Singer shares her Late Night Tunes

Noo­nan talks suc­cess, school and cig­gies

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - MATT COLLINS

WHENyou think of an­gelic Aus­tralian voices, Katie Noo­nan’s name is al­ways front of mind. Katie was the lead singer in the band Ge­orge, which en­joyed a me­te­oric rise in the ’90s and early 2000s.

The band’s first al­bum, Pol­y­ser­ena, reached num­ber one in the Aus­tralian charts. Katie is soon to re­lease her next solo minial­bum, Late Night Tunes with Noons.

Matt Collins: Are you a cof­fee woman, Katie?

Katie Noo­nan: I am not. I am a bona fide tea freak. I used to drink cof­fee through my teenage years and uni. I used to smoke cig­a­rettes too, which is crazy. For me cof­fee and cig­gies went to­gether. MC: Break­fast of cham­pi­ons. KN: I quit on New Year’s 1999. I thought the world was go­ing to end so it was a big time of change.

MC: Katie, you are a clas­si­cally trained singer. Wouldn’t that dam­age your voice?

KN: 100 per cent yes. Look, I was stupid and some­one gave me a cig­a­rette when I was a teenager. It is such a hor­ri­ble, hor­ri­ble ad­dic­tive drug. So I was ad­dicted mainly, but sec­ondly I thought it was cool and I thought it was a bit re­bel­lious. This was 20 years ago, so ev­ery­one was still smok­ing in venues. When we first started gig­ging, you are breath­ing in 1000 peo­ple’s smoke and when you are singing and tak­ing in mas­sive big breaths to get the notes … I def­i­nitely got asth­matic symp­toms dur­ing tours just breath­ing in all that smoke.

MC: Let’s talk about the great suc­cess you had with Ge­orge. How did that start?

KN: Ge­orge kind of ac­ci­den­tally started in the lounge­room over a jam with two sets of sib­lings – the twins and my brother and I.

MC: Did you know you guys had some­thing spe­cial early on?

KN: Yeah, I think we did. I knew I loved mak­ing mu­sic with those peo­ple and we all gen­uinely re­ally loved each other. I think the fact it started with two sets of sib­lings gave it a real fam­ily vibe, ob­vi­ously.

MC: What sort of bands did you look up to at that early stage?

KN: Well, an al­bum called Grace by Jeff Buck­ley came out at the time and blew our col­lec­tive mind.

MC: He could sing a lit­tle bit. KN: And he made mu­sic that didn’t sound like any­body else. That’s what we wanted to do. That’s why seven years later we were the overnight suc­cess. Or how­ever long it was. MC: Were you guys in­de­pen­dent when Pol­y­ser­ena came out?

KN: No, we got to the point where we couldn’t make the record we wanted to make by our­selves, be­cause records cost a lot of money. We had quite a few record com­pa­nies vy­ing for our con­tract, so we were in a po­si­tion of power and we were able to ne­go­ti­ate ac­cord­ingly. The one thing we were not pre­pared to budge on at all was com­plete cre­ative and artis­tic con­trol, writ­ten in black and white in a con­tract. So a cou­ple of la­bels dropped out be­cause of that.

MC: What would you say to Katie Noo­nan if she was just about to start high school again?

KN: I’d say, ‘Just chill out a bit’. Un­for­tu­nately I do think I have a very strong con­nec­tion be­tween my achieve­ments and my sense of self-worth. Prob­a­bly thanks to a lovely Catholic up­bring­ing, which does have a lot of awe­some things but I think it has a lot of guilt at­tached to it. I’m still fig­ur­ing that out now at age 42.

Pic­ture: James Gour­ley

AN­GELIC VOICE: Katie Noo­nan shares a cof­fee chat with Matt Collins, where she talks suc­cess, school, cigaret­ters, and her up­com­ing al­bum.

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