pictures source: NME.com
Liam Gallagher on celebrity, fatherhood and hating Coldplay
Liam Gallagher prefers being a stay-at-home dad these days, but he’s not lost his rock’n’roll swagger
Liam Gallagher says he and his brother “are two totally different people and the sooner people realise that the less we can go on about it”. Fair enough, but, having interviewed Noel several years ago, I can report the Gallagher boys have more in common than being in the same band and having the same mum and dad: extreme candour, for one thing. You asked Noel a question, you got a straight answer. If anything, his kid brother is even more straight-talking. Also (and I didn’t think this could be possible), Liam swears even more.
When I ask Liam what he thinks the public thinks of him, for instance, he says: “Loudmouth blagging gobshite from Manchester…and they’d be totally correct.” Or here he is on the subject of Wayne Rooney’s wedding to Coleen McLoughlin, which had taken place, and subsequently appeared in OK! magazine, not long before we met. “You’ve got this kid who’s f****** 19  or whatever the f*** he is, who 20 minutes ago was playing for Everton, having a five million pound wedding! How do you f****** grasp that?”
當我問Liam，他覺得大家是怎麼看待他，舉個例子，他會說: “一個來自曼城愛大聲囔囔的討厭傢伙…他們說的很對!"。或者問他不久之前參加魯尼的婚禮，他說: “這不知道是19還是22歲的小子，當時還在為Everton踢球，現在居然舉辦一個五百萬英鎊的婚禮! 馬的你覺得這是怎麼搞的?"
“All right,” Liam continues, “he earned his f****** money, do what you want, but I couldn’t live with meself. That to me is just f****** ridiculous. There’s ways of doing it. In fact, what did mine cost? I got married at Marylebone station, er, Marylebone registry office. In and out, no f****** about, it cost £18. Reception over the road, it was nice, we drank champagne, but I’ve still got a lid on it.”
“好吧沒錯"，Liam繼續補充，"他賺了大錢，做了自己想做的事。 靠，這對我來說還是太扯了。 你有其他的辦法也可以辦到，事實上，我結婚的時候在Marylebone station，呃…Marylebone登記處那，進去簽字就出來，才花費了18鎊! 招待了大家在路邊附近慶祝，這就很棒了，我們暢飲香檳，但是我最後還是被警察取締了。"
Would anything have induced him to sell the photographs? “Absolutely f****** nothing. It smells funny, it doesn’t sit right. I’d have to be well and truly f****** desperate. I’d have to be homeless. It’s like, haven’t you got e-f******-nough, you little ****? I find that hard to f****** take. But that’s famous people for yer. When they’re not on the f****** telly they want to be in a f****** magazine and when they’re not in a magazine they want to be on a f****** bottle of water. It’s like, f****** chill the f*** out, you can’t do one f****** job right let alone f****** trying to do f****** five, you *****!”
有任何事會讓你想要賣照片換錢嗎? “他媽的這完全不可能。這太可笑了，除非我真的非常絕望，走投無路到無家可歸。他們已經是名人了，當他們沒出現在電視上，他們就想在雜誌上現身，如果沒出現在雜誌上，他們就他媽的想出現在該死的寶特瓶上!! 這爛透了! 你沒辦法作好一件事，現在就想做五件? 你這混蛋!"
It’s not just footballers “spending 100 grand on f****** Rolexes” that Liam objects to; he doesn’t have much time, any time, for celebrities per se. “I’m not one of them that walks around town like I’m the king of London. If I need to get milk I go out and get milk, but most of the time I’m indoors.” Noel, he says, “loves being famous. He adores it. I don’t think about it. I don’t do what famous people do. I don’t go to famous-y events. As long as I’m in a band and making music and playing gigs, I couldn’t give a f***.”
