Push to Talk
Contributed by Dante3000, Posted by Doghouse Interviews

Dante3000 recently got to sit down with James, Peter, Nate, Brett and Arjun from Push to Talk in the back of their van. Amongst other things, the band talked about going with a label vs DIY, Mina Suvari's forehead and what it's like to be homeless in New York City.


For the audio of the interview and pictures taken during it, head over to Sound Scene Revolution.

.pullquote { float: right; margin: 1em; padding: 0.75em 0.75em 0.75em 34px; width: 25%; font-size: 1.25em; background: url('/images/icons/interquote.gif') no-repeat #ddd; text-align: left;} All right so if you can introduce yourself so we can differentiate, just say your name, what you do in the band and your favorite color. James: I'm James, I play guitar and sing. My favorite color…darker shades of green.
Brett: Uh, my name is Brett, I play keyboards and sing and my favorite color is black.
Nate: I'm Nate, my favorite color is a whiter shade of white.
Arjun: You play bass too.
Nate: Oh yeah, and I play the bass.
Arjun: My name is Arjun, I play drums and I like aqua. The color not the band.
Peter: My name is Peter and I play guitar and I hate colors.

Like all colors? That doesn't come off too well. We're just going to play that and it'll be our racist clip of you guys. So real quick, if you can just give me the brief history of you guys and how you got started. Nate: So I played in a band called Short Round.
James: Nate and I.
Nate: James and I played in a band called Short Round for a very long time.
James: We toured with that band.
Nate: Yeah we toured and blew up and did all sorts of fun things and James I guess…
James: I had written songs during this whole time.
Brett: He's a prolific songwriter.
James: And I wrote a bunch of songs and I recorded them by myself. So I was slanging my CD's.
Brett: Dude this is so boring my Grandma just died. Hurry up.
James: (laughs) I was slanging the CD and I gave it to Nate and I gave it to everybody I knew and I was trying to get a line up going. I was out playing acoustic shows and shit and then Nate joined on, on the bass guitar. Then we got a guy named Mark, a very gentle, kind man. He was in a band called The Flipsides who were on some Fat Wreck Chords thing (note: we talked about Fat earlier). But he played drums for us for a while, it kind of didn't work out with him. Then we got this guy Adam and Adam we kind of fired before we started the new recording for our record. Prior to Adam we picked up Peter Sullivan over here guitar person virtuoso.
Peter: Mmhmm. He did, we go way back.
James: We go way back. He used to get me drunk back when I was a child.
Peter: 14? 13? (laughs) I was 18.
James: Then we got this fucker Brett.
Brett: Nate called me on night when I was intoxicated and asked me if I still remembered how to play piano and I lied and said yes (laughs). And the rest is magical history.
James: And we have three bass players in our band. Four if you include me but I'm not really a bass player.
Brett: We have a drummer who sings and plays guitar. A bass player who plays guitar. A bass player who plays keys and a guitar player who plays bass, named Nate.
Nate: And a drummer that loves Star Wars.
Brett: And Pez.
James: And plays piano and is a musical genius. Even though he doesn't think he is.
Peter: He clearly is.
James: We're quite a multi-instrumentalist band.
Nate: But it's not really about the instruments it's about the songs. (laughter)
Arjun: They didn't actually explain how I came to be. I was born in India. And when I was one I came over and my biological father is kind of a dick so my mom left him and came over here. (laughter).

Well I've been down the uh, DIY route more than a couple of times. For those of you who don't know what DIY means it's "do it yourself". Bitches. But I'm sick of that shit so I got a manager and he and I shopped the record to a ton of labels.

When did this become [Arjun's] biography? Arjun: Well I'm telling you about my history in the band. We came over here and we moved into this pretty crappy place. Alright, basically a friend of mine in Audrey Sessions recommended I try out for these guys and I did. And then they said, "Can we bone you?". So I said, "How much can you pay me?". And they said, "Nothing" so I went, "Oh, okay".
Brett: It's a deal.
James: (to Arjun) You down to get in a van and go around the country smelling like ass. He was down.

You guys have an album coming out soon, in how many months? James: April
Brett: The record "drops", that's with quotation marks, April 26th.

So you guys are on Doghouse, how did that come about? James: When I started working with a manager in the area and uh…

So you sold out and got a manager, eh? James: Well I've been down the uh, DIY route more than a couple of times. For those of you who don't know what DIY means it's "do it yourself". Bitches. But I'm sick of that shit so I got a manager and he and I shopped the record to a ton of labels.
(We take a quick picture of the interview) Brett just broke a camera. But, we got some interest from some labels but Doghouse seemed the most eager about it. So we kind of held out for a while and then decided that we wanted to do something with them. We all have some records that we all listened to at one point or another that came out on that label. Whether it be Gameface, Hot Water Music, The Get Up Kids or our favorites The All American Rejects.
Brett: Husking Bee.
James: Husking Bee. A ton of great bands. Well, a handful of really good bands, a lot of other…
Brett: Feable Weiner.
James: *sigh* Never mind. But it seemed like a good vibe so we went ahead and did a deal with them and went to New York and made a record. With Tim O'Heir, Superdrag, All American Rejects.

