Push Push, a band that needs no introduction, are back on the comeback ‘trail’ so to speak. The iconic song Trippin’ is forever etched in Kiwi music fans minds, however after the nineties the band suddenly fell off the radar, begging the question: “Where are they now?”
Fans will be pleased to learn, the eponymous boy-band is set to light Kiwi hearts on fire again as they gear up to play a few select shows supporting UK rockers The Darkness this week.
“There’s no doubt New Zealand is my home,” tells guitarist Andy Kane. “But I did land at Bondi Beach which is full of frickin’ Kiwis anyway (laughter). Its kind of like a suburb of Auckland to a degree.
“In my heart, I’m still a Kiwi I’ve got a strong attachment to New Zealand that will never flicker out, besides it’s not that far away.”
Kane is surprisingly chatty as we touch on the sensitive (“time is a healer”) and the future of one this country’s biggest rock comebacks.
“If you had told me at any point of my time in my youth or early twenties that I was going to end up in Sydney, I would’ve told you, “You’re dreaming,”– but here I am. There’s a lot to offer here, we actually moved there as a band, believe it or not.
“We punished ourselves in New Zealand touring a lot, and we were going backwards & forwards to Australia to do tours, and we felt it was probably a smart move to stay here. Then we kind of imploded on arrival, which wasn’t pretty.”
Back to Roots
The band released their debut album A Trillion Shades of Happy in 1992. Their first single Trippin’ was recorded at Airforce Studios (Auckland), with the drum track done in one take. The song went to straight to number one in New Zealand, the hit also included the bonus track I Love My Leather Jacket originally by Kiwi legends The Chills.
“We’d been playing together Mike, Steve & I since we were fourteen,” says Kane. “There’s still a lot of love there. We went from playing some pretty good gigs in Auckland, to all of a sudden having a number one single, a gold album and being ‘darlings’ for a little while there. I think, as good as friends as we were, we probably needed to do some of that ‘growing up’ independently."
“Steve always said, “We didn’t go to university, we just went on the road.” I think its a nice way of putting it really. We were absorbing the world, learning our craft and seeing parts of New Zealand we hadn’t seen. All of that was amazing, but all the other stuff, that was complex. The male risk-taking-decision-making part of the brain, doesn’t really form until you’re twenty-three apparently, so there was a lot of ‘risk’ going on as you can imagine.”
The band focused their energies touring Australia and building on their fan base there. Little did they realise that the move would be the unraveling of the band; a premature end, to what seemed the dream gig.
“We kind of arrived here with good intention, but its fair to say Mike and I often banged heads,” recounts Kane. “At that point, it was very difficult for both of us to actually be in the same room together. It was not an uncommon thing - big personalities in the band, trying to make it all work, it just got too hard. It got too hard for Mike more than anyone, and he had to figure out a way to deal with that you know, so we did. I stayed here making music, and the rest is history."
“We were playing major TV Shows and playing with major acts and had good airplay on Triple J over here. We also had a pretty strong following actually, people found our Facebook page and going on about it, “Why the hell aren’t you playing in Australia?” It wasn’t as big as it was in NZ, I mean, we had a top twenty hit here, but yeah, but not as big.”
Trippin’ Out On You
Speaking of that ‘song’, Trippin’ as Kane retells the story behind the iconic tune, “We thought 'Song 27' had ‘more legs’ and that’s why Trippin’ came out first. The song was also recorded around the same time by Auckland punk stalwarts The Warners, while Kiwi electronic act Baitercell released a techno version featuring American-Australian performer Miz Ima Starr.
“It’s amazing how often songs that are after thoughts or ones that didn’t have a lot of time or effort spent on them, end up blowing up,” says Kane. “I think that’s because they’re easy to get, they’re easy to translate, they make sense straight away, not only to people who are writing it or recording it but to those who are hearing it. It triggers things, you get it straight away, and Trippin’ was like that for us."
“We went to see the Ramones two nights in a row at The Powerstation, and just loved it - it was nuts. It was right up our alley just sheer enjoyment and I think we wrote it on the back of that actually, we wrote it that weekend after seeing the gig – I don’t know if it’s a Ramone’s inspired song necessarily, but it being that quick ‘bash around the face’ the other stuff on the album we were writing took a longer time to develop as a song.”
