The inspiration behind each track from Tyrone Noonan’s debut solo album I Believe.

1. The Right Way
As soon as I heard back the recording of the tribal drum intro for this song, I knew
it would be the album opener. And I didn’t realise it at the time of writing, but
there’s definitely a subtle Hall and Oates influence here! My co-writer Nick Stewart
had this latino-sounding riff that I immediately latched onto, and the song built
from there, ultimately turning into a deep rock groove. In our youth and beauty-
obsessed media age, it’s a wary tale about a guy who’s hell bent on dating the one
girl who makes everyone’s heart jump when she enters a room; but ultimately
learns a hard lesson about falling in love with a “man-eater”.

2. Make It Somehow
This song was written during two years I spent living in Ireland as a full-time
musician, playing in a Beatles tribute band (The Beatless) during the week and
gigging with our originals band (The Charm) on weekends. We recorded this as part
of a demo at the time and got close to being signed, but alas, ‘twas not to be. We all
had a blast anyway! I sat on this song for years as I always thought it was “too
Lennon”, but after hearing The Vines, Jet and other bands wearing their musical
hearts on their sleeves I thought, “Why not”? I mean there are backwards sitars in
there and everything!

3. Tight Black Dress
This song was a late addition to the album, and probably the one I’m most proud of,
as it was all recorded at my mate Paulie B’s studio in West End, Brisbane and my
apartment across town with my other friend Justin Tresidder’s A1 mobile recording
rig, alongside assistance from Brisbane sonic gurus JLM Audio. Then it was sent off
to Steve Hodge in the US to mix; and we got so excited when he sent it back. Go
Steve! He’s an amazing guy. The song started from a productive and hilarious
writing session with talented tunesmiths Russ de Salvo and Arnie Roman in Long
Island (New York). Once we knuckled down, we created this ode to the beauty of
woman, particularly when enshrined in a Tight Black Dress. This song may be
considered frivolous but it puts a smile on people’s faces, so I’m happy!

4. Because Of You
This song came about from a serendipitous connection to legendary songwriter/
producer Chas Sandford (“Missing You” by John Waite, “Talk To Me” by Stevie
Nicks etc). My Uncle Peter, a longtime US resident and Professor at Vanderbilt
University in Nashville, had an associate who played in a monthly blues jam band
with Chas at the time of my visit, and was able to arrange a lunch meeting with
him. On top of this, my other Nashville-based Aussie friend Natalie Howard had a
writing session with Chas booked months in advance which coincided with my stay,
and very kindly offered up the time; so the three of us got together and came up
with this uplifting song. It’s a love poem, a tribute to a wonderful woman who has
fallen in love with a man “warts and all”. She can see the good guy inside, and has
helped him get back on the right path, and he’s smart enough to realise how lucky
he is. On the production side, I was influenced by George Harrison’s slide work and
The Pretenders’ jangly country-pop.

5. Magic Carpet Weaver
This was written in the full bloom of love during a long-term relationship, and
judging by the response it evokes in people, I think I somehow managed to capture
an element of that joy, almost permanently like in a jar!, within the song. Co-writer
Nick Stewart had this great riff going, slightly reminiscent of U2 but ultimately
more old school, and the song grew from there. I like the cheeky line in the chorus:
“She’s a princess, I’m her diva!” That puts a smile on my face whenever I sing it. I
certainly ascribe to the belief that sometimes when you’re writing, even if it’s with
your own experience in mind, you can become a channel for other energies, spirits,
whatever you wish to call it. I try not to question what it is and just let it happen
when it does, as it makes me feel part of something much bigger and more beautiful
than we can see. And it also explains the chorus line I quoted above, as I really don’t
know where it came from, ha ha!

6. I Believe
This is probably the most laid-back song on the album. I love how Steve (Hodge, mix
engineer) has mixed my vocals “up close and raw” in the verses, helping to
consolidate the intimacy and vulnerability the song aims to express, along with
Paul’s (Peterson, co-producer) beautiful cascading piano part, as it slowly builds up
to the climactic bridge section. It’s a bittersweet exploration of love and its
aftermath. The protagonist has gone through a break-up, and while he may be
holding a candle to the past, he’s also saying “I (still) believe in love”, no matter how
much it can hurt. So there’s hope! One of my favourite album recording moments
involved laying down extra guitars for the bridge section of this song. Oliver Leiber
had kindly allowed me the use of his “guitar heaven” recording studio while he was
away for a day or two, and myself and Nick Page (“Forever Girl” co-writer) set about
creating this wild sound I could hear in my head, which he understood from my
description, and seemed just as excited about. With all of the guitars, pedals and
amps on offer, I felt like, with Nick’s help, I was finally able to create a part and
sound exactly as I had imagined it. I also have a stripped back mix of this song
which I love and may release sometime after the album.

