Brunswick Head singer songriter Dan Hannaford.
Brunswick Head singer songriter Dan Hannaford. Contributed

Son of a preacher man singing a protest song for the workers

DAN Hannaford is the son of a preacher from Ballina, who fell in love with music while listening to the hymns sung at the Uniting Church.

His first involvement with music was though a choir and playing drums at the church's band.

He left school in 1995 and he has been a professional musician for the past five years.

Now living in Brunswick Heads, Dan was announced the winner of the Play Mullum and Falls Festival Protest Song Competition with his song Payday.

Did you do many odd jobs before becoming a professional muso?

Labouring, landscaping and I had a cleaning business for a while. I used the clean the toilets for the Ballina Shire Council, so I've done my bit for the community (laughs).

Do you have any music qualifications?

I completed a Diploma of Music Performance at TAFE Gold Coast about six years ago.

Is it hard to be a full-time musician in this area?

Playing music, writing songs and signing them has been my sole source of income for the last five years.

It's easier for me because I mainly do solo work. There is quite a bit of work in this area for solo artists who can be flexible in the way they present what they do.

What is your music like?

I like to call it outlaw blues. It's country meets blues, usually with a story behind it.

Is your emphasis always in the lyrics then?

Yes. I call myself a songwriter before I call myself a singer.

I love music and I love what music does, but for me the music is a stage to tell my or someone else's story.

Do you do any other type of writing?

No, except for my Facebook status updates! That's about it (more laughs).

I do little stories every now and then on my Facebook page about things that happen on the road or at a gig.

What is your ideal professional life?

To travel the world and sing my songs. I would also like other people to take some of my songs and sing them.

I have a lot of songs, but some of them don't suit my voice or my style.

What is Payday about?

It's a working man's protest song. The first line is 'You gotta roll with the punches but I am tired of getting bruised'.

It's about how do I have to keep slogging away and hitting my fist on the table before I get looked after financially.

Any person who works at something that they are passionate about wants to be respected and appreciated for what they do.

Dan Hannaford
Dan Hannaford

What's next for you after Mullum Music and Falls Festivals?

I'll launch a single early next year called Lay Down Your Guns, and then a full album on the first half of 2015.

It will be an independent release.

Any final message for anyone?

Thanks to the organisers of both festivals and thanks to all the people who entered songs. I want to encourage them to keep writing.

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