‘Do The Damage’ was the second taster of new music from Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, streamed on NME.com at the end of 2014. This is what the man himself had to say for it, “It might be the 23rd best song I ever wrote. It was - for about a year - gonna be the opening track on the album until the 22nd best song I ever wrote appeared.” But what else do we know about the upcoming LP?
So what do we know about the new album already? First, the title, which is… ‘Chasing Yesterday’. Erm, bit close to the bone isn’t it, Noelly G? “As soon as it went out, I thought, ‘I hate it’,” he said.
‘In The Heat Of The Moment’ is the first single and its “stadium-ready guitar grind, chant-along vocals and defiant sneer” got the thumbs up from NME’s Al Horner. But what does it all mean?? “Nothing,” said Noel.
This is a big one: saxophones. That’s right, the album is distinctly sax-laden. Noel says he was particularly inspired by 1974 one-hit wonder ‘Pinball’ by Brian Protheroe.
What have we learned of Noel’s sax manifesto? “I know I’m going to be accused of sax crimes. I'm guilty of saxual harassment. But fuck it. This is not Oasis. There’s nobody to tell me not to do it. And please don’t think about the guy from Spandau Ballet. Think about a dude from New Orleans in 1963, smacked out of his head and incredibly cool, because it’s time to reclaim the saxophone."
Space jazz. The press release mentions space jazz. Could this be an effect of Noel taking the production reins? Despite attempts to get four different producers involved, Noel recorded it in London by himself...
...The day after the World Cup Final, no less.
Did he enjoy the production process? “No, it was a major pain in the arse.”
So how long do we have to wait to hear it? AGES. It’s not released until March 2, 2015.
And can we hear it live? Yup. Noel will hit the road in March. Tickets sold out in 10 minutes flat.
So with all the sax and space jazz, will it be a departure? “You could take a pair of tracks and play them today and think, ‘Fucking hell, he’s gone insane, what’s he done there?’ Bring it on.
Noel’s said the love songs are about his “beautiful” wife Sarah. He went into a bit more detail, saying: “As for the words, they’re about the kind of girl who sees through your bullshit. We all know them. They’re the ones we end up getting married to.” Cute.
Noel roped in his old Manchester mate and the ‘first Oasis fan’ Johnny Marr to play guitar on the album. Noel says he “has something in his guitar playing that not a lot of people have got.”
And what does Johnny Marr have to say about the album? It’s “very melodic, some of it is pretty rocking too, and fans are really going to like it.” Good-oh.
The track Marr’s on, ‘Ballad Of The Mighty I’, is “one of the best songs I’ve ever written,” according to Noel. If ‘Do The Damage’ comes in at number 23, expectations are high.
One of the tracks on the album, ‘Lock All The Doors’, dates back 23 years to the earliest days of Oasis.
The moment he realised the right melody for the track was after a visit to Tesco on a Sunday. As you do.
Could Noel headline Glastonbury in 2015 on the strength on the new album? “If I was asked I’d do it, “ he said. Perhaps we'll see Noel up on the Pyramid Stage instead of the much-rumoured Oasis reformation.
Noel’s been pretty outspoken about U2’s iTunes giveaway so we know it’ll be released traditionally. He’s said that, contrarily, if anything, he’s want to “fucking put the prices up on my records.”
What with new grooves and the sax inspiration, were there any other influences we know about? Only David Bowie. One of the songs nods to ‘Starman’. Can’t argue with that.