Noel Gallagher has said Oasis would have been “written off“ if they had started the band during the social media era.
Speaking to Arturia, Gallagher was typically forthright about technology and how it has affected his craft, augmenting the music industry landscape for good and for ill. While social media channels offer young musicians a great platform for exposure, it can be an unforgiving medium for bands whose sound is yet to develop. Gallagher believes that it would have been fatal for Oasis' ambitions.
“With the advent of the internet, Oasis would’ve been written off. For the first couple of years we were shit…“ he said. “People would’ve gone on YouTube, seen a few gigs, and said ‘not interested’. We’d never have got to Live Forever.“
Gallagher had a much more favourable view of technology's influence on his songwriting. For an artist long associated with the bare bones of rock songwriting, guitar and voice, it was perhaps surprising to hear that the superlative Arturia V Collection of virtual instruments is now a critical tool for songwriting.
“When I first starting using this stuff, I was expecting for it to be, like most things that are digital versions of the real deal, good but a little bit shit,“ he said. “I was blown away by it, it was incredible. I couldn’t believe it. They just behave themselves.“
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While Gallagher acknowledges that there has historically been a tension between synthesized instruments and rock music, and that he would not consider himself a keyboard player, he credits VST plugins for revitalising his sound. Now he will sketch out a song idea before spending hours fleshing it out on a virtual synth to can change the mood.
“It adds an atmosphere and takes it away from rock music,“ he said. “When I do get a keyboard player in, they’ll embellish it and play it better – I love it, because it’s like a rebirth as an artist. To get a rebirth as an artist in your 50s is a fucking privilege.“
That said, Gallagher has not lost sight of the fundamentals. Songwriting is like fishing, he says. He needs to be relaxed before the ideas present themselves. And reassuringly, he is still very much the guitar player, confessing that the likes of the Synclavier V and Mellotron V presets have enough range of sounds to inspire him without losing days down the rabbit hole as he creates his own synths.
“I cannot sit there for hours, looking at a keyboard, and none of the language makes any sense to me – far less the keys… So I’m a big believer in presets,“ he said.
You can check out the full interview at the top of the page. For more information on the Arturia V Collection 8, check out MusicRadar's five-star review, or head on over to Arturia for more information.