Liam Gallagher is having quite the week. The former Oasis and Beady Eye frontman not only released his second solo album, Why Me? Why Not., but he’s just turned 47 and played a hometown show in Manchester to celebrate both landmarks.
When we speak a few days after, the owner of one of British rock’s more recognisable growls and some of the best haircuts in the last 30 years is only just getting over the hangover.
“It was a mad gig, small, in front of about a thousand people; then we had my birthday party afterwards, which was pretty hectic. I’ve kind of been recovering from it, really.”
Why Me? Why Not. comes just two years on from Gallagher’s first solo outing, As You Were and sees him working again with collaborators including songwriter/producers Greg Kurstin and Andrew Wyatt.
Stream Why Me? Why Not. below:
Having been in a band who only released an album every three years in its later days, Gallagher likes the faster pace he can work at as a solo artist.
“We did half of the album in a week,” he says, “I went out there and we had five, six songs written and recorded.”
“It’s different. I’ve got a lot more say and I’ve got a lot more input this way round than what I did when I was in Oasis, so that’s nice.”
While he’d prefer to still be fronting the former biggest band in the world – who split in 2009 – Gallagher describes his current solo career as the “second best thing”.
“I think there’s no egos in this at all. Andrew does his bit, Greg does his bit, I do my bit, we’re there to make good music, we get in, we get out.”
Often described as equal parts John Lennon and John Lydon (mostly for his voice), Gallagher has always thrived on the power of rock ‘n’ roll menace. Since going solo, he’s expressed a desire to make an out-and-out “punk” record and though neither album has delivered on that wish, he says the next one may very well be the one.
“I’ve got that kind of attitude where it’s like I always start off going ‘let’s fookin’ make a proper punk rock record’ but as soon as we get in there and we have a tune that sounds like ‘Once’, you go ‘nah, nah, fook it, let’s carry on with this, this is a mega tune’, know what I mean?
Watch Liam Gallagher perform ‘Once’:
“So, one day I’m going to stick to my guns and just go ‘look, let’s make a proper, full-on, foot to the floor, no ballads’. It’s got to have big choruses, it’s gotta be like the Pistols. I don’t want to make some shitty little punk record like these so-called punks do today.”
“Double track all the rhythm guitars, double track the fookin’ lot so it sound like the Pistols meets ABBA.,” he laughs.
Even though his new music is out there and doing well, Gallagher’s past is never that far behind him. August 2019 marked the 25th anniversary of the release of Oasis’ iconic debut, Definitely Maybe. Would young Liam have envisaged people still discovering and celebrating his band’s work after all this time?
“To think back in that time that people will be digging it in 25 years, I guess you’d probably be a little bit arrogant to say that but definitely I thought we were making a good record.
“I think once them records are out and once you get past five or ten years, I think they just live on, they’ll be here forever. They just get caught up in the cosmos and they just keep going around and round it, you know? I’m glad that I sang on it.”
While Oasis’ first Australian tour in 1998 became better remembered for its incidents off the stage than for what happened on it, Gallagher says he loves coming here, especially to beat the bitter British winters. He’s also quick to namecheck some of his favourite Aussie acts.
“To be fair, you’ve always had a good music scene and it always seems to be healthy, even though we don’t get to hear all of it. It just seems to be a really good, healthy music scene so fair play to yas, man.”
Liam Gallagher Australian Tour 2019
With special guest Gerry Cinnamon*
Friday, December 6th (Sold Out) Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD*
Saturday, December 7th
Fairgrounds Festival, Berry, NSW
Monday, December 9th (Sold Out) Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW*
Wednesday, December 11th (Selling Fast)
Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, VIC*
Saturday, December 14th
Bird In Hand, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday, December 17th (Sold Out) Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA
Wednesday, December 18th (Selling Fast)
Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA
Tickets on sale now through Secret Sounds