DIRECTED BY DEAN KARR
Not even close to legal drinking age, Southern California schoolboys PUSHING VERONICA are a pack of proud ‘nerdy misfit kids’ that deliver a striking view into the pressures faced upon today’s youth with their self-described brand of “Ballpit Rock.” Mixing pop-punk melodies with crunchy rock riffs, the quartet have sprung to life the debut single and music video from their upcoming LP due in 2020 with the tongue-in-cheek track, “Dead Girl.”
“Dead Girl” is accompanied with a macabre and hilarious music video shot by the legendary Dean Karr (Marilyn Manson, Deftones) and likens the high school hookup culture to necrophilia. “I’ve been a fan of Pushing Veronica for a couple years now and have loved seeing them mature into a full-blown rock band with hit making promise!” lauded Karr. “We had a blast making ‘Dead Girl,’ and my prosthetics department led by Ralis Khan did such an amazing job with our actress’ makeup! Writing the short story was fun and couldn’t have come out more on point than exactly what we filmed! Proud of these guys!”
Explaining the storyline, vocalist and guitarist JULIEN SILVÅS shared: “It’s like nobody wants to be burdened with a relationship or any form of love. Everybody just wants to chew people up and spit them out like emotionless zombies. It’s bullsh*t.Vocalist and guitarist OLI LITNER adds: “We couldn’t help but stab that idea right in the heart. That’s why the girl isdead. She represents what happens when we simply use others for their bodies and stop valuing real relationships and connections with each other.”
Watch the official “Dead Girl” music video on YouTube here or streaming below. The single is also available for streaming and/or download across all digital platforms; click here to listen: https://spoti.fi/2XH14jb.
|PUSHING VERONICA – “DEAD GIRL”|
PUSHING VERONICA is Oli Litner (vocals, guitar), Julien Silvås (vocals, guitar), Noah Rozansky (bass) and Brady Ward (drums). The band were formed after Oli met Brady in P.E. class. Neither wanted to participate, so they stood on the sidelines talking about punk rock music. Brady then introduced Oli to his “buddy since preschool” Julien, and the trio ended up performing at Brady’s bar mitzvah in 2016. Brady enlisted his friend Noah to fill out the rhythm section on bass and, with all the pieces in place, PUSHING VERONICA came to life.
When they’re not in class, the quartet can be found performing all around the Los Angeles area and they’ve previously opened for acts including Unwritten Law, The Ataris, and Fuel. The band performed a sold-out gig with Gemini Syndrome at the Whisky A Go-Go which led to a production partnership with drummer and producer Brian Steele Medina, who invited the band to his Las Vegas studio to record their forthcoming album.
A Q&A with PUSHING VERONICA
(PUSHING VERONICA L-R: Noah, Julien, Brady, Oli; Photo credit: Dean Karr)
What it is it like being in high school and in a band? Do your peers enjoy your music?
Oli Litner: “This band is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m a part of Generation Z, also known as generation anxiety, and high school is literally a teenage wasteland. I’m so ridiculously lucky that I play in Pushing Veronica, because whenever I notice something that drives me insane, I can channel my energy into a song rather than collapse in on myself like a lot of other high schoolers and some of my closest friends. Aside from all that sad sh*t, it’s the most fun I could ever imagine and my greatest passion! Every day working for the band is the best day of my life. We really do appeal to kids like us because of the social commentary in these songs, and a lot of our peers feel accepted and relate to our music! It’s an incredible feeling, because slowly we’re creating a community that takes a stand against all the absurd ideals of our world.”
Julien Silvås: “I feel different than everyone I go to school with, but being in this band makes me feel welcomed and proud to be who I am. I feel like it gives me purpose and priorities, because it fills up the void that forces a lot of my peers to turn to unhealthy behavior and substances.”
Brady Ward: “I really enjoy what we do, and it’s a really fun escape from the boredom of high school.”
Noah Rozansky: “Being in both high school and a band, there’s a great deal of added stress to keep up with high school drama, hormones, and schoolwork in addition to creating and practicing with the band. The band definitely helps me through it and my mental health struggles and provides me with an outlet for my untapped creativity. Many peers at our school are much more mainstream, listening to rap and pop artists such as Travis Scott or Ariana Grande, so our music isn’t as appealing to them. But there are certainly people who value the same things we do, and they connect to our outrageous but relatable songs. We love our niche group of fans with all our hearts!”
Is it hard to balance your time between schoolwork and band duties (writing, recording, playing shows, etc)?
Oli Litner: “It’s definitely a massive workload especially because I torture myself with AP courses, but we end up making time for everything. Having a purpose makes juggling studying for a final exam, editing a short film and being energetic enough to play a show possible in the same night. Music becomes an escape from the work we’d already have to do if we didn’t have this incredible band, so any added work is completely worth it and welcomed.”
Julien Silvås: “Not really a huge problem for me, I try to keep my school work load to a minimum so that I can primarily focus on the band and on the music but there are certain times when it can be difficult to organize both priorities and keep them from colliding with each other’s schedules.”
Brady Ward: “I have had trouble balancing the two because I took AP science courses and honors math, so I sometimes have large loads of work to finish in only a few days, and often had my weekends consumed with band activities.”
Noah Rozansky: “It’s an insane amount of work, keeping high GPAs as well as constantly bettering ourselves, but Pushing Veronica provides an unparalleled escape from reality that in turn improves my work ethic.”
How did you come up with your band name?
