Interview with Matt Hanley

Matt Hanley & Friends: Menaissance album launch

Matt Hanley is at the Court House

Court House Hotel, Mullumbimby | Saturday | $20

As a session guitarist Matt Hanley has played with some impressive artists, including Brian Cadd, Jenny Morris, Doug Parkinson, Troy Cassar-Daley, and a whole lot more. While schooling Matt across genres, it also instilled a desire to release his own material. But like many talented guitarists who play for others, he felt that he couldn’t do it.

‘I had some form of personal psychological blockage that I had to conquer,’ says Matt. ‘It is a relief to finally offer something up and have a breakthrough. There are quite a few really old songs on this collection that I just had to set free to clear the hard drive and start again. I won’t take 50 years for the next offering and am excited about the positivity and vibe of the newer material!’

Menaissance sees the opening of the creative floodgates with songs from 20 years ago and very recent songs flowing forth. One of his songs, 2 Cobs of Corn, was actually nominated for Australian Blues Song of the Year at last year’s Chain Awards.

Losing his father recently had a profound effect on Matt, who says, ‘I have a newfound gratitude. Watching my father die made me look at my own life differently and work harder at songwriting. I have also influenced myself to write a different lyric style that I hope will be easier for people to connect with than some of the touchy subject matter on Menaissance.’

So what does Menaissance mean? The idea is crucial to Matt’s own identity as he says this is how he tries to live his life these days.

‘A Menaissance man rejects prejudice, homophobia, greed, jealousy, dishonesty, and violence. He has style, manners, respect (for himself and others). He is a proud man and so he should be. MEN ARE GOOD. I think the word and in fact the movement grew naturally as a result of the empowerment and acknowledgement of women, which the Menaissance Man (MM) fully supports and stands for. The renaissance of men in the community, in the family, and culturally is very important.’

Matt Hanley launches Menaissance at the Court House Hotel in Mullumbimby on Saturday. He will be joined by Dave Sanders on drums,Thierry Fossemalle on bass, Glen Muirhead on keyboards, and Belle Hendrik on vocals. Mark Heazlett will open the night and then join the band. Tickets are $20 from venue or


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