不單只是一些花了大筆錢砸在買勞力士的足球員令他反感之外，Laim也不喜歡花太多時間，甚至任何時間在名人身上。"我不像他們一樣，把自己當成國王在城裡出巡一樣。如果我需要買瓶鮮奶，我就會出去買，但大部分時間我都待在家裡。" Noel說過: “喜歡成為名人，他喜歡這樣。我對這沒什麼感覺。我不會特別做什麼名人會做的事。我不會去名人聚集的場合，我只要在樂隊裡，做音樂和表演，我不在乎其他的事。"
Oasis are soon to release their seventh studio album. “We should have made more, we should be on our tenth or summat,” thinks Liam. “We don’t struggle for songs.” Besides Noel’s output, Liam now writes as well, contributing three (one good, one bad, one indifferent, in my opinion) of 11 tracks on the new album. What’s I’m Outta Time (the good one) about, I ask. “Ain’t got a clue, man. Didn’t sit down to write about being out of time, in time, on f****** time, it wrote itself.” He finds melodies easy, he says, but “I find it hard with words”.
綠洲很快就要發行他們的第七張專輯。"我們可以做更多的專輯，我們應該能推出第十張專輯還是什麼。 我們不會艱苦的硬熬出歌曲。" 除了Noel之外，Liam現在也寫了更多的歌，這張專輯貢獻了三首。我問道"I’m Outta Time"是有關什麼? 他說"老兄，我也不知道。不就是坐下寫了有關於時間消逝、當下或是其他時期。作曲很輕鬆，但是我發現寫詞其實蠻難的。"
He can be inarticulate in person, too, yet he is one of those people, like John Prescott, whose meaning is crystal clear despite verbal infelicity. Oasis’s publicists are nervous at letting Liam loose in a full-blown one-on-one. He is uncompromising. He doesn’t try to be your friend. His conversational style is combative. He gives an answer, then juts his chin up and stares you out with those unblinking blue eyes. Liam doesn’t trouble with the usual niceties of shifting product either. “Buy it [the new record] or don’t f****** buy it, I’m not mithered either way.”
We’re in a photographic studio in East London, sitting on facing sofas, the publicity team out of sight behind a wall but in earshot. The biggest surprise comes right at the outset. Liam, now 35, is off the fags, off the booze, off “the other stuff” (cocaine) as well. He’s been off them for nine days at any rate. And he has taken up jogging. “Not jogging, man, running. Get up early, live right on the heath [Hampstead], pair of trainers on and away I go. Beautiful.” (I’m going to edit out most of the expletives from here on, I’m sure you’ve got the general idea.)
He covers ten miles in an hour and a half. (That’s a shade over 6.5mph which, sorry Liam, is jogging, not running, speed. But well done anyway.) He comes home, walks his kids to school, has a bath, chills out, watches TV, does “whatever’s on the menu for the day”. When we met, that meant rehearsals for the new tour (now under way in Canada), hence his abstemiousness.
他大約一小時半跑十哩。(Laim，很抱歉，這樣只能算是慢跑哦! 但無論如何，這樣做的確很棒。) 接著回到家，送小孩到學校，洗個澡，看看電視，看看今天發生什麼事。當我們見面時，他準備在排演新巡迴的演唱。
“Last week me voice was a bag o’shite, I had to have a word with meself. I want this to be a success, I want this to be great, I thought I’m going to have to tone it down a bit. Load of big fat lines, load of cigarettes, staying up late talking the same shit you talked the night before and the night before that, that’s not good for it [his voice]. It’s not a big deal. I’ve got willpower.” When his voice is good, he says, “no one can touch me”. (Many would agree.) “And when it’s bad, it’s a bit better than Pete Doherty’s.”
