Calming tides and mighty swells: going on board with Rusty Shipp

Riding the waves and currents of rock music at its most creatively diverse, Rusty Shipp is a rock band from Nashville, TN creating self-named “Nautical Rock’n’Roll”. Last year the band released their debut album, Mortal Ghost, a well-received adventure of sound and the high seas. Embracing influences of rock legends like The Beatles, Dick Dale, and The Beach Boys to the roar of modern classics like Nirvana, Thrice, and Foo Fighters, the band have needed little help grabbing attention so we decided to climb on board with the band to explore its maiden outing, that recent voyage and plenty more….

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

You bet!

Can you first introduce the band and tell us about the seeds to its beginning?

Sure! We are Russ T. Shipp (songwriting, guitar, vox), AJ Newton (drums), Elijah Apperson (lead guitar), and Michael Craft (bass). Russ T. started the band from scratch in 2014 when he moved to Nashville from the Washington, DC area. We’ve gone through a lot of band members over the years, finding them through Craigslist and friends of friends. But finally we’ve got a solid line-up with these guys.

Have you been or are involved in other bands? How has that shaped what you are doing now?

Yes. We’ve all been in numerous bands before of all different genres. Each of us seems to just come back to wanting to make really great rock music with catchy chord progressions and melodies. And it’s nice to be in a group of guys who are dedicated to doing something unique, rather than just coming up with something easy on the spot, or trying to sound like someone else. That’s something none of us have really had at this capacity before.

What inspired the band name?

The idea actually came to my (Russ T.) Mom and Dad who named me Russell T. Shipp, which when shortened to Russ T. Shipp resemble the words “rusty ship”. So when I moved to Nashville 5 years ago I started telling people my name was “Rusty” instead of “Russ” and when it came time for our band to pick a name we proposed several ideas but eventually the guys thought, “How can we go with anything other than Rusty Shipp?”  So the name stuck and everyone has loved it ever since. Plus, it really fits the sound our band has as well, because our music sounds rusty and grungy and also nautical like a ship!

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

We wanted something more interesting and creative than just standard rock or pop or acoustic and also allows for more raw energy. When I (Russ T.) was in high school, there was a stock music clip on the school computer that said, “Grunge” and I didn’t know exactly what grunge was up to that point, but when I heard that clip I thought to myself, “This is the ideal form of music.” And being an idealist, ever since then I’ve tried tapping into the potential that I heard there in that little sound clip.

…And the same ideas still drive the band?

It has always been and is still our ultimate goal to heal the world by creating thought-provoking music that is as creative and catchy as the rock legends.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We’ve definitely become tighter performers. But also, as we’ve grown we’ve been able to work with more renowned producers who have been able to give us the quality of recordings that we believe our sound deserves.

Have you found such evolutions to be more organic or you all deliberately setting out to try new things?

Russ T. has been the sole songwriter so far. He’s tried out many different sounds in over ten years of writing, which has really been more a combination of organic movement of sound, and deliberately trying new things. However, once we get together as a band to lay it all out, it’s more of a deliberate movement of sound over anything else.

You mentioned your varied experiences so presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Well, of course each of us really care about people and want to impact peoples’ lives in a positive way. We love making and playing music and it makes it easy for all of us to reach people by doing what we love. This is a huge part of what we do as a band. It’s not just having fun (though it is). We have a bigger purpose in mind.

Is there a regular process to the songwriting?

A lot of times I (Russ T.) will be going about my daily life and I’ll see some injustice or something emotionally moving, and I feel like I’ve got to communicate a message that will inspire the world to change and to heal and become a better place, or else sometimes it’s just therapeutic, as was the case with our song Crack Baby. Other times I’ll just be inspired to do something creative, like Sea Sentinels which is an instrumental grunge-surf song with guitar riffs that sound like sea monsters talking to each other, or Devil Jonah, which I wrote after watching a documentary on the legendary ghost ship The Flying Dutchman. I wanted to make a musical piece of art that captured this mysterious, legendary feel.  And some songs are meant to just be thought-provoking and ask philosophical questions, such as Treading Water which draws attention to the fact that I don’t feel at home in this world, and how that seems to point to there being more that we humans were made for than just living and dying on this Earth.

Is there a key inspiration to the lyrical side of songs?

