Liam Gallagher and John Squire On Their Long-Awaited Collaboration

Liam Gallagher and John Squire CREDIT: Tom Oxley
“After all the dust settles, it’s 10 great songs as the dream team wrap up their European tour, Gallagher and Squire reflect on their Number One album, answer the critics and share their plans for a union that “could go anywhere”
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“What do you wanna know, then?” Liam Gallagher demands as he ushers George V Magazine into his modest dressing room, tucked away in north London’s warren-like O2 Forum Kentish Town. He grins. “Yeah, Noel’s still a cunt!”

He’s joking, although relations with his big brother haven’t exactly cooled (more of which later). Yet we’re here to discuss an altogether different musical union – one that’s been more than 30 years in the making. Joining us is former Stone Roses guitar wizard John Squire, who gives Liam a big hug and utters a sage.

Liam in a tan trapper hat and John in a metallic grey hoodie, they take their seats for a catch-up that will reveal the dynamics of their long-awaited collaborative album, which was released last month under the no-frills title ‘Liam Gallagher John Squire’. The singer practically vibrates with energy, sometimes rising to act out the stories he’s telling with comic gusto, while John is low-key and deadpan throughout, occasionally offering a sly smile as he delivers answers best described as ‘concise’.

In a few hours, the pair will air the album to a sold-out crowd of more than 2,000, a celebration of the record’s success. It’s a classic-sounding combination of Roses psychedelia and Oasis swagger, packed with wailing solos and bluesy licks that draw on John’s love of Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, while Liam snarls through lyrics streaked with surrealistic flourishes. “There’s blood in my custard,” he admits on blues cruncher ‘I’m A Wheel’, before adding, reasonably: “I’m misunderstood…”

With some inevitability, given its authors’ pedigree, the album went straight to the top of the charts, outselling the competition three to one. This marks Liam’s sixth Number One album since the launch of his juggernaut solo comeback in 2017, though he shrugs at the accolade: “I’m not counting, man. I’m not one to boast either, you know what I mean? I’m glad people bought this record [and a Number One] looks good on the CV, but it still would have been the same record if it went to fucking Number 40.”

Still, he reflects, “it just goes to show that people are invested into what we’re doing. And, actually, it’s a fucking top record.”

“It is,” John says quietly.

The album was also critically acclaimed (not least by George Magazine, who dished out a glowing four-star), though a small minority of fans expressed misgivings online. This is perhaps natural, given the anticipation attached to the first album from the guitarist of the Stone Roses and the singer of Oasis.

“People have got high expectations and I’m the same,” concedes Liam, “but after all the dust settles… it’s fucking 10 great songs with some great fucking musicians playing it and I’m singing decent.”

“It’s still a baby,” John notes.

“I always say that,” agrees Liam. “The Stone Roses songs have been around for fucking years – everyone wanks over ‘em; Oasis songs have been around for years – everyone wanks over ‘em. The Stones, The Beatles… [This album’s] only been around a couple of months. Come back in a couple of years’ time, [when] it’s really got inside everyone’s DNA.”

Liam Gallagher and John Squire. CREDIT: Tom Oldham


The Stone Roses entered Liam’s DNA at the age of 16, when he saw them play the International 2 in Manchester in 1989, an experience he later described as “life-changing”. By the time Oasis crowned themselves the biggest band in the world with their enormous Knebworth House shows in 1996, John had quit the Roses, who were to be short-lived in his absence.

Liam and Noel paid homage to their forebears when they famously invited Squire to noodle through ‘Champagne Supernova’ at those career-defining gigs, a trick Liam repeated upon his return to Knebworth as a solo star in summer 2022. It was here that the seeds of ‘Liam Gallagher John Squire’ were sown.

“I remember,” John says, turning to Liam, “after the hellos and ‘I like your jacket’ and shit like that, you saying: “‘So, do you fancy doing some tunes or what?’”

Liam leans in: “I’m going, ‘As long as they’ve got loads of guitars on…’ Because that’s what it’s fucking about, innit?” Less appealing, he says, would have been “someone turning to me and going, ‘Look, we’re gonna do three songs with you as the standard rock’n’roll singer, but… I wanna bring that yodeller out of you.’ Or doing some fucking rapping. It ain’t happening! John does what he does; I do what I do.”

It is, admittedly, not what John’s done much of in recent years. He last released an album, the overlooked solo record ‘Marshall’s House’, in 2004. The Roses made a surprise comeback in 2011, but disbanded once more in 2017 after the old tensions recurred. Astonishingly, they promised a third album, but ultimately managed only a couple of tepid singles. In the main, John says, he’s spent the past two decades raising his six children and making expressionistic visual art. “I look after the kids,” he says, “I put the odd shelf up, I paint and play guitar.”

Was it slightly mind-boggling, then, to get onstage at Knebworth in front of 170,000 people, or is performing like riding a bike?

“I had plenty of time to get nervous backstage about riding a bike again,” he recalls. “It was like a two-and-a-half-hour wait while Liam was up there doing the gig!”

Perhaps the experience acted as some kind of creative jump-start, given the zeal with which he “knuckled down” to write the album. You have to wonder, though, how it took them over three decades to realise how well Liam’s paint-stripper voice would complement John’s honeyed guitar tone.

“It’s not like dialling up a fucking pizza, is it?” Liam protests. “It’s not getting Deliveroo.” He cites their conflicting schedules over the years, as well as the fact that “the pressure’s off now in life… I don’t give a fuck anymore. And I didn’t give a fuck, pretty much, before, either.”

