Walking with Giants, Gary Noon
Imagine, if you will, you are a musician looking to start a cover band inspired by two of the biggest bands in Rock. Now imagine those bands being Sevendust and Alter Bridge. Now the fun begins. Imagine instead of starting a cover band, you end up recording an album of original music with members of both bands. This is exactly the story of Gary Noon and his band, Walking With Giants. The music of Walking With Giant is the vision of Noon, but his talents drew guitarist, Clint Lowery and drummer, Morgan Rose of Sevendust and bassist, Brian Marshall of Alter Bridge and Creed into the studio to create the full length album, Worlds Unknown.
I was recently presented with the opportunity to interview Gary Noon. I gladly accepted.
HHM: Who or what has been your greatest influence?
Gary: My biggest influence is the late author, speaker, and pioneer of the spoken-word self-help industry, Earl Nightingale. His recording, The Strangest Secret, challenged me and inspired me. Walking With Giants would not exist without his influence.
HHM: How did you get started in the music and entertainment industry?
Gary: I started flirting with the ‘industry’ by doing guitar covers on YouTube, but I never considered the possibility of actually attempting it until about 2010.
HHM: What is your background?
Gary: I grew up surrounded by music. At home, at church, in the car – it was everywhere. My parents were the driving force behind that. I started playing guitar at 17 and since then have played in a variety of capacities: church orchestras, a cover project or two, and more recently, my exploits on YouTube.
HHM: What has been your greatest personal challenge?
Gary: My greatest personal challenge has been and is being confident in myself. It’s amazing that even after doing many things I’m proud of I still have doubts. I wonder if everyone struggles with that.
HHM: You originally set out to form a band as a tribute to Sevendust and Alter Bridge. How did you go from looking from looking for a group of guys to play a certain sound to having actual members of those two bands in the studio with you?
Gary: From the first time I met Clint, Flip, Brian and Morgan (we all met between 2008 – 2009), I was always talking about my ‘nefarious plans’ to write my own album ‘someday.’ We kept in touch over the past several years and when I finally decided to it, I took a chance.
HHM: When all this came together, who was the first person you told?
Gary: The first person I told was my good friend, Jon Wheeler. Without him, I don’t think I would ever have met Clint and the other guys.
HHM: How many times did you high five yourself when it all came to be (I know I damn sure would have been)?
Gary: I never have. Instead, I would slap myself to see if all this was real. But, seriously, it’s still hard to believe, even after 3 records.
HHM: Once everything came together and everyone was in place, did your vision or expectations for your album change?
Gary: It does every time. I’d come into the studio with the ideas I had and the number of songs I wanted to do. From there, the project would always take on a life of it’s own. I think the results have been far better than if I tried to plan every single step.
HHM: I can hear many influences in the music on your album. What would you say was your main influence?
Gary: My main influence comes from the feelings music gives me. The songs that I feel are the ones I remember and care about the most. When I started this project, I told Clint my main goal was to create music that others could feel. The number of players I follow is huge, but at the top of the list are: Clint Lowery, Myles Kennedy, Mark Tremonti, Dan Huff, Matt Scannell.
HHM: Was the song writing a collaboration of ideas, individual writing, or something else?
Gary: Walking With Giant’s songs begin as a combination of individual ideas and co-writing from Clint and I. As we would further solidify the song arrangements in the studio, Brian and Morgan (and Flip on the previous two records) would put their own stamp on each track.
HHM: How did it all come together into a cohesive album?
Gary: The plan was for this record to be a 6 or 7-song EP. I headed home after the first group of tracks had been finished thinking I was done. In June, I got inspired to write more songs. I was happy with what had been done so far, but I felt like I needed to give something more. I invited the guys back, and they joined me to finish it up. Then, I arranged the track list by how I felt the songs fit together. The instrumental bookends helped me with that.
HHM: What is your favorite track on the album and why?
Gary: My favorite song on the album is Solid Ground. It means a lot to me. It’s a personal declaration that I hope one day to be able to say for real.
HHM: Are there any touring plans for Walking with Giants?
Gary: No definite plans right now, but I’m definitely thinking about it.
HHM: If there is a tour planned, Will Clint, Morgan, or Brian be playing on that tour at all?
Gary: Clint, Morgan and Brian supported me in the studio. If I decide to take Walking With Giants on tour, I’d work with different group of guys.
HHM: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Gary: I’m grateful to everyone who has given this music a chance.
Gary Flinn HHM/Beyond The Pit photography
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