All of our songs are philosophically driven. We don’t just want to give people good music, but we want our lyrics to be thought-provoking and inspiring, to get people to think about the important things in life.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

Mortal Ghost is a concept album with the songs flowing in and out of each other and having nautical interludes to create an artistic tapestry that transports you to another world, under the sea! It’s really intended to be heard from start to finish in the order it was placed. Our singles, Devil Jonah and Tip Of My Tongue are great, but the entire album is a cohesive, artistic experience meant to be listened to in its entirety.

It’s basically the best sound from every rock genre with a surf overtone to it that we like to call “Nautical Rock’n’Roll.” Every song is meant to flow into the next, but also each one stands on its own without disappointing. We’ve had fans call out every single song on the album as their favorite, so that can make it difficult at times to know which single to release next!

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

We like to have the songs in their final state before recording. However, there are always some kind of interesting sounds that you can add in the studio with effects, or something the producer hears that you couldn’t hear on your own.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

Our live shows are different than our album quite a bit, because the album was intended to be an artistic masterpiece on its own, with a lot of production involved. When we play live it’s more of a raw, stripped-down, energy-packed jam session involving headbanging, flying jump kicks, and throwing out nautical candy to the crowd. We really try to have a good time with the audience, and it’s always fun to find new ways to incorporate our whole nautical theme into our set. Our live shows are just a ton of fun for everyone there.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally, let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

Being that Nashville is “Music City USA,” this is probably one of the top places in the world to make and release music. Just about everyone that you meet here is in the music business at some capacity, so it makes the opportunities endless. At this point our band has already been blessed to receive international recognition, which has given us a lot more credibility at home. Nashville has been very good to us.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

We’ve had a lot of success with social media. The key for us has been to come up with interesting content that fans actually want to see, and then to keep consistent. When you’re first starting out the important thing is just to do it and keep doing it, and not worry about making it all perfect. You learn as you go, and you find out what works for you and your fans. It’s the only way to excel and maintain in this industry.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

We hope everyone will take some time to listen to our album, Mortal Ghost. If you like what you hear, PLEASE send us a message on any of our social media pages, or through our website. Connecting with our listeners is extremely important to us! Thanks for hanging with us. We hope to talk with you soon!

https://www.facebook.com/rustyshippband/  https://twitter.com/RustyShipp   https://rustyshipp.bandcamp.com/releases

Pete RingMaster 09/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Demoni – Day of Demoni

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Described as a ‘surfabilly band which fuses punk rock beats, psychobilly bass, and surf guitar’ it is easy to go slightly astray with expectations over US rockers Demoni and their much more flavoursome sound. Certainly those essences make up the core of the band’s sound as evidenced on their outstanding album Day of Demoni which recently had its UK released via British cassette/digital label Graveyard Calling, but as the nine track rampage infests ears and ignites emotions there is plenty more to the band’s alchemy of invention. At times there is a hard rock fury at work, and in other moments a seventies glam teasing at play, whilst throughout there is a pungent whiff of fifties honesty to it all. Day of Demoni is a thrilling onslaught which dares to be just that little bit different in the world of psychobilly whilst embracing the seeds of the genre with a full ardour and revelry.

The Boise, Idaho trio take inspirations from the likes of Cramps, Dick Dale, Mad Sin, and Misfits to their adrenaline powered and relentlessly voracious sound. An early self-titled demo in 2008 seemed to draw strong attention but it was with their albums Dawn of Demoni a year later and Day of Demoni which was released in 2012 that a spotlight really hit the band. It was an interest which has only been enhanced by the band live which has seen them play shows with the likes of Koffin Kats, Chop Tops, Three Bad Jacks, Stellar Corpses, The Hedcat, Sawyer Family, The Recently Deceased, and The Rocketz. Their new UK release of Day of Demoni sees the five songs which appeared on the US version joined by one originally found on the first album and another pair from the band’s Surf City of the Dead release, as well as one more track. Together they combine to make one of the most exhaustingly enjoyable encounters to hit the UK shores this year.

From first track And Now the Screaming Starts, band and release has the imagination bound and ears hungry. It opens with a sonic squeal before launching into a thunderous charge spiked with spicy twangs of warped grooving. Riffs coverand rhythms are in top gear within seconds, their eagerness almost ravenous as they swiftly build an anthemic temptation upon which the smooth delivery of vocals lay perfectly. The click of drum stick wood on rims is irresistible whilst the brawling attitude of the guitar is contagious persuasion, but it is the unpredictable slides of grooves and caustic melodies which turns the outstanding song into a classic.

