Beady Eye

Beady Eye
Depending on whom you ask, Liam Gallagher is considered by many to be the best frontman in rock'n'roll. Not only does he embody the all-important "sex, drugs & rock'n'roll" maxim, but he also maintains the required poise and one hell of a voice. His reputation precedes him, which is why upon announcing he was forming a new band with everyone in Oasis besides his brother Noel, while the ashes of his former band were still piping hot, you had to give it to the guy: he really is a natural born rock star. This month sees the release of the debut album by Beady Eye, the new band featuring Liam Gallagher, Andy Bell and Gem Archer, all formerly of Oasis, as well as new drummer Chris Sharrock. Different Gear, Still Speeding is overtly confident for a debut, brimming with the same ballsy rock swagger that Oasis instilled into their seven albums. The comparisons between Beady Eye and Oasis were always inevitable, and one listen to the album it becomes pretty obvious that, to paraphrase Liam, they didn't just go off and make a "fucking Captain Beefheart record." Like Oasis, Beady Eye are also a meat-and-potatoes rock band designed for the everyday person. There was never any intention to be anything else. And to be fair, Oasis was always Liam's band to start with. Exclaim! caught up with Gallagher and Bell to discuss what differences there are between their old and new bands, how their debut holds up against Oasis's and what Noel had to say when he first heard his brother's new band.

There's strong buzz and positive reviews about the album. Do you think some people wanted to see you fail with Beady Eye?

Liam Gallagher: I suppose so. We understand that, but it aint' gonna happen. People wanted us to fail in Oasis in all, there are those people out there like that. So fook 'em at the end of the day. They're not gonna stop us from making music, know what I mean?

Is it important for Beady Eye to taste the same success you had with Oasis?
Andy Bell: We don't really count success in the same way. We're not really about playing stadiums. We're more trying to make the music as good as it can be. Put out the album, play some good shows and do it all with a bit of dignity.

Do you not feel singing you'll "stand the test of time/like Beatles and Stones" gives the assumption that you have high expectations?
Andy Bell: The reason they stand the test of time isn't because they played stadiums is it?
Liam Gallagher: It's 'cause they wrote good tunes, man. The reason why I say that is because the production on those records was fookin' mega, know what I mean? I listen to those records when I take my kids to school and they still sound mega. So I kind of meant it more about that then the song. We want our records to sound great as well as be great.

So that's why you brought in Steve Lilywhite?
Andy Bell: That was the idea, yeah.

What would you say are the biggest differences between Beady Eye and Oasis?
Andy Bell: It's really hard to answer that because obviously we were in Oasis. Half my mates think Beady Eye sounds just like Oasis, the other half think it sounds completely different. So I can't tell you anything about that.
Liam Gallagher: It's hard when you've been in the same bands, know what I mean? You're doing the same thing, but obviously Noel's not there. I'm not singing any differently or trying to get a new style. Obviously Andy's playing guitar now, so that's different. I just think the music, it sounds like a debut record. There's a good vibe to it.

How would you rate Different Gear, Still Speeding compared to Definitely Maybe, as far as debut albums go?
Liam Gallagher: Me personally, I think it is right up there. Musically, the songs are just as good. The playing's fookin' better, as far as I'm concerned. The production is better. I'm singing better. Definitely Maybe was the first record I ever made, there's no way I knew what I was doing, I was just getting on with it, know what I mean? Now I know a little bit about what I'm doing. However that is better or worse, it's a personal fookin' thing, but to me I think it's better. Whether it means more to the kids today than what Definitely Maybe does, we'll wait and see, but it's out of our fookin' hands. But as a record it sounds better. Yeah, I'm really excited about this record. I can't remember what I was feeling with Definitely Maybe. We're older people though, it feels different, know what I mean? We're obviously excited, without a doubt. We're excited about the next one.

The album has a great live feel to it. When you entered the studio did you just hammer out the songs as a band?
Andy Bell: Yeah. I'd say as far as the tempos, Beady Eye has slightly faster, more upbeat tunes on it.
Liam Gallagher: I think the overall feel of the album, if you're gonna talk about moods, I think this is album sounds like we're in a better mood. We're shit hot live. We'd just come off of an Oasis tour so we were still on fire, know what I mean?

How soon after finishing Oasis did Beady Eye form?
Andy Bell: About two hours.
Liam Gallagher: It wasn't "start another band." It was, "Let's meet up and make some records, see where it goes." We demoed some songs, they sounded fookin' great, there was a spirit there, there was attitude, it was cool. We kind of had no say in the matter really, know what I mean? If it didn't sound good when we were putting it down to demo we likely wouldn't be here now. But cause it sounded so good and it was so easy, we thought, yeah, we've got the sun. We've got to do this.

Has Noel heard Beady Eye?
Liam Gallagher: Yeah, we've done a gig for him last night, round at his house. He loved it. He was jumpin up and down, asked for an encore. But I'm not interested in what he thinks just yet, know what I mean? We don't think about it. If he likes it, he likes it. I don't fookin' care.

The last time you played Toronto some guy ran on stage and shoved Noel. What was going through your head when that happened?
Andy Bell: That was an absolutely crazy moment, wasn't it?
Liam Gallagher: It was horrible, it was shit. Not a good thing, know what I mean?
Andy Bell: The first reaction was, "where the fuck were the security guards?"

And you guys tried to go after him, right?
Liam Gallagher: Without a fookin' doubt mate.

He was sentenced to a year of house arrest, I believe.
Liam Gallagher: Good to see the law doing its job.

So, you don't play your first gig till March 3. What made you wait to play live?
Liam Gallagher: Well we've been rehearsing a lot, so we can play the songs with a bit more ease, know what I mean? But we can't wait to play live man. That's the next step. We're gagging to get on that stage.

Finally, where did the name of the band come from?
Liam Gallagher: Just a saying, people say it in England. Keep a beady eye on things, have some awareness. There's no big, deep meaning. It just looks good on paper.