* interview with gem and noel *

It's the worst-kept secret in music: Noel Gallagher is the most affable, helpful rock star there is - he even spells names of his current favourite bands such as the Hokum Clones.

Waving away Oasis' manager, who asks if Teletext has got official PR clearance to interview him after the NME Awards, Noel is happy to talk about the future of Oasis and his retirement plans.

And bandmate Gem Archer greets us with: "Hey, Teletext! You keep it real..."

Although pleased to win two NME Awards, Noel reckons it shows up the lack of classic bands at the moment.

"There's usually one classic, defiant band around that's swept away all that went before them," he explains.

"You had the Sex Pistols, then Smiths, then Stone Roses and then us. Since us, that thread's been lost a little bit. I've been waiting too long for someone to come along and show us wrong. Which I want to happen, so I can retire!"

Noel thinks the next classic band may emerge from Liverpool.

"As a Manc, it's horrible to have to admit, but Scouse bands like The Coral, the Hokum Clones, The Zutons and The Bandits are all exciting," he states.

"The ones that look really special are The Stands - La's meet Dylan and all kinds of weirdness. They might be the classic 'screw you' band we need. I like Travis and Coldplay, but they're 'thank you' bands, not 'screw you'."

While joking about retirement plans, Noel is already excited about one song for Oasis's next album.

"It's called Stop The Clocks and people are saying it's the best song I've ever written," he enthuses. "And that's from mates outside the band who were: 'Aye, that's OK,' when I played Wonderwall to them for the first time.

"I've got so bored waiting for The La's to come back that it sounds like how I'd want them to if they did return."

While Noel buzzes about new songs, he admits Liam is offering stiff competition for Oasis's next album.

"He's written more songs than me, the git," he laughs. "Not that I've heard them yet. He knows they have to be done properly before I'll listen to them - it's like handing in his homework.

"But Gem's heard them, and I've got 100% respect for his opinion. He'd tell me if they were no good and he says Liam's songs are fantastic. We'll see."

While Oasis have begun demoing new songs, Noel insists there's no masterplan for their next album.

"I just want it to sound better than the last one," adding quickly, "Not that I think the last one's rubbish."

Gem is more explicit. "I think it's going to be rawer," he offers. "A lot less produced and less polished. Basically, I reckon we're going to sound bad again, keep in any interesting errors."

Next month, Oasis return to Germany to play their rearranged shows after Liam's emergency trip to the dentist.

"I reckon they'll be absolutely cracking," says Gem.

"See, we had some trepidation about going back to Australia after shows got cancelled there. And when we went back, it was some of the best gigs we ever played.

"There's no reason why it'll be different for Germany. Are we staying at the same hotel? I hope not!"

After writing Hung In A Bad Place on Heathen Chemistry, Gem's coy over whether there's more to come.

"Maybe, but it's still very early to talk about our next record," he says. "Andy's home in Sweden and Alan is in Australia, so we haven't met up yet.

"After the German shows, that's it for the year until we get in the studio. Well, I say that, but it's not until the night before that I find out what Oasis are doing. Usually on Teletext!"