The last time Nick Shelton went on tour, he was living in Chicago and about to play a show in Detroit when his band’s entire rig was stolen. Now the frontman for Vegas-based Americana-punk band Eliza Battle, Shelton had time to reconcile his former group’s abrupt end. “Someone stole our trailer and every piece of gear—all of our merchandise—everything. We were just never really able to recover. I was 27 or 28, and I was like, what am I doing?” Shelton left music and began working in the casino business, which eventually led him to Vegas.
Eliza Battle, whose lineup also includes guitarist Chris Bitonti (a Weekly contributor), bassist Sal Giordano, drummer Chris Berg and vocalist Tina Dawn, is gearing up for its first tour—a West Coast run that starts in Victorville, California, on August 14 and ends in Flagstaff, Arizona, nine days layer. The band also recently dropped its first release, a 7-inch titled Cheers to That, digitally at Bandcamp and on vinyl (royal blue for the first 500 copies).
“‘Cheers to That’ is a really important song to me,” Shelton says. “I wrote it eight or nine years ago, and it was one of those perfect storms. I think I wrote the whole song in five minutes, walking from work to the Brown Line [in Chicago] to go home. When I started Eliza Battle, it just kinda took on a new life. It’s sort of the iconic song of the band, so it was definitely the obvious choice for the leadoff single.”
Cheers is out now, but Shelton suggests you pocket the shipping fee and pick one up in person at Eliza’s all-ages release party, August 19 at Vinyl. The band also plays Punks in Vegas’ four-year anniversary party August 1 at Alternate Reality Comics.