DTP EPISODE 017 - PREACH & TELL
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Matt Polsfut: How To Use Your Pain

by Dustan Hlady on Friday, February 6, 2015

When I first met Matt Polsfut he was busking for weed money outside of the record store I was working at in Regina, Saskatchewan. He would come in and we’d talk about

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… sometimes for the entirety of my ten hour shift.

It was 2004 and we were both trying to be rock gods.

I was playing in a crappy punk band at venues like The Exchange and the YFC hall

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He was playing songs in front of liquor stores and on the street and at pubs like McNally’s and Bushwakkers.

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In those days Matt was known for his abrasive yet charming personality. He was banned from Java Express in Moose Jaw for making fun of the audience and was banned from O’Hanlon’s pub in Regina because of an altercation with a bouncer after a show.

 

Matt has had plenty of battles to fight. He has battled addiction to drugs and alcohol while working through mental illness issues. During this time Matt also lost his unborn child. This affected him deeply.

Matt has harvested the pain from these experiences and used it to write hundreds of songs. His output is amazing. Because of his vast output, not every song is solid gold but some are the best ever written in the province.

He has never had a studio album but he has over a dozen homemade CDs, recorded in his living room and burned from his laptop.  If I were to put together a Greatest Hits Album this would be it (click on title for links):

  1. Nothing Seems To Change
  2. Unmade
  3. Get Clean
  4. Make My Day
  5. And New Love
  6. Three Chords
  7. Walk To You
  8. No Pressure
  9. Better Than Me
  10. Hallelujah

Matt has been clean and sober for five years. He doesn’t play the bars and the liquor stores anymore. He mostly finds himself playing old folk homes and church concerts. He attributes this success in sobriety to three things.

1. Jesus, and the help of his local church

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2. His girlfriend Ashley

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3. The Twelve-Step Program

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I couldn’t help but think there was a 4th thing he had failed to mention.

I remember being at the funeral of his unborn son, Hayden. He played a song he had written for the boy. And it occurred to me that all the handshakes, condolences and one armed hugs were lacking. When the event was over he would go to his one bedroom apartment and take his pain and struggles to the friend that knew and understood him best, that old acoustic that he bought from the Queen City Pawn Shop when he was fifteen.

Matt will never stop writing songs and playing shows. He’ll always find something to write about and someone to play to. He plays retirement homes now as a featured performer. When he’s a resident he’ll still be playing his songs, understanding and sharing his world through four chords and a great melody.

Dustan Hlady
dustan j. hlady is the founder of Middle of Nowhere music and sings and writes songs for his band, Friend Friend. www.middleofnowheremusic.com