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!

Pete RingMaster 09/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Valensole – Make Pace EP

Just under a year ago, British punks Valensole sparked intrigue and pleasure with their debut EP, Where We Should Be. It was a potential loaded, ear grabbing introduction to the Southampton trio suggesting a band with all the right attributes and imagination to make potent strides within the UK rock scene. Now that suggestion has been reinforced and given greater strength by Make Pace, a second EP of raw and rousing punk ‘n’ roll very easy to devour.

Embracing inspirations from the likes of Nirvana, Green Day, Sum 41, and early Foo Fighters, Valensole was formed in 2016. The threesome of vocalist/guitarist Elliott Jones, guitarist Nick Jones, and bassist Dave Parker certainly had ears and praise attentive with that first EP and such the fresh character and tone to its successor, we can only expect them to find much even greater attention upon the release of Make Pace.

With Kurt Philips providing drums throughout, the EP kicks off with Giving Up, its jumbled start instantly spawning a tasty guitar hook which soon leads into a tenacious stroll through ears. Simultaneously a new richer flavouring to the band’s punk sound begins tempting, the track merging its raw traits with infectious enterprise as it increasingly stomps around. Dave’s bass has a gorgeous dark steely tone, Elliot’s vocals matching its lure in earnest attitude as his and Nick’s guitars throw their sonic wares around. As with the first EP, we found flavouring more akin to the likes of Psychedelic Furs and The Vibrators than those earlier mentioned influences but more so the band’s own voice in sound and invention emerges this time around.

The potent start is soon matched by the following M.A.D, the track immediately getting under the skin with its opening spicy hook. Both guitars tease and tempt, uniting in a fiery lure backed by the stirring swings of drums and the grumbling stroll of the bass. There is a great vintage punk lining to the Valensole sound, one especially vocal in the rousing antics of the second song even as it slips into calmer, provocative waters. It all erupts again for a tenacious finale as physically bracing as it is catchy before So Bored moves in with its ear nagging endeavour. Carrying a whiff of Buzzcocks to its melodically scored trespass of a hook, the track soon revels in its caustic rock ‘n’ roll breeding but as its predecessor is a proposition which is unafraid to explore unpredictable twists and turns before lighting its riotous touch paper once again.

The EP ends with Don’t Let Go, a song again drawing those Richard Butler and co references while uncaging its own individuality. Equally there is a garage punk meets Generation X scent to the song, a thickly flavoursome hue adding to the unrelenting pleasure the track and indeed Make Pace overall sparks.

Valensole’s sound is on a journey, one still evolving and growing. The band’s first EP hinted at its promise, the second reveals new depth and adventure to add to that potential. When it will all come to full maturity time will tell but the ride on the way is undoubtedly going to be great fun with the anticipation of many more easily devoured treats like Make Pace.

Make Pace is released February 9th.

Pete RingMaster 06/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Crimson Star – Bay View

There is something very clever about the Bay View EP and the sounds it eagerly shares. Certainly the new outing from UK rockers Crimson Star sounds rather good from the off with a blaze of rock ‘n’ roll which may not dramatically impress but leaves a definite appetite for more. But like all relentless fires, it leaves little cinders in the shape of persuasive hooks and grooves which continue to catch in the imagination even in its absence. You could say the five track encounter is a slow burner in many ways despite its sizeable impact first time around and that is a success as potent as anything in our eyes.

Hailing from Birmingham, the threesome emerged in 2012 and since then has earned a rich reputation for their live presence and weighty alternative/melodic rock sound. 2016 saw the release of the Driven EP with the line-up of vocalist/guitarist James Shaw, bassist Roger Ash, and drummer Ross Edgington together. That well-received offering was recorded with producer Romesh Dodangoda (Lower Than Atlantis, Bring Me The Horizon, Funeral For A Friend), a successful union repeated with Bay View.

