"Mind Over Matter" is a live video EP by Dylan Hennessy launched on March 25th 2018. It features 4 original compositions, recorded live off the floor at Iguana Studios, famous for recording bands such as Billy Talent, Sum 41, Three Days Grace, Alexisonfire, etc.
All the recordings and videos are available on a wide variety of social media platforms, as well as online music retailers and music streaming services. The YouTube collection is available for free below.
"Thank you for taking the time to check out my newest release, 'Mind Over Matter'. It became clear to me at the end of 2017 that it was time to figure out how to record some of the material I currently feature in my live show. I thought the best place to start was to capture the live experience, the thing I know how to do best, and make that available as soon as possible. It was an amazing experience recording at Iguana Studios. The energy in the room was electric, and the team we assembled did a great job supporting me in realizing my vision. I'm not sure what the rest of 2018 holds, but after seeing how these videos have turned out, I feel confident that this is a great place to start."
- Dylan Hennessy
BLINK OF AN EYE
“Writing Blink of an Eye was a long process, but ultimately rewarding. Sometimes songs will come out all at once, but this was one I kept on coming back to for a number of months before finally finishing. Sometimes that’s the way it goes when I write a longer piece like this one. It takes heavy influence from Infected Mushroom’s “Psytrance” sound and adds some heavy riffs and metal leads. I thought the psychedelic soundscape of the song lent itself well to writing about the passing of time, and the phenomena of feeling like time is speeding up the longer we’re around. I feel like sometimes we can get so caught up in yearning for the simplicity of the past that it actually accelerates how fast we feel like our lives are going by, and the only way to get the most out of your time here is to enjoy exactly where you’re at at that moment.”
“The Mountain has a special place with me, and is one of the songs that helped push me to write heavier rock music during a transitional music period between singer/songwriter folk music, and the kind of music I write now. In fact, I performed this piece with an acoustic guitar for more than a year before it reached its current iteration.
I wrote this song after having not written an original song for a long time, and was beginning to feel like I was out of practice. I wasn’t writing as much because life was getting busier, and that was getting to me. Sometimes when we put something off for too long, maybe going to the gym, or working on that book you’re writing, what was once a simple routine task can become an insurmountable obstacle. Like an ant hill that’s grown to the size of a mountain. And so I literally wrote the song about writing songs again, using this mountain analogy to break the streak. “So I’m taking the first step today. Mind over matter, the mountain is mine.”
‘The first step up the mountain’:
The first time performing it was a particularly memorable experience. I’d written it three days before heading overseas for a month-long solo trip, where I’d soon be performing five times in Manchester. I had two weeks between leaving Toronto and my first UK show where I wouldn’t get to rehearse even once. I listened to a rough demo I made at home endlessly, imagining every note and the timing of every point I had to switch something on the loop station. ‘It would be so cool to premiere a new song overseas!’
I arrive at ‘The Whiskey Jar’, a local bar and hidden gem of an open mic in Manchester with around 70 people and a magical energy I haven’t quite felt at an open mic since. I had three songs to play, and was unsure of whether or not I wanted to go for it and play the new piece. In a split second decision, with the room’s energy frothing after the first two and a Facebook live stream sending the show back home, I decided to go for it. The energy was tremendous, and I played that song every other night I performed there. It’s become a staple song of mine and I’d be hard-pressed not to play it at a show; it still brings me back to the amazing energy of a small crowded room in Manchester. It’s about time a performance of the piece was recorded properly and I’m very happy with how this came out.
Metro Rush happened at Jean-Talon station in the Montreal Metro. The city has an incredible busking culture allowing people to set up and play in the subway without a license, whereas Toronto only allows someone to apply for a license one every 3 years. An asset to travelling musicians.
For the week I was staying there, playing open mics and shows at night trying to make connections, I would busk in the day for a bit of extra cash. I was improvising and came upon the main riff this song is based around. I must have jammed on the riff for at least an hour as people walked by, totally locked in their cellphones as they walked through the busy tunnels. I became saddened at the idea that maybe 10 years ago, I’d have had more luck in a situation where people didn’t readily have all these distractions at their disposal. They’d have been more apt to take part in their surroundings, and maybe enjoy some music as they were on their way.
I decided to try and write a song from this riff. Every time I came back to it to write, I kept on remembering the hundreds of distracted people, locked in their virtual universe, failing to take a moment to acknowledge their environment, make eye contact, look around, or smile. “Reach out humans, be engaged.”
Suit Up was written amidst a drastic lifestyle change that happened overnight. From one day being a full-time musician, to receiving a surprise job offer that saw myself the very next morning in a suit and tie at the train station downtown at 7am on my way to a corporate office. I wasn't sure if this was going to mean the end of my days as a musician, and if felt like a part of me was leaving.
As it would turn out, the job was great and I certainly didn't stop making music but there was a fear for a few days when I wrote this that this was the end. And so I lied to myself; "You've got it made, you're getting paid, you've got it going on."