Noel Gallagher has said Oasis were on the verge of splitting at the turn of the century.

Speaking to BBC 6Music, the songwriter said a poor critical response to their fourth album Standing on the Shoulder of Giants left them questioning the group's future.

And when founding members Paul 'Guigsy' McGuigan and Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs left, the Mancunian band came close to breaking up.

"There were years of a real total lack of inspiration," he said. "In my defence, Creation was collapsing around our ears, Bonehead and Guigsy were thinking about leaving - although we didn't know it at the time.

"The fact that we were all getting divorced, that we made a record anyway is quite staggering."

He continued: "I think we put records out because we didn't know what to do. We really should have gone away after Knebworth and done what U2 did after The Joshua Tree.

"To [do] that you've got to be cool. We were all addicted to the attention and the mania and the egos."

When quizzed over the likelihood of a split, he replied: "We had a serious discussion after Bonehead and Guigsy left. Should we fold this now and just go under a different name? We were seriously thinking about it.

"But your manager gets you at a moment of weakness when you're hungover and says: 'You've built this think up after then years and you're just going to throw it away and start again?'"

Oasis' seventh album Dig Out Your Soul debuted at the top of the charts on Sunday.

13/10/2008 17:28:47