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. JD often brings the hooks, and the rest of the band supply the structures and arrangements. Up to this point, the guys have agreed that their time together is akin to being "a winning team in the local bowling league." While the team has the drive and talent to take Heat Preacher to the big leagues, they agree that they want to do that on their own terms and in their own time, especially since they are all very family-oriented. 

As it was with almost every indie artist or band, much of the momentum Heat Preacher had built leading up to 2020 was derailed by the pandemic. It would be a full year until they could play another show or record new music. Now, they are poised tor release a batch of singles throughout the back half of 2022, which were recorded and mixed by Al Jacob at Warrior Sound. 

Heat Preacher has shared the stage with bands and artists such as 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 music with almost any style of indie-rock 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 hopefully hit the road in 2023 for an east coast tour 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! 


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. After finishing school in Boone, NC, 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. One night, Rob and Nick caught a solo acoustic set by JD, and they were impressed enough to court him to come and play with them. The rest is "history."

To support his family and his music habit, JD is the VP of Extraordinary Ventures, a non-profit in Chapel Hill. In July of 2021, Nick and JD had daughters who were born five days apart. As cool as that is, it was not planned, but they hope to have a rad daddy/daughter band someday. 

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 a drum instructor at School of Rock in Chapel Hill. 

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. To support his family and music habit, Hugh is a personal fitness and lifestyle instructor/guru, running his company Swaso Fitness. 

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 "song-editor" or producer (so far) 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 businesses and non-profits.


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