Any musician you talk to that is familiar with Shellshag regularly uses one word to describe these DIY stalwarts: Inspiring. Over the years, the duo has grown into Brooklyn’s answer to Dead Moon, transcending the simple label of “a band” and becoming an institution in their own right. They are true out-and-out lifers, in it for the long haul, and a reminder that perseverance is key in any artistic endeavor.
While many of their fans were too young to have even heard about “punk” in the mid-90s, Jen Shagawat was already running the infamous Starcleaner Warehouse in San Francisco, an integral part of the city’s independent music scene, and playing in a number of Bay Area bands. In the meantime, John “Shellhead” Driver was touring throughout the country with his band 50 Million and penning songs for his stripped down acoustic project, some of which would later be re-worked as Shellshag staples and crowd favorites.
After meeting in the Mission in the late ‘90s, romance ensued, as did their music together, and the two have never parted. With each LP and every tour that has taken them across the US and back again, Shellshag have proven that they cannot only survive in a changing music industry, ethics intact, but can thrive as underground musicians without compromise.
– Zach Gajaworski