Ryan MacMillan Drumming with Matchbox Twenty
a recent interview with the Boston Globe, Rob Thomas spoke of Matchbox
Twenty's new drummer, Ryan MacMillan of The Push Stars. "They're
one of my favorite bands ever," Thomas was quoted as saying. "That
song 'Claire' should have been a hit. . . . The Push Stars should have
been a hit."
The song "Every Angel," written by Chris Trapper, from The Push Stars' "Paint the Town" CD, is featured in the Meryl Streep movie "The Devil Wears Prada" opening in theatres today. The film also stars Anne Hathaway.
Chris Trapper launched a new website, www.christrapper.com, featuring
his new solo CD "Gone Again." The site includes fan-input pages,
including "Ask Chris." The first question posed was about the
status of The Push Stars. Chris' answer follows:
Thanks for your question. That's an interesting question, and it's important that we talk about that (political stalling tactic...)
In short, The Push Stars are not breaking up. 2005 represents our 10th year as a band. in fact, I was shocked to rediscover a cassette of our first record , Meet Me at the Fair (released in 1996), in my cassette collection. It has been a crazy, amazing ride, and together with Dan and Ryan, we have literally seen a dream come true.
That being said, we fall into a strange music business category of an act/artist that is not as big, say, as The Rolling Stones, where we could still be playing in our walkers and canes for a great big audience, and not small enough to just walk away totally unnoticed.
Truth be told, the business side has really always been secondary to us, and we are still the best of friends, and we enjoy playing music together, so in that respect, we will probably always be a band (probably long after people want us to).
What we will be doing less of now is actively trying to sell the band name. Now this is where it gets more complicated. When you are an ACT in the music business, there is a lot of free work the ACT does to try and get their name "out there" including radio station visits, awkward board room performances, in store concerts, etc... And, for the most part, we feel we've done that to the extent that it will benefit us. So from this point forward, when The Push Stars play, it will be because it means something to either the audience, or the band, or hopefully, both.
As for me as a solo artist, since I have no other skills, I will always have to promote my songs, CDs and shows. So I have to do the grunt (I mean fun) work that goes into it. Dan is a brilliant record producer and engineer, and will be working on a lot of projects in that direction. And when Ryan gets out of jail, the sky's the limit! (Just kidding.)
past year was a strange and incredible year for us: we signed an unprecedented
fourth recording contract; we toured the country for 8 months to mostly
sold-out rooms; we dealt with and settled a lawsuit, and released a CD
we still actually like (Paint the Town). So with that, I would never predict
the future, cause I'd always be wrong. - CT
for "Sea of No Cares"
The album "Sea of No Cares" by Newfoundland's Great Big Sea (whose title song and others were co-written with Chris Trapper) has gone Platinum.
Update from The Push Stars Camp
Chris has just finished up a solo CD with the legendary Wolverine Jazz Band backing him. It is an 11-song CD of new, original songs, all recorded live (with no computers). It is New Orleans style jazz mixed with Chris' songs. Release date to be announced.
Dan has just finished up producing a CD with the Boston band "The Breakmission." The early word on this record is that it is groundbreaking and majestic (RRA). He has also just recorded Ari Hest (Columbia Records) for his forthcoming EP.
has just wrapped up a record drumming for Paul Doucette (MatchboxTwenty).
Paul is Matchbox' drummer, and an excellent songwriter as well. He has
also been doing some studio work with the Goo Goo Dolls.
Trapper's Feature Film Debut
11 Antigone Rising releases "From the Ground Up" which features
their stellar version of Waiting, Watching, Wishing" as the lead off
track. This album is available at all Starbucks stores.
same week Rob Thomas had the #1 CD in the country, he found time to cover
a version of "Keg on My Coffin" for appreciative fans at his sold
out show at the Vic Theatre in Chicago.
Push Stars' song "I'm a Fool (And That's Okay)" is in the movie
ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES staring Amanda Peet, which is coming out on DVD March
Trapper Guests on Joey Reynolds Show
February 2005 issue, Acoustic Guitar magazine chose The Push Stars'
"Paint the Town" as one of the best CDs of 2004 according to the
magazine's editors and reviewers.
Bradley of XM 50 The Loft named The Push Stars' "Paint the Town"
among her top 5 album picks for 2004.
Trapper of The Push Stars received a SOCAN Best Roots Music Award for co-writing
"Clearest Indication" with Great Big Sea.
Stars are scheduled to air at The Loft at XM Radio channel 50
the week of 11/15 at the following times:
Monday - Noon ET
Trapper was invited to participate in the 2004 Roberto Clemente Celebrity
All Star Weekend Golf Tournament in Puerto Rico, golfing with baseball Hall
of Famers including Joe Morgan, Whitey Ford, Jose Lima, and Carlos Delgato.
Stars have released Claire, the lead song from their current album
Paint the Town, to radio.
Stars, along with other local Boston artists, will be featured in an upcoming
fashion spread in Boston Magazine in June.
