Son of the Velvet Rat

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Son of the Velvet Rat
Son of the Velvet Rat.jpg
Georg Altziebler in 2013.
Background information
GenresIndie rock, folk rock
Years active2003–present
LabelsStarfish, Monkey, Fluff & Gravy, Mint 400 Records
MembersGeorg Altziebler
Heike Binder
Albrecht Klinger
Kolja Radenkovic
Michael Willmann

Son of the Velvet Rat is a folk rock band from Austria.


Heike Binder and Georg Altziebler.

Son of the Velvet Rat was founded in 2003, by Austrian songwriter Georg Altziebler and organist and accordionist Heike Binder.[1][2] They were joined by bassist Albrecht Klinger, guitarist and trumpeter Kolja Radenkovic and drummer Michael Willmann.[3] Their style is described as folk noir, folk rock, garage rock and Americana, and they cite musical inspiration from Townes Van Zandt, Georges Brassens and Dead Moon.[4][5][1] Son of the Velvet Rat draw comparison to Bob Dylan, Leonhard Cohen, Tom Waits and Radiohead.[4]

Son of the Velvet Rat at the 2011 Popfest.

The band started out with the sparsely instrumented releases, Spare Some Sugar [For the Rat] and By My Side, by the California indie label Starfish Records. In 2006, they were signed by Vienna indie label Monkey, and released the album Playground, which focuses on love, loneliness and pain.[1] The album Loss & Love was released in 2007, and the song "Fall With Me" reached No. 3 on the FM4 charts, and No. 47 on their 2007 chart.[6] In 2008, Son of the Velvet Rat was nominated for the Amadeus Austrian Music Award in the Alternative category, and they performed on BalconyTV.[7][8] The album Animals was released in 2009. Both Loss & Love and Animals were produced by Ken Coomer.[9] Wiener Zeitung named Red Chamber Music the Best Austrian Album of the Year in 2011, and it reached No. 52 on the Austria Top 40.[10][11] The album features a collaboration with Lucinda Williams, and liner notes by Peter Jesperson.[12][13][14]

Altziebler was named Best Austrian Singer/Songwriter Ever in 2012, by Kurier.[15] That year, Altziebler also published a collection of song lyrics in his book Songs.[16] Their following release, Firedancer, also received the title Best Austrian Album of the Year, and reached No. 61 on the [Austria Top 40.[17][18][19] It was released in the US on 21 March 2014. Son of the Velvet Rat toured throughout the United States and Europe.[20] Some of their records have been released by the South Korean label, Polyphone.

Mint 400 Records[edit]

Son of the Velvet Rat at Stoshs, 30 November 2018.

In 2016, Altziebler and Binder moved to California, and signed with the New Jersey label Mint 400 Records and the Portland-based label Fluff & Gravy. A second collection of song lyrics was published by Altziebler in 2016, in the book entitled Songs #2.[21] Dorado was released on 17 February 2017, and was produced by Joe Henry. A positive review in Dagger compares the vocals on Dorado to Nick Cave and Bob Dylan, and says "you could call this stuff desert noir and probably get away with it[;] this is the kind of Grade A music that doesn't come along very often so soak it all in when it does. This record is a keeper."[22] The Late Show was released in 2017. It is a live album, that was recorded from three shows in Vienna, Austria, Wenden and Burbank, California for their 2017 tour supporting Dorado. Peter Jesperson named it one of his "Best of 2018."[23]


  • Georg Altziebler – vocals and guitar
  • Heike Binder – accordion, organ and vocals
  • Albrecht Klinger – bass
  • Kolja Radenkovic – guitar and trumpet
  • Michael Willmann – drums


  • By My Side (2003)
  • Playground (2006)
  • Loss & Love (2007)
  • Animals (2009)
  • Red Chamber Music (2011)
  • Reaper (2012)
  • Firedancer (2013)
  • Live Tape (2012)
  • Dorado (2017)
  • The Late Show (2018)
  • Spare Some Sugar [For the Rat] (2003)
  • Alpha Suite (2004)
  • Gravity (2008)
  • Desert Songs (2015)
  • Monkey Years (2010)
  • "Are the Angels Pretty?" (2007), directed by Ford Brothers
  • "White Patch of Canvas" (2012), directed Paul Kranzler
  • "Blood Red Shoes" (2017), directed by Diane Best, post production at Studio D, Joshua Tree



External links[edit]