INTERVIEW: Rusty Shipp

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’ve been awesome, thanks! We’ve had a lot to take care of with this new single, and we’re just trying to keep up with all of that while preparing for our June 9th album release.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Devil Jonah”?

Yeah. Devil Jonah is an epic, heavy rock track with unconventional, driving, grunge feel running throughout. It’s one of our most atmospheric songs with a rich literary style that recounts the legendary origins of Davy Jones, the devil of the seas who was said to tempt evil sailors into the water and pull them down to hell.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

There wasn’t any one particular event that inspired this song. I (Russ T.) took writing this as an opportunity to have take a blank canvas and combine specific music elements to capture exactly the direction I wanted to steer our band toward: to create dark and heavy, but catchy grunge riffs with a thick reverb sound combined with dark-pop melodies and illustrative, nautical imagery in the lyrics.

How was the filming experience for the video?

Everyone we worked with on this video – from our camera and production crew, to our prep and set team – was absolutely amazing. They did a phenomenal job on, and off set, ensuring that we were given our best chance at hitting success throughout the entire process. We’re really proud of how all of our hard work has brought this video together, and are pleased with how well it represents our band and what we are aiming to achieve with our music. That being said, being wet for the entire day of filming of the band shots, as well as the many hours I (Russ T.) had to spend in freezing cold water to get all the right takes for the remaining scenes, was certainly a challenge!

The single comes off your new album Mortal Ghost – what’s the story behind the title?

We’re so proud of the “Mortal Ghost” title. There’s something so intriguing and imaginative about that word combination that invokes the supernatural realm, but also alludes to a surprise ending in the afterlife. It’s got to be one of the coolest album names we’ve heard of yet!

How was the recording and writing process?

It was intensely awesome from beginning to end. We loved working with acclaimed producer, J. Hall on this album, who has worked with bands like Delta Saints and As Cities Burn. We took an entire month in the studio with him working long hours every day, with the remaining hours of each day outside of the studio making preparations for the next day, just to get it all done right. It was an extremely rewarding experience.

What role does Nashville play in your music?

Nashville is known as Music City for a good reason. The level of musicianship and artistic competition here is unreal. In order to stand out in this sea of aspiring creatives, you really have to take your dedication and craftsmanship to the next level, otherwise you can be left behind and forgotten. This has challenged our songwriting and music business saavy intensely as we’ve been growing this band.

How did Nirvana and Muse influence the writing on this record?

We relate to Nirvana and Muse in their approach to songwriting, particularly by their peculiar, catchy chord progressions and Beatlesque melodies, combined with raw, energetic guitar riffs and punk rock energy. There are some heavy Muse influences in the spacey vocal effects, and Nirvana and the grunge era is the most common comparison our band gets, due to the vocal style and sound of the guitars.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Songwriting is my (Russ T.’s) peak strength as an individual, and it’s possibly the greatest contribution I feel I have on this earth. My primary purpose with it is to give people music and lyrics that will make them think about deeper questions of existence, in hopes that their lives will be enriched.

Any plans to hit the road?

YES. This year we are mainly focused on touring the eastern half of the US, but who knows where this music will take us!

What else is happening next in Rusty Shipp’s world?

Now that our first single is out, we’re focused on reaching as many people as possible, while also preparing to release the full album June 9th!

Watch Devil Jonah here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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