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another interview with Andy

SYDNEY - As anticipated. Beady Eye have returned with their new album, BE. The record sees Liam Gallagher and his ex-Oasis cohorts Gem Archer, Chris Sharrock and Andy Bell pursuing different sonic terrain to the swaggering rockers of their first outing. With the aid of TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek on production duties, their second outing is a spacier, more adventurous affair.
When I reach guitarist Andy Bell he is a laid back mood and in his softly-spoken Oxford accent talks passionately about how Dave Sitek helped Beady Eye find their new sound, learning the sitar and those ever-present Oasis reunion rumours.

On a scale of one to 10, how surreal was it to play the Olympic closing ceremony last year?

Oh, it was brilliant. It was a 10, without a doubt. It’s just something that, when you get the chance to do it, you’d be insane to turn it down. The experience of it was brilliant and it was a really, really funny day out as well. There was one bit where we were walking from our dressing room to the stage and the acts and crowds of extras that we were passing as we were going by was just like being inside some, I don’t know, Liberace’s acid trip or something. There were troops of Indian Maharajas riding elephants, then you’d have break-dancers and the Spice Girls would be passing. Basically all the bits and pieces from all the other acts were all milling around through these backstage areas as we walked through. It was a really insane but very enjoyable moment; even more so because I was miming so I didn’t have to do anything really. I just stood there and pretend to play guitar. Liam had to sing live though.

What was the recording process like for BE; how long did you spend in the studio?

We only had five weeks booked with Dave Sitek but we worked fast and we finished 18 songs. We did that in four weeks. In the last week we basically left Dave and his assistant to get on with what they were doing and we kind of chilled.
We recorded it in a studio in Richmond, about an hour from London, which is called State Of The Ark. It’s a private studio owned by a successful songwriter who wrote a lot of hits for Tina Turner and Cliff Richard. His name’s Terry Britten. [Ed: Britton was a member of Australian band The Twilights with Glenn Shorrock in the 1960s].He’s an interesting guy. Obviously he doesn’t have to work anymore, he’s got this studio and he just kind of potters around. He used to always bring in weird pedals for me to try out. Little prototypes of things. He’s working on a really cool idea for a stereo guitar where half the strings go through to half the amplifier and half go through to the other side. I’ve ordered one.

That must have appealed to the shoegazer in you?

Totally man. Anything that makes guitars sound weirder.

How does Beady Eye work in terms of song writing? So you, Gem and Liam work on the songs then bring them to one another or is it more collaborative?
It’s slowly changing but basically we bring them in. I’ll explain how it works and this has been the same for both albums. After the Oasis break-up, we were back in a room working on new music weeks after we’d split because that’s all we really knew how to do. We went straight into demoing mode because I think we were a bit unsure how to deal with it all. We hit on this formula where Liam would bring a song and we’d work on that for a week or so; this was in Gem’s home studio. We’d work on Liam’s song, finish everything that needs finishing with it, record a demo and then the next week we’d move on to mine or Gem’s and we’d go round in that same order. So you’re more or less bringing something in to polish up, that you’re ready to work on with the band.
That’s the formula we used on both albums but then we kind of changed it with this new one, slightly towards the end. We were just finishing up and we knew we had a set number of days with Dave left and Liam had a great burst of inspiration where he came out with three songs at once, which were Soul Love, Evil Eye and one more. We also hadn’t finished Flick Of The Finger, which was an instrumental demo that we had knocking about years before called Velvet Building, which had no words, no actual song or anything. It was just the riff with Liam singing over it. We really liked it and Liam suggested that me and Gem finish it off for him. So working on Flick Of The Finger was the first time that we’ve taken a song from that little start until completion. It was a true collaboration between the three of us.

The tracks on BE tend to have a bit more space to them as opposed to the full-on rock ‘n’ roll of the first album. Was it a case of using the studio more or messing with arrangements?

I’d credit that as probably the biggest contribution Dave Sitek [brought] to what we do. I think in the past, we’ve kind of seen records as places to just fill every corner with dense sound and it’s taken Dave to make us question that by saying , “How about having a section where almost nothing happens, almost nothing changes and you just have some time to think or just enjoy the moment?” When you take that thought and run with it then you get some of the moments on this album, which are really the best bits. The end of Don’t Brother Me, the end of Soul Love, some of the middle sections of songs kind of seem to open out. It’s quite freeing to realise you can do that. It was really good and I credit Dave for that, without a doubt. He brought that in.

Would you it be fair to say that, musically and lyrically, BE is a far more introverted record than Different Gear Still Speeding?

Yeah, definitely. Again, the production brings that out because it does feature the voice front and centre and some of those tunes that have the more introspective subject matter are now sonically way more interesting than they could have been. They’re the ones you’re drawn to. Like Don’t Brother Me, which was an acoustic tune originally and that became this cosmic epic. Conversely, as song like Ballroom Figured we had a band arrangement for that and it was brought down to guitar and voice which gave it that intimacy.

Is that you playing sitar at the end of Don’t Brother Me?

Yeah, it is. I bought one for the first album because we used it on Millionaire. In true Brian Jones fashion, I bought the thing in the morning and put the overdub on it about an hour later. I tuned it all to the right notes and then put it away for the next two years and then brought it out for this outro. One day I want to do the whole George Harrison thing and go to India and learn how to play it properly. It’s fairly hard with the sitar to tune it to the song you’re doing and pick out some notes that sound good but I’d like to be decent at it someday.

It seems like something people dedicate their lives to learning.

