Russell Nelson, 27, was, from the get-go, a natural musician. Spectating his uncle playing his guitar since childhood, Russell always displayed an avid interest in pursuing a musical career. One could almost say the minute he received his first guitar from his uncle at age 8, he hasn’t put it down since. However, the pivotal moment in his career was when he made the decision to head to the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, California, where he received his guitar associates in performance arts. This landed him in a local band for a healthy run, landing shows in places like the House of Blues. Despite their success as a band, one good fight forced Russell to move back home to Montana. With this, he grew up, and brought with him a new perspective and brand new game face: Shellshock Lullaby. A perfect mixture of alternative, pop-punk, and emo, Shellshock Lullaby is Russell’s artistic vision sprung to life, with emotionally-charged anthems dedicated to overcoming hardship, exploring the grey areas of life, and emerging victorious. A road very much like the one he has walked, and he encourages his 18 thousand fans (and counting) to take life by similar reins.

Formed in Butte, Montana September of 2010, “Shellshock Lullaby” is the artistic vision of singer/songwriter Russ Nelson.  In March 2011, Shellshock Lullaby released a debut EP, “Finding Our Way” which got Russ on shows and festivals like Rock Fest 2011, The Original Festival 2013 & 2014, Evel Knievel Days 2012 & 2014 (opened for Black Flag and Tim Montana and The Shrednecks) and the IAFF MG Rally 2012, where he opened for .38 Special. In September of 2011, Russ traveled to Lehi, Utah to collaborate with producer, Tyler Monks, and Scot Alexander (the bassist of Dishwalla).  The sessions produced 4 new songs and a remixed single, “Backwards,” from the previous EP. In 2012, he wrote a self-titled EP which he released in early 2013. Since this record was released, it has shown much promise for SSL and Nelson’s career. Songs like “Crimson Sky” and “Backwards” are on regular rotation on sites like: Rokkus Radio, Pulse, Untapped, Suckfree, Emerge and more. Russ has also signed a publishing deal which will lead to even more exposure for these songs. SSL has completed recording a brand new EP entitled, “Shades of Grey” which was mixed and mastered by Stephen Hawkes (Hearts&Hands, Jonny Craig, Closure in Moscow, Tides of Man) at Interlace Audio and the music is grabbing the attention of fans and industry alike. The EP features the single, ‘All I Need,’ which is now available for FREE DOWNLOAD. Tracks from the Shades of Grey EP have received airplay on stations like Underground Pulse Radio, 850KOA, NBTMusicRadio, TRS24/7 Radio, Pandora, and more. Keep your eyes peeled because there is definitely much more to come from this Montana gem. For current updates on SSL check out http://shellshocklullaby.com or SSL’s management: http://thecardinalcoalition.com.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?

SHELLSHOCK LULLABY: I was born in Glendale, Arizona while my dad was in the air force, but I’ve lived the vast majority of my live in Butte, Montana.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?

SHELLSHOCK LULLABY: I started playing acoustic guitar and singing when my uncle, John Montoya, bought me my first guitar for my 8th birthday. My uncle then started teaching me all of my favorite classic rock and 90’s alternative rock songs (Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox 20, Gin Blossoms, etc…). After awhile, I began learning more instruments like electric guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. Around 12-14 years old I developed a taste for pop punk/emo music that was popular at the time. In 2007, I decided to refine my craft at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. I graduated with an Associates in Guitar Performance Arts with honors. While in Hollywood, I joined a band called Skyrocket Love. Skyrocket Love eventually fizzled out and I began my own solo project, Shellshock Lullaby. Since then I’ve recorded 3 EP’s with SSL and performed many live shows including opening for bands like .38 Special and Black Flag. Currently, I also teach guitar classes, pep band and general music at Butte Central Catholic Schools.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?

SHELLSHOCK LULLABY: I love the opportunity to be creative and make something new and original that is truly me expressing myself. Its very therapeutic for me as well. Many times when I’m writing a song, I have no idea what its about. I just put words and syllables to a melody until I’m happy with how it sounds. Then when I read it back, its usually about some obstacle I’ve been struggling to overcome in life or just something really significant in my life at the time. Its kind of freaky… its like on a sub conscience level but it helps me identify the problems then work on it or just figure out what’s important in my life. Also I love to put myself out there to the world and share what I have to offer.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?

