Happy Holidays! Love, The Push
Get ready: their holiday video is coming your way Friday, and there’s a concert in the works in the New Year
It’s that time of year again when we start making our annual mad dashes to the shopping malls for last minute gifts, to post offices to mail important packages and to grocery stores for forgotten ingredients to prepare ourselves for the impending arrival of the holiday.
It’s also becoming a tradition in The 570 for the arrival of a new Christmas video from the fictional rock royalty act, The Push. Jim Reynolds and Timothy McDermott have been providing these musical productions for several years, giving viewers their comedic take on holiday classics such as “Last Christmas,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”, and many more. Not only will The Push debut their latest holiday video at www.thepushrock.com on Friday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m., they will release their debut record, Greatest hits Volume One, with a special concert production on Jan. 5 at TwentyFiveEight Studios in Scranton.
We recently caught up with Jim and Tim and talked about the stocking stuffers The Push have to offer this holiday season.
What are your musical backgrounds?
Jim: What got me started loving music is my dad. He was in bands even before I was born. From the time I was two or three years old, he brought me to practices and I remember looking up at everybody and seeing guitars, drums and the equipment. I remember looking up at my dad’s reel to reel machines and seeing the meters and the reel spinning back and forth. It was amazing to me. I also remember the feeling of just being a kid and putting headphones on; as soon as they were on, I was in another world.
Tim: I don’t have that kind of a history. I always wanted to be the center of attention. The earliest way was, “I’ll learn an instrument.” So I learned saxophone when I was in third grade.
You see a lot of third graders playing saxophone.
Tim: Yeah! I was Cannonball Adderley when I was in third grade. I stopped at some point and took guitar lessons. My ability peaked at least 20 years ago.
Talk about your friendship aside from music.
Tim: We’ve been friends since first grade. We didn’t start doing anything musically until sixth grade. I learned guitar and Jim was learning how to use his dad’s reel to reel machine, so we made these horrible recordings.
Jim: We were called The Beards. We did horrendous Beatles covers. John Lennon must have just got tired from spinning in his grave. I had one karaoke microphone plugged straight into the tape with our prepubescent voices
Tim: Lots of voices cracking.
Jim: When everyone else would be doing other things on Friday and Saturday nights, we preferred to be at my house drinking root beer, eating pretzels and recording. From the time we started doing music together to now; I don’t even look at it as recording music. I look at it like Tim and I hanging out. Who else has something to show from all the time they hung out with their friend?
Tim: We have a record.
Jim: The music we play now is for the sake of having fun and the music reflects that; not only in our videos, but in anything we do. We always have an element where if you get music, you’re going to laugh a little bit.
Tim: We’re trying to make each other laugh the whole time.
Jim: We’re trying to one up another.
Now you’re making music as The Push. How has the band evolved?
Tim: As the years went on, it turned more into the technical side where I would start reading the same books and articles as Jim about how The Beatles recorded things. I think our interests started out playing their songs and started going into “how can we make those sounds?” We’re both Hall and Oates fans, Journey and Boston and all of the mustache bands.
Jim: We’re big fans of sounds in the background. In Beatles songs, you might hear it 50,000 times, but if you listen to one second by chance, you might hear a cough or a background vocal bleed that’s gone. We like to keep that element. If you go through individual tracks, you might hear bits of something else or a sound that might make us laugh.
Tim: In our minds, we’re thinking that someone is going to get these multi-tracks in the future and they are going to go down in history.
How would you describe your sound?
Tim: We started recording like “here’s a funny song that sounds like it’s from the late ’70s.” The more we did that, the more the project took shape. Basically, the album is called Greatest Hits Volume One. The Push is a fictional band. We tried to track the career of a fictional band from the late ’70s to the early ’80s in 10 songs.
Jim: A real rock band from the ’70s had to evolve with the ‘80s or they would have been forgotten. I would describe our sound more as a concept rather than a sound. It depends on what point in history we are trying to look at.
Tim: That’s pretty funny. We’re not a sound. We’re a concept.
Jim: This is a cliché drum beat. Let’s do a cliché chord pattern and let’s put some cliché words on top of it.
How serious do you take it?
Jim: That’s a tough question.
Tim: We’re not taking it as joke. We were in the beginning.
Jim: Without joking, it would be over because its foundation is in joking. All we do is laugh when we’re together.
Tim: One thing we talked about is that we think it’s funny because The Push is such a sincere band. They think they are writing these words that mean a lot. We think it’s hilarious.
Jim: Wait. What rhymes with…
Tim: “Tonight”. Oh yeah. “Alright!”
There is also this attitude that all you know how to make are hit songs. Talk about where that approach came from.
Tim: I think it was from the first night we were recording. We do this thing were we pretend we’re being interviewed by Barbara Walters. We just started making up these catch phrases. We found it funny to pretend to be arrogant about our music.
Jim: I feel like it’s an alter ego. Even when we are recording and in the way we coach each other.
Tim: If you could be a fly on the wall when we are recording, the joke doesn’t stop.
Where did the idea of the Christmas videos come from?
Jim: One song we recorded was called “When Push Comes to Shove”. It was around Christmas time. We were like “let’s do a video and make our friends laugh.” Our close circle of friends liked it and wanted us to do another video. The following year, we did a video for “Last Christmas”. The following year, our friends demanded another one and now it’s to the point where we are getting thousands of views on YouTube. I’ve been recognized by strangers in restaurants as the guy from the Christmas videos. I think it’s pretty cool that word has spread locally.
Tim: We are doing something a little bit different this year.
Jim: We needed something to refresh ourselves. Everybody wants a video and we don’t want to let anybody down, but it’s tough to live up to every year.
You are finally releasing Greatest Hits Volume One after all these years. Talk about the record.
Jim: They’re all my favorite songs or they wouldn’t be on the album.
Tim: We put a lot of detail into every single song. And every single song contains a reference to a different song or a different band.
Jim: Even the way it’s mixed is from that era. It can be slipped into a record collection from that time period unnoticed.
Tell me about the record release concert.
Tim: The Vintage is producing the show at TwentyFiveEight Studios. People can visit www.thepushrock.com for tickets. It’s all ages and open to the public. We’ve set up an email address (email@example.com) for people who want to pay at the door. We are trying to create a myth of this fictional band. We’re having a big light show and Graces Downfall and Farley will open the show. We will have CDs for sale.
Jim: You can get them autographed, too.
What are your plans for the future?
Jim: Volume Two.
— tom graham
Check out the premiere of The Push’s latest holiday video on Friday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. at www.thepushrock.com. There you’ll find information about The Push Album Release Concert at TwentyFiveEight Studios (703 N. Washington Ave. Rear) and download their new single, “Dance Pants”. The Push will donate a portion of the ticket sales to Newtown Youth & Family Services (www.newtownyouthandfamilyservices.org) to help those affected by the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.