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Meet the team behind the label

Matthias Barathoen O'Meara - Tuff Cuff Records

Matthias Barathoen O'Meara

Founder & CEO


Growing up in the rural town, Ballarat, Australia, Matthias would visit with his older sister, sit in front of her impressively sized stereo system, place the big black headphones with the long curly cable over his ears and work his way through her record collection, one by one, for hours on end. 


In his sisters lounge, sitting cross legged in front of the stereo is where Matthias fell in love with the ritual of playing records, absorbing the liner notes, carefully handling the vinyl, cleaning the needle with a delicate touch and especially, being transported to another place by the artwork. It was a great time to be exposed to KISS, Beach Boys, The Eagles, The Baby’s, Black Sabbath and even Meatloaf.  It wasn't long before his curiosity wandered beyond the contained collection his sister had accumulated, all it did was whet his appetite.  


Fast forward to the late 80's, most weekends the music obsessed teenager would board the country train from Ballarat to Melbourne. Following the music wherever it was being played.  Concerts, gigs, sound checks, bars, pubs and clubs.  Crashing on sofas at this one's or that one's allowed him to dig through Melbourne’s alternative record stores and hit up legendary venues to see a live music scene that was at is peak.


Au-Go-Go, Polyester, Missing Link, The Old Greek Theatre, The Punters Club, The Palace, The Meanies, TISM, Magic Dirt, Beasts of Bourbon, Nursery Crimes, Painters & Dockers and on and on. Thankfully security checks weren't as strict as they are today as he was still a minor at the time. 


When Sunday night came and it was time to return to Ballarat - he would head home weary but enriched by the power of live Australian Music and with a few more records to play for his mates.


Since then some of the venues may have closed and some bands may no longer be together, but Matthias’ love of the scene has endured. Most weekends you’ll find him checking out Australia’s best live acts and expounding why the Melbourne Live Music Scene is currently going through one of its greatest eras. 


It was his lifelong love of Records and Live Music that inspired him to create and co-found Tuff Cuff Records with his best friend Aaron Hill.  

The brainchild of two very passionate music lovers.

Matthias Barathoen O'Meara


Aaron Hill

Founder & CEO

Heralded as the tall, blonde good looking one or the most athletic calved of the Tuff Cuff Records duo, Aaron is the true enigma.  


It is because of his mysterious nature, you are unlikely to ever meet him or clap eyes on the man internationally known as ‘Hot Poppa’. 


His passionate music loving mum, Robyn, lay the foundations (Elvis, Fleetwood Mac and Elton John) for what would become a lifelong addiction to tunes and live performance.


After growing up on an 80’s diet of Motley Crue, Australian Crawl, Duran Duran, etc, his tastes have evolved to where he now loves seeing raw new talent and finds himself exploring and experiencing venues from Geetroit to Jamaica.


Aaron is immensely proud to be the taller half of Tuff Cuff Records, may he bring you the music your ears should be hearing.

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