Interview with Push

Danish band gets 'pushy'

Looking for some new music that you can tell your friends about? Want to spread the word instead of hearing it for a change?  Well, you may have your chance with Push, the new hard-rock quartet from Copenhagen, Denmark.  Formed in 1994 by lead vocalist Martie Peters, Push has created a buzz in its native country and is beginning to continue that trend in the United States.

In 1997, the band released its debut CD, "Maximum Entertainment", a mix of melodic, heavy tunes and a few tender ballads. The album received fantasticcritical acclaim, but during this time, a few band members left when the band's journey was just beginning. Push realized it needed a bigger label to help spread the word. Along came Z Records, a label dedicated to the melodic hard rock Push does so well.  In 1998, Push recorded its latest CD, "Shaken, Not Stirred", and in a recent interview, Peters seemed somewhat optimistic about the future despite public opinion.

How would you describe your style of music and vocal style?

Peters: "I think our music is best described as hard rock with a positive attitude. Some people call it 'glam,' but I really think we're a band with a colorful image.

'I've worked a lot on my voice over the last couple of years, and I think it sounds much better on the new album than on the first one. I also think one of our major strengths is the melodic vocals on top of the rocking guitars."

Who are your musical influences, and which of those bands or artists influenced Push's style and sound?

"One of my main personal influences is Rod Stewart, and I think it shows in myperformance and on the albums. We're obviously four people with many different musical influences, but they vary from Rod Stewart to Mötley Crüe. We wanted a sound that's clear, but at the same time raw, and I think we've achieved that on Shaken, Not Stirred."

What is the musical climate like in Denmark?

"It sucks! I guess you've heard of Aqua. Well, they're from Denmark. That's what it's like at the moment."

Is interest in hard rock in Denmark beginning to rise?

"No! It's always been here in the underground. We have bands like Pretty Maids, Royal Hunt, Mike Tramp from White Lion and Lars Ulrich of Metallica and, of course, Push, but it will never be people's preferred style of music here."

What measures are you taking to reach U.S. fans who like your kind of music but have no idea it's out there?

"I know that with the start of Z Records' American office, the CDs will be in stores across the country and they will put ads in magazines, and then of course if we do interviews with everyone interested, that will hopefully help.  We don't expect to sell millions of records, but it would be nice to get to the fans of real rock 'n' roll.

Can interested people hear samples of your songs online? If not, how could you convince an overseas fan to buy your album?

"I don't really know that much about it. On the Web site, you will find all the information needed: news, live dates, pictures, reviews, band history and more. I think a quick look at our reviews should convince everyone that our music is OK!"

How important do you think the Internet is in helping independent bands?

"I think the Internet is very, very important to promote our music. It's a new way of communicating with the fans, and a good way to get to the fans."

Describe your record label, Z Records, and how Push became affiliated with it.

"Well, we were signed to the Danish label Nordic Metal when we released our debut CD, Maximum Entertainment, and at the time that was good enough for us because it meant that we could get our music out to people all over the world. We received great reviews, but Nordic couldn't really do anything because there was no money! When our manager came up with an offer from Z Records, we didn't think twice about it."

"Mark Alger, the president, is a respected guy in the business who used to work for major labels, so we knew that he was the one to take us to the next level. Z Records is growing every day and they've just opened an office in the U.S., so I think you will see Z's name more and more over the next few years."

What goals do you wish to achieve as a singer/songwriter for Push?

"A few years ago, I was still dreaming of selling millions of records. Now I'm more than happy to release albums containing my own music that reaches an audience all over the world.  "I have just done some background vocals on the forthcoming Mike Tramp album, which was a huge boost for me as a singer.
To be there in the studio with one of your all-time favorites and being accepted for your singing is fantastic!"

What are some of the main differences between Maximum Entertainment and Shaken, Not Stirred?

"We have a new guitarist (Martin Slott) and a new drummer (Morten Plenge), and obviously that has changed the musical direction a little bit. The melodies are much better on this one, and the guitars are not quite as heavy as on the first one, but that's fine with me. Kasper (bass) and I both appeared on the debut, and we both feel that as a band this has been the right step for us to take."

Are Shaken, Not Stirred and Maximum Entertainment ever going to be available in the States?

"It is available! The new CD will be easier to find than the first one. The debut is available through Perris Records and Delinquent Records, and the new one should be in stores and mail order companies. Dave at Z Records in the U.S. can answer any questions you may have. Just e-mail mail him at"

Do you think there is still an audience for great rock 'n' roll music, songs and live shows?

"Of course. If I didn't believe that I would have quit a long time ago. Just because the media doesn't focus on it too much anymore, that doesn't mean that people don't want to have fun anymore. "Ten years ago hard rock was mainstream, but today it's alive and well in the underground. People still want to go to a show and be entertained. Just look at the recent Kiss and Aerosmith tours!"

What advantage does Push have over the current slew of bands in the market today?

"We believe in what we do. I have written and performed this style of music for 10 years, and I don't change because someone tells me to. I think that if you have confidence in what you do, people will see that and take it seriously. And, of course, I think that we have a professional attitude towards our music that shows on the new album."

In 1999 and beyond, do you see future attitudes toward music becoming more open-minded and not labeling certain bands by what they look like or think they sound like?

"No, especially not in America, but it's not that bad in Europe yet. I'm afraid that the labeling of bands and musicians will never go away. It's sad, really, because we live in a free world where you should be able to express your views and feelings through music and art."

Any message to the people here in the U.S. who might want to check out your music?

"Yeah -- if you are into good time rock 'n' roll, you should give it a try. I promise that we have done our best to put a smile on people's faces, and that's what it's all about: having a good time!"

Visit Push's Website

Interview by Matthew F. Tritico