SHELLSHOCK LULLABY: Title for Shellshock Lullaby’s new EP (Shades of Grey) was chosen to help describe the plight of current sociological approaches to life and the destruction that duality causes in our everyday lives. People tend to see life as a construct of black and white, this way or that, wrong or right while completely ignoring the entire spectrum of possibility in between those 2 extremes. The songs on this release relate to the emotions that all people feel in between the polar ends of life’s emotional spectrum and help to provide solace in the realization that we should embrace everything we feel no matter how “good, bad or indifferent” it may seem to others. The realization that all is one and all is related is a concept that many ignore but it is the basis of our existence.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who is your fan base directed towards?

SHELLSHOCK LULLABY: My music is really for anyone that enjoys it. Men and women from 12-60 have bought my albums and come to my shows. The genre is punk pop so those who enjoy bands like Green Day, Blink 182, New Found Glory, Fallout Boy would probably like SSL. Also most of this music was written in my early to mid twenties about me learning about life and essentially growing up. I think people going though that same phase of their life or just enjoy reminiscing about that part of their life would appreciate SSL music.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?

SHELLSHOCK LULLABY: I listen to a very wide variety of music from 80’s hair to instrumental guitarists like Andy Mckee and Dave Martone. However, I came up enjoying lots of 90’s alternative rock and pop punk music. That tends to be my favorite and the type of music I choose to create. My top influences are bands like Coheed and Cambria, the Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day, Dashboard Confessional, New Found Glory, Alkaline Trio etc… I love the trippiness the depth of 90’s alternative rock but the bouncy tempo the aggressiveness of pop punk.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?

SHELLSHOCK LULLABY: If you mixed 2000’s pop punk with post grunge 90’s alternative rock, then throw in an occasional 80’s metal influenced guitar solo and acoustic coffee house style rhythm guitar, you’d have something close to Shellshock Lullaby.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?

SHELLSHOCK LULLABY: As much as Shellshock Lullaby fits into the pop punk genre, if you listen to the music, it really is something new and original. The music appeals to a very wide age gap of both men and women. Also I am not afraid to broaden my horizons by experimenting with other styles of music. If you listen to SSL music you will hear more than just standard pop punk. For example, I worked for months on a trance EDM remix of my latest single “All I Need” with DJ James Louviere until we all thought it was just right and we’ve receive great feedback from both pop punk and EDM fans.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?

SHELLSHOCK LULLABY: I just filmed an acoustic cover of “Monster” by Matchbox Romance with singer/songwriter, Maiah Wynne. It will be on YouTube in the very near future. Also I have a full length acoustic album titled ‘A Lighter Shade’ due in mid June featuring 2 guess artists.

IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

SHELLSHOCK LULLABY: 10 years I would like to have a gold album, a hit single and be touring the world with Shellshock Lulllaby. Eventually I’d love to be on par with bands like Green Day. It’s truly my ultimate goal in life.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?

SHELLSHOCK LULLABY: You can hear/buy my music at the website https://shellshocklullaby.com or https://facebook.com/shellshocklullaby if you prefer. You can contact me at my website or email me at shellshocklullaby@gmail.com











  1. A lot of people in Butte identify as “musicians” but few actually go out of their way to do it. One of the rare cases here, he’s shown his motivation and dedication to his projects. It is a strange kind of pop punk that resembles a new breed of the genre. I remember hearing Green Day during a relatively sunny, but cooled air day in the suburbs. I think that is probably the same atmosphere I feel when I listen to Shellshock Lullaby. It is equal amounts of nostagia and yearning for the same experience once it has passed.

  2. One of the finest young musicians I have met. I have been following Russ’s music for a number of years now. I have his first couple releases and can’t wait to pickup his newest “Lighter Shades of Grey.” Russ has become a great friend, since I first met him opening for my friend’s band. I have watched him grow as a musician and as a young man. He keeps getting better. I look forward to seeing how far he can grow and supporting him all the way to the top.

  3. I encourage everyone to check out this SSL, every song I have heard has been exceptionally written, Russell’s voice, the music and the lyrics flow beautifully, definitely going to be one of my favorite new album this year

  4. Having both watched Russ perform and getting to play shows with him has been awesome! Hands down one of the best musicians I’ve seen in Montana!

  5. How awesome is this?! I’ve actually known Russell since grade school. He was crazy talented then too! I remember Russel performing for the whole school for the talent show in the third or fourth grade. He sang “ain’t even done with the night” by (I believe) John Cougar Mellencamp and blew the minds of every single person in the audience that day! Shell shock lullably is amazing! I’m so excited for Russel and the incredible adventure he has ahead of himself! Keep up the awesome work!

