From: CA, United States
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Alt/Rock
“Melodic hard rock” — it’s often used, and perhaps overused, term to describe music that’s sonically heavy yet instantly memorable. For rock band Pushing the Sun, “melodic hard rock” means music in transition — constantly evolving and rich in dynamics.
“We really enjoy bringing the tones down to super-clean and then back up to roaring walls of distortion and driving beats,” says guitarist/songwriter/founder Billy Connally. “We don't ever want to become too predictable or be a band that only has one sound. Finding that perfect balance of musicianship and songwriting has always been my passion. Just because I can ‘shred’ on guitar doesn't mean I need to do it all the time. Melody, groove and atmosphere are more important to me.”
Connally launched Pushing the Sun in 2012. After his successful instrumental album release, The Silent Canvas, on Steve Vai's Digital Nations label, he was ready to return to his roots — a rock band with a lead vocalist. “I always have felt more at home with a traditional band setup with a lead singer, and the four-piece is my preference — probably because Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Van Halen are my all-time favorite bands,” he says.
He called upon his longtime friend and colleague, bassist Larry Smith, to build the foundation of a rhythm section. “Larry is one of the best musicians I know,” says Connally. “Rarely do I have to break a song down for him; he just jumps in and we're off. Also, he's my secret weapon. He can play almost any instrument and can sing well too. His favorite band is Rush, and he plays floor keys, like Geddy Lee. That makes our sound bigger and adds atmosphere to the music.”
Because of his vocal range and songwriting talents, singer Andrew Saman, formerly of Painted, was Connolly’s first choice to front Pushing the Sun. “I met Andrew ten years ago, and we had kept in touch, says Connally. “I always liked his voice, and once he started putting lyrics to some of my tunes, I was sold. Andrew knows how to balance writing, singing and melodies to create lyrics that aren’t overly complicated, but at the same time aren’t just simple rhymes.” Saman also named the band during a rehearsal. While Smith was using a floor synth, the vocalist compared the sound to “pushing the sun across the sky.”
To complete the lineup, Saman recruited his friend and colleague,
drummer A.J. Curtis (Annex, Starch, Stagnant). Connally and Smith felt an immediate kinship and camaraderie with Curtis. “When we started jamming, we saw what a monster he is on drums,” says Connally.
Pushing the Sun recorded three tracks with producer Tim Narducci, formerly of Systematic, at Sonic Room Studios in Livermore, California. “Tim has a great ear and he’s a good guy to work with,” says Connally. “He’s been producing and recording bands for a few years and really takes pride in making the recordings sound as good as possible. He knows how to balance his ideas with the band’s and let the musicians be themselves. He put a lot of time into our final mix and we are very pleased with the result.”
In addition to gigging in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California, Pushing the Sun and Narducci are now at work on a full-length album.
Learn more about Pushing The Sun and listen to their music here: