Noel Gallagher has discussed his collaboration with Johnny Marr on his new album ‘Council Skies.’
“Sadly, we’ve never sat down to write a song,” Gallagher told NME in the latest installment of our In Conversation series. “We’ve talked about it for a while. For the three tracks that he plays on, I had the idea that Johnny would be able to play something great on it – I could just hear it and knew it.
“With ‘Pretty Boy,’ it’s so linear and gets to that point where it just motors along. I knew it needed something. I didn’t get loads of people to try it, I was going to ask Johnny to do it from the off.”
Gallagher went on to explain that Marr’s contributions always come from a place of instinct, rather than instruction.
“It’s a funny thing with Johnny,” said Gallagher. “He doesn’t get you to send him the track, he turns up, plugs his gear in, puts his guitar on, stands in front of the speakers and says, ‘Right, let’s hear it.’ As he’s hearing it for the first time, he plays it. I wouldn’t tell him what to play, I wouldn’t be so cheeky.”
The song ‘Pretty Boy’ underwent another transformation when it was remixed by The Cure’s Robert Smith – an experience that Gallagher found quite surreal.
“It wasn’t until I played it to a few people when someone said, ‘That’s one of Oasis, one of The Smiths and one of The Cure on the same fucking track,’ and I was like, ‘That’s far out! What a mad idea!'” he said.
In the interview, Gallagher also joked about the idea of receiving royal honors, stating that “if I get the gong, you can pretty much say that they’ve been devalued,” but added that he “wouldn’t mind being the Duke of Manchester.”
He continued, “What would it give me the right to do? Without question, Johnny Marr is being fucking elevated alongside me. We would be The Dukes Of Manchester. Write that down – that’s a fucking premise for a TV series, that. Two Mancunians driving around Manchester, solving local crime in a fucking Gregg’s bakery van.”
Gallagher concluded, “He’s the G.O.A.T.! He elevates my songs. Sometimes it’s really subtle and sometimes it’s really great. I’m so privileged to have his phone number. I say, ‘If you keep picking up the phone then I’m going to keep phoning you’ – but he’s into it.”