  6. This dude is breathing a breath of fresh air into the genre and has killer vocal harmonies. KILLER VOCAL HARMONIES, I SAID! Stoked that he’s doing things and can’t wait to hear more. ??

  7. Having had a chance to jam with this guy a time or two, I can tell you that Russ and SSL puts it out hard and solid in the first, then soft and subtle in the next. Impressive, versatile performances everytime we’ve seen him and the band play. If you want something different from the mainstream, go check this out- you won’t be disappointed at all.

  8. OMG Russell Nelson is so fucking hot!!!!!!!! I’m gonna jump on stage and rape him!!!! I don’t care if I go to jail cuz it’ll be worth it!!!!!!

  9. This dude is legit! I’ve known him for many years and got to watch his start as a 7th grade student of mine in English class
    (he was already a rock star then) and knew great things were in store. Keep up the good work, Russ! Always behind you 100%!

  10. Russ, It has been a real joy to see you develop your talents over the years. Your vision to pursue your dream has been an inspiration to me personally and I know many others have had their lives enriched by you also.

    • Russ, I can’t think of a better way to share your life with others than to put it down in a song. Even more amazing is how you have decided to dedicate your entire life to follow a dream and do what so many others fall short of’; to make your dream come true. You are a great inspiration! KEEP ON KEEPING ON!

    • Hey, Mich. Thank you so much for all of your support and help though the year. I’m really looking forward to our recording session this summer. Get in touch with me. Take care.

  11. Russ is an amazing musician!! Very talented and diverse, ranging in all aspects of musical talent. An inspiration for musicians and the kids he teaches at Central as well. Proud to know you Russ and hope your talent takes you far! 🙂

  12. Great work on your new album. Your going to be a valuable asset to the music industry and your fans. Keep up the good work.

  13. Russell is an amazing musician but his song are lyrically and instrumentally genius. He interacts with his fans as friends that is something that is a pure and genuine example of an amazing artist.

  14. Great job Russ! It has always made me proud to watch your musical journey. You keep getting better with each passing day and I am very proud of all the things you have been able to accomplish so far.

  15. Dude ,I miss jamming with you. It’s always a pleasure to work with such accomplished musicians as yourself
    I want to be like you when I grow up………..If that ever that happens.
    Don’t stop doing what you do Mr Nelson, that would cheat the world.

    Da Kat

  16. Great sounds, Russel! Love the song-“I’ve walked that Road”-often times our best stuff comes from our heart history! Keep sharing your amazing gifts! I can’t wait to hear more songs AND to meet you soon!!

    • Thank you, Georgia, I really appreciate it. I’m really glad you dig ‘I’ve Walked That Road.’ There is a new acoustic version of it on the new album coming out on the 15th. Hope you dig that version as well. Take care 🙂

  17. I thoroughly enjoy SSL. I love the creative elements you bring to your music and your vision to take it to the next level.

  18. OMG! It’s like, THE Russell Nelson!!!! So excited for and proud of you!!!!! From day one it’s been your dream to make it big, and you are well on your way. I’ve been fortunate to have a front row seat to watching and supporting you since we met in high school. I’ll always wish you well and have lots of love for you! You have put in the work to perfect your craft and truly are a professional! I encouraged you to grow, spread your wings, and I love watching you fly! A true gem of a person, friend, father, etc. I’m so thrilled to have been a part of your journey and to continue to watch you grow. ♥️♥️♥️ congratulations!!!!

    • Thank you, Katie, I really appreciate your friendship and support thought the years. And its great to see you and Matt doing so well. Natalie is adorable btw. Take care and always keep in touch 🙂

  19. “Everyone wants to see you do well, but never better than them.” This quote is very relatable, especially within the music industry. Russ defies that ordinary statement. His pleasant demeanor, uplifting energy, and creativity shines within his projects. There’s always some form of internal conflict that Artists go through, when it comes to the level of vulnerability that they allow to show within their work. I think Shellshock Lullaby’s raw lyrics and tone of individual songs can be greatly appreciated for a diverse audience. It’s great seeing and hearing about your journey as an artist. Cheers, my friend!

  20. The only thing hotter than Russell Nelson is every single thing the man does musically. If there’s a woman out there without a crush on the musical genius, that’s a woman that hasn’t heard of him yet. He inspires the uninspirable and moves the soul of the soulless. Love ya crazy Russ!!