The EP opens with recent single The Pragmatist and straight away riffs and vocals lure attention, the increasingly grooved invitation of the guitar aligning with the equally potent scowling tones of Edgington. As it establishes its eager stroll, the song ebbs and flows in intensity without losing its instinctively infectious nature whilst always looking to evolve as melodies and the ever captivating grooves share their imagination. More addictive than it seemingly appears at the time, the song is a masterful slice of rock ‘n’ roll setting the release off to a great heavy and rousing start.

The following La Prom carries the same intent, instantly pushing through ears with a bold touch but soon revealing an atmospheric breath around crystalline melodies. Its calm has an underlying volatility which subsequently erupts as fiery grooves and raw riffs join an already laid bait of coaxing rhythms. With great fuzz to its tone and an edge to its energy, they aligning to further melodic enterprise, the song simply hits the spot.

Desert rock grooves fire up within next up Once, their spice leading to a grunge/alternative rock scowl which again is always looking to spring an unpredictable and imaginative adventure. Like its predecessor, the track does not have the immediate sparks of the opener yet grips from start to finish sowing that earlier mentioned niggle in its own way to return at will in the memory; a trait just as successful within Euthanise Me. The muscle of its grooves and rhythmic incitement courts a fine blues rock hue, a flavouring which blossoms within the following dark lit stroll the voice and bass take the imagination on. Like a blend of Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam with a slight touch of Kyuss, the song is unbridled captivation rivalling the first for best song honours.

The release is concluded by Gimme Some, another slice of intriguing rock ‘n’ roll which like the EP just grows and impresses with every listen. Grooves need little time to wrap their persuasion around ears though, melodic shadows and radiance working away on the imagination, as it brings Bay View to a magnetic close.

With double figure listens under our belt, it is fair to say that Bay View has become a keenly devoured and praised proposal. It took its time with us despite its potent start and we can only say share some of your time with Crimson Star to discover some prime heavy rock; it is hard to imagine you will be disappointed.

Bay View is released January 19th

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Noydem – A Time Will Come

A Time Will Come is the new EP from French outfit Noydem, a release coming three years after the band’s debut album. Formed in 2011, the Paris quartet create alternative rock which embraces an array of flavours for, as evidenced by their new release, a quite appetising adventure.

A year after emerging, Noydem unveiled their first EP in the shape of The Landing, its keenly welcomed release followed the next year by an even more eagerly received self-titled album. It is fair to say that the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Julien Prouveze, lead guitarist Gia Vcgr, bassist Jules Brosset, and drummer Joffrey Hebert has yet to awaken major attention outside of the French rock scene but an awakening A Time Will Come has a great chance of stirring.

Themed by “the feeling of people struck with ostracism in today’s society”, A Time Will Come offers five tracks of infectious rock starting with Welcome Home. A deep groan of bass and crisp percussion draws the equally alluring scythes of guitar and Prouveze’s strongly enticing vocals, it all uniting in a subsequent earthy stroll with flirtatious hooks entwined in infectious grooves. Immediately captivating and increasingly virulent by the second, song and sound tempt and seduce with lively enterprise, electronic additives adding to its inescapable contagion.

The excellent start is quickly matched by next up Bring Me Down. From its flirtatious start with seriously tempting rhythmic bait, the track catches alight with stoner lit grooves and industrial rock essences teasing a bold rock ‘n’ roll stroll. The electronic attributes of its predecessor come with greater voice, bringing a pop rock celebration sparking even greater infectiousness in the song’s character and antics.

The EP never quite reaches the heights of its first pair of songs again but only pleases and impresses as the likes of Stay with its calmer, reflective electronic/alternative rock grab attention. At times a suggestive simmer and in turn a dynamic blaze, the song is little short of an aural magnet with moments of major temptation.

The shimmering balladry of Your Other Self is more of a slow burner but never less than persistent captivation while closing track A Place to Live has the listener and EP bouncing with its own mix of emotive deliberation and physical dexterity. It too needs a touch more time to get under the skin compared to the first trio of tracks but worm into appetite and psyche it does.

Inspirations to Noydem include the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queens Of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Incubus, and Audioslave, spicing often easy to hear within A Time Will Come but theirs is a sound which is developing its own character very nicely with the prospects of major attention increasing release by release.

