Photographed for SPIN by Alan Clarke
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He may not be Oasis’ frontman — that’d be his little brother Liam — but Noel Gallagher has never been afraid to shoot off his mouth. “Ten years ago we told everyone with a mic we were the greatest thing ever," he says. “Now we just quietly believe it."
By Michael Odell
Michael Odell說道：他也許不能成為Oasis的主唱 — 因為那是他兄弟Liam的位置 — 但Noel從不停止他的嘴巴滔滔不絕… 頭子說：「十年過去了，我們曾經對大家說我們將成為最偉大的樂隊。現在我們可以在心中默認這句話了。」
A beaming Noel Gallagher strolls across the floor of a North London photo studio enthusing about a new and exciting phase of his life, looking lean and reasonably healthy in everybloke casualwear: blue checked shirt, jeans, and desert boots. It’s not just that he has a seventh Oasis album, Dig Out Your Soul, ready for release or that he has spent a morning playing with his oneyearold son, Donovan, whom he describes as “an absolute diamond." It’s the fact that he has started sleepwalking.
Noel愉快的在北倫敦攝影工作室閒晃，他正感受到人生當中全新且令人興奮的階段。他外表看起略瘦，隨興的穿著讓他看起來健康還不錯: 藍格子襯衫，牛仔褲，腳踏沙漠靴。現在不僅僅只是即將發行第七張綠洲專輯"Dig Out Your Soul"的時刻，或者他花整個早晨陪他一歲的兒子，被他稱為鑽石的"Donovan"玩耍。另外事實上，頭子居然有了夢遊的症狀。
“Last night I got into bed with me missus and woke up on the middle floor of the house on the couch," he says. “Amazing! I’m 41 and I’m starting this whole new nocturnal adventure." He and his girlfriend, Sara Macdonald, were out drinking beer and tequila with British comedian Russell Brand until the early hours — Gallagher doesn’t remember anything after climbing into a rickshaw in London’s Soho district and being cheered through the streets. “Maybe that counts as a drunken stupor," he muses. “Is that the same as sleepwalking?"
“昨晚我和我老婆上床睡覺，結果我半夜醒來我發現我在客廳的沙發上" 頭子說。"嚇死我了! 我已經41歲了，居然現在開始來個全新的夜遊探險。" 他和他的女友"Sara Macdonald"，前幾個小時他們和一位英國的喜劇演員"Russell Brand"一起喝了點啤酒和龍舌蘭 — 他完全不記得之後爬上倫敦蘇活區的人力車和在大街上乾杯的任何事情。"也許這是酒醉不醒人事之後的症狀" 頭子沉思。這就像夢遊一樣吧?
Dig Out Your Soul sounds like you ordered in the ingredients, and all the labels on the jars read ROCK or MORE ROCK.
I’m glad you said that. Yes, we wanted a rock’n’roll album…with grooves. Making records should be fun. I remember seeing Radiohead on the cover of a magazine in the U.K. when In Rainbows came out, and it said, RADIOHEAD: THE PAIN. And I thought, “Won’t you fucking give it a rest, you bunch of moaning children?" The pain? Of making an album? I don’t buy it. If you’re not having a laugh, then don’t do it.
我很高興你這樣說。對，我們想在絕佳的狀態之下…做一張搖滾專輯。錄製唱片應該是很快樂的事，但我記得曾經看見Radiohead出現在英國的雜誌封面上，那時候他們的唱片"In Rainbows"剛發行，而上面寫著Radiohead: 痛苦(THE PAIN)。但我心想，"你們他媽的乾脆好好休息一陣子，像個發牢騷的小鬼" 這麼痛苦的製作這張專輯? 我才不會買。如果你不開心，就不要做這件事。
Surely the whole process wasn’t all fun.
Well, no, there was a problem on day one. I had seven songs I was putting forward. They weren’t pop songs; they were bluesy. We had a meeting and I said, “Let’s concentrate more on bass and guitars and have more keyboards and get some remixes done." Liam immediately had a tantrum in the studio and was dancing round saying, “No one told me we were making a fucking dance album! I’m not having this shit. We’re a rock band." One day he saw some crew unloading keyboards into the studio and went mad: “What are those fucking keyboards doing in here? That’s too many keyboards for a rock’n’roll band." How long has Liam been doing this? He has an irrational fear of keyboards. But this is the man who thought we had gone too dance when I wrote “Wonderwall" because the drums didn’t go boom-boom bap, boom-boom-bap. Liam is very institutionalized by being in Oasis. He’s been doing it for so long. Me, [guitarist] Gem [Archer], and [bassist] Andy [Bell] were helping him arrange his song “I’m Outta Time" and tried to ease him away from the clichés. But in the end, he can’t resist them.
