Rusty Shipp

Rusty Shipp - The Band

True to their name, Nashville’s Rusty Shipp have created a sound known as Nautical Rock ‘n’ Roll. 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, making second place on the "JFH Staff Picks - Top Ten Albums of the Year for 2017" for the Mortal Ghost album, as well as winning Artist of the Year and Album of the Year in the 2018 JFH Awards. Rusty Shipp has opened for several national acts, including Saliva, Tantric, Smile Empty Soul, and Chuck Mosley (Faith No More/Bad Brains) among others, and Russ T. sang a duet with his favorite singer, Kevin Max of dc Talk, at Winter Woods 3.  2018 ended with several other high notes including charting on Billboard, which led to new FM and online radio stations playing Devil Jonah, being featured on the front page of the Shelbyville News, and the band entering the recording studio with producer Stephen Leiweke for their upcoming concept record, Liquid Exorcist.

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!