“上個星期我的嗓音很糟，我自己也檢討了一下。我想要讓巡迴非常成功，讓它能更棒，我想我應該降低一點音調。大量的菸酒都會有影響，這對嗓子很不好，我應該要有更強的意志力。" 而當天嗓音很棒的時候，他會說:"沒人比的上我!" (許多人當然同意。) “而當他變糟的時候，他只比Pete Doherty’s好一點而已。"
When he does drink, he says, he might “do a bottle of tequila in a couple of hours, no problem. The good stuff, Patrón.” Doesn’t that make him ill? “No, I feel all right. Red wine I can’t handle, just want to batter everyone. On tequila, I’m Bob Monkhouse. I’m a good drinker, but it’s dominos, isn’t it? Get pissed, smoke, do the other…”
當他開始喝酒時，他也許可以在一兩個小時之類乾光一瓶tequila，完全沒問題。這讓他身體變差嗎? “不，我感覺一切都很好，只是紅酒我不太能掌控，我只是想乾倒每一個人。如果是tequila，我就化身Bob Monkhouse，我酒量很好，不過這只是偽裝罷了，對吧? 如果開始喝酒的話，那抽菸或做其他事也難免…"
I ask if he’s mellowed with age. “I can still go pound for pound with any clown at any time,” he says. “I’m not on about fighting, I can still have it drinking or whatever. But yeah, I’ve mellowed, but not in the sense of liking Radiohead or Coldplay. I don’t hate them. I don’t wish they had accidents. I think their fans are boring and ugly and they don’t look like they’re having a good time.” Liam doesn’t like any contemporary bands. “Not interested. I play the Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks, Neil Young, the Pistols. Maybe a bit of the Roses. Don’t like modern bands. Topman music, innit?”
我問他他是否成熟了? “我現在仍然可以撂倒每一個傢伙!" Liam說。"但我不是喜歡打架，我還是能喝酒和幹別的事。但是，我覺得我是成熟了，但不是喜歡Radiohead或Coldplay那樣。我是不討厭他們，我不希望他們有任何情況發生。我只是覺得他們的歌迷很無趣而且很鳥，他們看起來不太像很享受那樣。" Liam不像是當代其他的樂隊。"我對其他的音樂不太感興趣，我會播放Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks, Neil Young, the Pistols，也許偶而也聽一點Stone Roses。我不喜歡現在的樂隊。"
These days, he says, “Family’s the most important thing. The kids are just the b******s, I enjoy their company more than some idiot in a band or some actor. That’s how I’ve changed. Years ago I was in the pub.” Did he always want to be a dad? “No, not really. Just wanted to get off me tits and do music, but once you get your missus pregnant, you’ve got to step up to the plate.”
這些日子以來，他說: “家庭是最重要的事，我的孩子們都很出色，我喜歡陪著他們多過於一些其他樂隊裡的蠢蛋和一些藝人。那是我改變的地方。在以前我只喜歡待在pub。" 他一直以來都很想當個父親嗎? “不，也不是這樣。只是想要女人和做音樂，但當你讓你另一半懷孕的時候，你就得負責。"
He has two boys, Lennon, almost 9, who lives with his mum, Liam’s ex-wife Patsy Kensit, and Gene, just 7, who lives with Liam and his second wife, Nicole Appleton of All Saints. The boys attend the same school. Private or state? “Private.” Was that an issue for him? “Not at all. Not a-f****** tall. They’ve got every right to be there as much as some banker’s son. When I pick me kid up, I feel amazing.” Liam left his own school, Catholic, all-boys, at 15. “Had no time for it. Got a job creosoting fences. Fifty quid a week.”
他有兩個孩子，一個是Lennon，現在差不多九歲了，現在跟他前妻Patsy同住；另一個是Gene，已經七歲了，現在和他和現在的妻子Nicole同住。這兩個小孩都上同一所學校。私立的還是公立的呢? “私立的。" 這有煩到你嗎? “馬的，一點都不會! 他們完全可以和銀行的子女們一樣上私校，這絕不是問題! 當我去接我的小孩的時候，我感覺很興奮很棒!" Liam15歲的時候就離開他的學校。"那時候我沒有時間待在學校，我得到一份刷圍牆的工作，一個星期50鎊。"
I mention that when I had interviewed Noel, he said he worried he wasn’t a good dad to Anais, then 2, his daughter by Meg Mathews. “He shouldn’t get hung up about it,” says Uncle Liam. “She’s only 8. If any bad days have gone down you make it up to her, don’t you?” As for his own paternal ability: “I’m the b*******s at being a dad. I’m top. We have a lot of fun.” Who’s stricter, him or Nicole? “Me. I’m the bad cop, she’s the good cop. I’m not Hitler, but they’re getting older, they make a mess, they tidy it up.” What if they swear? “I give ’em a medal! Nah, they don’t swear.”
