Does your playlist need something fresher than an explosion in a Febreze factory? Do you need to hear the band that Captain Jack Sparrow would most certainly have at the top of his playlist (y’know, if iPods were around back then)? Has your musical collection struck an iceberg, and now it’s sinking faster than Celine Dion at a Guns N Roses concert?
Earlier this week, my life was a meaningless cycle of daily routine, designed to be productive but not exciting (imagine me brushing my teeth, washing my face, and it’s black and white. Perhaps someone’s playing a Film Noir soundtrack, but maybe not; it’s your mental image after all). Sound familiar? Well, then I discovered Rusty Shipp (the Film Noir turns into a very stylish seafaring monochrome with optional pops of colour; the Beach Boys are queueing to see them… the Beatles already did)…
Okay, maybe I’m going overboard. See what I did there?
Seriously, though, stop what you’re doing right now (put the cat in the kettle if you need to) and click play, this music will bring new awesome to your life, even if your existence is already perfect; this is Davy Jones Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me:
Do you need to hear more RIGHT NOW?? Of course you do! Here’s their second song Sinking Scarabs:
See what I mean? Now I know I just worked very hard to get your undivided attention, but I am confident that I wrote a cheque that this music can cash. So if you haven’t clicked play, do it now!
Let’s get a bit more serious with the band now:
Rusty Shipp is a 3 piece band consisting of Russ T “Rusty” Shipp (that is his real name) on vocals and guitar, Andrew Royer on drums and Dustin Herres on bass. Their music is described as “surf rock meets punk and grunge” and I’d recommend it to anyone into cool activities that need an epic in-ear soundtrack. This would also be perfect for a road trip’s playlist music. Rusty Shipp are based in Nashville, Tennessee, and they’re probably one of the most strikingly creative bands I’ve seen in recent times. They’re inventing a completely new genre here, using elements of surf rock, grunge, hard rock, and even ska. They have been compared favorably to both Nirvana and Iron Maiden. Their lyrics showcase storytelling techniques we would usually associate with the great poets of bygone eras (Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, for example, or Milton’s Paradise Lost) a progressive bassline and a guitar sound that needs its own surfboard! You can find out more about them at their website.
After hearing their latest song, Sinking Scarabs, I was so taken by their music that I had to find out more, so here is an exclusive interview with Rusty, Dustin and Andrew from Rusty Shipp:
How would you describe your band to new listeners in one sentence?
Rusty: Raw, high-energy, Beatlesque songs with a surf rock overtone and philosophical lyrics.
Dustin: It’s got that 90’s grunge sound but a surf rock feel to it.
Andrew: Very reminiscent of the 90s grunge scene with a little surf rock tossed in for flavor.
I would definitely agree with that. Rusty, when you moved from Washington to Nashville to take the band to the next level, what were some of the unexpected challenges that you faced?
Rusty: That it’s tough starting a band from scratch because most musicians you find on Craigslist aren’t serious; most of the serious musicians seem to rely on connections they’ve already made in the music scene and don’t resort to Craigslist.
That sounds difficult! It must take so much work to get a foothold when there’s so many bands all trying to get the same exposure. You’re one step ahead with your very unique musical style, but what are three things that you’d like your audience to know about the band?
Rusty: We make a lot of Canadian jokes for some reason, are actually really nice, laid back, caring guys, and like Taco Bell.
Dustin: We love stupid jokes. We love people. We love Taco Bell.
Andrew: Super approachable, goofy, and we take what we’re doing very seriously.
Wow, so you guys really love Taco Bell. Tacos are pretty incredible when all is said and done. It sounds like it’s useful to have a sense of humor in order to keep a band together. What’s your favourite thing on your ipod playlists at the moment?
Dustin: I’ve been listening to almost nothing but Dirty Loops and Dear Hunter for the past forever.
Rusty: I’m currently listening to all the recordings of song ideas I’ve made the past decade, pulling out nuggets for future songs.
Andrew: Been a lot of Coheed and Cambria and He Is Legend lately. A little Arctic Monkeys and OK Go to lighten things up a bit.
Wow that’s some pretty inspiring stuff. I am very partial to the Arctic Monkeys, myself. What’s the most rock-n-roll thing that you’ve done so far (musically or otherwise)?
Andrew: I don’t know. I guess I’m not very rock n roll. I’m a little too laid back I guess.
Rusty: I don’t know, but my mom bought me a rock n roll looking jacket for Christmas so I could finally look the part instead of wearing Hawaiian shirts.
Dustin: I wear a fake leather jacket to and from work everyday. That’s pretty rock-n-roll if you ask me.
There’s that sense of humor you both mentioned in question 2! Andrew, you’re clearly made for surf rock! So one last question, what’s the thing you’re most excited about for 2016?
Dustin: I’m excited to really start focusing on my music career and making myself become a better artist. Also, I’ve been helping with a church called Church Alive that just launched last year and I can’t wait to see how it grows this year.
Andrew: I’m pumped to see where this band goes. I think we’ve got a good shot to do some pretty cool things.
Rusty: Making a solid, creative, radio-quality full-length album.
So there you have it, Bryan Adams and Maple Leafs are fair game, Craigslist isn’t the greatest place to find band members, even in Nashville, center of the musical universe, and the band members are really nice guys. Rusty Shipp have a sound that’s set to become legendary, so get in on the ground floor before they get so big, you’ll be staring at their albums on iTunes thinking, “damn, I wish I’d shared them with my friends.” Don’t be that person! Share this with everyone you know and watch your grateful friends’ faces as they light up with the joy you brought to their lives. Download their latest song, Sinking Scarabs for only 99c here and whatever you do, subscribe to their Youtube channel here so you are the first to hear their latest music!