The Push Stars announce the release of their fourth studio album, "Paint
The Town," due in stores March 9th, 2004. The band's new label, San
Francisco-based 33rd Street Records, is also home to many other fine artists
including The Eagles, Cowboy Mouth, Peter Frampton, Sammy Hagar, and Alex
de Grassi. The Push Stars are very pleased with the innovative and independently-minded
business ethic of their new label and hope to have a long and successful
The Push Stars are looking forward to hitting the road with their long-time friends and playing for Great Big Sea fans, who have always been very supportive.
Trapper received a prestigious SOCAN award (Canadian songwriters and music
publishers) for his songwriting contribution to Great Big Sea/Sea of No
Cares album/Warner Music/Canada. Chris made a speech at the awards dinner
stating that his friendship with Great Big Sea gives him hope that a "cool
band can survive and thrive on the charts without compromising the soul
of their music."
NATIONAL ANTHEM AT NHL GAME
October 30, 2003 Chris Trapper sang the National Anthem at the opening of the Buffalo Sabres hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Chris expressed his personal thrill at being able to sing at a Sabres game--the Sabres were his "childhood heroes"--in his original hometown of Buffalo New, York.
PUSH STARS TOUR WITH MATCHBOX 20
September 25, 2003
Greenville, SC, Bi-Lo Center
The Push Stars announced they have aligned with Abe Baruck of the Irving Azoff Management Company, Los Angeles.
AN UPDATE FROM CHRIS TRAPPER
August 27, 2003
After spending the summer mixing our new CD, surfing, playing drums with the Dixie Chicks (Ryan), writing and hanging with our friends Great Big Sea (Chris), writing film scores and screenplays (Dan), I wanted to get everyone a breast (of the situation).
First off, our recording: How it went down was...Chris finds generous backer to fund recording, old friend Greg Collins agrees to produce, and voila, songs are chosen, airports are visited, amps are borrowed, and a record is born.
All of the record was done in L.A. with some pretty heavy-hitter musicians joining us on the record because they like us. (I couldn't believe it either.) The nice thing this time out was that we really had no idea why we were recording, but for the sheer love of it. We had no deadlines, no venue to put the CD out within, no tour staring us in the face saying, "You MUST have new PRODUCT to tour on or else the tour will self destruct!"
Which brings us to the point that I believe we came up with something special. Not overdone, not underdone, but right in the pocket. So now (music industry) people are calling us saying, "Hey, we heard you guys just made an amazing record and we'd like to hear it." So suddenly, our little project has become bigger than we thought it might, and now we are in a slight holding pattern.
You see, we've decided to try to find the right fit in a record company, and being selective will take a little time, but we are so ready to get back on the road that we have written a "new suitcase clause" into our record contract...
I wanted to let everyone know a little about he sound of the new CD. For one, it's NOT the Gangsta Rap/Polka hybrid that I've been talking about creating for so long. Because Greg Collins (The Producer) has been in our "circle of trust" for so long, he instinctually gets us, what we do well, what we don't. So he brought out our roots-ier, yet still very pop, side. The white boy rap has been replaced with simpler guitar rock. There are three mellow ballads, one jazz tune, plenty of rocking choruses, heavy lyrics, layered mandolins and Nashville-tuned guitars. Ryan's drumming and Dan's bass/keys have never sounded so good.
If you have dog ears or are an audio junkie, you may notice a slight Matchbox 20 guitar tone or two. If you noticed that without me telling you, I'll send you $20. We ended up borrowing a few amplifiers and guitars from the Matchbox guys, in exchange for...well, I haven't found that out yet.
We picked a good variety of songs, from pure sentimental pop to ethereal Celtic influence, to country rock. The lead-off song is called "Claire" and it sounds nothing like anything we've done before. It's a song about a traveler who takes a late night walk through a city, only to see it "turned upside down" in a rain-reflection. There is a repeating keyboard line in the back of layered guitars that makes the song visual (as someone described to me).
So we'll wait and see what happens, but we are all excited as hell to see this record fly.
In the meantime, I've been spending a lot of time in L.A. (so much so that I actually started to BELIEVE I was Brad Pitt). And now Dan and Ryan are here in Boston. The only gig we played was our photographer's wedding (celebrate good times) and now we are in meeting mode for the next month or two.
For the hair-obsessed fans, before you worry that Ryan has actually dyed his hair blonde and become a "Dixie Chick", I must confirm that he is still a "Push Star". Although he did play drums on their forthcoming single.
Dan has been the typical Renaissance man that he usually is...scoring films, producing other artists CDs, and now finishing a screenplay loosely based on our first few years. (I say LOOSELY with hopeful optimism because in Dan's fictional band, the lead singer dies tragically.)
I just returned from sunny, beautiful St.Johns, Newfoundland where I was hanging with my friends and fellow recording giants "Great Big Sea". I don't really remember what we did there due to a certain nightly visit from their friend, Dr. Alcohol. (I am not saying in any way that the members of the other here-in to be termed ARTIST had any contribution, participation, or obligation to my drinking...caution, this coffee is hot.) But we sang, watched whales, wrote songs, walked cliffs. etc.
