He got his nickname, he says, because his last name is Archer and there
used to be a famous Scottish footballer in the 1970's named Archie Gemmill.
He was nine at the time and the name just stuck. Do
not pronounce it "Jem" like a diamond; it's Gem with a hard
G, like GOD
Here there's a big problem!, most of the people
thinks that Gem's birthday it's on the 29th May 1967 (like Noel), but
Gem does not share his birthday with Noel. As a matter of fact he was
born 7th December 1966 which is why he said he was the oldest member of
Oasis in an interview!
County Durham, England
to Lou, with a son Joel (d.o.b. 10th Aug. 1996) and a daughter Libby
role in oasis:
is officially referred to as Oasis' rythym guitarist, but in reality he
and Noel split many of the lead parts so that Noel can concentrate on
his singing. With the release of "Heathen Chemistry" we can
see how a great songwriter Gem is, his song "Hung In A Bad Place"
it's my fave with Little by Little on the album !!!
Gem's first gig with Oasis was on 3rd December 1999 in Philadelphia, PA,
the new Oasis line-up featuring Gem and Andy play live in the UK for the
first time at the BBC TV studios in White City, West London on the 19th
and Heavy Stereo
His favorite Oasis song is Shakermaker. "To me it's the essence of
what Oasis is about," he enthuses
Gem's favourite song of Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants is Sunday Morning
One of Gem's first responsibilities as a member of Oasis was to appear
in the video for Go Let It Out
So by now you probably know that both Gem and Andy are the two vegetarians
Gem has said that if he could have one superhuman power it would be to
At any given moment at an Oasis gig you can look over at Gem and catch
him singing along with Liam and Noel!
Gem was the art director for Proud Mary's debut album The Same Old Blues
Gem favourites films are: The Godfather, Jaws, Unforgiven, Serpico and
Gem favourites bands are: The Beatles and Plush
Gem's NOT a football fan ("I'm not a football-man" he said this
on the 23rd Nov. 2002)
When asked what cartoon character Gem was most like, Noel said Scooby
in 1987 Colin Murray "Gem" Archer didn't know it but he was
having a prophetic experience. Living in North London, he was trying to
recruit a drummer for his band, Whirlpool. In his notepad he had 40 or
50 names. As auditions progressed, most promising of all was a 15-year-old
drumming prodigy named Alan White.
"He came down and just blew us all away," remembers Archer.
"I thought he was mega but the others were worried what a 15-years-old
kid on the road and on the lager would be like. I rang his dad and told
him, Sorry. But don't worry he's fantastic. He'll go all the way. And
he did. It was the weirdest day when he welcomed me to Oasis. And he hasn't
let me forget it."
Of course it would take fate another 12 years to unite Archer and White
in Oasis. In the meantime Whirlpool folded and Archer moved on to form
Heavy Stereo, a four-piece glam rock outfit.
The band's debut album, Déjà Voodoo, received a lukewarm
response in 1997, but two years later Heavy Stereo's future was looking
brighter, Singer and guitarist Archer had been demoing some new material
and, impressed by their contribution to The Jam tribute album, Fire And
Skill, they suddenly won new friends.
"We'd got a Paul Weller tour and our new music was our best ever,"
says Archer. "I thought '99 really might be a good year for us."
But things were put on hold when Gem's mother fell seriously ill at home
in the North-East. She eventually recovered but this dark hour in Archer's
life is where his Oasis odyssey begins.
"I was in Newcastle, I'd been there for months because my mum was
seriously ill. I was laying in front of the fire at her house and it was
on the Big Breakfast news that Bonehead had left. I thought, Shit! They'll
split now. I was a real fan, and I'm not just saying that.
For me, Oasis had breathed life back into rock 'n' roll.
"What I didn't know was that Noel had rung my place in London where
it was my son's birthday party. His auntie answered the phone and was
you reckon you're Noel Gallagher. Eventually he spoke to
my wife and then rang me at my mum's. I told him I had to stay near my
mum but he invited me down afterwards to Olympic Studios, where they were
mixing Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants, to hang out. And I've been
hanging out ever since
"We went to the pub and I couldn't stand not knowing if I was a part
of the band. After less than half a pint of Guinness I said, What does
Liam say? And Noel said, It's my fucking band. I'll have who I want. I
said, I won't let you down, and he said let's have it then
A matter of weeks later Archer was earning £ 85 a week as the new
Oasis rhythm guitarist (having been recruited after sessions for Standing
On The Shoulder Of Giants, he wasn't due any royalties) and played his
first chords at a session for alternative radio in Chicago. All of which
begs the question, how did Heavy Stereo react to Archer departing for
a major league act just when things were looking up?
"Oasis was the only band I would have left Heavy Stereo for,"
asserts Archer. "When Oasis came along the guys in the band said,
You've got to do it. You've got a couple of kids. Go for it. They didn't
have to do that, they were so cool. They're good people."
Noel Gallagher was aware of Heavy Stereo because they were Creation label-mates.
They had also been touted among a slew of Oasis-influenced rockers. But
that wasn't the reason he was chosen.
"Believe me, I know a lot of blokes in bands," says Noel. "And
as well as someone who can play really well you want guys who aren't going
to go nuts three dates into a six-month tour. You want people who can
keep their heads. That's Gem. He's a great musician and he's solid as
a rock. And since we've had him we've been 100 per cent better as a band."
Archer was the beneficiary of predecessor Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs's
decision to visit Liam Gallagher with a bottle of wine at 5 am one morning
while the band were recording Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants in France
Noel Gallagher had ordered that Liam be kept away from alcohol during
recording. Arthurs broke the embargo by breaking down his door and in
the ensuing argument quit the band. So, the wide availability of cheap
wine in France gave Gem Archer his big break?
"Ha ha! If I'd joined Oasis at 24 maybe I would have gone, Right!
The rock 'n' roll world is my oyster!" he says.
"But now that's so not the case. I love my music but I don't feel
I need the crazy rock 'n' roll lifestyle to go with it. I like a drink
and a laugh but I don't like doing stuff that you remember three days
later and feel terrible about. Basically I think Bonehead had had enough.
And from I hear he's a lot happier now."
So too Noel Gallagher. The high-rolling Oasis years of the late '90s followed
by Gallagher's self-imposed moratorium on hard drugs meant he required
a different sort of Oasis personnel.
Archer feels that having got the "glam rock" bug out of his
system he was perfect for the job.
"I know why he chose me," he shrugs . "Because I'm a boring
studio boffin! I bring an appreciation of recording hardware which Noel
likes. When I'm rattling on about some dodgy Limiter, Noel eyes light
up. We recorder the Proud Mary album together - a band signed to Noel's
Sour Mash label - and I saw a different side of him. He really loves getting
the best out of people. He likes having someone to go through the fine
points of the recording process with."
Oasis bass player Andy Bell agrees, "Think about it: Oasis has completely
evolved. Noel's old mates left, he's been divorced and really changed
his own life around. He still has Liam but his relationship with Liam
is different - It's more tempestuous. He needs a less extreme mate and
Gem's it. Gem chills Noel out. And that makes Oasis a more stable ship."
Odell for Q Oasis S.E.