Noel Gallagher is not a fan of much contemporary pop music, as you may have garnered from his recent slagging of the British breakout star of the moment, Lewis Capaldi, as “wank.” But if he’s not about to take his cues from any current hitmakers or producers, that doesn’t mean he wants to recycle the glory-days sounds of his tenure in Oasis, either. So on “Black Star Dancing EP,” the new five-song collection he’s released with his current band the High Flying Birds, Gallagher is turning to some favorite sounds from his youth that he previously hadn’t mined quite as much to put a new spring in his step.
Oh, I turned it down, yeah. It’s like, “Can I ask you a favor?” “No, you can't. You are as dumb as you f—ing look.” I don't give a f— what music you have in your film; you’re not putting any of mine in. Have you seen it? If some f—ing moron is going to make a film slagging me off, calling my wife a c—, after trolling my kids on the Internet, after being a filthy little misogynist sexist prick who cannot keep his f—ing mouth off Twitter, and then call me to ask me a favor, I’m like, “Wow. Go f— yourself.” You're not using my songs to sell his f—ing film.
It's great that you can be a star at Glastonbury without having to actually come to the festival.
In America, you're going to be touring with Smashing Pumpkins. Is that random, or is there a reason that makes sense?
It is like a third world country, but for f—'s sake, man, you must have had a better day than this. He's just thinking, “Wow!” Well, I know you're Scottish and all that, but f—ing hell! The greatest day of his life that I slagged him off or called him an idiot. It’s the greatest day of his f—ing life so far. F—ing Chewbacca should enjoy his 15 minutes. Surely!
People seem to have become comfortable with your diversions, as an outgrowth of where Oasis was headed in the latter days.
Is there anything going on in music that makes you proud at all?
So they just do facsimiles of what they were.…. There's plenty of people trying to do that Oasis thing, right, and you’ll get people saying it's rock and roll. It's unsophisticated music for unsophisticated people. I do write now a lot on the bass, yeah. I suppose that's why rock stars, when they get into their 50s, just kind of give up a little bit, because they can't be f—ing asked to be reinventing themselves, or trying. But it keeps you on your toes. Well, rock and roll it might be, but it's f—ing shit. It's been very liberating and it takes you into a different area musically. It might sound like the f—ing Stooges, but it is shit. That can be a struggle when you play live, because then I play guitar and I've got another guitarist and you’ve got to try and get two guitarists onto a track that's got no guitar on it. Bass, drums and a vocal — that's really all you need.
It's a race to the bottom. It just seems to me that every singer-songwriter gets to be shitter than the next person. They should stop obsessing about me, because really, I'm not even that good. … You're the proof of that. [Liam got in a dig at Noel during his set, performing “Roll With It” and then saying: “There's no way that's shit. But there were a lot of people talking about me from the main stage at Glastonbury over the weekend. And you dig deep enough with these c—s, they're not even singer-songwriters, because they don't f—ing write their own songs. So next time you see the little fart, you tell him."] People are obsessed with me.
No, no, she tweeted, "I want to be Lewis Capaldi when I grow up."
What can I do? But it’s a curse. It was unbelievable.” I was in f—ing Holland, high as a f—ing monkey. Well, I know. My wife was there and she said, “All you could hear was people chanting your name. I'm having the f—ing weekend off, and I'm still one of the best things at Glastonbury.
No, it hasn’t opened in America yet.
F—ing indeed.
Anyone in the States coming to see Gallagher and the High Flying Birds tour with the Smashing Pumpkins in August will hear plenty that’s familiar, though. We also got to a couple of things Gallagher does like: vintage David Bowie and Britain’s thriving grime genre. In a transatlantic call with Variety, he didn’t mince words on much, whether the topic was modern rock (“It might sound like the f—ing Stooges, but it is shit”), the youth of today (“All they can do is take pictures of each other”), his unlikely feud with Capaldi (“Chewbacca better enjoy his 15 minutes”), or his brother Liam’s new documentary film (“Apparently there’s a lot of jogging in it”). And the most unchanging thing of all about Gallagher is his sometimes hilariously unvarnished outspokenness.
It's Father's Day, I'm being slagged off by a man who is old enough to be my Da' and I've never been more happy.”] [Besides wearing the T-shirt, the young star posted a video saying, “Noel Gallagher has just slagged me off. This is dreams coming true. Lewis Capaldi.
Apparently it’s the in thing — Queen and Elton John, and I’ve seen a trailer for another one the other day, some f—ing thing about somebody else. There are a lot of music movies doing the rounds at the moment, aren’t there? Well, the Beatles must have been involved somewhat. … I don't know. Paul McCartney must have been, because he would have had to clear his songs, right?
U.S. [It begins August 8 in Camden, NJ and wraps up August 31 in Mountain View, Calif.] Your tour in Europe got strong reviews these last few months, for how the old and new stuff fared, juxtaposed. fans look forward to seeing you over here in August.