A Time Will Come is out now on iTunes and other stores.

Pete RingMaster 12/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ragweed – Silver Spoon

Having caught the attention and passions with debut album Parerga three years ago, British rockers Ragweed has in their words, “gone through a rebirth”. They have come out of that moment of reassessment or evolution with a sound which is darker, dirtier, and flush with more salacious grooves and rousing antics than offered by an exuberant pole dancer. The evidence is all there in latest single Silver Spoon, a three- track extravaganza of devilish rock ‘n’ roll.

Just coming off of another self booked UK tour, the latest on a long line of successful ventures, this one in support of their latest release, the Brighton hailing trio forcibly build on and reinforce the fresh sense of contagious adventure and imagination their sound first introduced within last year’s AA-sided single Rust Box. As its predecessor, Silver Spoon is released through Milky Bomb Records and has been mastered by Alan Douches (Motorhead, Cancer Bats, Every Time I Die, Screaming Females) of West Side Music, New York, he getting involved having been taken with the band’s previous outings.

The single across its three parts is a tenacious and flirtatious blend of rock, punk, noise, and raw pop; tracks still embracing the heavy almost imposing essences of the band’s earlier releases but with a virulence and catchiness which really and lustily gets under the skin and into the limbs. Lead song, Silver Spoon instantly thrusts its muscular fingers upon the senses, predacious scythes of guitar drenched in sonic filth and so inviting especially once springing a groove woven swagger with rapaciously coaxing rhythms. The song’s swing is matched in the vocals, their boisterous energy as anthemic as the sound around them and just as mischievous.  Holding essences something akin to Foo Fighters meets The St Pierre Snake Invasion within its unique character the track is immense, only escalating its instinctive catchiness and creative devilment twist by turn, note by note.

The track is just as impressively backed up by its companions, Grey Matter being first up and swiftly sending a punk infested noise pop ‘n’ roll tide of riffs and rhythms through ears. Teasing keys add to its early temptation, their melodic mania lingering and erupting across the highly infectious proposal. Though dirtier and more psychotic than its predecessor, the track also has a more controlled hand on its caustic yet melodic stroll and heavy intent. It is a mix just as bold and manipulative though in another outstanding slice of Ragweed rock ‘n’ roll.

The single is completed by West Coast Pop, a Ramones meets Melvins escapade with a grunge lining to its irritable weight and nature. Fusing noise and alternative rock to its punk ‘n’ roll ferocity and dexterity, the song epitomises Ragweed’s new thrust of enterprise in their sound and writing; mixing old and new textures for one invasively alluring and irresistible trespass.

As last year’s single suggested Ragweed has grown into a striking proposition, an unpredictable and aggressively inventive one which going by Silver Spoon is heading to becoming one of the most essential adventures within the UK rock scene.

Silver Spoon is out now via Milky Bomb Records and available @

Pete RingMaster 13/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

SixTwoSeven – Some Other’s Day EP

You cannot just make up real rock ‘n’ roll; it is in the heart as evidenced by Seattle alternative rock outfit SixTwoSeven. You just know it is an instinct in the quartet as their debut EP, Some Other’s Day rumbles through ears to arouse the spirit across four riotous tracks.

Formed in 2016, SixTwoSeven consists of vocalist/lead guitarist Greg “illfunk” Bilderback, his brothers in drummer Matt aka “the Machine” and guitarist Jason aka “J Danger”, and longtime friend Mike “MK Ultra” Knapp. This line-up was actually completed during the recording of Some Other’s Day with producer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden) at Soundhouse Studios, Matt coming in for backing vocals and leaving as a fully-fledged member of SixTwoSeven.

