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The General Assembly, the long-term musical project of climate activist Matt Wicking, are set to perform in Sydney for the first time this year to launch their debut album, Vanishing Point. Ahead of the show the City Hub spoke with Matt about the record and his passion for social issues.

As Matt explained, with this being the bands debut album it’s almost as though they have been working towards this their entire career but there was definitely a period of solid focus on the record.

“We spent probably a year in the studio but some of these songs are up to five years old, so it’s been a while in the making.”

In that time Matt has honed his craft as both a songwriter and performer whilst also gathering together an amazing band of musicians to help convey his message.

Outside of music Matt works as a sustainability consultant and facilitator specialising in change, strategy and communication so he says it’s “really hard not to have that seep in and saturate his music.” Bearing that in mind though Matt is quick to point out that The General Assembly’s music isn’t “didactic or making an argument, I’m simply getting up there expressing my feelings and creating beautiful authentic music.”

In saying that though when asked if he felt Australia is doing enough to address the issue of climate change Matt said, “In countries like Australia a lot of us live really comfortably with a lot of uncomfortable stuff going on around us, whether that’s natural disasters or refugee movements increasing. I think awareness is growing on one hand but at the same time we’re getting better at being distracted and not paying attention to this huge elephant in the room.”

From his experiences outside of music Matt realises that “data, graphs and stats don’t change people’s hearts so that’s where music is so powerful.” Reflecting on one encounter following a show Matt told us that one fan even said to him, “my politics are really different to yours but I don’t care because that was so great” which is precisely the reaction The General Assembly strive for.

Nov 25. The Bearded Tit, 183 Regent St, Redfern. FREE. Info: www.generalassembly.com.au