Good things come to those who wait: and so this summer, Liam Gallagher returns with a new single, a documentary film, a Glastonbury performance, and most importantly, a second solo album called Why Me? Why Not looming on the Autumn horizon. It looks like the rest of 2019 will be a bonanza for fans of the one-time Oasis singer.
The first notification of his return is the mammoth single “Shockwave.” Like all of Why Me? Why Not, “Shockwave” was written by Liam with producers Greg Kurstin and Andrew Wyatt, and recorded in Los Angeles and at RAK Studios in London. Kurstin and Wyatt also contributed writing and production to Liam’s 2017 hugely-successful first solo album in 2017, As You Were.
(Photo Credit: Tom Beard)
My family unraveled and snapped back together in an unrecognizable form last year, leaving me with too many thoughts and too much energy. When things felt out of control, I’d blast some heavy metal or Hardcore History and take off running from Queens to Brooklyn. It wasn’t really the best place for a jog, but I did it anyway; I weaved through NYPD fundraisers and throngs of churchgoers; I dodged dads with strollers and pipe-smoking elderlies. After a mile or two, I eventually tottered back into my railroad apartment, lungs stinging, legs giving out, but in control.
That’s why I can relate to this clip from the upcoming documentary Liam Gallagher: As It Was, out September 13. It’s a very simple scene. The ex-singer of Oasis awkwardly jogs across the Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise. His (lack of) running technique looks like mine: feet shuffling, elbows locked to his sides. He slows to a walk, takes in the overcast morning and grins.
“This is what it’s about, man!” exclaims a rock star who has sold 75 million records and crooned “Wonderwall” around the planet. He excitedly points to a cloudbank like a little boy, “I don’t want to fooking die!”
I never wanted to die, even at my lowest moments — and it wasn’t my life unraveling, per se. I was thriving in my adopted home of New York. I loved hustling as a music journalist, my then-fiancée and I had an apartment we loved, and we were getting married in the fall.
But back home in California, my father’s recent passing had cracked open a fissure in my immediate family. Unable to unring that bell, I acted compulsive and controlling, cleaning rooms that were already clean and rewriting articles that were already written. Things are much better now on the family front, but clearly, I was being tested. And when it all became too much, running became my outlet — much like Gallagher’s.
My life bears no similarities to Gallagher, who had a hardscrabble Manchester upbringing before defining Britpop in the 1990s with his brother, Noel. But I get how he arrived at this moment of joy on the Golden Gate.
As It Was chronicles the 2009 backstage blowout that ended Oasis, his five-year period as singer of Beady Eye, and his present form as a solo artist and Twitter provocateur.
He goes up and down with booze and drugs, questions his songwriting abilities and, eventually, finds redemption being exactly who he is. “I’m just a rock & roll singer in a band,” he says midway through. “That’s all I’ve ever been and that’s all I ever want to be.”
Gallagher’s comment, in which he sees the forest for the trees, sums up how he pushes through adversity in As It Was. During my unpredictable year, I could only take inventory of what I could and couldn’t control; who I was or wasn’t. I value my relationship. I make music. I write about music. And sometimes, taking off in a sprint was all I could do.
— Morgan Enos
(Photo Credit: left, RANKIN)