Song 27 & The Remaster
“Oddly, we thought Song 27 had ‘more legs’ and that’s why Tripping came out first,” recalls Kane. “We always thought Song 27 was a big song it has a big statement to make. It ebbs and flows, has two major climaxes, some of the best guitaring we ever did, there was so much in it, surely this was going to go well. And it did, but we thought “You know what, before we do that, let’s put something out that shows the energy and the drive."
“I have had to listen to it again to remaster for iTunes,” he admits. “To be fair, I don’t know if it makes me feel anything except it’s part of my history. I prefer playing in that group situation where everyone’s got something to contribute. If I listen to it, I can hear the band, I can hear what Silver does, I can hear what Scott does, and I really like what they do."
“The whole is generally better than the sum of its parts”, we all bring something to it – Mike and I were talking about it the other day, both him and I in our respective careers, haven’t had to do that very often to make way for other people’s input, it’s nice to sit back and see what someone else offers to it, especially when you respect and like what they do.”
Beginning of the End
The band are looking forward to getting out to play in front of fans again, however it was almost sheer luck and a bit of working out of the schedules that the band is back together, as Kane says, “We’re very brotherly for better or worse, sometimes that’s great, sometimes it’s a pain in the arse.”, it’s a maxim the has helped the band stick together contributing to the success of the reunion.
“It was in part to do with geography,” admits Kane. “We actually all found we were all going to be in one place for the first time in twenty years. We took a baby step, we went to the Mexican Café and ate Salsa.
“Actually, a lot of the band was created at the Mexican Café, its where Scott and I decided he had a shot of being in the band, its where Silver and I figured out how we were going to work together in a band that had two guitars. There was a lot of love in the room when we walked in, and it was big smiles. It was good - sometimes you just need to grow up a bit I think.”
Last week Push Push released their four-track EP Talk2Me and a video for the title track.
"We can't wait to play in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch alongside The Darkness, and it just felt right to have a few new songs to add to our set," said frontman Mikey Havoc.
"We've gone all out and made a video too - and with the recording and rehearsing and filming over the past couple of months, it feels like the old magic is back."
The Darkness with special guests Push Push
Thursday 20th April: The Powerstation, Auckland - Tickets via Ticketmaster
“I find inspiration from people who are trying to do something different. There's a lot of producers trying to copy each other, eg Terror Squad. But it’s really cool to hear guys like SumthinSumthin, completely unchallenged in their own lane.” – Graham Matthews
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Certified maniac Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the USA, despotic leader Kim Jong-un threatened a nuclear war, and former household hero Bill Cosby was outed as a sexual predator: 2017 was a very dark year.
South African singer-songwriter Jeremy Loops has just announced a global tour, which includes two shows in New Zealand at Neck of the Woods in Auckland on Wednesday, May 30 and San Fran in Wellington on Thursday, May 31.
After more than half a century on the road and an unparalleled career that has redefined the cultural landscape and seen Elton John claim his place as a true global icon, the superstar today announced via an exclusiveVR180 live stream on YouTube, details of his final 'Farewell Yellow Brick Road' tour.
Roger Waters is bringing his US + THEM tour to New Zealand this week, performing two shows at Auckland's Spark Arena on Wednesday Jan 24 & Friday Jan 26, before heading to Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium on Tuesday Jan 30.
Central Otago was on song today, when the annual nationwide Summer Concert Tour kicked off in Queenstown with international music artists Colin Hay of Men At Work fame, Alanis Morissette and The Orchestra starring former members of Electric Light Orchestra performing to a 18,000 strong sell-out crowd at the Gibbston Valley Winery Summer Concert.
Robbie Williams held a press conference in Auckland yesterday (February 13) on his Birthday, ahead of his New Zealand shows in Auckland ( Spark Arena Wednesday February 14) and Dunedin ( Forsyth Barr Stadium February 17).