我有提到當我之前訪問Noel的時候，他說過他很擔心他不是他女兒Anais的好父親。"他不應該這麼在意，他的女兒才八歲，還有很多時間能補償。" 我問Liam你有父親的本領嗎? “我超適合當父親的! 我超強而且頂尖。我很開心當個爸爸。" 你和Nicole是會嚴格的管教? “我會，我都扮黑臉，她扮白臉。我也不是希特勒，但是他們漸漸長大，他們只要搞個亂七八糟，就要負責收拾好。" 他們會罵髒話嗎? “如果他們說的話，我會頒面獎牌! 不是啦，他們不會罵髒話的。"
He and his wife don’t go out much, he says. “Done all that, seen it, didn’t like it.” Did you get anything out of it? “Might have had a couple of lines out of it, couple of scraps, lot of earache.” If he and his wife do venture forth, they usually take Gene with them. “Go out at 6, out of there by 7.” Babysitters are not an issue. “Nicole’s mam is round the corner.” The Gallaghers do not employ a nanny. “Don’t need one.”
他們夫妻倆不常外出，他說。"以前都做過了，也都看過了，已經不喜歡出門了。" 以前沒有任何事情讓你記憶猶新嗎? “或許有什麼事，但都是些打架還是讓耳朵炸掉的事。" 他們都會帶Gene出門，也不需要保母，Nicole的媽媽會幫忙照顧，我們不需要任何保母。
Liam’s own mother is still in Burnage, the suburb of Manchester where the Gallaghers grew up. He phones her every day. “I enjoy speaking to her.” He offered to buy her a new house. “She said, ‘What would I move for? You can get us a new gate.’ Noel bought her a little cottage in Ireland. She goes there a bit.” Despite his Irish roots, Liam considers himself typically English. “I hate that plastic Paddy thing. I’m into the English thing, music, football, clothes.”
Liam的母親仍然住在曼徹斯特，他們成長的地方。他每天都會和他媽通電話。"我很喜歡打電話給她。" 他提議買一棟新房子給她媽媽。"她說，為什麼我要搬家?你可以打造一個新的大門給我。Noel在Ireland買了一個小別墅給她，她曾過去待了一下。" 雖然Liam有Irish的血緣，但他認為他自己是一個典型的英國人。"我不喜歡那邊的事物，我喜歡英國的一切，音樂、足球和服裝。"
The brothers’ estranged father lives in the house they grew up in. Liam was closer to his dad than were Noel or the eldest boy Paul (“He never beat me up, he beat the other two up”) but even so, he has no contact. “Not interested. Not angry, not sad, just nish.” Have his father’s shortcomings made him try harder as a dad himself? “Nah. I think you’ve got to do it right, not because he didn’t, but because they deserve it. I don’t dwell on it.”
和兩兄弟疏遠的父親現在仍住在當初他們成長的房子裡。Liam雖然比兩位哥哥還來的親近他父親一些，但他還是沒有在聯繫。"我不在乎，我沒有憤怒。也不會難過傷心，什麼都沒有。" 因為他父親過去的行為，會讓他更努力在父親這個角色上嗎? “沒有，只是我覺得要做的正確，不是因為他當初沒有做到我現在才去努力，這是我的孩子們應得的。我沒有做的特別好。"
Liam and Nicole have a second home in Henley-on-Thames. “Try to get there every weekend. Watch TV, play with the kids, sit in the garden, get in the pool, get out of the pool, go for a run, normal stuff.” How have the good people of Henley reacted to his arrival? “This lady walked past, she said, ‘You’re the coolest person I’ve seen in Henley since George Harrison.’ They’re pretty much the same as us really, they get a bad rap.” His house in Henley has its own bar, but he only stocks it with booze for special occasions.
