The Oasis mainman reveals more about fatherhood, festivals, the new band members and his dream to cover Motorhead's 'Ace Of Spades'...

New Oasis recruits ANDY BELL and GEM ARCHER are to be allowed to write songs on the next album, NOEL GALLAGHER has revealed – as well as declaring their arrival as “just the best thing that’s ever happened to me in my professional life as a musician.”

Speaking to at the NME Premier Show at the London WC1 Astoria last week headlined by Shack, Noel said the new boys were already being encouraged to get involved in the whole creative process of the band.

He said: “First and foremost they’re really brilliant guys to have around. They know their shit and they’re not in awe of us and we’re not talking down to them, so it’s a real band for once. A real, real band. I used to be a bit of a dictator really, but I can’t get away with that anymore.”

Noel continued that he was already getting the pair involved in shaping the sound of the band and was relaxing his iron grip on musical control.

“Absolutely, totally (are they geting involved in the creative process). They’re totally talented. Like I say, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to the band. It’s really, really exciting.”

NME also asked Noel about the rumour that the recent Radio One Evening Session recording of The Who’s ‘My Generation’ was something of a fix. As reported previously in NME, Oasis recorded their cover after listeners voted for the song they’d most like to hear Oasis play.

Oasis picked ‘My Generation’ out of a hat rather than the listeners’ other most voted for choices of ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams, ‘Come As You Are’ Nirvana, ‘Sympathy for The Devil’ by the Rolling Stones and ‘Country House’ by Blur, which received the most votes.

Two months before, insiders told NME that the band had already recorded ‘My Generation’.

However, Noel strongly refuted the story. “No, that’s not true that. We got approached by some people who I think are putting out a Who tribute album next year, and they approached us when I played with Pete Townsend at that Liverpool Dockers thing. So we said we’d do it, but we actually wanted to do ‘I Can See For Miles’. But when the votes came through for the thing on Radio One… so we’ve done ‘My Generation’ now, so we’ll probably put that forward for the Who tribute album now.” But Noel said even if ‘Country House’ had been picked, the band would have refused to play it.

“To be honest, we wouldn’t have done it. We just wouldn’t have done it. I mean, it would have funny and all that shit, but we tend to take things a little more seriously these days. I would have actually liked to have done, we got a list of all the votes as it was coming in, and the ones that interested me the most were the Nirvana track ‘Come As You Are’ and ‘Ace Of Spades’ by Motorhead. We were all banking on that being a big one.”

As a result of the suggestions from listeners, Noel said Oasis were considering recording their own cover of ‘Ace Of Spades’ and were planning to play ‘My Generation’ on their forthcoming world tour.

Noel also revealed that Cotton Mather would be supporting Oasis on a few of their European dates, but though none of the supports for the UK shows had been confirmed yet.

In Japan, he said that local bands would be opening for them; a situation which he described as “fucking bizarre”.

As for UK festivals, Noel effectively ruled out Glastonbury, and hinted that it would either be Reading or V2000 – and that the highest bidder would secure the band’s services.

“We’re definitely going to do the one, but I don’t know which one it is to be honest with you. It’s all a question of that (rubs imaginary money together). Because we’ll have done our tour and all that, and the last thing round about August that we’ll want to be doing is playing a gig unless there’s a shitload of money, because we’ll all just want to get home and see the wife and kids and all that. But if somebody makes us an offer we can’t refuse, then of course, you know…”

Finally, he revealed what it was like to be a new father – just three days after the birth of his first child, daughter Anais.

“It’s fantastic! I have to say I’m actually gutted that I didn’t get round to doing it in my early 20s ‘cos I’m 32 now. I thought when I was younger that I wouldn’t be cut out for having kids but I’m actually adapting to it quite well and perhaps I should have four already now! But I’ve just got the one for now.”

For the rest of this interview, see this week’s issue of NME, dated February 12 which is in UK shops now priced #1.15 – with a free CD!