Rusty Shipp

Rusty Shipp - The Band

Russ T. (Russell Thomas) Shipp, after having tried getting music off the ground in the D.C. area (where he is from) for years to no avail, he finally quit his job in 2013 and moved to Nashville, TN to give music one final shot. He established himself there and slowly connected with other rock musicians through Craigslist, eventually forming what would become Rusty Shipp, Nashville's premier Nautical Rock 'n' Roll group. 

Characterized by its dark, underwater sound, haunting vocals, and unconventional, heavy riffs, the music is a perfect fusion of grunge and surf rock, though it is most memorable for the Beatlesque chord progressions and vocal melodies at the core of every song. The band won Indieville Performer of the Year in 2016, and finally began scoring international recognition in 2017 with the release of their first full album, Mortal Ghost, from outfits like Pure Grain Audio, The Metal Review, and JesusFreakHideout.com, making second place on the "JFH Staff Picks - Top Ten Albums of the Year for 2017" for the Mortal Ghost album.

At the forefront of the group is the singer-songwriter and guitarist, Russ T. Shipp (literally his birth name), followed by Eli Apperson on lead guitar, Michael Craft on bass, and AJ Newton on drums. Russ T. has his own signature sound, weaving his raspy voice in and out of falsetto and vibrato; at times sounding like a “higher-pitched Kurt Cobain,” as one music critic put it, and other times like a ghost.

Russ T. was once asked in an interview why Rusty Shipp was worth listening to in an industry already so crowded with bands. He responded, “I really think what we have are the best songs on the market, because I'm convinced that I out-work and out-think the average songwriter. I've put over 10,000 hours into songwriting, and now I have a vast arsenal of interesting music fragments to choose from when assembling songs. So you'll never, ever hear any filler on a Rusty Shipp recording. Every part of every song is meticulously plotted out with the best bits of music and ideas I've accumulated for more than a decade.”

He cites The Beatles as his biggest influence for their emphasis on peculiar, but catchy, chords, riffs, and melodies. “Though we're noticeably darker and more aggressive than The Beatles,” Russ T. explains, “Their form of songwriting resonates with the largest number of human beings, and we try to tap into that same magic. Bands like Nirvana and Muse did the same thing, but we're taking it in an even more philosophical direction, while still having fun by incorporating the nautical theme.”

Mortal Ghost was produced by J. Hall (Delta Saints, As Cities Burn, House of Heroes). Grab it on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, or in our Merch section!