The duo collaborated once previously, during the first phase of Liam’s rock’n’roll career and in the second stage of John’s. In 1997, the guitarist’s short-lived post-Roses band the Seahorses released their first and only album ‘Do It Yourself’, which featured ‘Love Me and Leave Me’, a wistful track that opens with the memorable lines: “Don’t believe in Jesus / Don’t believe in Jah.” Liam might not appear on the tune, but he and John share the writing credit (surprisingly, it’s the first Liam had to his name).

“I don’t even remember doing it,” he says. “I just remember John being round our house just fucking about. We were obviously…”

“…Battered.”

They’d been out “partying” with pals in London and come back en masse to Liam’s gaff, which actually belonged to his partner at the time, Patsy Kensit. The actor was in the process of divorcing Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr, with whom she’d shared the place. The following morning, recalls Liam, the press descended and informed Kerr “’there’s all these long-haired people coming out of your house in cagoules… He was thinking, ‘Who are these fucking long-haired fuckers coming out the house?’ It was us!”

At some point during the festivities, Liam “was talking shite about Jesus and Jah and loads of stuff – and then John turned it into a tune”.

Back in 1997, the guitarist told an interviewer: “I would have started a group with Liam. But he’s a bit busy, obviously. I’m sure we’ll write more songs together, though.” When we read him the quote, he arches his eyebrows slightly, which is probably the closest he comes to looking surprised. “I said that? In the ‘90s?” At the time, he admits, he “wouldn’t have had the balls to ask” Liam to commit to a full album. Even after all these years, though, the dream hasn’t quite come to fruition as he’d hoped it would.

“I thought,” he explains, “we would be writing together…”

“… I bailed,” Liam chuckles. “You’ve never seen a parachute pulled so quickly.” He jumps up and mimes pulling the ripcord – whoomph! – to be dragged away into the ether. “I prefer singing. Going through your DNA with a fine-tooth comb, it just fucking stresses me out.”

So it was left to John to pen the tunes, who’s not exactly bearing his soul in their elliptical, ‘cut-up’ lyrics, either. Yet he says some lines of autobiography might have crept in, which makes you wonder what he’s getting at when, on the groove-laden ‘One Day at a Time’, he has Liam sneer: “I know you’re happy in your suburban trance / You should have fucked me when you had the chance.”

“There is,” John says slowly, “a bit of history in that line,” then offers a flinty look that suggests the subject is closed.

Liam Gallagher and John Squire. CREDIT: Tom Oldham

Squire demoed the album at his home in Macclesfield, before he and Liam met producer Greg Kurstin for a blistering three-week recording session in Los Angeles. Plenty of material hit the cutting-room floor as they homed in on an all-killer-no-filler record.

“I’m glad there’s only 10 songs on the album,” says Liam. “I think when you start doing more songs you take the foot off the gas on certain songs. Everything went into these 10 songs.” Some artists pad out their albums to appease streaming platform algorithms. “Well, they’re just teacher’s fucking pets, aren’t they? We’re not here to be fucking famous and try to break into China, go up against fucking K-pop and that. We don’t wanna be fucking breaking out into too many sweats, you know what I mean? We’re at a certain age now. We don’t wanna look desperate.”

A streamlined record has meant streamlined shows, as they’ve eschewed Oasis and Roses songs to instead showcase new material, plus a crowd-pleasing cover of the Rolling Stones’ ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ (chosen over George Harrison’s ‘Wah Wah’ and Freddie King’s blues banger ‘Going Down’, which were in the running too). Some reviewers have grumbled that the gigs clock in at less than an hour, but John parries that a new band would put in a similar shift.

“10 songs and a fucking cover!” Liam exclaims. “What’s wrong with yous?” A new act, he points out, “wouldn’t fucking do a cover, so they can count themselves lucky”.

Liam will, however, dust off some old favourites with this summer’s ‘Definitely Maybe’ 30th anniversary shows, where he’ll play Oasis’ perfect debut album in full. There were rumours that he and Noel might patch-up their long-running feud to mark the milestone, but “it’s not happening, mate”. Could that leave next year’s ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory’ anniversary open for a reunion? “I don’t know – I don’t think that’s happening either,” he shrugs. “It’s not happening at this moment in time.”

It seems there’s little chance of a fourth coming for the Stone Roses, too, though Squire still sees bassist Mani, who’s “into” the new album and even gifted the amplifier that his old friend will use onstage tonight. Mani’s wife Imelda sadly died in November, and John saw Ian at her funeral: “He was fine that day, but we’re not sending each other Christmas cards or anything.”

In any case, Liam and John have plenty to focus on in the here and now. There’s the small matter of a follow-up to ‘Liam Gallagher John Squire’, for instance. “You’re never gonna know what [that album] is until you do another one,” reasons Liam. “This is like a starter. You want the main fucking course, don’t you? And the dessert.”

John arches his eyebrows – very slightly – once more: “So we’re doing three?”

“Well, whatever. Do as many as we want, you know what I mean?”

John insists he doesn’t have two decades’ worth of unissued material lying around in a vault in Macclesfield, but there are “little phone recordings [of] riffs and shit” that didn’t make it onto this album and could be worked up for the second. Sonically, says Liam, their union “could go anywhere”.

He grins. “Me, personally, I’d like to do it the fucking same just piss off the people that weren’t into it in the first place. Like that” – he thumbs his nose – “‘It’s the saaaame again, you little cunt!’”

Liam Gallagher and John Squire’s collaborative album ‘Liam Gallagher John Squire’ is out now

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