It’s not often a record label opens up so close to home and hits right at the heart of the ideal of what local music lovers and supporters appreciate most, but on this occasion, that has happened and it has aptly taken the name Heart of the Rat Records.
Heart of the Rat Records is a new independent record label brought to fruition by Marc Oswin (Mark With The Sea, A Miner) and Aaron Matthews (Matheson, SWHAT, The Turnarounds, DTI) that is setting out to assist in bringing original music from various bands, artists and genres, and making it accessible to the public on whichever music format necessary.
Opening in September, HOTR’s online store certainly didn’t skimp on their prompt siege of the marketplace. Opening month credits included three pre-release vinyl packages from three locally loved bands; The Yard Apes Night of the Living Dead 7” Vinyl and t-shirt, Mark With The Sea When The Blood Runs Dry 12” Vinyl, 13 Years CD and t-shirt and a re-release of The Dead Salesmen’s Amen for the first time on 12” vinyl also with a t-shirt. Unfortunately for the latecomers these pre-release packages ended on October 31 but all listed products are still available for individual sale. Also, with the enthusiasm currently shown by the lads and their supporters, it’d pay to watch heartoftheratrecords.com with an eager eye for future pre-release packages. Other bands products HOTR are selling on their website include SWHAT and Matheson.
Any venture into the business side of music and art usually starts with a labour of love, and both can be said of Marc and Aaron. Each being well-known and respected members of the music community for over fifteen years, both of them have a history of music and shortlist of bands they’ve been a part of.
Marc, is currently lead singer and guitarist for Mark With The Sea and has been since 1999. He’s recently started another solo project called A Miner, which has already seen support and promotion from Melbourne’s Ben Salter (The Gin Club).
Aaron is also a busy guy – he’s currently in bands Matheson, Mark With The Sea and SWHAT, and also formerly a member of The Turnarounds.
The album releases from both Aaron and Marc’s projects over the last few years were the catalyst to the labour of love that is now Heart of the Rat Records.
“There was a feeling that we weren’t putting enough time and effort into getting our music heard by a bigger audience,” the duo said. “With the amount of time, effort and love that goes into creating an album this just doesn’t make sense. So we stepped up with the label to try and give our releases every opportunity to be successful.”
Now, with a label, both Marc and Aaron look to benefit the whole local music community and already have a lot of surprises in store for 2015.
“Punk rockers SWHAT have been working hard on new songs for the follow up to last year’s brilliant debut, Down in Tango Zulu and will return to the studio in January. SWHAT tour mates, Captives, arguably one of the most badass bands to walk out of Tasmania in the past decade, have jumped on the HOTR wagon for a special release. There is one more huge release in the schedule, but if we tell you about it, we’ll have to kill you,” they said.
By Daniel Lock