About the band

Coming out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Heat Preacher blends the musical styles of alternative rock, soul, and indie, to create their own brand of modern music. They often work on ideas at the beginning of their rehearsals, and these loose improvisations set the foundations for the group's songs. Frontman JD Rust often brings the hooks, and the rest of the band supply the structures and arrangements. 

Heat Preacher has shared the stage with bands and artists such as Chales Latham and the Borrowed Band, Eyelids, North by North, Reese McHenry, Travel Horse, The Gone Ghosts, Texoma, Mega Colossus, Solar Halos, and Youth League. The compatibility of Heat Preacher's catalog with almost any musical genre is evidenced by their ability to fit in on almost any live music bill. 

Heat Preacher's near term goals are to release and promote their upcoming singles, play some killer live shows close-to-home, and hit the road in 2024 for shows in new markets and some festival dates. Heat Preacher looks forward to playing a show near you, and sharing their new (some old at this point) songs as they drop! 

Update: Heat Preacher has signed with All Y'all Records, a new southern indie rock collective out of NC. Keep an eye out for showcases, updates, and a compilation record dropping mid 2024! 


JD Rust - Lead Vocals, Guitar, and Songwriting

A native of Charlotte, NC, JD Rust grew up playing music alongside his father, who encouraged his son's natural talents. Leaving Boone, NC post-college, he moved to Chapel Hill to pursue music and find his career path. Here, he met the rest of the guys who would form Heat Preacher. JD is a multi-talented individual, a part time-handy man/woodworker, and full time girl-dad. 

Rob DiMauro - Drums and vocals

Rob is one of the most prolific and desired session drummers in the Chapel Hill area. He has played with over fifty different bands or artists in his time as a post-college drummer. He and Nick have played together in five different bands over the years. Rob has booked shows for venues, ran open-mics, and is generally one of those "personalities" that is always out and supporting the local scene. 

With a face for television and a voice for radio, Rob's talents have him in demand by creative types all over the Triangle in NC. To support his music habit, he is the lead drum instructor at School of Rock in Chapel Hill, one of the biggest SORs in the nation.

Hugh Swaso - Bass and Vocals

The fact that Hugh chooses to play bass in Heat Preacher is a testament to the strength of the band's songwriting and chemistry, as Hugh is easily one of the most talented guitarists around. He could (and should) play circles around JD and Nick, but instead chooses to provide the thump and booty shaking grooves in Heat Preacher.

If you want to catch him shredding a guitar and singing, he plays in his own band, Mixtape Grab Bag, a prolific cover/wedding band in NC - as well as a myriad other projects as a hired gun. To support his family and music habit, Hugh is a personal fitness and lifestyle instructor/guru, running his company Swaso Fitness.  Hugh is also a viral guitar sensation on IG, with millions of views counted for his fun and inspiring guitar shredding! 

Nick Stroud - Lead Guitar and Production

With a mind for arrangement and organization, Nick morphs into the band's de-facto taskmaster when the need arises. However, he prefers to be a joke-cracking, happy-go-lucky lead guitar player whenever possible. Nick often serves as the producer of the band's recordings. Nick's natural talents extend beyond into his business endeavors. Almost all of his life choices are informed by his desire and passion for creating and performing, on and off the stage. 

To support his family and music habit, Nick co-owns and manages the Baxter Arcade and Belltree Cocktail Club in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. He has also served as an advisor and board member for other local NC businesses and non-profits. He is also a full time girl-dad. 


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