唔，第一天我們就有個問題。我送出了有七首歌，不是流行歌，也不是藍調。之後，我們開了個會，我說"讓我們灌注在貝斯和吉他上面更多一些，也多一些鍵盤的分量，讓他們混合。" Liam馬上在錄音室發飆，"沒有人告訴過我，我們要做一張他X的舞曲專輯，我們可是搖滾樂隊！" 而有一天，他看見一些工作人員把幾台keyboard放進錄音室裡，他火大的走過去: “這幾台該死的keyboard擺在這裡做什麼? 對一個搖滾樂隊來說，這是多餘的！" 他非常無理的討厭keyboard，但有人認為我們應該做些不一樣的音樂。Liam從以前就習慣成為Oasis的一員，長久以來他一直如此。我、[吉他手]Gem、[貝斯手]Andy Bell一起協助他編寫他的歌曲"I’m Outta Time"，而且試著讓他不偏向陳腔濫調。但到後來，還是無法阻擋他們。
Liam told me he hates “Wonderwall." It’s the one song he literally hates singing.
That’s interesting, because he would never say that to me. Well, I hate him singing it, too. Liam doesn’t sound like he did ten years ago. Your voice and your body change. We’ve never got it right. It’s too slow or too fast. I think Ryan Adams is the only person who ever got that song right. I’d love to do the Ryan Adams version, but in front of 60,000 Oasis fans that wouldn’t be possible.
真有趣，因為他從來沒跟我說過。唔，我不喜歡他這樣說。Liam的歌聲已經不像十年前那樣了。你的聲音和你的身體逐年改變，我們沒辦法永遠保持最佳狀態，變化來的太快或者來的太慢。我想Ryan Adams是唯一我覺得能把歌曲永遠演繹的很好的歌手。我想我可能可以把這首歌取做成Ryan Adams的版本，但是在六萬Oasis歌迷面前，我想這不可能發生的。
Liam is finally pulling his weight in the songwriting department, isn’t he? He wrote three for the new album.
Yeah, he’s a good songwriter. I think he regrets not starting earlier. For years I’ve said, “If you’re so convinced you’re John Lennon, then prove it."
Why don’t you ever write together?
We don’t see each other very often. And I like writing on my own. Me and Paul Weller first said, “Let’s write a song together," in 1993, but it took 15 years for it to happen. [Gallagher and Weller cowrote “Echoes Round the Sun" for Weller’s latest album, 22 Dreams.] A few times [Weller and I] made an appointment to meet at so-and-so studio at 11, and it’s painful. We sit there looking blankly at each other. And then we go down to the pub. With Liam, I wouldn’t know where to start.
我們不常相聚，而我喜歡自己一個人寫歌。1993年我第一次和Paul Weller說過: “讓我一起寫首歌吧"，但這件事經過了整整15個年頭才成真 (頭子和Paul Weller共同寫了一首"Echoes Round the Sun"的歌，放進了Weller最新的專輯"22 Dreams")。有一陣子我們兩個人在錄音室開會，感到很痛苦，因為我們什麼都沒幹的坐在那裏對看。之後，我們上Pub，也約了Liam，我不知道要如何開始。
You quit drugs in the late ’90s. “Bag It Up" sounds quite psychedelic. Are you back on mood-altering substances?
你在90年結束時戒掉了藥物，但"Bag It Up"聽起來很迷幻。你會回到這些控制情緒的藥物懷抱嗎?
No, “Bag It Up" is my little artistic statement. Not in the Coldplay sense. In fact, it’s an anti-artistic statement. I spend a lot of time with Serge Pizzorno from Kasabian getting fucking pissed, and he sent me a CD of stuff he was listening to. There was a track by the Pretty Things called “Baron Saturday." I became obsessed by that pounding rhythm, and I decided to write about acid trips I used to have. Running around being a mad cunt on magic mushrooms was my inspiration for them lyrics. I don’t want people to think it’s art, though.
不會，"Bag It Up"只是我的一個小小藝術表達，不是那種Coldplay的感覺。事實上，這首曲是一個反藝術的陳述。我花了很多時間和Kasabian的吉他手Serge瘋狂的喝掛，之後他借給我他聽過的一張CD。裡面有一首歌是Pretty Things寫的，曲名叫作"Baron Saturday."。我對這猛烈的節奏感到著迷，而我也決定也要寫有關藥物迷幻的歌曲。像是在"魔菇"的影響下瘋狂性愛，是我從歌詞中得到的靈感。我不想要人們認為這是藝術，儘管他們還是這樣認為。
What do you mean?
Well, Coldplay and Radiohead — they’re artists, aren’t they? Damon Albarn, he’s an artist. They make art. That’s what I keep getting told, anyway. I do like those bands, but they’re all posh boys who went to art school. [Oasis] come off a council estate [public housing]. It comes out of here. [Thumps his heart with a clenched fist] “Bag It Up" is anti-that. It’s a mongrel.
