"It might be the best, most practical advice I've ever had": Noel Gallagher reveals what Paul Weller told him in 1994

 Paul Weller (L) and Noel Gallagher attend the launch of "Real Stars Are Rare", the new menswear line from Paul Weller, at Somerset House on October 8, 2014 in London
(Image credit: David M. Benett/Getty Images)

Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller have a longstanding history as friends and collaborators, the song Jumble Queen from Weller's latest album 66 being the latest example. So Noel is the ideal guest to join host Dan Jennings on his excellent Paul Weller Fan Podcast. And it's a revealing chat for budding songwriters.

The two musicians first met in the '90s when Oasis broke through with their debut album Definitely Maybe and the songwriter remembers one piece of Modfather wisdom that has stuck with him ever since.

When asked if he worries about periods where he might struggle with songwriting, Noel said he doesn't worry about it at all, and drew on what Paul Weller told him in their first meeting. 

At the time in 1994, every time I went to f*****g toilet I was writing a song that became famous so it didn't apply then

"When I first ever met Paul in '94… he did say something that has stuck with me for years," remembers Gallagher. "It might be the best, most practical bit of advice I've ever had, which is relevant to this question. He said, 'When it's not there, don't chase it. Just let it go and let it find you.'

"At the time in 1994, every time I went to fucking toilet I was writing a song that became famous so it didn't apply then. As I got older and that thing when you're young and powerful, it kind of dissipates and leaves you a little bit, your instinct is to try and chase it. And I always hark back to that.

"That's what I do now," Noel says of not forcing the songwriting process. "He's the same, he'll have a song that is 12 years old on his new record, I don't know whether there's one on 66, but I'm the same. There will be some kind of an idea but it didn't work [at the time] but there was something about it that you were interested in. Just park it for a bit. I've done that, and sometimes it's taken me eight years to finish off [a song] but if it's got something of value in it, and it's good enough, it will come back to you.

"I don't worry about it, and that kind of thing comes with experience," reflects Noel. "I've made a lot of records and he's made a lot of records. We've seen it all, although we're still learning I'd like to think… I'm calm with it now, and I'd imagine he is too. He's a lot calmer than he was."

Noel contributed lyrics to Jumble Queen, but reveals he's envious of his friend's abilities as a wordsmith: "His lyrics are amazing to me, I think he's one of the most lyricists ever. If I could write lyrics like that I'd give up music and be a fucking poet!"

More Weller

Paul Weller

(Image credit: Paul Weller)

Paul Weller on The Jam's Going Underground: “It wasn’t one of those tunes where I came in the studio and had it all written. We jammed on it quite a bit.”

With collaboration, Noel admits the two of them work better sending each other ideas rather than sitting in a room with their guitars. And the High Flying Birds man is acutely aware that he's working with someone who was a hero to him growing up.

"I had posters of this guy on my wall when I was a teenager at school," he admits to Jennings. "Being the jam fan thing is all passed now, he's my mate now, still for me it would be like sitting at a table across from McCartney saying, '"Let's write a song'. You quickly realise what a shitkicker you are because he's fucking amazing. It can be intimidating."

Check out the full episode above and catch up on more from the Paul Weller Fan Podcast here


Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.