Who f—ing knows? F—ing lunatics.” And then it all became apparent, and before I know it I was going, “Ahhh, Stormzy.” So that's great. Or Young Fathers will come along and you'll think “This is f—ing amazing,” then they disappear for five years. But will they ever make an album? I was watching his thing on Friday at Glastonbury, and while I was watching him, I was thinking, “Ah, so that's what my children are on about when they’re dancing around the kitchen at 8 o'clock in the morning.” Because my kids, they love f—ing grime, and I watch them through one squinted eye, thinking, “What is a Vossi Bop? There's a bunch from Wales called Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, which they’ve got a couple of good tunes. You know, some of the grime of Stonezy is great. What is he talking about? They don't really speak for me. It's kind of street jive, isn’t it? But yeah, there’s good stuff. A band will come along like Jungle, and they'll have a great first album, then they'll just disappear off the face of the earth for five years. It doesn't seem anybody can get any momentum. I'm not an expert on it. Yeah, you do hear odd things from time to time, but it seems that it can never be sustained.
Anyway, somebody said to the Smashing Pumpkins, “Who would you want to open up for you,” and they said “Oh, well, how about that f—ing guy?” Somebody called me and said, is that a thing you’d consider? I wouldn't say I was a huge fan of Smashing Pumpkins, (but) they’re good tunes. I never saw them in their heyday, but I'm looking forward to it, and looking forward to being in America in August, if the weather will be nice, if nothing else. Yeah, there's a few festivals, but if somebody can hit the magic number, then we'll do it.” And we're gonna have a great time. I've (already) done my (proper) American tour last year for six weeks, and I loved it. And I was like, “What am I doing in August? it's actually one of my favorite places to play now. The more that I tour the States, the older that I get, the more I like it.
Any plans to check it out, just for a lark?
Record execs have got their spreadsheets, and if the numbers don't add up, then they get someone else to do the job, Whereas I think when I first started in the music business, the record labels worked for me, right? It's not about whether there is any longevity in it. They’re so happy to be on stage at Glastonbury … Who was the Scottish guy you were going on about before? They came to me and said, “Please, can we put your records out, because you are amazing.” And I was like, “Hmmmmm. The record industry is absolutely not f—ing interested in guitar music. Go on, then.” Now, i people go into record labels and say, “Please, will you put my records out? I will f—ing do anything.” And that is the fundamental difference: people are so pleased to be in the music business. It's all about how many followers you've got on social media and how many likes this got and how many streams that got.
They’re titles, you know what I mean? I can please myself from here on in. It's amazing how people will say, “Oh, I love your new direction,” and I’m thinking, “Well, all I've done is taken the rhythm guitar off everything.” Lo and behold, I've reinvented myself — and it’s just like, wow, if I’d have known it was that f—ing easy, I’d have done it 20 years ago. My favorite period of David Bowie, if there is one, is “Ashes to Ashes” and “Scary Monsters” up to “Let’s Dance.” And (I was) just listening to those records and saying, hang on a minute, there is no rhythm guitar on any of these records, (so) the first thing I want to do is ditch the rhythm guitar. They've got the Oasis records. If I’m working on a thing and I get to a point where I don't have the chorus, and I walk past my record collection and see “Blackstar” by David Bowie and go “hang on a minute” … But it's not in any way an homage to that album. It was just a case of feeling a bit free. I’m 52 now, and I don't give a f— what people think about me or where I’m going. I don't give a f— what Oasis fans think.
I was still on the road, and I had a lot of material, but it was too soon to put out an album. Luckily enough, I’m on my own record label, so what I f—ing say goes. It was like, let's just put out three EPs and see what happens. By the time these three EPs are wrapped up at the end of the year, there'll be 9, 10 new songs, so it's kind of like putting out an album without having the milestone of putting out an album.
But one of my very dear friends is in it, Lily James, who I adore. Apparently it’s pretty good, though, isn’t it? Is that the joke? When that movie was being made a couple years ago, somebody was telling me the premise of the film, and I thought, well, that sounds as ridiculous as an “Avengers” f—ing film to me. That's what people are saying. I'll probably get around to seeing the film one day. Okay, well, you could safely say that about f—ing 99% of every guitar group, couldn't you? So the joke is, if the Beatles never would have existed, Oasis wouldn’t have existed?
Or his girth. Let's hope she doesn't have his looks. When she grows up? Well, she better be better looking than that c—! I'm not going to allow that. She's gonna have a bad day soon if she wants to be Lewis Capaldi when she grows up.
You recently played Manchester on the 10th anniversary of Oasis’ last gig there, and people assumed that can't just have been a coincidence.
This last EP just came out in mid-June, but do you know when that next one will be out?