Its glory is followed by the instrumental Black Lagoon, its stomp speared by a hook which is fifties seeded but coming with a seventies air. That initial temptation is soon evolved into a sultry surf rock enticement though both lures switch and entwine across the rest of the compelling track. Like a sonic stroll across a blood soaked beach beneath a sinister moon, the track has the imagination casting its tales whilst feet still find no respite from the involvement inspired by its predecessor. The magnetism of the song is intensified in the exceptional They Crawl, another virulent surge of riffs and rugged enterprise equipped with a cowpunk lilt and riotous hard rock intent. The song is as persistent as the protagonists in its lyrics, scampering relentlessly with tireless rhythmic feet and feisty sonic tenacity. Sparking thoughts of  Koffin Kats and Tiger Army, the track is another peak to the album and makes one wonder why the band has not been recognised over here before.

Scared to Death is no slouch in setting ears and passions ablaze either, it’s almost smouldering sonic presence and rhythmic control, certainly compared to the previous song, a transfixing instrumental narrative providing another surf spawned slice of heated suggestiveness. Its sultry presence makes way for the fiery and robust harrying of the imagination unleashed by Night of the Creeps. Thumping heavy rock beats courted by a caustic punk abrasing of riffs offer a contagious tempting from which vocals and acidic melodies surge with eagerness. Again a heavier rock aggression adds to the flavouring whilst at times there is a softer melodic catchiness which merges easily with the strenuous suasion of the song. You can almost call it as psychobilly pop punk.

Both No Pain No Gein and Beware the Moon bring another twist to the album and satisfaction, the first akin to Turbonegro with its punk rock rapacity but also you can hear tinges of Nekromantix and The Ramones in its rowdy enterprise. With the bass a delicious standout texture and voice to the song, it is an insatiable stomp swiftly matched in sweaty contagion and voracious energy by its successor. There is an immediate sense of The Dickies to the punk side of this song whilst its expansive psychobilly design offers up suggestions of Mad Sin and a little of Rezurex. It is a flaming beast of a track and another to squeeze out a little more lustful acclaim for the release.

The album uncages a final two slabs of thick persuasion through first of all the instrumental scourge of blistering riffs and niggling grooves that is Session 9 and lastly Die! Die! Die!, which is maybe an instrumental too many on the album but such its exciting climate and creative blaze it is impossible not to greedily devour its presence. They make enthralling climaxes to a ridiculously addictive release, which itself sets Demoni as a thrilling new protagonist for British psychobilly appetites.

Day of Demoni is available via Graveyard Calling @ http://graveyardcalling.bandcamp.com/album/day-of-demoni digitally and on very Ltd Ed blood-red cassette.

http://www.demonipsycho.com

9/10

RingMaster 28/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hipbone Slim vs. Sir Bald

Playing like a schizophrenic battle of the bands within the insatiable creativity of one man ably aided by his equally skilled and hungry cohorts, Hipbone Slim vs. Sir Bald is simply one thrilling treat to let loose all those inhibitions to. The album is a forty track double CD release bursting with unadulterated goodness and mastery from the King of UK rock n roll, Sir Bald Diddley. A man with more musical alter-egos than hairs on his head, Sir Bald has created some of the most essential sounds in modern rock n roll, songs which could easily have graced and driven forward the times of their influences whilst standing as fresh and vibrant leaders of today.

The album brings together a union and faceoff between the distinctly different sides to his inspirational imagination. Disc one features twenty slices of delicious treats from Hipbone Slim & the Kneetremblers, all songs never before released in a CD format. Standing eye to eye on the other disc there are a mischievous and hungry selection of tracks from Louie & the Louies, Kneejerk Reactions, and The Legs, all with that magnetic common denominator, Sir Baldy. Released through Dirty Water Records, it is a package which just ignites the passions, a release which, if the varied riches of rock n roll send your saucy bits a tingling, will have you squealing like Meg Ryan on a washing machine. The album in many ways only scratches at the surface of the creativity of the man but easily shows why his skill and diversity across surf, rock n roll, garage, blues, R&B and rockabilly is so adored and devoured without a pause for manners.