唔，Coldplay和Radiohead — 他們是藝術家，對吧? Damon Albarn他也是。他們創作藝術，那就是為什麼我一直在說的。我喜歡這些樂隊，但他們全是優雅的男孩，都上藝術學校。[Oasis]來自一般的住宅區。"Bag It Up"就是反對這個，這是混種的。
Your old rival Albarn has done Blur, an album in Mali, the virtual band Gorillaz, the Good, the Bad & the Queen, and now a Chinese opera. Does a part of you think, “I wish I’d taken more risks"?
The only thing I’ve got left to try to do is a solo album with a narrative running through it. Something like Greendale, by Neil Young. That would be as near art as I get. But even if I wanted to, how would I go about writing an opera?
Well, you already have the passionate central relationship, the tragic fallings-out
I don’t think two blokes having the same fucking argument for 16 years over and over is the stuff of opera. Oasis: The Opera would be very short. The fat lady would refuse to sing it. But I say this with no irony: It must be very nice to be able to turn your hand to anything. I’m not that driven. To go from Britpop and write a Chinese opera about a monkey, hats off to the guy. I couldn’t do it. And it got good reviews, although how you assess whether a Chinese opera about a monkey is any good is beyond me. But in my own defense, Damon isn’t actually in Blur, Gorillaz, or the Good, the Bad & the Queen, is he? He’s got time on his hands. That’s when an opera comes to you.
我不認為兩個傢伙能為了同樣的爭論吵了16年! Oasis: 這歌劇很短，台上的胖女士也拒絕再唱下去。我要說的是，這不是什麼諷刺。這一定能很順的轉變任何事情，我可不是一輛受驅使的馬車。從Britpop發跡，接著寫些有關於猴子的中國戲劇，我可沒辦法搞這些。而這得到不錯的評論，但是你如何評價寫些有關於猴子的中國戲劇是不是在我之上? 但其實在我自己看來，Damon其實不在Blur, Gorillaz, 或 the Good, the Bad & the Queen裡，他有自己的時間規劃，接下來就帶個戲劇給你。
You said you wanted the new Oasis album to have grooves. And yet you came out and said Jay-Z headlining Glastonbury was “wrong."
Well, I never said those words. You need verbatim quotes here. I’ve been doing interviews with American magazines, and the way it’s played itself out is that I said Jay-Z had no right to play Glastonbury, which is a crock of horseshit. I got off a plane and someone asked me about the fact that Glastonbury hadn’t sold out for the first time in years, and if it was because of Jay-Z. I innocently mused that that was probably right. From there it grew into this crap that I was standing on an orange crate at Speakers’ Corner saying, “Gather round, brothers and sisters. Have you heard what’s happening at Glastonbury this year?"
唔，我從沒說過那樣的話，你應該逐字的引用我的句子才對。我之前跟美國雜誌專訪，我說Jay-Z不適合在Glastonbury表演，那很弱。我一下飛機，有人問我有關於Glastonbury第一次沒有完售，是不是和Jay-Z有關。我沉思然後說，那很有可能是。要我站在Speakers’ Corner門前問說:"各位! 你們有聽說今年的Glastonbury怎麼了嗎?"
But still, you sounded reactionary and old-fashioned
I have a certain turn of phrase. So if I say, “Chicken sandwiches in McDonald’s are just plain fucking wrong," it doesn’t mean I’m attacking all chickens or all sandwiches. I’ve hung out with Jay-Z in Tokyo. I’ve seen his show. It’s not my bag, but it’s all right. We have a mutual friend in Chris Martin. So I am a guy who doesn’t like hip-hop — shock, horror. I don’t dislike rappers or hip-hop or people who like it. I went to the Def Jam tour in Manchester in the ’80s when rap was inspirational. Public Enemy were awesome. But it’s all about status and bling now, and it doesn’t say anything to me.
我想要改變一下說法，所以如果我說:"麥當勞賣雞肉三明治就是該死的錯誤!"，但這不代表我討厭所有的雞肉或三明治。我曾經和Jay-Z到東京去，我看過他的表演。我只能說那不是喜歡的，但這一切都不錯! 我們有共同的朋友，Chris Martin。我只是個不喜歡嘻哈的人罷了，但我不會去嫌棄饒舌歌手或喜歡嘻哈的人。我在80年的時候去過Def Jam在曼城的演唱，那時的rap帶給我些靈感。Public Enemy也令人尊敬。
Do you think hip-hop fans could get anything out of Oasis?
Yeah. In England the white working class are feared, and our music is working-class expression. We have a lot in common with hip-hop. Apart from people pumping shotgun pellets into each other.