Noel Gallagher on making an exception for his "Oasis-y" new song, why he's gone back to album writing on an acoustic guitar and how he's getting on with Liam

(Image credit: Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

Though we can't say Noel Gallagher would be anywhere near the top of our list of musicians to feel sorry for, we would probably be a bit tired of being asked about an Oasis reunion too if we were him. To his credit he's fielded the question again, but we are happy to report his answer this time leaves some hope in the air for fans - especially regarded his current state of play with brother Liam.

Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester's Mike Sweeney to mark the release of his excellent new song Easy Now and the announcement of his fourth album with the High Flying Birds, Council Skies, Noel responded unexpectedly to the host's question about how he and Liam were getting on these days. 

"Oh brilliantly, yeah," Noel replied. "Genuinely, he's taking a year out apparently to find himself." 

Whether Noel was joking about that remains to be seen. But his reply to the question of a reunion with Our Kid was deadpan; "One should never say never," Noel began. "But I have to be honest… if Oasis hadn't fulfilled its potential; there would be something [to do it for]. The Stone Roses hadn't really fulfilled their potential, right, so it was worthwhile for them to come back.

"Oasis smashed it repeatedly for 20-odd years," Noel continued. "It would have to take an extraordinary set of circumstances but that's not to say those circumstances wouldn't come about."

This song kind of sits somewhere between Little By Little and The Masterplan

The songwriter also talked about the Oasis-isms of new song Easy Now in typically confident but honest terms. "When I'm writing a song and I start to feel things have got too Oasis-y, I would kind of turn my back on a song like that [in the past] and I don't feel the need to rewrite stuff that I was doing 30 years ago when it's never going to be as good as 30 years ago, Noel explained. "So I would shy away from that. But once in a while a song will fall out of the sky which does sound Oasis-y but is the equal of anything I ever did with Oasis. 

"And this song, it kind of sits somewhere between Little By Little and The Masterplan, and it took a while to write but I have to say it's a great, great guitar anthem. It's got an amazing guitar solo. It ticks all the boxes. It's just a great song and it's reminiscent of those great Oasis mid-paced anthems. But I wouldn't have even bothered finishing it off if I didn't think it was as good as those songs."

Noel Gallagher

(Image credit: Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

He went on to explain why Council Skies goes back to the acoustic guitar-based approach to his songwriting. "The great bands that evolve, every album is a reaction to the album that came before it. And the last album, Who Built The Moon, was improvised and very electronic; it was something that I'd never done before. This one I wanted to be a reaction to that and go back to basics. Who Built The Moon was not written on an acoustic guitar and this one was."

I guess the songs are a bit reflective

While the demo of the album song Trying To Find A World That's Been And Gone emerged a year ago, another demo Noel released for the album bonus track song, We're Gonna Get There In The End, emerged a whole two years ago. The songwriter has now revealed most of the album was indeed penned in the strange times of 2020. 

"I wrote it in that first heavy lockdown period in 2020, when we were isolated for nine months. I guess the songs are a bit reflective. There's nothing quite like a string section or orchestra that can squeeze the emotion out of a song," the musician said of the use of strings on the record – tracked at Abbey Road

Noel also revealed the bands that ignited his desire to play guitar in the first place. "I think seeing The Jam on the Old Grey Whistle Test and then seeing The Damned live," he reflected. "Then picking up a guitar and playing Joy Division bass lines on the top string for about six months was kind of what ignited my love or wanting to hold a guitar and doing that kind of thing."

Listen to the full interview 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.