7. The Family Song
Some people who’ve heard the record say this song doesn’t fit on there, while others
feel it’s the “soul” of the record, so it’s true that you can’t please everybody. My Dad
said to me one day “You’re always writing songs about your ex, so when are you
going to write a song about us?” This was my response! I certainly don’t consider
myself a non-secular artist, but I was proud to win the Gospel/Spiritual category at
the Q Song (Queensland) music awards with this recording and I admit the song is
influenced by American soul and gospel music. I’m very lucky that my folks are still
together and love each other, and as a result we’re a pretty close and loving family,
and this song celebrates that.

8. All Of My Love
A journo friend from my time in the Brisbane street press (Neil Richards) rang one
day to ask if I’d be interested in co-writing with St Paul Peterson, an American
artist he was now managing. The name rang a bell, and when I checked his bio
(which is nuts!) the penny dropped and I jumped at the opportunity, as he was soon
to be visiting Australia. We ended up hanging at Paul’s hotel room and immediately
got on really well, and before long we had written the guts of this song together.
With things off to a good start, we kept talking and eventually Paul became my
album co-producer; a fantastic experience! The song started off on acoustic guitars
but quickly moved to a more hard-edged rock feel (the riffs demanded it!), while also
emanating soul/funk vibes, as lyrically Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On album was a
thematic inspiration, along with the notion of letting go of shackles and stepping
out into the world, flowing into the right energy stream and riding it like a wave!

9. Forever Girl
I wrote this song in LA and, lyrically at least, I think it shows! My cohort Nick Page
and I had been working on these big riffs and slowly turning them into a song, when
he suggested the idea of trying out his buddy Adam Longlands for lyrics. This was
part of accepting new processes for me, as previously I had always written my own
lyrics, or at least co-written them with someone else. So we sent him our song idea
and he bounced back pretty quickly with some great words which resonated with
me at the time, and also suggested we keep in the “la-la-la-la” section which we had
merely placed in the demo as a “space holder” until we came up with something
better, or so we thought … it turned out to be one of the big hooks of the song! It’s a
story about a guy who’s just met this amazing girl, but it’s too early for him to tell if
she’s his “forever girl” or not. He’s being honest but still feels guilty; he “can’t say,
and that’s not right”. Meanwhile she starts dreaming of wedding invitation designs!

10. We’ll Be Gone
This is one of my personal favourites on the album, written with my musical
compadre, Sydney musician/producer Josh Wermut. He had turned me onto artists
like D’Angelo , whose album “Voodoo” just blew my mind, so when it came to co-
writing  I expected us to create something more laid back. Instead we soon moved
into angular, angry rock and punk reggae vibes, as we wanted to convey our feelings
towards the Earth’s politicians and CEO’s who always seem to be at least one step
behind the public in the world of spiritual and general evolution. This song took
some work to finish off, as I kept changing the chorus melody and couldn’t decide on
which one; and then finally it came to me.

11. All That You Need
This is one of my other personal faves on the album, as I really believe in the song’s
message, and I also went to town on the production side, expressing my deep love of
all things reggae. It was exciting to be able to show Steve (Hodge, mix engineer)
reference material for say, an effect on a particular instrument, and then watch him
faithfully replicate it, which we applied to several sounds here. This song is an
honest look at the state of the world today (a shambles, let’s face it) but is still
hopeful in the recognition that more people are “waking up”, jumping off the mind-
control ship, recognising we are all connected and choosing to lead freer lives filled
with love.

12. You’re Not Here
This is probably the most poignant song on the album, as I wrote it a week after my
longest relationship partner left to move overseas, shortly after we broke up. I think
the lyrics speak for themselves; a lot of people have been there! It’s also one of the
biggest songs production-wise on the album, which is another reason why it sits
well as the album’s closer. And it features the previously inimitable Brian May
(Queen) guitar sound! A few days before we arrived at Oliver Leiber’s studio to
record extra guitars, he received a delivery he had been waiting on for 3 years –
made by a Japanese luthier and considered to be the most faithful reproduction of
Brian May’s main guitar (originally designed/created by Brian and his Dad). Oliver
said he had been waiting for the right song to give the guitar a good workout, and
fortunately that just happened to be mine!