Liam和Nicole在Henley-on-Thames有第二個家。每個星期都會去那哩，看看電視，和孩子們一起玩、坐在花園裡休息或者待在泳池裡。Henley如何看待他們到那邊的反應? “有位小姐經過，她說: 你是我自從George Harrison之後，在Henley最酷的人! 看來他們跟我們一樣有名。" 他們的屋子有自己的酒吧，但是只有在特殊的場合才會儲滿酒。
I ask Liam if he still feels working class. He pauses. “I’m not one of them that harp on about it like Billy Bragg. I was born on a council estate, we had no money, me mam and dad split up. Now I live in a nice area, kids go to private school, few quid in me pocket, so what? I am what I am. I’m just me. I’m not a flash **** if that’s what you’re saying. And I’m not the other one, whatever that is.” Middle class? “Right. The kids are middle class though, I suppose.”
我問Liam他是否還感覺是工人階級? 他停頓一下說: “我不像其他人一樣老是提著這樣的事。我在國宅出生，我們沒有錢，我媽和我爸也離婚。現在我住的地方很不錯，孩子們也上私校，口袋裡也有些錢，但那又怎樣? 我就是我，這就是我的人生，我也不會去炫耀誇大。我也不是和其他人一樣，管他是什麼。" 中產階級? 對，我的孩子應該是吧。"
I say when I asked Steven Gerrard the same question last year, about class, he got shirty. Liam’s interest picks up. “Oh aye, Gerrard got shirty, did he? Did I get shirty then?” Not especially, I reply, and, dropping another name, tell him how Paul Weller described resisting his partner’s attempts to lure him to middle-class dinner parties. “Well, he should have a working-class party, shouldn’t he?” says Liam. “Invite all of them, they won’t come again, will they? ’Cos apparently we’re scum.”
我談到我去年也問了Steven Gerrard同樣的問題，他整個人發怒。Liam蠻感興趣的，"他火大了? 我也要這樣做嗎?" 沒啥特別的，我回答Paul Weller也是一樣，討厭參加中產階級的餐聚。Liam說: “噢，那他應該舉辦一個工人階級的派對!" 邀請他們前來，可能都不會來吧?"
When he sees lads on street corners, so-called chavs, what does he think? “That’s exactly how I was, man, so I’ve got nothing bad to say about ’em. Whatever makes ’em happy. They look like dicks but fair play to them.” Does he feel a sense of solidarity with them? “What does that mean?” Do you feel, ‘That could have been me’? “That was me. Not ‘could have been’. And I ain’t going back there.”
當他看見有個傢伙在街頭轉角，他在想什麼? “老兄，那正就是我，所以我沒有什麼好說的。" Liam和他們之間有什麼共同的意識嗎? “這是什麼意思?" 你有感覺到’那可能成為我’? “那就是我，不是能成為我。我不會再回頭。"
As a teenager in Manchester, in the middle to late Eighties, he wore Adidas and Levi’s, “get me giro and might get a Lacoste top. Never had the money to splash out on Burberry, but I was into clothes big style. Still am.” Today he’s wearing Lee jeans, black Vans, black T-shirt, Holland Esquire suit jacket, a rubber wristband that says “Peace and love”. “Got that off Ringo Starr. Yeah, I like me clothes, and I don’t get ’em for nothing. I go and buy ’em like a proper dude.”
年輕的時候待在曼徹斯特，大約在八零年代中末時，他穿著Adidas和Levi’s，"給我Lacoste會比一台直升機更棒。從來沒有閒錢能花在Burberry上，但是我穿的很有型。" 今天他穿著Lee的牛仔褲、黑色的Vans、黑色T-shirt、Holland Esquire上衣、橡膠的袖口寫著"Peace and love"。我喜歡我的穿著，我不會亂穿一通。"
Kids and clothing aside, a lot of our conversation is about what Liam doesn’t like or doesn’t do. He has a Mini and a Range Rover but doesn’t drive, has never learnt. He doesn’t read, apart from to his children. “It’s Grizzly Dad today, about a dad that turns into a bear. Don’t like Dr Seuss, too smart.” He hasn’t got the patience for other books, “and it’s a form of people telling you how it is, isn’t it? I like to make my own mind up.” He doesn’t want to make new friends. “Quite happy with what I’ve got.”
