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Kiwi music legend a role model for aspiring creatives

Matthew Bannister playing guitar and singing

Matthew Bannister came to study through his love of music. He played in various Kiwi bands in the 80s and 90s, including Sneaky Feelings, Dribbling Darts of Love and a stint with The Muttonbirds, but soon found it wasn’t paying the bills.

Now a senior academic staff member in Wintec’s School of Media Arts, Matthew has been teaching music and researching at Wintec for the past 12 years.

 “I’m inspired by the students I work with and it’s a pleasure to share my experience with them. In return, they help keep my ideas fresh and we get the opportunity to play music together,” he says.

“Wintec is ideal for me because I can write papers, play music, teach and research.”

Wintec’s Media Arts music students study songwriting, composition, music production and performance. They also take part in industry-based projects to give them practical experience. Matthew teaches theory and postgraduate studies.

Matthew’s currently writing a book on Taika Waititi, for Wayne State University Press of Detroit Michigan. His ongoing study of Taika Waititi, is driven by Matthew’s belief that, “Taika is showing the way forward for New Zealand artists and cultural producers. He’s a great role model for aspiring creatives.” The same could be said for Matthew.  The book will be completed by 2019.

Sneaky Feelings is alive and well and Matthew’s releasing a new album, Progress Junction with his old band in September 2017. Sneaky Feelings will play their first gig in 22 years in Hamilton on Wednesday 30 August. The audience can expect to hear songs from the new album Progress Junction, “plus oldies but goldies”. Find out more here.


In 1998, Matthew enrolled at University of Auckland and did a PhD on masculinity in New Zealand rock. It was an area he knew and he was fascinated by New Zealand attitudes to gender, having migrated here from Scotland as a teenager.

The PhD led to a couple of books, Positively George Street (Reed, 1999), a reminiscence of his band days, during which he recorded for New Zealand indie label, Flying Nun, and later White Boys White Noise (Ashgate, 2006), on masculinity in 1980s alternative guitar rock. The latter has been cited 161 times (Google Scholar).

He released a solo album, Moth, in 2007 as One Man Bannister. In 2008 he released an album with The Weather called Aroha Ave, and in 2011 a self-titled album with The Changing Same.

A Beatles fanatic, Matthew earned the respect of Beatles aficionados worldwide following the release of his innovative and highly acclaimed album Evolver, his personal tribute to the Beatles hit LP Revolver. Peaking at No.16 on the national album charts, One Man Bannister’s Evolver became his most successful post-Sneaky Feelings endeavour, both critically and commercially.