Interview: push baby

Gemma Cockrell

Hot on the heels of the release of their debut album ‘Wow, Big Legend’, Gemma Cockrell spoke to push baby’s vocalist and guitarist Jake Roche about the duo’s journey since the disbandment of their previous project Rixton.

How would you describe your sound? Were there any other bands or artists who influenced your sound? 

I would describe it as ‘pop’ first and foremost. By pop, I mean we usually lean into the formulaic design of a song. However – as we’re becoming more familiar with ‘the rules’ – we’re drawing outside of the lines more and more, which is exciting, it feels freeing. I think you’re always subconsciously influenced by artists you’re listening to, especially growing up. For me and Charley (Bagnall, guitarist) there’s definitely cross sections. Right now, we’re in early 2000’s boyband territory.

We then got snapped up by the majors, and told what to wear and do and say

What made you decide to return with a different sound to the music that you were formerly making with Rixton?

Good question. Truth is, we weren’t making music with Rixton. It was all crafted by a team behind closed doors – doors we were hardly ever allowed to have access to. We started out authentically and organically by making YouTube videos and uploading covers, with the plan to build a fanbase from the ground up. We then got snapped up by the majors, and told what to wear and do and say. However, that’s the deal we signed and they’re the cards we were dealt and in hindsight we’re incredibly grateful for what we learnt about the industry. Now we have the blueprints.

How is the process of writing and recording music for push baby different than it was with Rixton?

For starters, there’s only me and Charley now. Less people for a seed of an idea to pass through. And even then, we trust that if the other feels it, then go with their instinct and you’ll just feel it as well on the way through them, if that makes sense? It’s gone back to being kids just making noise, that’s all this is, down to the fundamentals, we’re just some idiots making pop music. 

How do you feel now that your debut album ‘Wow, Big Legend’ has been released?

Underwhelmed. I don’t mean in the response from fans and what not – but it’s like hyping yourself up for jumping from a great height into a pool below. It’s like you’re about to go on the rollercoaster that you’ve hyped up so much and pictured yourself vomiting over the person next to you whilst being strapped in and thrown about. The truth is – it’s not THAT scary. No one gives a f**k. Everyone’s on to the next thing within 24 hours. This was our first run at it though so we’ve learnt for next time to just be calm throughout. Stay in the middle.

How would you summarise the album? 

The goal was to create an audio mood board for the push baby project as a whole. All these different sounds, some you only hear once. It was created in a way that at times can feel slightly fractured, almost on the precipice of being completely destroyed. It could have been easy to polish it up and be more precision with the recordings, even down to the mixing and mastering. But this wasn’t that, from the off. That wasn’t the instinct. There will be a time for that, and when we do it, oh you’ll know, but this was about laying the foundations down for push baby.

We got dropped and deep down we were ecstatic about, it meant we were in control again and could play a pivotal role in all of it

You released a few songs from the album in advance, but the release of the full album was somewhat of a surprise. What made you decide to rollout the album in this way?

The album was meant to come a year ago. But we were caught in limbo with our old management company and the major record label we were signed to. I mean, they put it down to COVID and ‘cuts’, but the truth is, they wanted something ‘risk averse’. Which we get, it’s a business. So, we got dropped and deep down we were ecstatic about, it meant we were in control again and could play a pivotal role in all of it. We got the letter saying that we were dropped a week before the first release, we knew we just had to GO!

What is your favourite song from the album and why?

ROMANTIC GARAGE. Have you heard it?

What does the future hold for push baby? Have you got any live shows planned, or any plans for more new music? 

We’ve spoken about touring. That’s on the cards if it makes sense for us. Right now though, we have the ingredients of new music ready to be assembled and be gently placed into the oven so that’s where our focus is – honing in. We’re about to do something as well that I don’t think has been seen or done. Something that takes the idea of ‘accessibility’ in the online space and totally pulling back the curtain and showing EVERYTHING. There’s nowhere to hide anymore.

Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of push baby via Sonic PR. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @pushbaby via instagram.com. No changes were made to these images.

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