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Interview With 'Rusty Shipp'

Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?

Hey, my name is Russ T. Shipp, and I'm the frontman of the band Rusty Shipp. We're a nautical Rock 'n' Roll band out of Nashville, TN. Our band basically came about from me putting out Craigslist ads to find people who shared the same vision that I have for making thought-provoking music that is as creative and catchy as the Rock legends.

What were you all up to prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?

I actually moved to Nashville from D.C. after several failed attempts at getting a Rock band going up there. The other guys, AJ and Eli, have similar stories. AJ moved here from Indiana to pursue music and Eli moved from Virginia to intern at a recording studio down here. All of us had musical aspirations. Personally, music has been the biggest aspiration in my life since I was a teenager. I became so obsessed with becoming a musical artist of the same caliber as The Beatles that I threw away the American norms and culture comforts that I thought would hinder me from getting there. I gave up TV, movies, and video games, threw away any hopes of romantic relationships, and lived a life of poverty to give it my all getting there. Since then it's just been a process of shaving off more and more things in my life to make more room and focus for mastering the musical arts.

Tell us about your latest Album and why our readers should check it out.

I honestly think our album 'Mortal Ghost' has some of the best songs on the market, melodically, artistically, lyrically, sonically. It's a concept album, but unlike most concept albums I hear, every single track stands on its own. It's funny because when it first came out and we sent it to people to ask which song they thought would be the best single, no joke, all ten songs were picked by at least one person as their number one choice at being the best single on the album. That says it all right there. Every song is creative and uniquely innovative in its own right, and every song has addictive melodies at its core to hold its own to any song on Rock radio right now. It's kind of like a Beatles album; every track is unique sonically, lyrically, musically, stylistically, yet they all have a creative hook at their core which gets stuck in your head.

Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?

I felt awestruck when Toby McKeehan of DC Talk came to my college and I watched him playing basketball. I looked into his eyes a few feet in front of me and thought, "Wow... all the things those eyes have seen. The evolution of one of my all-time favorite bands and the creation of several of my all-time favorite albums."

If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?

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.

If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?

I'd love to tour with Thrice because they're like my role model band. Their artistic and spiritual vision is the ideal and one that my own band aspires toward. I think we'd all be on the same wavelength and also connect with the same kind of people. It's really cool when you find other musicians who are trying to do the same thing you're doing and so you can help each other make an impact together.

You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?

I'd love to follow Johann Sebastian Bach around for a day and see how such a musical factory could actually be human, and see if he was really such a genius and a jerk like they say.

And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?

No. Simply having a Christmas party scene is not necessarily a Christmas-movie-make, my friends.

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