So, what do you do when your actively touring band goes on a hiatus? If you’re Scott Hannay (Mister F), you play video games, or at least video game music… or both. Scott Hannay Plays Video Games – Multiplayer Edition, is a unique twist on the 8-Bit music that so many gamers hold dear. Hannay is bringing five of his favorite musicians as part of his new project to The Jewel in Manchester, NH this Saturday, and The Monopole in Plattsburgh on February 23.
Scott Hannay Plays Video Games Multiplayer Edition features a rotating cast of video game loving, musically inclined masters all trying to level up. Hannay handles keys duties and will will be joined by fellow Mister F band mate Matt Pickering on drums, guitarists Matt Dempsey (Cosmic Dust Bunnies) and Andrew Carton (Chromatropic), percussionist Josh West (Annie in the Water/Lucid) and bassist Billy Comstock (Annie in the Water, Twiddle).
Over the summer Mister F performed what became known as the “Game Genie” set at the Night Lights Music Festival. While working on that project, Hannay began to perform a series of solo shows, showcasing his 8-bit prowess. With Mister F on hiatus, Hannay wanted to expand the idea to include a full band that would change players with each new city or performance.
“I put a post out on Facebook to sort of see if the idea would grow legs, and it did,” Hannay told NYS Music. “I had a number of people reach out immediately about wanting to be involved.
The Multiplayer Edition was debuted on Jan 19 at Toads Place in New Haven, CT. The set featured Comstock, Dempsey and Cosmic Dust Bunnies drummer Eric Hyland.
As a young boy, Hannay cut his teeth on his family’s piano by gingerly plunking out notes to his favorite video game tunes. By his teen years, he was obsessed with MIDI files, bought some cheap software and began transcribing video game soundtracks like Mega Man 1, 2, 3, Contra, Mario 1, and Zelda 1 . Transcription gave way to recording and recording ultimately led Hannay to learn guitar, bass and keys. All of which gave way to Hannay becoming a working a musician.
Hannay’s skills behind the keys has led to sit-ins with a laundry list of artists including Umphrey’s McGee, Twiddle, Dopapod, Turkuaz, Pink Talking Fish, Aqueous, The Werks, Mihali and Frends, Particle, and Kung Fu.
And while Hannay’s history of video games and 8-bit artistry indicates the Scott Hannay Plays Video Games project is a literal dream come true, Hannay noted that he’s excited by the reaction of his fellow SHPVG players.
“One of my favorite things about this, that I discovered last week at Toad’s Place, is how much fun the others are having, ” Hannay said, ” I know how much I love playing this stuff, and how much video game music has meant to my musical growth since I was young. It also breaks off a piece of childhood and brings it right to the forefront – with a full band, that part of the experience is made quite obvious.”
Scott Hannay Plays Video Games – Solo Edition is also slated to stop in Plattsburgh, NY on February 23 at Monopole. Tickets for this Saturday’s show at Jewel Music Venue will be available at the door for $10. Show starts at 8pm and is 21+.