So, whoop, there it is...a small update on our big summer. Looking forward to spreading some love and bad fashion soon.
Chris "Longing to Have a Gyro in Pittsburgh" Trapper
P.S. Don't forget to fly out to L.A. for our show at the Troubadour on September 25. We'll keep the ticket price low so you won't notice the $400 airfare.
ON TOUR FALL 2002
September 26 , 2002
Everybody respond: "Hey Dan!"
We were swiftly eliminated in the first (untelevised) "American Idol",
in which Simon said he "wished we were dead", then spat on us.
But the real reason we want to tour....
Chris, Ryan and I really miss all of you. :-) (Scott does too.)
So there you have it. Come on out, it'll be fun. We have a lot of great
bands playing with us in a lot of great venues. We're playing lots of
old songs, lots of new songs, you name it. Tell all your friends, tell
Hope to see you at one of these fine establishments...
|UPDATE FROM DAN
February 11 , 2002
Just when you thought I'd never write again. Just when you thought I didn't care anymore. Just when you thought I was a worthless bum who had to sell his computer for food... here I am, back at the keyboard; boring you with more rambling details about the Push Stars. Now I know some of you have started to question whether or not we actually exist anymore and it is my purpose today to respond with a resounding "Uh, yeah... hello?". We are recording a whole bunch of new and improved songs and are currently honing our personal hygiene skills in order to prepare for an upcoming... you guessed it...TOUR.
The rumor has it that Ryan and I have moved to Los Angeles. Well, that's true. However, as most of you may know (and the rest of you should know), distance cannot separate the brotherly love and respect that Ryan, Chris and I have for each other. When we are not on tour, we musicians like to keep ourselves busy and we felt that Los Angeles would be a challenging and exciting option for just that. (In case you haven't heard, it ain't an easy business to make a living at). Chris has been nothing but supportive and happy about our decision, even though he has decided to stay an East-coast boy. Besides, with our touring schedule we already live together (and I mean together) most of the time anyway. But never have we been more dedicated and determined to be the best band we can be and put on the best live performances of our career. Chris' songwriting, in my opinion, has never been stronger. He never ceases to amaze me, and hopefully you will feel the same way. In short, we are pumped up and ready for the next phase of our career as musicians. Who knows, maybe we'll play the half-time show when the Patriots win the Super Bowl next year.
It was kind of sad to leave Boston. Let me explain it with this analogy: The other day I was doing laundry and realized that I had a lot of socks. I mean a lot. Now, the weird thing was that only about two or three pairs actually matched. It wasn't that the ones that didn't have matches weren't nice - some of them were very nice but I just couldn't find them a match. For instance, there was this really nice dark green cotton sock that had no partner. I felt kind of sorry for it. I mean, here it was, a great sock with no life-partner. Then I found a slightly lighter green sock that maybe could've passed for his mate. I put them together, but immediately thought ahead to that feeling right when you walk into a party and you look around and realize that it's a "take off your shoes" party and you get that nervous feeling... well, I do anyway. Does my sock have a hole in the toe? Did I get dressed in the dark? Would these socks pass for a match? Maybe if I wore a black sock and a navy-blue one I might get away with it? Maybe if the party was dimly lit? As these scenarios ran through my head and I was clutching bunches of socks in my fists at the laundermat, wondering if I should save them or not, the guy next to me asked me if I was going to use that machine or just stare at it all night, holding socks like an idiot. He was really rude. I don't even remember what my point to this story is. Oh yeah, my point is that life is a lot like old socks. Sometimes you just have to let go.
On another subject, someone alerted me to the fact that there were some unsubstantiated rumors flying around the discussion board about me, Chris and Ryan, so I checked it out (after I finished with my laundry). Some of them were funny (Chris in a mini-skirt, now that's funny). However, some were plain stupid and border-line vindictive. It's okay to make up funny stories (I do it constantly), but remember that our family members, loved ones and people new to the site sometimes read the board to find out about our music and may not get the "joke". Humor is designed to make people laugh - not hurt feelings. If there is any thought that you might do that, please reconsider your post. We do our best to be kind, fair and respectful to everyone we come in contact with and don't deserve to be treated any differently in return. We are musicians who take great joy in making music for our fans. It would be nice if the discussion board could be a little more reflective of that sentiment - the music. Besides, I look dreadful in pumps.
Well, that's all I have to say for now. I apologize for not writing sooner. I decided against sending out notes from the last tour because of the circumstances, but I will more than make up for it on this tour. You should see some dates posted with details soon.
I speak for the band when I say that we are really looking forward to seeing all of our friends out there on the road. We are really missing playing live and we hope you can all be with us as we hit the pavement again. As I mentioned before, we have some new songs to mix into the set with some earlier stuff for a more comprehensive set-list in general. Also, we are excited to introduce a full-time keyboard player to play all the parts on our records (and I will play some too). We can't thank you enough for sticking with us through these years and are excited about our future together. Thanks again for listening, and for always being there for us.
See you soon,
Dan, Chris and Ryan