Hannu was born to a Lutheran priest’s family in 1979 in a small country village about 80 kilometers north of Helsinki, Finland. Because of his father’s profession and big brother’s irritating and continous piano practising, music was always present in the home. Thank God Hannu’s big brother Markku also brought home great albums by Bruce Springsteen, J.J. Cale, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, and Van Halen. Those and more had a great influence on Hannu.
Before and during high school Hannu was a drummer playing mostly in small local post- punk/grunge/noise bands. At the age of sixteen he bought his first guitar and realized he could write better songs than many of the vocalists in his earlier bands. Soon he found a partner-in-crime and an excellent excuse to skip classes with guitarist and music enthusiast Peter Mård. Peter became Hannu’s right hand, producer, lead guitarist, songwriter associate and best friend. Together they formed The Matt Pistol Project band and signed a management deal with successful Finnish company Koetinkivi Oy and a publishing deal with Stockholm based MarSongs.
The group played as an opening act for Bonnie Tyler, Lauri Tähkä, Poets Of The Fall as well as in Finland’s rock’n’roll clubs and venues. During that time, American percussionist/producer Michael Blair made a four song Matt Pistol Project ep that received lots of airtime all over the globe, especially in the U.S.A.
But soon it was clear that The Matt Pistol Project would not
survive. Hannu’s reaction to his divorce and constantly worsening
personal problems nearly took his life. With the help of his
friends Peter Mård, Michael Blair, brother Markku, new fiancee
Ruut and family he found the support and solutions he needed to move forward.
Hannu wrote songs about his journey from divorce to his
addictions, to his knocks on heaven’s door and finding new love in his life. Then he decided to let go of the band. It was time to fulfill his biggest dream and go solo.
So he started working in the studio with his ever-loyal companion Peter Mård, recording acoustic based tracks and soundscapes. Later in 2009 he signed to a newly formed Helsinki based family label Homeward Records Oy.
For the drums, percussion and bass Hannu wanted the best and got the best. The legendary Michael Blair (Tom Waits, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello) came back on board, as well as Ulf”Rockis”Ivarsson (Thåström, Nicolai Dunger). They jumped on the wagon as rhythm section and co-producers for this new batch of personal and emotionally direct songs.
The Helsinki-Stockholm-New York connection strengthened already when Ollie Olson took a mixing engineer’s hard job. The process of these two years of making Hannu’s debut have been pure delight in it’s ups and downs / heavens and hells.
And as a climax; the MAN himself Howie ”freakin’”!! Weinberg has mastered the tracks at legendary Masterdisk, N.Y.