It’s amazing. I’ve seen films of Ravi [Shankar] teaching George to play it. I think the timing’s really important in Indian music. It’s always really odd counts per bar. There’s a formula that they have to learn so it’s kind of like remember a bank statement or something. It’s counting to five, then it’s counting to three, then it’s counting to seven. You’re basically playing music to a formula, a very complicated formula. When you do it right, it sounds great. If everyone’s doing the same thing; when you have a tabla layer playing at the same time, it’s really good.



Given that it’s only been four years since Oasis split, do you find the continuing press about a possible reunion detracts and distracts from what you’re doing now?

It doesn’t really bother me. All it really says to me is that people still care about Oasis in the same way that I do occasionally get asked about Ride as well; about whether we’ll reunite. To me, I kind of put it in the same category as things I would like to happen. I’ve got no problem doing it at all. If the Oasis thing came up, I’d be there like a shot but it’s something that relies on Noel and Liam. I don’t know if it’s likely to happen in this millennium really.

What about Ride then?

Similar deal really. Ride is more like something that’s on the backburner where all of us have said “Yeah, that’d be really nice to do one day”, but we’re all really busy. We’ve all got lots of things going on – music and other things. It’s something that I don’t wanna leave forever. I think right now I’ve got unfinished business to work out with Beady Eye and we have to get to a certain point before I’d consider taking a bit of time off from it. I just think it’s not that time right now. We’ve got a lot going on and we’re fully committed to it.

Is part of that unfinished business coming to Australia this time after not touring here on the first Beady Eye album?

We’re definitely going to Australia this time. I keep hearing conversations about it. We wanted to last time as well but we didn’t. This time we definitely are.


POST SCRIPTUM to the email readers:
no Tropical Pizza in Milan, postponed. I knew they were busy in Glasgow.
Videos of Beady Eye @ Pretty Green added.
Also, photos for previous posts
Related Posts with Thumbnails

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Oasisblues copyright © 1994 - 2017

Beady Eye gigography and next tour dates

2000

30 May - Forum, Milan, Italy (the first "Noeless" gig since 1991 when he didn't join Oasis yet)

summer tour without Noel

2003

16 November - Andy Bell unplugged - Debaser, Stockholm, Sweden (bootleg)

2011


3rd & 4th March - Barrowland, Glasgow, Scotland +here and here + bootleg
6th & 7th March - O2 Apollo, Manchester +bootleg 1 +bootleg 2
9th & 10th March - Troxy, London +bootleg 1
13 March - Casino de Paris, Paris, france
14 March - E-Werk, Koln, Germany
16 March - Alcatraz, Milan, Italy +dvd bootleg
18 March - La Riviera, Madrid, Spain +bootleg
19 March - Bikini, Toulouse, france
21 March - Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland (bootleg)
22 March - Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium (bootleg)
14 & 15 April - The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland here a bootleg image
17 April - Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
20 April - O2 Academy, Newcastle (a photo here)
23 April - Centre, Newport (photo and bootleg)
30 May - Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, Germany
+a photo here + win tickets here
8 June - Saschall, Firenze, Italy +my story here +bootleg here +win tickets here
11th June - Papillons de Nuit Festival, Saint Lo, france
12 June - Isle of Wight festival +story here and here +interview here +videos here +interview and bootleg here
25th June - Theater of Living Art, Philadelphia, U.S.A.
30 June - Rock Werchter, Belgium (bootleg)
1 July - Main Square Festival, Arras, france +a photo here
7 July - BBK Live Festival, Bilbao, Spain
9 July - Oxegen Festival, Naas, Ireland
26 August - Reading Festival (win tickets) +videos here +review&video here +bootleg here
3 September - AX Hall, Seoul, South Korea
14 September - Twinkle Rock Festival, Taipei, Taiwan
7 October - Atlantico, Rome, Italy +main bootleg here +another bootleg here
+win the concert here
11 October - Volkshaus, Zurich, Switzerland (postponed)
13 October - Gasometer, Vienna, Austria (postponed)
31 October - Theater Caupolican, Santiago, Chile
2 November - Teatro de Verano Ramon Collazo, Montevideo, Uruguay
3 November - Teatro Colegiales, Buenos Aires, Argentina
4 November - Personal Festival, Buenos Aires, Argentina
5 November - Planeta Terra festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil
12 November - O2 Academy, Sheffield
14 November - O2 Academy, Birmingham
17 November - O2 Academy Brixton, London
2 December - The Warfield, San Francisco, U.S.A.
3 December - Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, U.S.A. +another complete review here +win tickets here and here
5 December - First Avenue, Minneapolis, U.S.A.
6 December - The Rave Ballroon, Milwaukee, U.S.A.
9 December - Terminal 5, New York, U.S.A.
10 December - House of Blues, Boston, U.S.A.

2012

new tour

2013

3 June - Abbey Road, London (acoustic) +bootleg here
7 June - McClusky's, Kingston (album launch acoustic gig)



8 November - Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland

2014

Noel Gallagher solo gigography, and Low Lying Turds tour dates

(although his blinded fans say he's a "new solo artist", it's 20 years he's around and already played "solo" gigs previously (the first one in 1994), with the help of other people of course, as the Unplugged 1996, the gig for Tibet, the tour in 2006-2007, London, Milan, Manchester, Moscow, Los Angeles, Toronto, Paris, Australia, etc.)

2010


25 March - Royal Albert Hall - London

2011


28 November - Alcatraz - Milan, Italy + review here +video bootleg here +audio and video bootleg here

2012


lost interest... even Noel got bored of himself

10 April - Auditorio Banamex - Monterrey, Mexico (cancelled)

END OF THE HIGH FLYING BIRDS

2013

fans leave the gig again and ask for Liam again
..... € 10 = £ 8
 

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