I realize I’m a little bit late reporting on this situation but just let me briefly run down what’s happened between Dave Grohl and Oasis’ Noel Gallagher in the last month or so. On August 26 Loudwire, which is primarily a metal mag but apparently picks up some alt-rock storylines, ran the header that “Foo Fighters Want to Start a Petition to Reunite Oasis.” Noel Gallagher, Oasis’ primary songwriter and guitarist, apparently didn’t take too kindly to the gesture and, according to NME which chimed in on the issue on August 29, “wants to start a petition to break Foo Fighters up”. Please note that this varies slightly from the Spin headline, in a key difference, the latter reading “Noel Gallagher Jokes About Petition to Get Foo Fighters to Split Up”.
And this is indeed an important difference because if he is indeed joking around, then it’s not a move of disrespect on the singer’s part. But as I think it stands, as there’s been no apology and no documented banter since between the two on social media or on the subject at all, that what has followed is a sort of cold, stoic silence, the type of thing that would indicate that the two aren’t making reparations and that this is at least an implicit feud, if not an outlined, egregious one.
Now, the personae of these two men seem to precede them, this situation then perfectly catering to both stereotypes and general impressions thereof. On one hand, the songwriter in Oasis, a band which put out its first album in ’94 a year before the Foo Fighters (whereas Grohl had been in Nirvana, Scream and Dain Bramage as well as probably others before the Foos), and his brother Liam, the singer, have long been known as veering socially to the “bad boy” territory. In one appearance, for instance, on Total Request Live, Liam Gallagher churlishly made the interview response that he felt “godlike”: “I feel like a God.” Granted, this was likely to done simply to throw shade at the American spectacle, Canadian and British entities often holding a sort of shameless disdain for the U.S., possibly for good reasons. PJ Harvey is a known opponent of Oasis as musicians, if not as people, and on the Liz Phair Exile in Guyville 15th anniversary DVD there’s a story outlined of the Oasis brothers complimenting Phair’s breasts and spewing curses at her producers and band, at a performance in England. Grohl, meanwhile, is obviously one of the nicest, classiest guys in rock, traditionally speaking, putting together the feel-good story of the Sound City studio in the film of the same name and even going on record to name Bleach, a Nirvana album with a drummer other than him, as his favorite LP of the band. Still, his plea to Oasis probably strikes many people aside from just the Gallaghers as a tad condescending, positioning Oasis as sort of the noble savage English footballers everybody makes fun of behind closed doors, in which case this development would arguably perpetuate the stereotype of Californians like Grohl as overly nice and a bit flakey, or ditzy.
One funny thing about this whole hullaballoo is that each man was in the other’s home country when he uttered the request: Dave Grohl at the Reading festival and Gallagher even in Grohl’s current state of residence, at a gig in San Diego. Somewhat reassuringly, it’s not like Gallagher went on a RANT against the Foo Fighters — in fact it was only the one-sentence statement in the midst of a show, uttered as a tidbit of veritable stage banter, hardly a very official platform for issuing any kind of statement about someone in your profession. Still, as far as I’ve seen, Gallagher made no mitigating remarks that he was “joking,” so I tend to clash with Spin and veer toward this being a bona fide statement of disrespect, albeit probably par for the course for a gentleman from the rough Northern town of Manchester from which Oasis hail. And again, they probably saw the Foo Fighter’s crusade as implicitly insulting in itself, as it were, which you have to admit was pretty culturally savvy of them.
There’s been news of a Foo Fighters album but in the past few years the band has also admitted to doing a tour basically out of boredom (Grohl admitted in one article which I admit escapes me that he had started smoking briskets at his home as a sort of compulsory pastime) and I hope for his sake that this Oasis situation doesn’t derail his livelihood and his self-esteem. Grohl is in my opinion a great musician who loves rock and roll, garnering what should be further credit for achieving his record deal with the Foo Fighters completely incognito, without notifying the company that he were the drummer from Nirvana. I think the fact that he hasn’t retaliated back at Gallagher shows his level of professionalism and charisma of which he’s capable, but to make a metaphor he’s cast his net into the water and got it spit back in his face a bit with this one, and remaining silent on an issue like this can’t be a surefire method of keeping your edge and recklessness as a band, if you’re the Foo Fighters.
Addenda: Foo Fighters Playlist.