The Playmaker
Let's play
  • It's Sunday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Auckland
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?

Mikey Havoc on the Return of Kiwi Band Push Push

Havoc gets the band back together for a reunion tour with British hard rockers The Darkness.
By Fiona Connor
January 22, 2017
By Fiona Connor
January 22, 2017

Before Mikey Havoc was the energetic TV personality and radio host many adore him as today, he was rocking the stage as the frontman of Push Push. This is no secret. The band grew to celebrity status in their glory days in the early '90s with the help of mega-hit 'Trippin' off their debut and only album A Trillion Shades of Happy, before coming to an end in 1993. As Mikey reminisces about the good times with Concrete Playground, he reveals his thoughts as the band come together again for a reunion tour with British rock band The Darkness.

"It is very exciting," says Mikey. "Considering at one stage we hadn't even been in a room together for twenty years, which is ridiculous." He mentions that all changed when a couple of years ago the bandmates who live in Australia were both going to be in New Zealand at the same time. "We thought let's just hire a rehearsal room and have a jam. It was cool, it was like muscle memory. It just felt like the same stuff we were doing like when we were twenty years old."

It wasn't before long that the group had fallen back into old habits and a sense of the old times kicked in, "Within ten minutes, I was giving Silver shit about what he's wearing, he brought the wrong lead and Scott had to go home and get a cymbal that he forgot. The classic traits that everyone had were still there. When we started playing, some songs that we'd played the most I had completely forgotten the lyrics to, and other songs I'd forgotten that we'd even played and the lyrics would just come easy. It was great."

With the passion reignited, Mikey and fellow bandmates Andy Kane, Steve Abplanalp, Scott Cortese and Silver rehearsed between New Zealand and Australia with the view of the revival being turned into something to share with others. Mikey says he is thrilled that the opportunity to showcase their reestablished love of music has come on a tour with flamboyant hard rockers The Darkness. "I'm stoked to be doing a live show with them because I know their live show's going to be phenomenal. That's what they do, so we're going to have to make sure that we're not a bunch of old soggy Sally Lunns out there."

As Mikey looks toward getting up on stage again and reliving his rock star days, he recalls the enthusiasm that spurred them together in 1985 when the band formed during their high school days. "A part of it probably was just to get girls," he laughs. "And I guess to do something everyone thought was cool. We discovered heavy metal and hard rock and the world of music as professional musicians and thought 'That looks way more fun than insurance or banking or labouring' and I think probably, realistically, that was the  reasons I went for it because I thought it was the most fun option."

For Mikey and the band, he says these days their motivation comes from somewhere else. "Now the reason for doing it would be that it's a cool thing to challenge yourself and think 'Hey, can I actually come up with ideas with these five dudes and not all hate each other?' You sort of come back to that whole idea of comprising and working together for the sake of the band.''

In addition to the tour the group will release two re-recorded tracks, and although Mikey confesses that if it was just him solo, he would have things slightly differently, overall he is satisfied with the end result. "The songs that we've re-recorded to release to go along with all this were ones that we wrote back then, but we've re-recorded them recently and the way that they've come out, I am stoked and really happy with them. Although I'd forgotten that in bands there's actually five people making the decisions, so there's three or four bits in there, that if it was just me making the decisions, would never be there." He said that's when you come back to the idea of compromising.

As it stands, Mikey says he's just pleased that the general public still have such an interest in the group. Often when doing his radio shows, callers will always bring up the band. "It's quite humbling and flattering how long it's been and how many people have asked 'When are you going to get the band back together?' The fact that people still give a toss about it is really humbling. It's a good way of reminding ourselves that our reputation was built on doing a good live show as well, so we can't sort of just stand on stage and say 'Hey guys, do you remember a great show we used to do?' I'm really excited that so many people are excited about it."

Push Push kick off their three-date tour with The Darkness on April 20 at Auckland's Powerstation.

Image: Radio Hauraki

Published on January 22, 2017 by Fiona Connor
  •   shares
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x
Counter Pixel