Hannu Lepistö was born to a Lutheran priest’s family in 1979, in the small village of Hausjärvi, about 80 kilometers north of Helsinki, Finland. Because of his father’s profession and his big brother’s continuous piano practicing, music was always present at home. Hannu’s big brother also brought home albums by Bruce Springsteen, J.J. Cale, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, and Dire Straits. These had a great influence on Hannu. A major influence (and idol, too) for Hannu was, and still is, his godfather, Tapani. Tapani played guitar in Nummisuutarit a very popular band in Finland in late ‘70s. When the old school rap reached the little country village’s school in the late 80’s, Hannu was sold.
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 Petteri Mård. Petteri 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 the successful Finnish company Koetinkivi Oy and a publishing deal with a Stockholm based MarSongs, (now defunct).
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/ record producer Michael Blair made a four song EP that received lots of airtime all over the globe, especially in the U.S.A.
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, Thea Gilmore...). They jumped on the wagon as rhythm section and 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 has been pure delight in it’s ups and downs and heavens and hells.
As a climax, Howie Weinberg mastered the tracks at the legendary Masterdisk, N.Y.C
Apart from breathing music, Hannu studied Theology in the University of Helsinki, and is a thesis away from his Master’s degree.
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 Petteri Mård, Michael Blair, brother Markku, new fiancee, parents 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 Petteri Mård, recording acoustic based tracks and soundscapes. Later in 2009 he signed to a newly formed Helsinki based family label Homeward Records Oy.