Sir Bald has been called “Britain’s string king” because of his striking guitar style which has been influenced by the likes of Bo Diddley, Link Wray, Chuck Berry, Dick Dale and more. It is a style once heard never forgotten and one which lights up any genre he chooses to thrill with. As mentioned disc one features Hipbone Slim & the Kneetremblers, a band plays with its inspirations and passions on its sleeve and openly heard within tracks which range from instantly contagious to sensationally irresistible. Alongside Sir Bald the band has the massive talents of drummer Bruce ‘Bash’ Brand (the Milkshakes and Headcoats), and bassist Gastus Receedus (Big Wigs, Arousers, Playboys) bringing great songs to an even greater life. From the opener King Tut Strut the disc is an incessant feast of pleasure, every track in their different ways turning the tap to greed full on for more of their joys. The first song saunters along with a swagger which has the passions whimpering in delight, it is a sultry tease which attacks from many angles, from the Eastern promising guitars, and seductive sax caresses to the inciteful beats and uncomplicated vocals of Sir Bald, the song just makes love to the ear.

Across the tracks there is a great expanse of flavours offered such as in the following Crawl Back To Me which moves in Gene Vincent circles, Time To Kill with its Buddy Holly mesmeric and warm whisper, and the wonderful instrumental Bury The Hatchet which harks back to the likes of The Fireballs and The Ventures. Biggest highlights come from the wonderful rockabilly romp of Ooga Booga Rock, the Johnny Cash toned High On Hog, and the sweet wickedness that is Food Man Chew, a song which has to be the new soundtrack to TV show Man V. Food as well as any night of unbridled filthy passion between consenting adults. It is hard to pick best or favourite songs though this trio are always to the fore and are equally rivalled by the brilliant I Hear An Echo with its caped crusaderesque groove and  the anthemic rampage of Set You On Fire.

The first disc alone is one you would sell your soul to the devil for but there is so much more to shoot your personal mercury beyond boiling point. The second CD begins with tracks from Louie & the Louies, songs which are born from the seeds of surf and frat rock. With bassist Matt “Sleepy Louie” Radford and drummer Brian “Ramblin’” Louie Nevill alongside Sir Bald, the trio spark the flames with the sizzling instrumental Louieville and then stoke the fires with the predatory prowling of There Ain’t No End In Sight, its breath sinister and bordering manic. The track is a classic and makes an irresistible filling between Louieville and the equally tasty instrumental Marrakech. With an atmosphere as distant and wanton as the beckoning sounds, this piece just leaves one drooling. The fiery Backfire and the Stones garage blues swagger of Birdman send the senses and passions to overload and if you are listening to the whole release in one go by this point you are looking for an oasis of respite from the sonic majesty to date, though equally not wanting it to end…

… which it does not as The Kneejerk Reactions unleash their unique brand of rock n roll, their R&B brought with feistiness as deliberate as the antagonistic driving sounds. Songs like You Don’t Know Right From Wrong and Wastin’ My Time rile up attitude and passions with the sonic scorching from the guitar of Sir Bald and the hypnotic bass of Les Lerrard, not to forget the crisp jabs of drummer Ronnie Drand. The songs arguably do not flow quite as easily through the ear as elsewhere, their passage combative and fuelled by garage rock energy, but are equal when it comes to providing full pleasure. Top honours here goes to Where’s McComb?, a track which is as excitable as a dog in a lamp post factory and just as incessant.

The final onslaught of satisfaction comes from The Legs which sees the main man alongside Spaniards Jorge Explosion and Mr Pibli from garage-punk band Doctor Explosion. The songs are a thrilling mix of beat, garage, and blues infused with plenty of sixties and modern essences. The thumping stomp of instrumental Legless sets up a treat of impossible to resist pleasure, whilst the Meteors like stroll of Gotta Eat and the raw guitar smouldering of Ain’t The End of the World fan those flames even more for unbridled joy.

Hipbone Slim vs. Sir Bald is a release which brings the inimitable imagination, skills, and sounds of Sir Baldy and just some of his work into a deserved focus. He has caused a long review for a long album but what a pleasure the bands and songs give, if you want to hear ‘real’ rock n roll in some of its guises than this album is a must.

RingMaster 02/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright