Noel Gallagher says a particularly memorable early Oasis rehearsal set him on his way to songwriting success. At the same time, however, he’s comfortable with knowing he isn’t as good a writer as some people believe him to be – arguing that it’s a healthy attitude.
Noel’s brother Liam Gallagher and guitarist Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs formed Oasis while Noel was on tour with British indie band the Inspiral Carpets, working as a roadie. Things began to come together for Noel during a Sunday afternoon jam, after they’d performed a show that didn’t feature any of his compositions.
“I was just sitting, playing guitar,” Noel told BBC Radio 2. “I remember our kid saying, ‘Well, let’s do one of yours. What have you got? You’ve got tunes anyway.’ So I was like, ‘Okay, well, if I play that, you play this, you do that beat.’
“And then, at that moment, an explosion went off, because when you hear your own songs for the first time being played by other people, it’s like, ‘Oh, wow!’” Noel added, “and I remember that being a hair on the back of the neck moment where it’s like, ‘This sounds amazing!’ From that moment onward I was obsessed with it, and still [am] to this day.”
His approach to writing perhaps inevitably changed in the aftermath of Oasis’ collapse, since he “felt more weight” when he was creating hits for the band that split in 2009.
“So if I’m writing a song now, I don’t think about ‘Live Forever’ or ‘Supersonic’ or ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Star’” Noel said. “If you were to worry about that you’d never finish anything. You’re here, in the now, there’s a record coming out. People will enjoy it next year. Hopefully, people will have nice things to say about it – because, as thick-skinned as I am, it is nice to read nice things about what you do. But if the record bombs, there’s another one on the way already.”
In time, Noel said, “I’ve learned as a songwriter not to overthink it – not to chase it. I’ve accepted that I’ve got a knack for melody. I’m not as good as people think I am. I think that’s healthy. I can write a tune. But there’s people who write better tunes than me … Even though I don’t chase it I never stopped digging. … There’s always something.”
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