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Meet Tuff Cuff Records, the Ballarat label created by record collectors for record collectors


Published 12 October 2020 -

For vinyl collectors that love Australian live music.


We a strong believers that the best Aussie record labels are the ones who are passionate about pushing artists that they themselves love and believe in, not just one’s wanting to make a quick buck or two in the industry!

Ballarat’s Tuff Cuff Records are the perfect example of an honest, passionate and musically-driven record label.

Coined a ‘Record Label by Record Collectors for Record Collectors’, the team at Tuff Cuff take the greatest live bands in Australia, dig through their archives and unearth gems to release for the very first time on vinyl. They’re all about featuring exclusive tracks you can’t find anywhere else – whether it be live, unreleased, and demo tracks to remixes and alternate versions, the list goes on.

We sit down with Matthias Barathoen O’Meara, founder and CEO of Tuff Cuff Records to find out more.


Congratulations on the very recent release of the Grindhouse 7″. What led to this release?
We’ve been wanting to work with Grindhouse since we first started Tuff Cuff Records over two years ago. We talked about ideas and plans on and off every few months. Finally the planets aligned and the opportunity arose for us all to make a sensational and unique release: A Kabana & cheese record that comes with a scratch & sniff sticker for a full 4D experience.


Why Grindhouse? Judging by the roster of previous releases, fair to say you like Rock N Roll of varying styles. Do you have a particular criteria when it comes to selecting bands to release?
We have two criteria – you have to be one of the greatest live acts in the country and we have to like you as people.

We’ve always loved Grindhouse’s wild sexy shows and we’ve had a few adventures with the band over the years so we know they’re a great bunch of individuals.

What is your favourite Tuff Cuff Records release this far? And which one has been the best received?
It’s like asking which child do you like best. It’s impossible to choose. For two guys that grew up in Ballarat obsessed with live music and records, every single time we release a new vinyl, we pinch ourselves and laugh.

Having the established Aussie bands get what we were trying to accomplish and give us their music and trust meant everything. To then take the opportunity, work out asses off and land release with international artists like Nick Oliveri, Svetlanas and The Quireboys (UK) has shown us we are on the right path.

Why vinyl? Have you been a collector over the years?
Vinyl is an experience, a connection, a tactile object and a ritual. It makes us part of the music as we have to perform a ceremony to conjure it up. The removal of the vinyl, the cleaning, the gentle application of the needle. You don’t get that with any other format. Vinyl is passion.

Who is up next for Tuff Cuff records next release?
We’ve just gone into production with Full Tone Generator and Nick Oliveri. We are blessed to work with Nick again and have thrown the proverbial kitchen sink at this release: it will be of the highest quality as always, look amazing and will come with an art photo print by renowned live music photographer Rag & Bone Photography.


We’ve been trying to find ways to support the arts community with every release and this time we get to showcase and support a fellow passionate live music supporter of the scene; Stephen Boxshall.


We have coming up in 2021 arguably the greatest live band of the last few years that has melted every face in the land. Then an international release that will drop jaws left and right, but that is another story for another time…

Full Tone Generator

Twelve Hullucinations

Published 27 September 2020 -

Australian rockers Full Tone Generator are back and they’ve brought a friend from the Californian desert with them this time, Mr Nick Oliveri. Listening to Nick talk about this on Kyuss World Radio a few weeks back, you know you’re getting something special here.


Stoner Rock mixed with Punk Rock, that is short, sharp, like a kick in the head, and if you’re wondering what side of the pond the Punk Rock will favour? Think GBH, The Damned and Sub-Humans.


Without A Sound starts with the riff, the slight feedback of the instruments plugging in, the classic drum roll build up, Nick’s trademark scream and we’re off. Imagine Full Tone Generator removing any effects pedals and just plugging in and turning it up to eleven. Classic punk rock riffs pummel you and Nick’s voice sounds even more demonic than normal. The repetitive riff with added clapping appears a couple of times, like what Nick always did with Mondo Generator and Queens of the Stone Age, and I dare you not to clap along. Throw in the odd early 80’s five second guitar solo, and it’s all packed in to two minutes and three seconds.

Clocking in at less than 2 minutes on If You Want Me, there’s full on raw riffs from the beginning with slightly more guitar work this time. Nick’s vocals are abrasive and in your face (like you’d expect anything else?) and the chorus isn’t something you will be blasting out the car window when you’re picking the kids up. There’s even a quick punk rock ‘out of control’ solo in there.

Released between Tuff Cuff Records and Ruined Vibes, there’s a limited vinyl run of black and orange editions and a couple of deluxe versions. By the time you read this I expect everything will already be sold out, so happy hunting.

The Age

Sticky Carpet - By Marty Boulton

Published 4 October 2018 -

Music streaming giant Spotify, as Frontier Touring's Michael Gudinski told Sticky this week, has helped bring the likes of Californian darlings the Eagles to a whole new generation of fans. Three generations in fact, according to the man who also started Australian music behemoth Mushroom.

Meanwhile, there's far smaller, let's call them boutique outlets, for discovering and enjoying music. In the case of Tuff Cuff Records, a new record club that deals exclusively in vinyl releases, music lovers exchange their hard earned for the rare pleasure that comes with handling and hearing music that somewhat old fashioned way, on a turntable. Not on the train, or in the car, or while jogging. This is music for cranking up at home.

The Age - HITS.png

Launched a year ago by Melbourne-based rock 'n' roll fan Matt O'Meara and his equally addicted record collecting buddy; Tuff Cuff is unashamedly by record collectors, for record collectors. "There's a whole community of like minded music fans out there and by starting this club we've connected with some amazing people," O'Meara said this week. "It's also opened some doors we weren't expecting, collaborating with artists, designers and writers .. we've issued a special fanzine with our first release by Hits."

The debut Tuff Cuff 7" by Brisbane-based heavy hitters Hits, a previously unreleased track called Smash Hits (produced by Rob Younger) is the first of four limited releases that members will find in their letter boxes in the club's first year. Unearthing rare, never-before released, demos, live or even alternate mixes of songs is Tuff Cuff's specialty and something O'Meara hopes will appeal to folks like him.

As their newly launched website says, Tuff Cuff digs through the archives of "the greatest live bands in Australia" to discover little known gems, then releases them on vinyl for the first time. For more information, go to

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