Paddy Hanna released his new album Frankly I Mutate, last week. A cult figure in the Dublin music scene, he has released numerous singles and one prior album, before retreating inwards. Bursting full of Hanna’s intensely personal vocals underscored by bitter irony and framed by elegantly tumbling rhythms and instrumental flourishes these songs possess a grandeur that encapsulates life’s fleeting moments of joy and pain, its redolent of the likes of Lloyd Cole and Dexys.
The album, produced by Daniel Fox of Girl Band is searingly honest. He recently spoke candidly to the NME about his mental health:
“I allude to mental illness in my work. It’s considered by many to be a neurosis that spurs on creative work, however it is nothing but a crutch on my own creativity. My time in a depressive haze is spent in complete emptiness, weeks will go by, my beard will have grown out, my pen dried up. So when indeed I allude to mental illness it would usually be during a happy period where I can function. One of the most important days in my life came when I finally opened up about depression and was not met with jeers but rather acceptance and understanding”
Paddy has kindly fielded our 20 Questions below.
Where are you and what’s the weather like?
It’s just started snowing here in Dublin, we’re due a week of it according to the news.
What’s your favourite record in the charts?
There’s always an ABBA best of in an album chart somewhere, I’ll say that.
What are your favourite films?
Zombie flesh Eaters 2, Zombie Creeping Flesh, Mountain of the Cannibal God,
What is your favourite book?
I’m reading Fahrenheit 451 at the mo, will let you know how it goes.
What are your favourite TV programmes?
Queer Eye is worth watching, I think it’s genuinely cynicism proof.
What was the first record you bought and where did you buy it from?
The best of Frankie goes to Hollywood, couldn’t tell you where though.
Do you believe in God? Someone sitting in sky judging us?
I’m not ruling anything out
Who are your idols?
Marlina Dietrich, Earths Kitt
Do you have any pets?
Yes, little Cuppy, she performed a howl on my new album
Who would you want to play you in the film of your life?
A young Jon Voight
Vinyl, CD, Download or stream?
Stream if you gotta, but vinyl if you can
Tell us about your latest album?
Producer Daniel (Fox) exercised his personal demons through my songs, there were moments of madness, it’s a heck of a journey
Who would be your dream collaboration?
I’d love to work with Kanye West, it couldn’t not be interesting.
When was the last time you cried?
Whenever I last drank
What’s the best cover version you have ever heard?
Witchi tai to by Jim Pepper, performed by Harper’s Bizarre
What’s the strangest thing that has ever happened at one of your own gigs?
Recently at a solo show a man started break dancing during one of my quiet songs, out of frustration I started head butting the mic in an attempt to draw blood.
Have you ever been starstruck?
I thought I saw the wrestler Bill Goldberg in New York, that’s the only time I’ve been frozen to the spot. It wasn’t him, just some random buff guy.
What is your culinary speciality?
At the moment, a nice biryani
The Royal Family: should they stay or should they go?
You’d miss the pageantry if they left, but I suppose it’s an awful lot to pay for pageantry.
If you could change one law, what would it be?
Cycling on a footpath, automatic death sentence