Tracey Shug

Shug, Off-Ramp 1995

Shug, Off-Ramp 1995

Tracey Shug grew up in a family with no musical talent, but great appreciaters of music. Her mother was a hippy with an extensive record collection including Zeppelin, Stones, The Who, Steppenwolf, Beatles and Elton John. Her grandparents loved Elvis and classic country, which was fitting as she spent much of her childhood on her grandparent’s farm.

As a tomboy and athlete at an early age, Tracey was a gymnast, softball and volleyball player and horseback rider. This all changed when she hit puberty and got her first guitar.  She took “classical” lessons because it was the only way she could talk her parents into letting her have musical training since they disapproved of the rock ‘n roll lifestyle that was very appealing to young Tracey.

She was introduced to punk rock and metal by her neighborhood friend and the rocker guys in school and would often go to shows in Everett, Washington to see bands like Mace, The Accussed and Coven. “When other girls were going to dances and dating, I would be in my room on a Friday night listening to records and playing guitar,” recalls Tracey.

After high school she moved out of her parent’s home and enrolled at local college for their radio program.  A full time job at a record store ensued, so she quit college and decided that selling records and going to see concerts with backstage passes for FREE was a better alternative!

Soon, she started playing in a band formed with a girlfriend  which they called Peter Rabbit. Their first show was at the Jewel Box Theater in 1989. When that band ended, she formed an all girl melodic punk band called Rag. Tracey booked a DIY tour out of Maximum Rock n Roll in 1993 and went on tour with LA band Centerville. Rag went through some lineup changes and eventually morphed into Tracey’s main band Shug with Susan Larsen, Maria Mabra and Paula Sen. Shug played shows and toured up and down the West Coast and performed with Joan Jett, 7 Year Bitch and the Presidents of the United States. From 93-97 Shug performed often times two shows a week and supported the local scene by attending shows promoting their friend’s bands.  Tracey moved to NYC and then settled in Nashville in 1998.  She wrote a lot of music and had a solo project until forming the band La Diabla.

In 2001, Tracey moved to San Francisco and became immersed in a career in commercial insurance, commissioned a softball league, managed a men’s semi pro baseball team and volunteered at a Buddhist run hospice.  The insurance career was crushing her soul, so she decided to move back home to Seattle in 2007 and follow her dream of working in the restaurant world and to play music again. She opened her own café, which closed in July of 2012.  She is now working for her father’s start up company and found some women to play music with. They are currently writing material for a new project. She also hosts a rock n roll trivia night with Megan Cookies at Hattie’s Hat in the Ballard neighborhood.

Songs from Shug vs. Cockpit


Band Title Released
Rag Junk 7″ 1992
Shug w/ Christien Storm Heart of a Dog/My Hope 7″ 1994
Shug vs. Cockpit Shug vs. Cockpit (Split Record) 1995
Tracey Shug Liquor Stores and Dixie Whores EP 1999

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