除了小孩和衣服之外，大多談話的主題都圍繞著Liam不喜歡的事。他有一輛Mini和一輛Range Rover，但是他都不會開，也不曾學過。他也不愛閱讀，除了和他孩子在一起的時候。他沒有太多耐心在其他書上頭，"因為這都是人們告訴你該如何做，不是嗎? 我喜歡靠自己的意識做事。" 他也不喜歡結交新朋友。 “我已經夠快樂夠滿足了。"
He tends to go to the same pub. “Read the paper, have a beer, someone says ‘Mind if I join you?’, I might shoot the breeze, depends what mood I’m in.” He doesn’t go back to Manchester much, has stopped going to Man City, “just get mithered. Noel goes. He likes signing autographs.” He doesn’t socialise with his brother. “All we need to do is make music together.”
他常習慣去同一家酒吧。"看些報紙，喝啤酒，有些人問說:介意我和你聊聊嗎? 我心情好，我就會跟他們聊聊。" 他很久沒回去曼徹斯特了，也沒再去看曼城隊踢球了，他和Noel也不太常往來。"我們只需要一起做音樂。"
He’s tried golf a few times – “Bit of exercise, spliff, whack f*** out of the balls, beer afterwards, it’s good” – but doesn’t sound as if he’ll be taking it up regularly. Still, if he hadn’t made it as a rock star, he’d have fancied a job “cutting grass on a golf course. Nice and chilled. Outdoors, not inside, walls and that.”
He isn’t interested in politics, although he’ll watch Prime Minister’s Questions. “I like the noises they make.” When his brother went to Downing Street to meet Blair in 1997, he isn’t sure whether he was invited or not, but “I wouldn’t have gone.” He’s lost interest in feuding with other bands. “I’m cool with Damon [Albarn]. That was only a bit of a laugh.” How about Robbie Williams? “Funny how he says a couple of things then moves to LA, know what I mean? Gives it all that and packs his bags.”
他對政治不感興趣，雖然他會看Prime Minister’s Questions的節目。"我喜歡他們吵鬧。"當1997年Noel被邀請去首相布萊爾的家，Liam他也不確定他是不是有被邀請，但就算有他也不會去。"他也厭倦了對其他樂隊的爭執。"我和Damon還不錯，以前只是一點的玩笑。"那Robbie Williams呢? “很好笑，他烙下一些話之後就躲到LA去了，你知道我的意思嗎?"
He insists he is “a passionate man”, however, and there are three other subjects he becomes passionate about. One is the paparazzi. “See me coming out of a pub with five million birds, charlied out me head, they’ve every right to take a picture. Get in my way when I’m going about me business, freak my kid out, then they get a slap.”
Another is being in Oasis. “We’ve no competition, none at all.” He knows many people, including all critics and his own brother, think the band’s form dipped after the first two electrifying albums, but he isn’t having it. “Just ’cos Noel and a couple of divvy journalists think that doesn’t mean it’s right. I think all our records are great.”
And the other subject is religion. “I don’t pray and I don’t go to church but I’m intrigued by it, I dig it. I’m into the idea that there could be a God and aliens and reincarnation and some geezer years ago turning water into wine. I don’t believe when you die, you die. All the beautiful people who have been and gone, Lennon, Hendrix, they’re somewhere else, man. Whether it’s here or whether it’s there, they’re doing some musical thingummyjig. They got to be somewhere else, haven’t they? I’d like it if everyone were all right at the end of it.”
And shortly after that, Liam, by now a little late to pick his son up, bounces to his feet. He’s taking his lad to the cinema, or, as he puts it, “I’m off to f****** ’ave it with Kung Fu Panda.” Does it feel strange, I ask, to do a big interview for The Times? “No,” he says, staring coolly back, “it’s about f****** time.”
Liam現在有點晚去接他小孩，他趕忙走人。他要帶他去看電影，"我要去和功夫熊貓對決!" 我問說，和時代雜誌專訪，這感覺很怪吧? 他很酷的回頭瞪著我說:"不會! 馬的，這正是時候!"