It was a coincidence, actually. Do you think I’d book a gig on the 10th anniversary of an Oasis gig just so somebody could write about it? I’ve got better things to do with my time than sit and look around people's calendars and see what I can do. What is it with journalists? Was that deliberate?” What? Coincidence doesn't exist in the world of journalism. Or somebody will say, “You’ve got a single out the day Liam's got a new haircut. It always has to be like, “Oh, you must have done that because of this.” And you sit there reading things sometimes thinking, honestly, life is so f—ing random. Life's too short for that. I don't give a f— about that.
You said on Radio X that one of the remaining two EPs will sound “Mancunian.”
Not everyone. It seems insulting to the Beatles to say that all of music would be exactly as we know it now even if they’d never existed, except Oasis.
You have been writing on the bass, just to change it up, right?
You've said you're putting out three EPs, with the last around Christmas time. Are you doing that just because it’s the more bite-sized way people are consuming music now?
The press is having fun with you and Lewis Capaldi. You took some shots at his music, and then he came out at Glastonbury wearing a shirt with your face on it and said “getting slagged off by Noel was a life-affirming moment.” Then you posted a video of your son mock-sobbing to one of his ballads.
But I get my opinion from the crowd when I play every night, and people love it. I have moved on, and it doesn't matter if people don't like it, because I don't give a f—. Well, good. I like it; in fact I love it. But I'm not trying to still dress like a 19-year-old, metaphorically speaking. If I was to go on an Oasis fan site, it’d be a different story. When I do tracks that are vaguely — you can put this in inverted commas — vaguely dance-orientated, if they're using it as a criticism, they choose to forget (Oasis songs) “F—in’ in the Bushes” or “Go Let It Out” or (early Gallagher solo tracks) “What a Life!” or “Battle of the Mighty I.” All of these things have been derived from some kind of dance music. That’s all that matters.
That's a pretty specific time frame. “Black Star Dancing,” you’ve said, was the result of watching a lot of “Top of the Pops” between ‘83 and ‘87.
Your daughter [Anaïs Gallagher] seemed to be taking a sarcastic cue from you when she tweeted that she wants to be him when she grows up.
Sure, you should all be taking yourselves down a notch or two.
Apparently, it's riveting.
You haven’t seen the movie “Yesterday” yet, but there's an Oasis joke. Basically, very few things in the film’s alternate reality are different because the Beatles never existed — except for the fact that he tries looking up Oasis, and nothing appears.
What did she say? She wants to be me when she grows up?
You may not be a Taylor Swift fan, either, but there's a business story going on. Do you ever care about trying to get your masters back or that aspect of the business?
I don’t know if you’re referring to Liam’s new documentary, “As It Was,” but there was talk that you objected to having Oasis songs included. Is that true?

So, I don't know. Everybody’s sharing everything with everybody. The youth of today: f—ing moronic c—s, if you ask me. All they can do, young people, is take pictures of each other. Nobody lives in the moment. …  I meet young people, and they’re so culturally lost at the moment. Because there's nothing else. You know, when a band walks out on stage, they might as well be at a photo shoot.
Well … what does that mean? I do believe I have to have the whole f—ing entire thing delivered by Monday. Out in the shops where you can buy it? End of September, I believe. I'm going to say it's going to be out by the time we get on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins. Who knows?
You don't own your own f—ing shit, which is why when I finally left Oasis, I started my own record label, because I wanted to own them. I’m less of a fan of Scooter Brown or whatever his f—ing name is. They’re just American idiots. Which, really, I'd be f—ing ashamed of them, if I were you. Scooter? Is that even a real name? F—ing Scooter.” Um, I'm not a fan of Taylor Swift. No, the game is the game. [He adopts an American surfer accent.] “Scooter. But I’m aware of the story of Taylor Swift and some idiot called f—ing Scooter.
My first (impulse) is not to reach for the guitar. Well, anybody that was going to the Hacienda [a nightclub in Manchester] between ‘87 and ‘89 will recognize the sound. It's more acid house than disco. It’s more like, “All right, I want to get a bass and keyboards on this; we don't need any guitar.” It's not my waking thought. But I suppose I finally got Oasis out of my system now, musically. But the other tracks on the (next) EP — one of them sounds like the Smiths, one of them sounds like the Stone Roses, and one of them I don’t know what it sounds like.
Don’t you? Uh, no. So I don't think I'll be going to the local cinema to watch him rewrite f—ing history (about) what a great guy he is; what a wonderful family man. I don't know about you, but I like to see my favorite rock stars jogging. I couldn't think of a reason that would make me want to watch it, considering that every time I see that c—’s face, I want to f—ing take out a McDonald's with a machine gun. Apparently there's a lot of jogging in it. I've got better things to do with my time. You should go and see it, though.