  21. Russ you have always been such a hard worker and I’m so happy to see all that hard work paying off for you! I hope the dream only continues for you and that the road only gets better as you go! May your path be blessed with every step you take, keep it up man!

  22. Russ, last time I heard you, you were singing and playing great! I am glad you are working so hard on music. Music is where you belong!

    • Thank you, Dale, but you are the real master. Thank you for your help and guidance at MI and outside. Your one of the finest musicians I’ve ever met. Still jamming to your album. Keep making great music. Take care.

  23. Russ you have always been an awesome musician. So proud of everything you have accomplished! Keep up all the great work 🙂 looking forward to seeing what great things you accomplish!!

  24. Russ is an amazing artist with so much talent! We love his original music as well as his takes on any classic. Looking forward to seeing Russ hit the big time!

  25. Good job Russ!!! Over a year ago you messaged me telling me to check out your music and still to this day I dont regret it!!! Don’t forget to tell me when your touring in Washington so I can see you live XD

  26. Russel, you are one of the coolest people I have ever met and I am blessed to have spent time with you. I wish you amazing tidings and joy in your near and distant future.

    • Thank you, Tom. Actually Scot Alexander of Dishwalla had hand in writing Crimson Sky, Waiting For a Lie, and Who’s To Blame. He also played bass on those songs. It was a great honor.

  27. Looking forward to hearing your new material and seeing more SSL. I always enjoy your performances. Keep the music coming our way.

  28. Great article. It only scratches the surface on how truly genius and talented Russ is as a musician. All that talent is wrapped up in one of the most genuine humble young men I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. Keep up the great work Russ.

  29. Russell you have a great influnce on me man. You’re one talented guy I am proud you are a part of the this music scene. You are one of my heroes and I really do look up to you. Thanks man!

  30. You are very talented Russ. Love listening to your music and what you have accomplish with the high school kids. Keep up the great work.

    • Hey Tom, thank you. You’re very talented yourself. Love catching your gig when I can around town keep up the great work 🙂 Stop by the release party this Wednesday at HeadFrames in you’re free. Take care.

  31. It’s so great to see one of the hardest working, most talented musicians I know getting some good exposure! Congrats, Russ! Can’t wait for the new album!

  32. Not only is Russ incredibly talented, but even more amazing than his talent is the person he is. Russ is such a great person. He is kind, friendly, sincere, genuine, and honest. You can count on the fact that whenever you see him, he will never pass up the opportunity to say hello and always has a smile on his face. Russ is seriously just a great guy who is also incredibly talented.

  33. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work with Russ Nelson. He brings incredibly fresh ideas to the writing table and his musicality is top notch. Russ, you are ‘the quill’. RCP

    • Thank you so much. That’s quite a compliment coming from you, Ric. It was awesome working with you in Denver. I think we wrote some great tunes. Please take care and keep in touch.

  34. Such an awesome band with amazing artists! Russ keep perusing your passion! Your such a great guy with an incredible talent! I know you will go far 🙂

  35. Russell is an amazing guy who cares alot for his music and music in general, I can’t help but admire the guy! He works hard to reach out to people through his music and gives his all and then some. Let’s face it life would be so boring and dull without music, his music. I wish you the best of luck Russell, I know you’ll succeed!!!!

  36. Really enjoy this music. Broken Smile is definitely way up there on my list of favorite songs. The music is nice easy listening but it still has some great energy behind it driving the music.

    • Thank you, Tristan. I really appreciate it bud. Wow Broken Smile. Surprised anyone remembers that one lol. Great you dig it man. You take care and keep making music as well 🙂

  37. Absolutely amazing buddy and don’t stop because you already got it my friend your a ROCKS TAR THROUGH AND THROUGH LOVE IT THAT

    • Thank you very much, Michael. Love watching you play as well and it’s always a blast to share and stage with you. You’re a great talent bud. Lets out something together soon 🙂

  38. OMG! I’m so proud to be one of your students, Russ! I can’t wait to see what you do in the future! You’re so amazing!!!! XOXO Rock on Russ

    • Thank you so much. Annie. Btw I’m way proud to be you’re teacher. You and the girls in the Butte Central Pep Band are Bad Arse!!! Can’t wait to see you girl take the stage at Evel Knievel Days this year!! 🙂

  39. Moved this article Russ. Your talent is more refined and amazing today than ever. So much passion for your playing singing and band. Definately working toward the talent and versatility of Prince or Dave Grohl! Keep on doing what your doing!

