Q&A with PUSH
A band hailing from Long Island, N.Y., called PUSH, will be playing at The Cell Block, 154 W. Third St., Saturday. Performing since the early 2000s, the band has faced a few lineup changes before they became the five-piece band they are today.
Described on their website as a party powerhouse band that “rocks the dance floor like the DJS in Ibiza,” PUSH will rock The Cell Block with surprises by artists such as songs by Macklemore and Imagine Dragons. The Sun-Gazette recently spoke with singer Danny Mahoney about the bands past, present and the future show they will be putting on at The Cell Block.
SB: Where is the band PUSH originally from?
DM: PUSH is based out of Long Island, N.Y.
SB: What songs will you be performing when you visit The Cell Block on Saturday?
DM: We’ve got a lot of great, current music to play. You can look forward to hearing radio cuts of house and EDM hits like “Don’t Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia, “Clarity” by Zedd and Foxes and “Sweet Nothing” by Calvin Harris and Florence Welch. We also have some surprises planned with songs by artists like Macklemore and Imagine Dragons. And the best damn 90s medley ever. We’re really excited about it.
SB: Who makes up PUSH, and what roles does everyone play in the band?
DM: The band consists of founding members Jordan and John on drums and bass respectively, James on guitar, and Gel and me splitting lead vocal duties. We all play other roles as well. Jordan is our captain, handling the business end and logistics. I run the website, social media outlets and all the graphic design and audio engineering work. James, John and Gel handle the ever evolving list of other jobs that present themselves to the band. We’re all very busy.
SB: How did the five of you decide to form the band, when did you guys form and what has been your driving force to keep going ever since?
DM: Jordan and John have been playing together in various bands for many years. They founded a very different version of PUSH in the early 2000s.
After years of fine-tuning the personnel and some very auspicious timing, we’ve got the perfect lineup. The band’s energy, talent, vision and chemistry give motivation for each of us to continue. Frankly, we love each other. This is a great way to spend time with your favorite people.
SB: You are described on your website as an “energetic, rocking, party powerhouse.” How do you all keep the energy moving throughout the night?
DM: We drive each other. We feed off of each other’s energy. I see Gel as one of the best front people on the scene right now and I pour everything I have into being on that level. I think it’s contagious. I’m really proud of the live show we’ve built for exactly that reason.
SB: Your website also mentions you use custom made set pieces. What kind of pieces?
DM: I designed, and our awesome friends at kidchinogoods.com produced two 6-by-6 stage scrims that we carry with us. Along with our continuously updated light show and some good looking blokes, we think it makes for a pretty great visual show.
SB: Where have your favorite places been that you have all performed at?
DM: We can’t agree on this one! We love our venues all over. Boston and Killington are incredible. Hometown shows on Long Island with the people who’ve been supporting us from day one are great. It’s always amazing when we play the Jersey Shore, where I’m from. Billy Joe’s in Newburgh, N.Y., is an amazing venue where they immediately made us feel like family. We all have favorites, but no consensus. We can’t wait to debut at The Cell Block, though. My friends in the Pa. scene tell me the people who party there will put it right at the top of that list. We’re stoked.
SB: The name PUSH seems very fitting for the club-popping music you guys play. How did you guys come up with it?
DM: Haha! Great question. Questionably good answer: After a band meeting consisting of a long and unsuccessful night at the bar drinking and making lists of possible names, a former member stumbled toward the bar door to get to his cab. He pulled and pulled on the door, but he couldn’t get it open. The bartender shook his head and yelled, “Dude, PUSH!”
We had our name.
SB: Has it been a difficult journey playing in a band for the time you all have been playing together?
DM: Not even a little bit. The “hard” parts – the struggle … the long drives, the arguments with loved one’s about travel and the rainy, late night load outs – all of that amounts to war stories I tell with a huge smile on my face. Fueled by our love for what we’re doing and by our love for each other, nothing could make me see this as “a difficult journey.” It’s a dream we can’t believe is real.
SB: Who would you say are your biggest influences and inspirations for the band?
DM: We all love stuff that has nothing to do with what we are playing. I’m afraid if we tell on ourselves, we’ll scare off our demographic! We love very technical, instrumentally virtuosic bands, and we do infuse that into the dance sets we play, but our show is firmly focused on modern dance music. Only the musicians in the crowd will notice the other stuff. Gel’s love of the clubs steered us in this direction, and we all love it now.
SB: How long for will you guys be touring this year?
DM: We travel in spurts rather than hitting the road for any duration, so it’ll be all year long with more dates in the summer. We’ll do easily over one hundred shows this year booking that way.
SB: When you were all younger, did you all think you would be playing in a band for a living?
DM: We’ve actually had this conversation. For each of us, it’s been a fantasy we never REALLY thought we’d live out to get to where we are now. James went to school for guitar, so he’s the exception, but across the board, music has been part of our little American dreams for all of our lives.
SB: What has it been like to play many shows in a short amount of time, and do you ever wish that you could slow down for a little while?
DM: I think everybody’s pretty happy with our pace. If I could just sing all day, every day, I would. Everybody needs a break sometime, but I have no desire to slow down at all.
For more information about PUSH, visit www.push-band.com.