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 email@example.com
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