Photo: Courtesy Chelle Carr
© Rock Shots Photography
It seems like singer Shannon Noll is always touring. He has certainly spent a lot of time on the road this year and it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon. When he is not headlining his own tours, the singer is joining with his friends and fellow musicians as part of the huge line-up of artists on the Red Hot Summer Tour. 2018 is no exception with more shows extending into April and, for the first time, the Red Hot Summer Tour will travel overseas with a special concert in Bali.
“It’s wonderful,” he says. “It really is a lot of fun because, like with the Red Hot Summer shows I’ve done before, everyone’s just so great to get along with and you get such big numbers because obviously everyone draws their own crowd and put all those fans together and you’ve got a fair number of people. It’s wonderful to play in front of 10,000 people like we have done this year. There’s nothing not to like about it, that’s for sure. To be able to share the stage with some of the greatest artists in Australian music is a real privilege. And you might win some new fans in the process which is always a great thing to do.”
One drawback of course is the heat. But then, it is called the Red Hot Summer Tour for a reason! Shannon agrees. “Especially when you go on at 4:30 in the afternoon,” he laughs. “But you just get out there and have a ball. I mean it does get hot in the afternoon with the sun on you, but some shows with the lights you’ve got on you are hot too. It’s all good fun though. It’s terrific.”
Shannon has come a long way since he appeared as a contestant on Australian Idol. He didn’t win. That honour went to fellow contestant Guy Sebastian, but he did come second and that was the perfect springboard for his future music career. The show had given him great exposure to a massive audience and suddenly Shannon Noll was a household name. “That was pretty huge,” he says. “I didn’t really see that coming to be honest. I was pretty lucky to have some great fans to support me throughout the show. In this business, it’s all about the fans. Without the fans’ support, you haven’t got much of a future in this business.” And the singer admits that a career in music was always firmly in his sights. “All my brothers are musical, and they had a band. I learned to play guitar when I was about twelve and when I was about fourteen, I started singing myself.”
He formed a duo with his brother and they started playing in cafes around Sydney. Eventually they returned to their home town of Condobolin and started a band, touring around the bush for seven or eight years. “It was definitely something that was always a desire for me. I wanted to see how far I could take it.”
Musically, he cites both John Farnham and Jimmy Barnes as major influences. “Richard Marx is another one that I was a big fan of growing up. I think the first album I bought growing up might have been a Michael Jackson album, but I was a huge fan of Elvis as well. You’ve got to be able to appreciate all types of songs and music I think if you are going to do this for a living.”
Shannon says that he has recently finished recording a new album but, at this stage, there is no confirmed release date. “We’ve got it done but we just have to get together with the label and work out a release date. We haven’t got quite that far yet but we’re bearing down on it.” The album, he says, will be a bit of a ‘mix’. “There’s a few rockier songs on there and a couple of ballads as well and there’s some up-tempo songs on there that are similar to the two singles that I released which are ‘Who I Am’ and ‘Southern Sky’. There’s some good rock songs on there too which should be a lot of fun to play live.” He assures me that at least some of those tracks will be included in his set on the Red Hot Summer Tour.
Talking about the inspiration for the songs on the album and the process of recording, Shannon explains, “I find that sometimes you can go into the studio with an agenda, with an idea in your mind and other times you just have nothing at all. You start jamming with whoever you’re working with and an idea might pop up so it’s experiences or sometimes an idea might come out of nowhere and sometimes you can be there all day, and nothing comes. It can go one of two ways. I think some of it comes to you when you listen to people talking about their experiences too.”
With so much time spent touring, he admits that it is hard sometimes. “But it’s my job; it’s my career; it’s what I do. It’s all weekend work so you miss out on a lot of family time in that sense because through the week days when you might make it home, all the kids are at school and my wife’s at work and that sort of thing so it’s really difficult in that sense but you’ve just got to make up for it whenever you get some quality time and make the most of it, I suppose.”
And what do his kids think about Dad’s job?
“They’re pretty cool. They enjoy the music and they enjoy coming along. When I play them a new song, I can tell straight away if they’re digging it or not.”
The Red Hot Summer Tour 2018 kicks off in January. For more details, dates, venues, line-ups and ticketing information, click here.
by Sharyn Hamey
Copyright © Sharyn Hamey 2017. All rights reserved