back catalogue, it’s extremely uplifting to hear Gallagher’s enthusiasm about his new material. Recently, he jumped onto his Twitter to declare ‘Once’, one of the new songs on Why Me? Why Not., as one of the best things he’s ever worked on. It’s a sentiment he strongly defends.
“I’ll tell you this: if Noel Gallagher wrote ‘Once’, you’d all fucking know it about it. He’d be shouting about it from the rooftops,” he boasts. “These songs don’t come around a lot, and in this day and age when they do, it just needs to be appreciated. Come back in thirty years time and I can guarantee you ‘Once’ will be getting as much love as ‘Live Forever’ or ‘Slide Away’. It’s a classic.”
Obviously, Liam still bears a significant amount of animosity towards Noel. However, his new record does feature contributions from another Gallagher – Liam’s son Gene is credited for playing bongos on the song ‘One Of Us’.
“Our drummer was caught in traffic, and the song needed bongos and Gene plays drums, so I asked him and I thought he’d be a lot more impressed by the invitation – he was kind of just on his phone talking to girls and was like ‘Alright’,” Gallagher says. “He did it in one take. I thought I’d blow his mind with the experience but he just asked what was for lunch. He wasn’t all that impressed.”
Given his outspoken nature, it wouldn’t be naff to take a punt on Gallagher getting political on his solo material – particularly when you’re living in a country as broken as the UK. Liam affirms, bluntly, that it’s not what he’s involved in music for.
“God no. I’ve never felt political,” scoffs Gallagher. “A lot of my heroes, like John Lennon, he got political and look what happened to him - it’s not for me man.”
“I can’t think of anything fucking worse. I’m an artist, not a politician. If you’re coming to my gig, you want a bit of a break, not to pay 30 quid to have some git rambling on about what’s happening in the House of Commons. I’d rather shoot myself in the fucking face.”
Australian punters are set to be treated to a taste of Gallagher’s new record when he lands in December to play a string of shows – or as he says, “to cheer us all up!” The dates include two headline appearances at beloved regional festival Meredith and Fairgrounds – the latter featuring none other than Sydney’s own Oasis acolytes, DMAs. Gallagher, however, says that he doesn’t understand the constant comparisons between the two groups.
“I don’t hear all this Oasis stuff,” he admits. “I like the people and I like some of the tunes – I know they wear bucket hats and stuff – but if they started their band because of Oasis, then who am I to complain about it?”
“I had a night out with them once, and they’re nice lads, Tommy and that. I had a couple of beers in a pub with them. They’re alright man.”
Just last month marked the 25th anniversary of Oasis’s world conquering debut Definitely Maybe – a record which undeniably set the blueprint for the next quarter decade of indie rock. Putting his ego aside for a rare moment, Gallagher says that he’s not the type to reflect on the nostalgic aspect of his time in the group.
“I’m very proud to have been a part of Oasis,” Gallagher says. “It’s a privilege to mean so much to people’s lives, because I know what it’s fucking like: that Stone Roses album blew my head off, y’know what I mean, so I get what it’s about. I’m a fan of music too, but honestly, I don’t get the hoo-ha of it.”
Almost as if he knows that I’m hunting for a pull-quote, Gallagher’s distinctive Mancunian drawl instantaneously twists into one dripping with sarcasm as he drops one last bombshell.
“But I dig it. And I’m proud to have been their voice, of their generation.”