Shannon Noll's long road back to the recording studio
SHANNON Noll is back with his first album in seven years and its name, Unbroken, describes how the singer has remained resilient through life's ups and downs.
"It's been seven years, although it doesn't feel like it. Time gets away from you sometimes, doesn't it?" he says.
"There are those trials and tribulations to keep a career going, especially after coming from a reality show... I've had a few setbacks with change of management and record label, so I'm really excited to get it finished off and have something tangible the fans can go and buy."
The Australian Idol favourite drew from a wealth of unpublished songs from the past seven years, and co-wrote with Evermore's Jon Hume, Busby Marou's Tom Busby and Sydney songwriter Lindsay Rimes.
"It's not just an album we wrote in the past 12 months. I've got songs dating right back to four or five years ago on there," Noll says.
"There's a bit more of a journey on this one I suppose. With a lot of the sentiment in the songs I can pick when I was in that frame of mind and when that song was written."
Noll returned to the same Kings Cross studio where he recorded his post-Idol, debut album That's What I'm Talking About to work with producer Craig Porteils, who crafted his No 1 hits What About Me? and Drive.
"I always feel things happen for a reason. I was on the judging panel for Eurovision and Craig, who produced the first album, was on the judging panel as well," he says.
"I hadn't seen him in a good eight to 10 years and I said 'I've got an album coming out soon. It would be great if you could have a look at it' and he was keen as mustard. I hadn't seen him for so long, but it felt like it was meant to be.
"I ended up going back to the same coffee shops and places for lunch (as when I was working on That's What I'm Talking About) and it definitely made it feel more comfortable that it was a place I knew."
His new single off the album, Land of Mine, is out today.
"It's similar to Driving Wheels by Barnsey in the respect that it's a bit rock 'n' roll," Noll says.
"It's about who I was growing up as a young bloke in the bush working on the farm, which was never something I was pushed to write about with anything I've done before. To be comfortable enough to write about stuff from my upbringing is great."
Managing chronic back pain from an injury on the 2010 season of Dancing With The Stars, Noll says he's left his "wild times" behind him.
"I love my motorbikes and now my young bloke's got a motorbike, so we try to get out whenever we can but I definitely ride a bit more moderately - not hell for leather like I used to be," he says.
"Travel seems to be the worst thing for my back. Sitting in planes and cars for hours on end doesn't agree with it, so I've got to try to keep in shape and keep some strength around it."
So far he has only announced capital city shows in support of the new album, but Noll promises to tour regionally later this year.
"It's been a long time since I've had an album out, so I'll definitely make the most of this year and I'll be announcing more shows to more areas," he says.
"I'll try to get everywhere. The regions always been fabulous for me."
Unbroken is out on February 2. Shannon Noll plays The Triffid in Brisbane on May 19.