By Waleed Rashidi
MEMBERS & INSTRUMENTS:
Nico Canton (bass, vocals); Kari Gillette (drums); Steve Pena (guitar, vocals); Mackenzie Yessian (guitar).
CITIES OF ORIGIN:
Chino, Victorville, Anaheim Hills.
Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, The Zombies, Third Eye Blind, all of the Motown catalog . . . and a lot more to mention.
“Wanted: Rock guitarist. No flakes, no drugs, must have wheels.” You’ve probably seen similar text of musicians wanted ads in the past, whether in local papers or, more recently, on websites like Craigslist. And that’s how some of the most popular rock bands have formed—from perfect strangers answering one another’s call.
But other times, all you have to do is turn to those around you. That’s how easily bassist/vocalist Nico Canton formed The Push (though arriving at the band’s name seemed far more arduous). Starting with close friend and guitarist/vocalist Steve Pena, Canton turned to drummer Kari Gillette, a co-worker, and later completed the ensemble with guitarist Mackenzie Yessian living across the street. Done deal, without that “stranger” quotient factored in.
What has been factored in is the cohesion within the line-up—despite an age range that runs from 18 to 32—which was apparent when recording their debut EP, Seasons.
“Once again, magic,” says Canton. “It worked perfectly as a four-piece and 2010 proved to be one of the most inspiring and artistically satisfying years of our lives so far.”
And there may be many more ahead if The Push continues to provide some of the best original melodic, straightforward rock cuts we’ve heard in a while. Casting themselves as the “new wave of arena rock,” we wouldn’t be surprised to eventually see them in a venue with a capacity for several thousand—of course, they’ll need to transition out of rooms with capacities for hundreds first.
“No arenas yet,” says Canton. “The closest we’ve been is the House of Blues last summer and that alone was a dream come true.”
Another feasible dream is the recording of their full-length, starting in early June.
“We’re still writing it actually, but the ball is rolling along and we’re just about there now,” says Canton. “I’m very proud of the songs, I love playing them and I genuinely cannot wait to listen to them…As far as an album title we have no idea. We might just end up calling it Poop Stain if the task becomes too frustrating, but let’s hope it doesn’t.”
The Push w/White Arrows, 1518 and The Vinyl Thieves at The Wire, 247 N. 2nd Ave., Upland, (909) 985-9466; www.thewire247.com. Sat, May 14, 7PM, $10.