Hanny J Addictive Punk Served with Soul
Image credit: HannyJ Facebook
Lending her skills to 5 Brisbane bands, Hanny J is captivating in any on stage form. Back in the studio solo to record and release 'Possessions,' we catch up with this lady on a late sunny Sunday morning, Fortitude Valley side.
Originally from Warwick in far out regional Queensland, Hanny has been writing songs since the age of 7. Her direction clear from the start, "The first song I wrote was pretty intense, I’ve aways written emotional songs about struggling, not quite sure what I was struggling with at the time...Pre-teen angst or some shit [Laughing] but yeah I think I just observed things with other people." After purchasing ‘Pump Up The Valium’ by NOFX and getting her head around The Distillers riffs she moved out, and away.
With her brother and best friend, Dreaded Rear Admiral came together at the tender age of 14, "My brother was already in Brisbane with a friend we grew up next door to called Toodles, I hit them up and said 'Would you be in a band with me if I came to Brisbane?' and they said 'Yep' so that’s how Rear Admiral started."
Not knowing anyone in music, leads this young teen to the Alley Bar in Milton to catch The Black Market, "Black Market were playing and they blew me away and I was totally starstruck when I met Toby, who is a really good friend of mine now, I shook his hand and said 'Dude that was inspiring' and he was like 'whatever' and walked on." Laughing she continues to make us understand more about Brisbane and how it works, "I really appreciate what Toby did with Blackmarketeers and now, people like Sam [Gerrad] of Scum Records are doing awesome things, and HITS are a big one driving Brisbane forward."
Who should we be watching? Brisbane music is flourishing, when I was younger Black Market and The Disables were popular at the time, now there are heaps of younger really cool bands coming through like Goon On The Rocks and Puke, it's really exciting."
I met Toby [Vox and Guitar The Black Market] who is a really good friend of mine now, I shook his hand and said 'Dude that was inspiring' and he was like 'whatever' and walked on."
Friends Come and Go. Some Are Always Missed.
"Our first Rear Admiral show was at Chardon’s Corner, 10 years ago, it’s really cool they’ve open it up again." Getting her old band together at the right time she lets us in, "We've just reformed Rear Admiral with my brother and Toodles, I'm pretty excited about that! It's been 7 years since we've played."
25 years old and with Pretty Boys under her belt and now playing in The BillSharks, vocals in Kingston Stompers and Midwife Crisis, and guitar for legendary Brisbane punks The Leftovers, there is one band she mourns to this day, "Main Street Bratz was a really important band for me, it was so genuine, we were all in it for the same reason, there wasn’t any pretentious bullshit." Looking down at her beer she confesses, "I still miss it. I’ve cried many times drunk over that band, like an old relationship. It’s hilarious."
"I still miss it. I’ve cried many times drunk over that band, like an old relationship. It’s hilarious."
Writing Solo, Fender Love
"Doing this now, it's really funny because this is where I started when I was a kid, it’s really personal to me." Talking about her long list of other projects she speaks of writer's block and how she's turned it around, "I've always written a lot for other bands, been the main writer, so it’s always been personal for me but I had writers block for about 2 years...I needed to write for myself and not care about what anyone else thinks [because of this] my solo stuff feels really organic."
Walking works wonders, "I walk and start getting ideas for songs, I’ve been doing that since I was a kid. I love walking around, it could be a half hour trip and I’ll get an idea for a riff."
Her love for her Fender also speaks volumes, "I've got a Fender Jaguar Special, it’s really diverse I can use it for the chunky distorted stuff but then I can get a really good nice warm tone out of it too - I really love Fenders for that." Her kit also comprising of a Cort acoustic and $400 Fender amp that is light enough to carry with a "Really awesome sound."
"Possessions really means a lot to me. I’ve been through a lot of personal things my brother not being well and the relationships I’ve been through, and I got this new perspective when I turned 21... it’s all been building up." Explaining the concept further Hanny continues, "That’s why it’s called 'Possessions' it’s letting go of things that you think define who you are emotionally." On a final note she offers her point of view, "Nothing does define you, only what’s inside defines who you really are."
If you're in Adelaide this month, catch Hanny J supporting Dan Raw and Tim Hampshire.