When you look back on it, it’s so sad that pop music has just become so f—ing shit and formulized. In England, anyway. When I look back on the “Top of the Pops”-es themselves, it's a little bit sad, even though it makes me feel great that I was around at that time to experience it, when they were all new artists. It's an endless procession of special guests featuring f—ing someone else featuring this girl written by this guy written by these fellows in a f—ing shed. People don't even write their own music anymore. I've always loved pop music, but in the ‘60s sense, the guitar pop music. Well, I was just using that as a kind of jumping off point, really. Bowie was great, U2 were great, INXS were great, New Order were great, the Smiths were great, Echo and the Bunnymen were great, and Talking Heads were mind blowing. Pop music now is f—ing wank. It was the golden age of pop, wasn’t it? I could go on all day if you like.
Terrible trauma.
So are the youth truly being saddened by all these sad songs being put out in the universe?
I'm looking at the setlist going, [exhales] “At least I wrote them all.”” /> But I did write them all, so I don't feel that bad. You know, the first half of my shows is exclusively new material, which can be a bit tricky, but luckily my new material is quite high energy, so you kind of carry it off until, you know, waiting for the inevitable to be played. I think with the Smashing Pumpkins, we don't get to play that long; we only get to play for an hour. But my gigs have been getting better as the tour has been going along.
Your “Black Star Dancing” title references Bowie’s final album title, even though that’s not the period you’re musically referencing.

Kroq's Almost Acoustic Christmas continues on Sunday. Check back on Variety.com to read the review.” />
KROQ held the first night of its annual Almost Acoustic Christmas on Saturday at the Forum, and from new punk to ska to classics from the '90s, the Los Angeles institution served up a formidable line-up.
AFI had glam rock appeal and frontman Davey Havok, well, wreaked havoc with an impressive crowd-surf. KROQ has its share of regular performers at its annual shows — but hey, they're staples for a reason. Bad Religion threw a true-blue punk show, toning down the theatrics of some of the previous bands and still finding time for a Christmas song (because yes, Bad Religion really does love Christmas music).
Read highlights from night one of Almost Acoustic Christmas below: Smashing Pumpkins got top billing at the concert, joining groups like 30 Seconds to Mars, Bad Religion, Greta Van Fleet, and the Interrupters.
There's a lot to be said about being able to nab top talent and big names for an event like Almost Acoustic Christmas. But at its best, you'd hope there'd be an aspect of discovery for a radio station tasked with being a tastemaker in the L.A. Night one had no shortage of that, luckily, as it highlighted young bands that may have a single out, but aren't necessarily household names. area.
From one famous leading man to another, Leto gave way to Billy Corgan, who took the stage in a flowing red, white, and gold ensemble — for Christmas, we can only assume. It's of course memorable when Smashing Pumpkins rolls through hits like "Today" and "Tonight, Tonight," but guitarist James Ida really stole the show when he handled vocals on the band's cover of the Cure's "Friday I'm in Love."
Tried and True
He noted that they were just there to "f— around" that night, and they seemed to have fun with the gig, which was infectious. And while Third Eye Blind had the unenviable task of following Greta Van Fleet, it was hard not to join in as the crowd sang every word to "Jumper" and "Semi-Charmed Life" — to the point where lead singer Stephan Jenkins once just crossed his arms and let the fans do the work.
Each member had their moment to shine — guitarist Jake Kiszka played the instrument from behind his head at one point, and drummer Danny Wagner had an impressive solo in the beginning of their performance — and the combination of the group's young energy and classic style led to a refreshing set. A highlight from this highlight: the soothing, romantic, almost dreamy "You're the One."
Young and Hungry
The Great Greta
And even if it comes off as aggressive sometimes, it does work. Thirty Seconds to Mars was the group to really get the crowd on its feet, however. Thirty Seconds to Mars and Smashing Pumpkins were the final two acts of the night, following up a line-up that proved to be eclectic. Frontman Jared Leto, as he often does, made the whole set interactive, whether balloons were being launched into the crowd or he was inviting more than a dozen audience members on stage to dance.
Holiday Headliners
Greta Van Fleet who were just nominated for four Grammys on Friday including best new artist, stunned the crowd, fans and newcomers alike. The young group rocked the crowd with their Zeppelin-inspired sound (thanks in large part to Josh Kiszka's vocals) and undeniable energy.
As singer/guitarist Josh Katz marveled, "I haven't the slightest clue why we're here… Badflower was a solid choice to open the night, as local band put on a good-old-fashioned rock show. We can't even get 10 friends to come see us at the Viper Room." They were followed by AJR, whose "Sober Up" has seen some well-deserved radio play, and performed a presentation on how they produce songs on stage — a charming change of pace. When it came to raw energy, though, it's hard to beat the Interrupters, the ska band that joined up with Rancid's Tim Armstrong for a surprise rendition of "Tomb Bomb."