For the benefit of Norm Chomsky

The transcript extract below is taken from an interview I conducted with Gem Archer, the long-standing rhythm guitarist of swagger-rock shit-merchants Oasis. This was just ahead of their arrival in Asia as part of their world tour, and I was doing the interview for an article I was writing for TimeOut Hong Kong.

I haven’t included the transcript in full, as much of it is just far too inane. But as the resulting article was unable to use much of the enjoyable eccentricity displayed by Gem, I thought I’d include the interview’s bizarre finale here for posterity.

I like to think that my coruscating interviewing technique played some part in their eventual and long-overdue demise, but I’m not sure if the butterfly effect can be invoked in such circumstances.

Whatever the truth, here it is …


So, do you think there’s any successor to Oasis?

Erm, I don’t think anyone comes close, man. For just the actual groundswell. When you put the tickets on sale and you do 500,000 by 3 o’clock. And this is 15 years in, and it’s still buzzin’. It’s going to be a while and I don’t know if it will happen in the same way. I think the nearest thing was the Arctic Monkeys, but that’s all died down a bit recently. Obviously Coldplay, but it’s a different kind of thing. Coldpay isn’t cultural. With Oasis, it’s even about how you might carry yourself on the way to work. Coldplay is a different thing entirely.

Ours is, dare I say, a little bit more street, a bit more, erm, I dunno, you know what I’m saying.

Okay. The last reasonably well-known band to make it to Hong Kong was the Ting Tings. Not my bag.

No, me neither. I don’t think … well let’s see, eh? He’s headlining. They’re like the Lite Stripes aren’t they? Not White Stripes. Like Diet Stripes. I mean good luck to them and all that. I always gotta say that. But it’s not my bag. Good for her that she’s up for learning on the job.

Damned with faint praise.

[Laughs] Well you know what I’m saying.

Back to the tour then. Is it still all parties and carnage, or has it toned down a bit over the years?

I would say it’s pretty much a party tour to be honest—I mean we try and keep it tidy, but oh man, we still have some monumental nights out, and I’m talking 3 nights a week. It’s impossible for me to come off stage and just have an early night. It takes me at least 2 hours to come back round. We’re all … we work hard and we play hard. Exactly. We’re not into the jogging and fruit and early night side of rock and roll yet. Well, there’s a bit of jogging but it’s only to get rid of your hangover.

How does it feel to share your birthday with Tom Waits and Noam Chomsky?

When is my birthday?

7th of December.

Yeah, man. Only that some people think I have the same birthday as Noel. Right—so who am I sharing it with?

Tom Waits and Noam Chomsky.

Tom Waits, oh—he could have been good. Bless him. Too much attention to detail. And Norm Chomsky, well, he sounds like a very, very, very well-read cricketer.

He’s certainly well read.

Norm Chomsky. Yeah. But I also share it with Nicola Appleton, so that’ll do me.

Maybe some kind of peculiar celebrity foursome then?

Well it makes us all this weird Sagittarian kind of thing, which I don’t really … there must be something in it, but I haven’t found it yet.

You just need to join the dots between Noam Chomsky, Tom Waits, Nicola Appleton and you.

Yeah, I suppose so. Are we all the healthy outdoors type?

I don’t know about Tom Waits, not with that voice.

There you go, see—I’m not sporty in the slightest. Maybe a game of ping pong.

Well you’re going to be in the right continent for that.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, man—ping pong with the Ting Tongs.

You need to get out here and organise a tournament.

Yeah, the Norm Chomsky benefit.


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