Liam Gallagher is about to do something he’s never done before: release a solo album.
Due out Oct. 5, the set, called “As You Were,” finds Gallagher stepping out on his own for the first time. There’s no Oasis. No Beady Eye, his post-Oasis band, anywhere to be found. It’s just Gallagher’s distinctive vocals backed by music infused with ’60s and ’70s influences.
And it all feels, well, a little strange for the 44-year-old singer, he says. It doesn’t feel quite right.
If it were up to Gallagher, he would still be in a band. And if you go a step further than that, he’d still be making music with his brother Noel as Oasis.
“I don’t want to be here sitting talking about a solo album,” Liam told HuffPost during a visit to New York to play a pair of solo gigs. “I’m Oasis. I never wanted Oasis to split up. If Oasis was still there, I would be happy. This solo thing feels alien, although I’m going to give it a good shot.”
Liam and his brother formed Oasis in Manchester, England, in 1991. Hits, fame and accolades followed. And regardless of how old you were when “Wonderwall” (written by Noel, with lead vocals by Liam) came out, there’s still something about the line, “I don’t believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now,” that gets you every time.
But brotherly issues got in the way, a major falling out took place, and the band announced they were splitting in 2009 ― just minutes before they were supposed to take the stage at the Rock en Seine festival near Paris.
“It is with some sadness and great relief ... I quit Oasis tonight,” Noel said at the time in a statement. “People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer.”
According to Liam, they haven’t spoken to each other since 2009, aside from “a bit of a shouting match at a football match.”
So, what would it take to get Oasis back together?
“We need to like each other first,” Liam said, explaining, “I never did Oasis for money. Me and him [Noel] have got to be on speaking terms. We’ve got to get back to liking each other and once that happens I guess the next step would be to get the band back together. But that is way, way, way off. Because we’re not speaking to each other. We don’t like each other. We’re totally different people.”
But he quickly added, “I would love nothing more in the world” than to reunite as Oasis.
Although Liam has had some choice words to say about his brother over the years, including during our interview (“he threw me under the bus” and “he loves having the power,” Liam charged, among other things), he insisted the good times “without a doubt” outweigh the bad ones.
“Getting a record deal was the best memory,” he said, adding, “Playing the football grounds in your hometown. There were loads of great moments … When I look back, I look back with fond memories.”
Going on tour and simply singing songs he loves are reasons why Liam decided to get back to it. With “As You Were,” he co-wrote and produced some of the tracks, alongside various collaborators.
“When it’s not there, you miss it,” Liam said about recording music and performing live. “You don’t appreciate it when you got it. It’s good to be back.”
So, with or without his older brother, Liam is full steam ahead for now. He’s loving the chance to sing both his solo tracks and classic Oasis songs in concert. His set list has included “Wonderwall,” “Morning Glory,” “Slide Away” and “Be Here Now,” along with new tracks like “Greedy Soul” and “Wall of Glass.”
“It’s like getting back on a bike. I like singing it [Oasis songs],” he said, adding, “I want to see people jumping up and down.”
Just hours before hitting the stage at The Heath inside The McKittrick in New York City, Liam looked around his hotel room with a smile and said, “It’s going to be fucking amazing.”
Two days later, fans packed into Rough Trade in Brooklyn, New York, for an intimate show. Phones in hands, they sang along to both Liam’s new songs and Oasis hits. (One fan even held up an Oasis vinyl record throughout nearly the entire gig.) Jumping up and down, they chanted “Liam, Liam, Liam, Liam” in between songs.
Following his performance of “Wonderwall,” Liam appeared satisfied, thanking the crowd and saying, “Look out for yourselves.”