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Alan McGee on Oasis rumours and the Jesus and Mary Chain's 'enormous' new album

Jon Dekel

To put it bluntly, without Alan McGee there would be no Oasis. As legend goes, the notorious Scottish madcap — whose indie label Creation was responsible for the likes of the Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream and My Bloody Valentine — was out on the town one Glaswegian night when he spotted the nascent group at a local club gig and signed them on the spot.

The story is recalled with vivid bravado in the Oasis documentary Supersonic, which is now available on VOD and iTunes. CBC Music caught up with McGee to talk about the film, the possibility of an Oasis reunion and the unlikely recorded return of the Jesus and Mary Chain.

Supersonic tells the story of the rise and rise of Oasis. You were on the front lines, do you feel it was an accurate portrayal?

I think it was as good a film as anybody could do. How could you grasp the madness of the '90s?! It was just an insane time.

You worked with several legendary British acts but none came close to Oasis's success. Why do you think that is?

[Oasis] just wanted it more than anybody else. That's just the way they were. What you tended to get with the other bands is, as they got older they wanted it more. But Oasis wanted it when they were kids. That's why it sort of worked. In retrospect, a lot of the other Creation bands, as they got older, they all seemed to want it. And I'm talking in the last 10 to 15 years, a lot of them went, all right, we really want to be big. But it's a bit like, oh, you maybe should have done it when you were about 25, 30. That's when you had the world at your feet.

History remembers Oasis as the most dysfunctional band of all time. Do you think that’s fair?

No. No way. It was a typical brother thing that you also had with the Mary Chain. I've met much more dysfunctional people than the Oasis boys. They were functioning. They made records, played the tours. You meet people who are still trying to make their first album six years after they're signed.

Does that mean we should hold out hope for a reunion?

I don't think Oasis will reunite. No way. Knowing Noel [Gallagher] I think that's a bit pie in the sky. If you watch the movie you'll know Noel's message is that's what I did and I'm not coming back. I just don't think there's anything interesting to Noel about putting the band back together. Noel lives in a house that's worth millions. It's not money he's after and he's got all the creative and critical respect by doing it on his own. So I just don't know what he would get by [reuniting] Oasis. I'm not saying what I'm saying is a popular thing, I'm just saying they won't do it.

Then again, people said that about the Jesus and Mary Chain and they reunited.

They've made another album! It's a big deal! It's unbelievable. They've just made an album and I've signed them to Warners!

That is a big deal. Can you give out any details?

New album coming. It's coming out end of next March. It's kinda enormous!

Speaking of upcoming projects, is Irvine Welsh still working on your biopic?

Yeah, Irvine Welsh is finishing up Trainspotting 2 and then we start shooting it in March. And even that stops in 1999. It's the whole rise and fall of Creation. Creation has always been around as a publishing company and now it's come out of the ground as a management company.

Finally, I have to ask. Trainspotting producer Andrew Macdonald recently claimed that Oasis turned down the soundtrack because they thought it was a movie about spotting trains. You know all the people involved, did that happen?

Anything that sounds bonkers is probably true. Unfortunately.

More to explore:

Supersonic: 5 things we learned from the new Oasis documentary

'As much trouble as possible': Noel Gallagher praises Kanye West, Donald Trump, still hates Liam

Listen to Supersonic director Mat Whitecross talk bringing Oasis's story to the big screen on q