Any stories about going to record in New York with Tim O'Heir? Or was it all pretty 9-5. Get up, go record, go back to the hotel and beat off compulsively? James: It was more like wake up at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Yeah, we were kind of homeless when we were in New York. We thought we had a lot more places to stay than we actually did, we were homeless. St. Patrick's Day, remember that Peter? Uh, Forth of July actually.
Peter: The wandering around?
James: Yeah, we just wandered around all night drunken until the sun came up. I asked some news reporter some stupid question. I guess she was doing something about the Olympics at 5:30 or 6 in the morning.
Arjun: And you started flirting with her.
James: I started flirting with this hot Telemundo new reporter.
Arjun: She was not into it at all.
James: Yeah, she was like, "I have a cold, I won't shake your hand". No joke.
Brett: So my girlfriend came out to visit me and her parents were nice enough to get her and me a hotel room for a couple nights. Which was nice because I spent a night in the subway, which was interesting. Then Peter and James at sixish in the morning needed a place to stay. So, they came and slept in our den of inequity, on the floor at the foot of our bed.
James: Then we woke up promptly at 7:30 in the morning or something and walked through Wall Street with all of our luggage.
Brett: In the rain.
Peter: In the rain for about six hours.
Brett: The humid rain at that.
James: But that's just one of the stories.
Brett: I almost sat on a dirty hypodermic needle in Central Park while picnicking. It was breath taking and it was two days after my health insurance had stopped, which was really awesome.
Nate: I almost got hit by a truck.
James: Oh yeah, I remember that.
Nate I met Ricky Henderson.
James: We saw Mira Servani.

Sorvino? James: She has a really big forehead. And we met the strokes.
Brett: Mina Suvari.

Did you just say she has a really big forehead? James: She does, she has a huge forehead.
Brett: Giant.
Peter: The really digitally edit it.
James: The tone it down on film.
Brett: They super impose a smaller fore head and lower hairline on her.

So New York sounds a lot like the movie The Warriors that's what I'm gathering. James: Yeah, kind of like The Warriors we were trying to get to Coney Island it was really hard.
Peter: We couldn't get there.
James: Mike wouldn't take Brett to fucking Coney Island.
Brett: It was my childhood dream and I called him. Once and a while when I'm intoxicated I'll still call him and tell him how it was my childhood dream and now I'll never get to go.

You're not dead yet you can still go. Brett: No, it's done with.
James: You play "Shoot the Freak"?
Brett: Oh yeah. The best part of Coney Island, I actually did get to go eventually (laughter breaks out), mind you I had to find my own way there. The best part is the booth called "Shoot the Freak". Which is essentially this dude who fucking runs around in a bunch of foliage while people line up and get to shoot him with paintball guns. There's another guy, the announcer, who's a very typical carnie announcer. He's like, (in a thick New Yorker carnie accent) "Eh, eh, c'mon. What are you afraid? C'mon, shoot the freak. Whatsamatta? Hey, you shoot him, he don't shoot you. (laughs) Shoot the freak".
Peter or Nate: We got to meet Redman too.
James: Oh yeah when we were mixing our record he came out of the mixing studio next door to us.
Brett: And we said "what's up".
James: We weren't like star struck or anything. We were just like, "Hey man, how's it going?", and he totally gave us a dirty look.

So he's not going to appear on your album then? James: No. But we thanked him I think, we thanked him on the record.
Brett: It was actually a Redman "Joint". He co-produced the album.

By merely being in your vicinity he helped produce it? Brett: It's his aura really.
James: Brick City baby.

Is Ricky Henderson thanked on your album? (mentioned earlier in the interview) Nate: No, because that was post making the album. But, we have some projects coming up though.

Where you will finally thank Ricky Henderson? Nate: Yeah, he'll be talking about himself in the third person. We'll simply be remixing our old songs over Ricky Henderson talking about himself. The greatest lead off hitter of all time.
Brett: How many stolen bases?
Nate: 500/500.

You're talking like Ricky Henderson will ever hear this, you can stop kissing his ass. Nate: He's my favorite baseball player of all time, has been for like 15 years.

So moving on to topics people might care about, you have a tour coming up right? Everyone: Yes we do.

So where is that going? Brett: Nate? (the band breaks our in laughter)
Nate: It's currently being in the process of being finagled.

You have on date on each coast, don't you? You're just planning to fill it in as you go. Nate: We're filling it in right now. So if you want us to play your town hit us up. We're pretty much going to go to the Southwest, the East Coast, the Midwest and then we're going to play South by Southwest with all the Doghouse folks.

So you're doing the Doghouse showcase? Brett: Yeah with a brand new band they signed called Meg and Dia they're opening.
James: Also Army of Me.
Brett: Yeah Army of Me will be there.

[Meg and Dia] are the sisters right? Brett: Yeah they're from Utah.

They're hot. Are they Mormon? Brett: I don't know.
Nate: I think it's a prerequisite that you have to be Mormon if you're from Utah.
Brett: But I think they're from Vegas, so they are originally from Vegas. So, Meg and Dia. Army of Me, who is a fantastic band from D.C. who we saw last year we were in there. Uhm…us.
James: Traveling Limbeck Band.
Brett: Yeah, Limbeck Band who are really fucking awesome guys.
Peter: Cruiserweight.
Brett: Cruiserweight who are also from Austin, who are really nice guys and a nice girl. (laughs) Who are also, strangely enough, brothers and sister. Yeah, there's only one dude who's not in the family and I think they whip him. (laughs)
James: We should say some two of us are brothers.
Brett: Actually all of us are brothers except for Peter.

After this the interview wound down into website plugging, the normal thank you's and all that. Check out Push To Talk online.