Less than two weeks until the release of his hotly-anticipated sophomore album, Nation of Two (released on Friday 23 February via Liberation Records), and alongside the announcement of a colossal run of international tour dates, Vance Joy will be heading out on a tour on Australia and New Zealand this September.
The countdown is on! In just 4 days time, Robbie Williams will arrive in New Zealand, bringing his mammoth Heavy Entertainment Show World Tour to Auckland's’ Spark Arena and Dunedin's’ Forsyth Barr Stadium.
The love between Sam Smith and fans down under is stronger than ever, with thousands of pre-sale tickets being snapped up to the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter’s The Thrill Of It All Australian and New Zealand tour this November.
In celebration of reaching over 1 million streams on Spotify with their latest single release Too Strung Up, Alae deliver a brand new acoustic take on their digital streaming smash, with the video premiering today through youtube.com.
Gifted Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy has big news for his New Zealand fans. The current Rolling Stone Australia cover star today announces a one-off solo show at The Tuning Fork on 28 March to celebrate the release of his sophomore album Nation of Two.
While in Auckland for St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival at the end of this month, Billie Eilish will also play an intimate all ages sideshow at The Tuning Fork on Tuesday, January 30th, which Laneway Festival are excited to announce as “a gift to Laneway’s Under 18 friends.”
SIX60 and Nico & Vinz’s Hawke’s Bay show at Black Barn Vineyards has sold out within minutes of going on on sale, but there’s good news for those who missed out, an extra show has been added for the following night, Wednesday 10 January.
SIX60 have landed back on New Zealand soil after wrapping up the massive European leg of The New Waves World Tour with Nico & Vinz. Now they’re getting set for another Kiwi summer, and they’ve got news.
Following the earlier announcement of the North American, United Kingdom and Ireland dates, ten-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour will land in Australia in late 2018 kicking off in Perth on Friday, October 19 then onto Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane before heading across to Auckland.
As the Auckland weather continues to impress, Silo Park continues to be the spot for your summer outdoor drinking from Friday night, right through to Sunday afternoon. We also have (arguably) Auckland Waterfronts largest area of public shade - the infamous ‘stretch tent.’
In a global first, documentary maker, author and actor Ross Kemp will reveal the truth about how the extreme world works live on stage, delivering remarkable insights into the 73 documentaries that he has made with his team across the world in the last 15 years.
Bringing together some of the city’s most impressive minds, the Puāwai Festival returns to Auckland from Monday 27 November to Saturday 2 December to champion honest and authentic representation of HIV in Aotearoa. The week full of events is timed to honour World AIDS Day on December 1.
The New Zealand Dance Company (NZDC) has announces its most provocative and poetic national tour yet, The Absurdity of Humanity to be presented this September in New Plymouth at the Taranaki Arts Festival,Marlborough, the Christchurch Arts Festival and in Wellington for strictly limited performances.
The Auckland Philharmonia will perform Harry Potterand the Philosopher’s Stone as part of the Harry Potter Film Concert Series at the Spark Arena this Sunday, July 2; while the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra will perform at the Horncastle Arena on Wednesday July 5.
New Zealand's own Hayden Tee returns to Auckland for his one and only local performance this year in support of Broadway Dreams New Zealand (BDNZ) at A Night of Broadway Dreams, an exclusive fundraiser at Rannoch House on July 2nd.
Born out of the Pacific Dance Choreographic Laboratory, the Pacific Dance Festival is now on at the Mangere Arts Centre in Auckland, providing an opportunity for Pacific choreographers to create, develop, and perform original dance works in a celebration of Pacific cultures.
From the soaring Jerusalem and patriotic Rule Britannia to iconic Brit pop and much-loved classics, Auckland Symphony Orchestra will take you on a musical journey that will have you dropping your cuppa and singing your heart out!
Libel bring you the latest music news, reviews, interviews and competitions. Based in New Zealand, covering entertainment both locally and internationally.
On the back of their previous release Sun/Son (2015, Country Music Award Finalists for album & song 2016) Eb & Sparrow have gained national recognition and have become renowned for their self-carved niche and unique musical style in the ever- widening scope that is New Zealand Americana.