“The gear we had was s**t”: Noel Gallagher shares secret behind Oasis’ sound

“The sound was born out of the fact that it was the only sound we could get out of the equipment that we had.”

Noel Gallagher playing guitar on stage

Image: Gus Stewart/Redferns via Getty Images

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Noel Gallagher says Oasis‘s signature sound was due to the low quality of the equipment he and his bandmates used at the time.

Oasis’s early raw, DIY sound has been heavily praised over the years, but it was something borne out of necessity rather than any deliberate stylistic choices.

Speaking to Gibson, the former Oasis guitarist explains, “The sound that everyone goes on about – the sound was born out of the fact that it was the only sound we could get out of the equipment that we had. Bone [Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs, Oasis guitarist] had one amp; it was a Carlsbro. If Carlsbro made amps, they’d be shit. And it was.

“It only had one sound, and that was, it was good when you turned it up full. I had a Vox AC 30 that belonged to Mani [Stone Roses bassist Gary Mounfield]. And that only sounded good if you turned it right up. So that was it.”

He continues, “Everyone went on about the fucking sound and it was like, well, that’s that was it. You know, it was born out of the fact that the equipment we have was shit. The Vox we had was going through a PA speaker. It was awful, but you masked it all with volume. I guess that made me write Liam’s vocal parts in a higher register to sing over the racket. The sound was born, but it wasn’t something we studied at all. And if anything, we struggled trying to keep it once we became bigger, and had better equipment.”

Not only that, but former Oasis bassist Andy Bell, who joined in 1999, recently said that he couldn’t actually play the instrument before joining. Bell, who’s also been joint-frontman and guitarist of shoegaze pioneers Ride since their inception in 1988, said, “I hadn’t played bass to any great degree before I tried out for Oasis. So when I was invited to come out, when I got on the plane, I didn’t have a bass.

“So I couldn’t even try to learn anything before I got there. But I knew the chords to the songs, and I did my best to play the root notes; but I have to say, I probably wasn’t that good on the first run-through.”

You can watch the interview with Noel here:

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