Band: “Veronica is the archetype of your modern high school girl who is pushed, prodded and pulled in every direction, by social media, shitty friends, and her own insecurities, making it almost impossible to find her true self. Society gives us two choices; To find the strength to push back and live life with purpose or collapse in on ourselves and support the same demons that are eating us alive. In Pushing Veronica, our purpose is to push our commentary and our characters like Veronica and Chad to the absolute limit to highlight the absurdity of the world around us, so we never lose sight of the truth.”
Your new music video single “Dead Girl” was recorded with the well-known photographer/videographer Dean Karr. What was it like working with him?
Oli Litner: “Working with Dean Karr was a blast! It made our heads spin. He’s incredibly gifted and the ideas he had for this video were those of a visionary. Our management reached out to Dean, he loved the song and sent us back a treatment where every member of the band was sharing the dead girl behind each other’s backs. We laughed our a**es off at all his shoot ideas and were stoked by the props, like the Willie Nelson gravestone and a giant stained-glass religious window. It was inspiring to work with someone so legendary and so driven. Dean is the ultimate pro, and such a genuine, sweet person.”
Julien Silvås *speaking in Scottish accent*: “I’ve known Dean Karr since I was a wee lad. I was introduced to him by my mother who had been his friend through her work. Working with him was truly an amazing and enlightening experience because of the attention to detail and work ethic he possesses. It really shines through in everything he creates.”
Noah Rozansky: “It was so insane we were going to work with Dean Karr! Being introduced felt surreal and working with him was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had and I’m so happy we got to work with someone so talented.”
What was your favorite part about filming the video? Did anything funny happen on set?
Oli Litner: “We shot the video at Dean’s house in the Hollywood Hills and there are probably 5 staircases up to his front porch. It rained that day and we had to carry a wall of guitar amps and all our gear up these stairs while it was pouring. The rain stopped soon as we got everything in the house. It was a perfectly absurd introduction to filming this weird-a** video.”
Julien Silvås: “The rain was the universe pissing on our plans to make the best music video ever, but we broke through the clouds and conquered. I loved seeing my bandmates die horribly. I also really loved the dinner scene where I’m killed by a giant baguette, because it was so perfect for me and I laughed my a** off watching it.”
Brady Ward: “My favorite part was when we were shooting the cover photo where we’re all dead, because Oli was torturing himself, tearing up for no reason. He was trying not to blink for like 10 minutes because he thought the camera could see his eyes, when he was just staring at the floor.”
Noah Rozansky: “My favorite part of filming was the bathtub scene. The scene was the first thing we filmed on the second day, so I started my day with a nice warm bubble bath. The funniest behind the scenes moment was probably all the wardrobe options. We went through dozens of outfits, including clear pants!”
What is the story behind “Dead Girl”?
Band: “The song is an insane ballad about romancing a dead girl, featuring the most outrageous lyrics we could think of. We draw parallels to our thoughts and the way we see our peers treating one another in school. In high school, we’ve noticed the trend is that nobody wants to be burdened with a relationship. It seems like people these days just want to hook up and move on with their lives with no strings attached. We think it’s important for people to be in real relationships, and not just use each other for their bodies. This song shows the darkest implications of those actions. If you’re gonna blindly hook up, the person you’re with could just as well be dead. We couldn’t help but stab that idea in the heart.”
If you could tour with any band, who would it be and why?
Oli Litner: “I would absolutely want to tour with PUP. They’re one of the hardest working bands in the world right now, and a constant inspiration. Stefan’s hilariously dark lyrics remind me of the way I see the world. I also think because PUP welcomes everyone and encourages individuality as well as using comedy and fun in their music, their fans are incredible and reflect that. It’s what we try to encourage and promote in Pushing Veronica and our Ballpit Rockers.”
Julien Silvås: “I also love PUP because they’re extremely talented musicians and amazing songwriters. Over the past couple of years, I’ve become a huge fan of the art that they create because of the close connection that their music has with my life. I feel like I can really relate, and I would really love to share my adventure with them.”
Brady Ward: “I would tour with the Voidz so I could hear ‘Business Dog every night.”
Noah Rozansky: “I would love touring with Friday Pilots Club and half·alive. While they aren’t the same genre as us, their songs are all amazing and they seem like such fun groups of people. FPC’s behind-the-scenes videos show an infectious quirkiness that I want to experience, and their shows look extremely energetic. half·alive has such amazing musicianship and their lyrics are super powerful, and I’d absolutely love to play with guys so talented every night.”
You’re off school for the summer, what do you have planned?
Oli Litner: “We’re gonna work baby! We’re going to finish our debut album and practice every day to be the best band we can possibly be! In our spare time, we’ve got a lit Dungeons and Dragons campaign and we finna (sic) throw down.”
Julien Silvås: “Work! Work! Work! On our debut album so that we can get on the charts and take over the world.”
Brady Ward: “I’m gonna sleep and rehearse with the dudes.”
Noah Rozansky: “Our summer is being spent recording and rehearsing tirelessly to become perfect musicians for whatever the future holds for us! My spare time is being used to keep the rest of the band from murdering everyone in D&D.”
If you overheard one fan talking to another after leaving a show of yours, what would you like to hear them say about the gig?
Band: “We would love our audience to feel as insanely happy as we do. We urge our fans to let their freak flags fly and be themselves, so we’d love if our fans could turn to each other and say they really felt comfortable in their own skin, and they felt alive in the ballpit. If they felt welcomed in our community and they were dancing their asses off, then our work is done.”
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