Catching up with Tristan River

Catching up with Tristan River


This morning Brownie and myself made a trip down to Rosebud to meet up with our friend Tristan ‘Tip Rat’ River for a quick photoshoot in his home. From DJ sets, jewellery making, coffee roasting and occasional DIY mechanics, Tristan’s always got his hands full with some multitude of projects. Despite this however, he always manages to make the time to help us out at The Snake Hole. 

We had the opportunity to hear about some of the plans he had coming up.

Melted Records launched this year, do you want to tell us a little bit about how this project came about? Was this something you have been working on for a while?

Melted is the brainchild of my good friend Ryan (The Shaky Knees Band) and myself. Amongst an array of other things, I’d say the main goal for the project is to create a platform where we can showcase and work with some artists we love. Especially musicians that may not necessarily have the funds to back a record themselves.

Were there any unforeseen problems you ran into in trying to get a record label off the ground?

Definitely a lot of little lessons along the way, especially when it comes to piecing together a vinyl release. I wouldn’t say anything major though. Although... we’re probably idiots to start a label during a time when the music industry is copping the brunt of a global pandemic, but everything good is worth a gamble. 


Tell us a little bit about the experience of performing in Custard Brain and the development of that collective. 

Custard Brain was lots of fun while it lasted, punk would have to be my favourite genre to play live. Stacks of energy and a chance to let a lot of shit go. The sticky liquids (Custard Brain) are no longer together but we’re all doing plenty individually. 

Can you give us a best and worst moment when performing on stage? 

I’ll give one and you can decided if it’s my best or worst.
During the bushfire season we played a benefit gig to raise some money. I was in the middle of telling everyone to make sure they disposed of their ciggy butts properly and some smart ass in the crowd shouted out, “What if there’s no bin.” 
And so I yelled back. 
“You do this,” and proceeded to eat a dart I had in my pocket. The look on his face was gold.

As far as solo projects go, is there anything currently on the table? 

I’m just about to wrap up a little solo EP I’ve been working on. Just have to head out to my old mans farm where we’ve been recording it and finish it off. I’ll probably just chuck it on a cassette tape through melted, cus it’ll suck. Won’t be worth the money spent on wax. But yeah everyone buy one, I completely back shameless self promotion. Also just about to release a tape with my good mate Dillon Holmes, that’ll consist of house and electronic music. 

Any general future plans? Canine-fatherhood???

Haha pretty much just that. Have as many dogs as I can in the biggest bit of land I can afford. So not much really. If we make it out of this pandemic alive I’ll throw another micro festival on my family farm for sure, the first one was a great time.

If you could give a piece of advice to aspiring local musicians, what would it be?

Hello aspiring musicians, you’re all probably way better musicians than me. Or else I wouldn’t have had to start my own label lol. So just have a good time.



You can find some of Tristan’s work here:


Words and Photos by Sam R. Davis