  40. Enjoyed the article. Proud to be your fellow Montanan. Hope to actually met you one day. Maybe on the stage. Many Blessings to you on your journey <3

    • Thank you so much for checking this out, Tim. You’re awesome man. You’re a huge inspiration for me and all Montana musician. Please keep make awesome music and kick in arse dude!! I see ya at Evel Days 🙂

  41. Congrats Russell! Your a true artist and I cant wait to see where this takes you! Amazing article and cant wait for the new music! Come play Vegas soon, we’ll remember all those “fun” times in that “band” haha!

  42. Great interview! Thank you again for playing at my daughters graduation party! Amazing musician and incredible voice. Never give up on your dreams, you will definitely make it to the top!!

  43. Greatest talent I’ve ever seen in ages! Love the style and the music! Looking forward to seeing you take on the masses with your vibe 😀

  44. Since meeting Russell several years ago he has always had a deep passion for music. He loves performing and writing his own stuff and he has an amazing talent for it too. He has always been a great friend and I have spent many weekends attending his shows to help support him in his dream. Russell is a wonderful and passionate person and deserves to have his dream come true. Keep up the good work Russell, and never give up on your dream. I just know you will make it big one day.

  45. Since I have met Russell, he is one of the hardest, most unique, most creative artist I have ever met! Keep up the wonderful work, Russell!!

  46. Great work getting so far Russell, every time you come to the Party Palace in Butte, MT, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed Shellshock Lullaby. You’re a great musician/vocalist, you have an awesome sound and an abundance of musical talent, but most importantly, you treat you’re fans with respect, a quality that is appreciated. In retrospect you’ve done very well bravo good sir!

  47. For as long as I can remember Russ has been rocking it out in the musical world. He’s great at what he does and truly is a wonderful entertainer. This guy is definitely going places! ?

  48. Nice interview! You have always been a great musician and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you! Love SSL

  49. Awesome job….LOVE your music and the interview….keep following your dreams…looking forward to buying tickets to your concerts… My daughter likes your music she is 17…

  50. Solid work Boss! It’s always a pleasure listening to you play! Best of luck, and looking forward to more and more great music.

  51. I have met very few people in Montana who are as talented as Russ. He’s been an inspiration to me in music and in life. I can’t’ wait to see and hear what new music he bring to us! -Mikayla 🙂

  52. Great interview. Great music. It’s hard not to become a fan after hearing them. Would love to see them in concert. ??????

    • Thank you, Alex 🙂 it’s great to see you and Owen at HeadFrames distillery every Wednesday. Especially yesterday at the release. You and Mel helped make that awesome. Thank you 🙂

    • Thank you, Curtis. You’re the real deal man. As a musician, a fitness guru, and a person. Keep on keeping on dude. You’re serious one of the coolest people I know. Keep in touch and take care

  53. I’ve known Russ for about 10 year know, nicest guy again, proud of his roots, I’m really happy he is finally getting noticed, from his music to his personality, I would hands down say he is one of the best musicians and overall people I know. Good luck Russ! Keep dreaming big! Proud of you brother!

    • Thank you for all your support, Mac. Wow 10 eh… Crazy!! Lol. Keep hitting the gym and following your dreams as well man and I know you’ll go far. Always keep in touch and take care.

  54. It’s an inspiration to see such a talented musician making his dreams and aspirations become reality! I’m looking forward to the CD and to watching you become a major musical force.

    • Thank you for all of your support, Diana. I really appreciate it. The new album is now available:) here is a link to check it out. Hope you dig it https//:sslofficial.com/a-lighter-shade

  55. A rare, inspirational talent. Whitney and I are very proud to know you, Russ. Keep working hard and doin’ your thing, and you can accomplish anything.

  56. Russell! From where you came from to where you are now is fantastic and amazing. You are smashing things and doing so well.
    I fully support everything you do, keep it going because you’re getting bigger and bigger! Let me know when you’re touring the UK ;).

    Nice going man!

    • Thank you for your friendship and support from the very beginning, Hugo. I really appreciate it. I to tour the UK hope to meet you in person in the very near future. Take care and always keep in touch 🙂

  57. Been following Shellshock for a few years now, and I absolutely love his stuff. Especially his voice, there’s something about it that just resonates with me. Really wanna see him tour overseas in England sometime!

    • Thank you, John. I’m really glad you enjoy the music 🙂 Also thank you for the great videos. You do brilliant work. I hope to tour England soon and meet you in person. Take care.