About the Band

What would Caribbean pirates sing if they were alive today?


LAST VOYAGE OF THE BLACK BETTY is the definitive example of classic pirate music dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. From the tribal beating-to-death of garbage cans and other invented percussion instruments to funky rhythm guitar and accordion solos, if you are a pirate fan, you will not be disappointed. The formula isn’t complicated; mix a little Blackbeard, a little music technology and a good dose of insanity and, voila, you get Rustmonster: a unique band that writes and records strictly pirate music.

The History of Rustmonster

2004 – Rustmonster is born. A group of lifelong friends and musicians decided it was time to depart from standard music genres and write original pirate music.The first song written by Rustmonster was BOSUN’S SONG. It was an immediate love among the band. Soon everyone contributed material. Anything goes was, and still is, the philosophy. How would pirates sound if they did funk? How would pirates sound if they did Yiddish music? How would a pirate lounge singer sound? What about rap? The answers to all these questions were manifested in Rustmonster’s first album, an all-original pirate music experience called LAST VOYAGE OF THE BLACK BETTY (2006).

Rustmonster debuted their new material at a well-attended Independence Day celebration in 2004. The audience loved it. Members of the band loved it. It became quickly apparent that Rustmonster would be around for a while. For many members of the band, though they have been in and out of other musical endeavors–everything from heavy metal to country–Rustmonster has become their favorite musical experience to date.

Rustmonster – Goals and Accomplishments

craigrob3Rustmonster exists for one purpose: the musical enjoyment of its members. Most members of the Rustmonster band have been involved in many musical endeavors. Too often, as demand for gigs, recording deadlines, and other factors, turn musical endeavors into more work than fun. Members of Rustmonster never want music to become work again. The music is written to be fun to play. If audiences latch onto the music, and they seem to, that is just gravy. Rustmonster limits gigs to a minimum—perhaps 4 a year. This is in an effort to keep the Rustmonster project fun and to not turn it into drudgery. However, Rusmonster loves performing live. They love to play for audiences that laugh, scream, and dance.

Rustmonster’s main goal is to continue recording entertaining, pirate-themed music for as long as it remains interesting to them.

Song Trivia

Some of Rustmonster’s songs have meaning or interesting stories associated to them. A list is below:

Sheet Anchor of a Young Sea Officer – This song was the answer to a question; how would a pirate approach rap and funk? The words to this song are taken straight from a nautical text, first published in the 18th century. The book is called The Young Sea Officer’s Sheet Anchor. The words are read straight from the book over a James Brown-ish groove.

Last Voyage: Acts I, II, and III – The album, Last Voyage of the Black Betty is divided into 3 acts. It outlines the story of Captain Stark, a treacherous pirate and his sworn enemy, Captain Henry Ramos. The story is fictional. In actuality, members of the band felt that the music sounded more like a musical soundtrack than a rock album. They decided to roll it into a story. Acts I, II, and III were written after all songs were recorded, then the songs were dropped into a logical order that seemed to follow the story.

Act II: The Fall of Halmstad – The spoken text in Act II: The Fall of Halmstad outlines Captain Stark’s attack on the city of Halmstad, how he ordered it burned to the ground and looted. This is partially based on a historical event. Halmstad is a real city, located in Sweden. In 1619, there was a devastating fire that burned most of the city to the ground, though this fire was most likely not caused by pirates.

The Hempen Jig – This song was based on a loose code to which pirates adhered. There were laws; and to those laws, there were assigned consequences. Not many transgressions were punishable by death. However, if a man tried to smuggle a woman on board, disguised as a man, he was hung by the neck from the main yard, or said to dance the hempen jig.

Rowing Down the River of Men – Each verse of this song is based on the life of a real pirate; Ann Boney, Stede Bonnet, and William Kidd (Captain Kidd). Each of these pirates was executed for his/her profession and said, by Rustmonster, to be sent rowing down the river of men.

Future Rustmonster Projects

aaronrick1Rustmonster is diligently recording songs for a third album, to be completed later in 2009-2010. Some song titles to be included are; Ship of Zombies, Fear Him, and Empty Cannons. Though the album is yet untitled, it will continue the story told on their second album, Flight of the Filthy Vicar.

Members of Rustmonster hold a yearly film festival called The Gangrene Film Festival. Each year the festival takes on a new theme. In 2007 the festival is called THE GANGRENE FILM FESTIVAL: PIECES OF 8. It had an all pirate theme, complete with stage props, music, films, and hilarious theatrics. Go to www.gangreneproductions.com for more details.

Leave a Reply