Simultaneous national tours with Icehouse and Reece Mastin are obviously not enough to keep Michael Paynter busy.  He also has a tour with The Veronica’s coming up, is managing bands and has started his own production company, M-Squared.  Luckily for us, we can catch him headlining the Main Street Festival in Mornington this month.  We had a chat to him during a brief touch down recently in anticipation of this much-loved local event.

PEARL: You will be headlining the food and wine festival on October 19. Will this be your first time at the festival?

PAYNTER: No, I actually live on the Peninsula so I’ve been there many times, but this is my first time playing at it, so I’m looking forward to it.  You’ve just gotta make sure you go there on an empty stomach so you can enjoy it!

PEARL: Can you recommend anything for us to try?

PAYNTER: I’m a big fan of local produce. I try to eat seasonally and organically wherever possible.  I’m a big fan of buying from people who live in the same area as you and are making things, so just get out there.

PEARL: Having grown up locally, do you think the Peninsula is a good place for aspiring musicians?

PAYNTER: Yeah absolutely, I think there’s a lot of bands and a lot of musicians on the Mornington Peninsula.  Growing up I played in many many bands, playing anywhere from the old Peninsula Lounge in Moorooduc to the Pelly Bar and everywhere in between.  I don’t know what it is about the Peninsula but it seems to breed a lot of great musos.

PEARL: Some readers may know you best as one of the popular final contestants from season two of The Voice.  How do you think that experience has helped your career?

PAYNTER: I think it was great.  I think it widened my appeal and got me into lounge rooms in a way that I hadn’t been in the past.  It’s a great building block to have in your foundation as an artist.  And it’s an experience like nothing else.

PEARL: If you had to go on a reality TV show that was non music related which one would you choose?

PAYNTER: It would unquestionably be The Recruit on Foxtel…where they are recruiting and drafting football players.  If I wasn’t a musician I would love to be a football player, so that’s definitely the one.

Keep up to date with Paynter at The Main Street Festival (Main Street Mornington) is on October 19 between 11am-5pm, featuring a great lineup of local artists including The Distance, Sarah Rzek, Joel Reed & Them Blues Cats and many more.  For event details and full music program visit

                                                                                                                              PENNY IVISON

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