The EP itself opens up with One Single Night, instantly luring ears with a dirty riff soon joined by Greg’s grumbling tones. Bass and drums quickly add their moody touches as infectiousness infests all aspects of the emerging track. The song’s swagger is right there grabbing body and spirit, the creative flames of guitar luring the imagination deeper into its own increasingly magnetic prowess. Altogether it is a masterful persuasion and quickly matched by successor Wreckless Soul. It too has a certain confidence in its gait and swing, vocals a lighter invitation in the grungier nature of the song but loaded with the same catchiness as the hooks and riffs flirting boldly alongside.

Joshua’s Song has a calmer personality which its melodic imagination exploits with emotion and invention. The harmonic blend across the band brings extra light to the song and the SixTwoSeven sound, the band showing the variety in their creativity. Admittedly, the song did not quite light the excitement as its companions but it certainly left a strong air of satisfaction before the EP’s best track brings things to a mighty close.

An aggressive slice of punk fuelled rock ‘n’ roll, Top of the World is a virulently contagious incitement which has body and emotions bouncing in quick time. It snarls and entices, prowls and stomps with attitude and zeal ensuring listener involvement is hooked in no time. One of the reasons maybe that the band has been compared to the Weezer and Foo Fighters, the track alone makes SixTwoSeven a prospect to keep a close ear upon; a thought more than reinforced by Some Other’s Day as a whole.

Some Other’s Day is available now @

Pete RingMaster 17/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

All Tied Up – Breaking Silence

Entwining the energy and urgency of pop punk with the rousing guile of alternative rock, UK outfit All Tied Up have provided one enterprising vehicle for it to shine in the shape of their new EP. Breaking Silence features five tracks which pretty easily has the body bouncing and the imagination held, each also ripe with a potential which whets the appetite for the evolution of the  band’s already intriguing sound.

From Milton Keynes, All Tied Up have persistently nurtured a broadening eagerly loyal fan base as well as increasing praise across a debut album and a pair of EPs as well as with their live presence which has seen the quartet shares stages across the country with bands such as The Ataris, [SPUNGE], Kenneths, Big D and the Kids Table, Whitmore, and Sonic Boom Six. Recently they linked up with new indie label, Stack-in-a-box Records, for the Andy Davies produced and Joe LaPorta (David Bowie, Foo Fighters, Mallory Knox) and Katie Tavini (Sonic Boom Six) mastered Breaking Silence, a union which should see potent fruits from their joint endeavour.

The EP opens up with So Enthusiastic, a song which from a gentle thoughtful melody gathers its rhythmic tenacity and eager energy to burst into a boisterous stroll. In its lively canter there is a steely edge to the bass of Leebo, a darker hue which equally clads the swings of drummer Nick Freeman. The guitars of vocalist Dave Palfreyman and Billy Norman though flirt with melody around a hook which just teases the passions as the former’s vocals, with their engaging twang, cap the captivation. The band’s new single, the song simply hits the spot and soon commands a deeper look at the EP.

Whether the remaining tracks live up to the first is debateable such its impressive proposition but certainly the following Better Day swings along with ear pleasing endeavour and a melodic spicing which only satisfies. Its rhythmic shuffle is similarly adventurous working away on feet as too the ruggedly dancing beats and bass grumble coring the increasingly addictive and next up Asbestos Box. Though leaving no sense of dissatisfaction in its first play, the track simply grows listen by listen; its unpredictable character and infectious heart relentlessly getting under the skin and if there is one song which rivals the first, this is it.

The EP’s title track romps along with its own eagerness and dexterity, ebbing and flowing in the energy of its attack but always a flood of catchiness which also blossoms over time if still lacking the bolder creative sparks of its predecessor. In saying that, enjoyment is a given as emotive hues entangle pop punk; a mixture just as assertive and magnetic in closing track Master Of Disguise. It too is a great mix of reflective calm and spirited dynamics which again, and this applies to the whole EP too, just becomes more persuasive and alluring with every encounter.

There is deep potential to the All Tied Up sound which demands further attention and a readymade attraction which makes Breaking Silence a thoroughly enjoyable encounter which anyone with a taste for pop punk and infection loaded rock should find quite flavoursome.

Breaking Silence is out now via Stack-in-a-box Records on all major online stores.

Pete RingMaster 01/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright