Noel Gallagher on Headlining Coachella 10 Years After Oasis

'I'm strangely relaxed,' says guitarist, who played main stage with High Flying Birds

neol gallagher
Joseph Llanes
Noel Gallagher backstage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California.
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In 2002, Noel Gallagher and his former band, Oasis, headlined the Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival. As Gallagher tells Rolling Stone in his backstage trailer on Saturday at this year's fest, things were wildly different back then – both in regards to the festival and his own musical situation. "It was very much just a gig in a field," Gallagher recalls of Coachella. "And people [outside America] were going, 'What? Who? They have festivals in America?'"

Gallagher was also in a dysfunctional band. "With Oasis, you didn't really know if the gig was going to take place until we went on," he says. "You would sit around and think, 'well somebody's gonna have a fucking problem sooner or later so are we actually gonna do it?'

But now, returning to Coachella a decade later, this time to perform with his own band, Noel Gallagher and The High-Flying Birds, the guitarist is completely at ease. “I'm strangely relaxed," he says. 

Gallagher, who left Oasis in 2009 and released his solo debut last fall, has been busy touring. But Gallagher tells Rolling Stone he has other projects in the works. The guitarist says he's finished recording an album with UK electro duo Amorphous Androgynous. He had intended to release this summer but due to a holdup in the mixing process, it likely won't see the light of day until 2013.

"[Amorphous Androgynous] mixed it and then I didn't like it," he explains. "And then they tried to mix it while I was on the road and I didn't like that. So I'm gonna have to wait until I get back off this tour which is in November." The collection was originally set to include b-sides from the debut album, as well as brand-new tracks, but with the time now elapsed since his debut album Gallagher no longer sees this plan being sensible.

So he’s started writing new songs. It's what, Gallagher says, keeps him sane on the road. "Once you've fucking been through the drug thing, and the girls and the booze and all that, what do you fucking do on the road?" he says. “There're only so many club sandwiches you can eat." Gallagher estimates he's got another album's worth of demos recorded, but he’s in no rush to get back into the studio. Says Gallagher, "My wife will decide when she's sick of me and she'll usher me out into the fucking cold and then I'll go into the studio."

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