HTRK, 1 June 2007. Sean Stewart, Jonnine Standish, Nigel Yang
|Also known as||Hate Rock Trio|
|Origin||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Labels||Fire Records (2007)
Blast First Petite (2008 – present)
Ghostly International (2011 – present)
|Past members||Sean Stewart (died 18 March 2010)|
HTRK (formerly Hate Rock Trio) is an Australian band formed in 2003.
Originating in Melbourne and based in London since 2007, HTRK (pronounced Hate Rock) started playing in November 2003 when guitarist Nigel Yang and bassist Sean Stewart invited vocalist Jonnine Standish to create music inspired by Lynchian imagery, protopunk and post industrial ideas. Using a very slow 808 drum machine, minimal bass grooves and highly textured noise, their attitude clashed with the "rock and roll" status quo in Australia. HTRK’s first release was the Nostalgia EP in 2004, originally intended as a demo but later self-released in a limited 500-disc run.
Their live shows soon caught the attention of underground icon Rowland S. Howard and popular Australian producer Lindsay Gravina, who invited them to record their debut album at Gravina's Birdland Studios. Titled Marry Me Tonight and considered something of a pop effort by the band, the album was held in limbo for several years due to a protracted rights dispute.
In 2006, a few months after recording Marry Me Tonight, the trio relocated to Berlin, toured with fellow expatriates Devastations and played their first UK gig at the 20jazzfunkgreats club in Brighton. Upon witnessing a show at the Brixton Windmill, UK label Fire Records signed HTRK to give Nostalgia a wider international release. A 27-date European tour supporting Liars and a performance at Glasgow's Optimo followed in 2007.
In 2008, they began to be managed by Paul Smith, who organised London shows with Lydia Lunch and Alan Vega. Stewart and Standish spent part of the year in Melbourne recording on Rowland S. Howard's final album "Pop Crimes" including a duet by Howard and Standish, "(I Know) a Girl Called Jonny".
Marry Me Tonight finally saw release in 2009 on Smith's independent label Blast First Petite and found critical favor from the UK press, scoring 8/10 in NME, making Artrockers best of 2009 list and an office ambience listing in The Wire. Artist and former porn actress Sasha Grey also listed Marry Me Tonight in her top three albums in a Stereogum end-of-year poll. That year, HTRK were invited by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Horrors and Fuck Buttons to embark on various European tours. Their increased profile led to a headline show at Cargo in London in January 2010, which coincided with the release of the first of a series of free mixtapes and appearances in US magazines Alternative Press and Nylon.
Tragedy struck on 18 March 2010 when Stewart was found dead in his London home from suicide. Speculation on the Australian music website Mess+Noise was later confirmed in a statement sent to the media. NME published an obituary on 24 April 2010 with tributes from Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner and The Horrors' Faris Badwan.
Standish and Yang have continued to remain active, beginning with a comeback show at the ICA in London on 29 November 2010. They have since released two further albums on Ghostly International, Work (work, work) on 12 September 2011 and Psychic 9-5 Club on 1 April 2014.
- Jonnine Standish - vocals, percussion, samples
- Sean Stewart (died 18 March 2010) - bass, programming
- Nigel Yang - guitar, programming, electronics
- Marry Me Tonight (Blast First Petite, 2009)
- Work (work, work) (Ghostly International, 2011)
- Psychic 9-5 Club (Ghostly International, 2014)
- Nostalgia CD/12" (self-released, 2004; re-released Fire Records, 2007)
- Keep Mother - Volume 6 10" split with Duke Garwood (Fire Records, 2006)
- Live at Corsica Studios London 2008 digital (self-released, 2011)
- "HA"/"Panties (Live)" 12" (Blast First Petite, 2008)
- "Disco"/"Suitcase" digital (Blast First Petite, 2009)
- "Eat Yr Heart"/"Sweetheart" 10" (Ghostly International, 2011)
- "Poison (Mika Vainio Remix)" 10" (Ghostly International, 2013)
- Lymangrover, Jason. "HTRK Overview". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- "NME review of Marry Me Tonight". NME. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- "Stereogum Celebrity Gummy Ballots 2009". stereogum.com. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- "HTRK Interview and Mixtape". cargo london. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- "HTRK - Marry Me Tonight". Mess+Noise. Retrieved 2010-03-23.Mess+Noise
- "HTRK founding member Sean Stewart dies". NME.com. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- "HTRK's Sean Stewart RIP". NME. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- "Forthcoming-HTRK". Mess+Noise. Retrieved 2011-05-22.