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"Band to perform with national acts Friday"

NORTH PORT -- Members of a local band are hoping that a concert Friday will open doors for them.

Pushmower, a metal band with members from North Port and Port Charlotte, recently defeated 15 other bands for the right to open the 99X Mas Ball concert Friday in Fort Myers, sponsored by radio station 99X, Southwest Florida's New Rock station.

The Big Mama's Homegrown Championship was sponsored by the station WJBX-FM 99.3, at Eddie Fishbowls in Cape Coral on Nov. 26. The radio station received CDs from 41 bands, then chose the top 16 to play live. Pushmower won the contest, earning a spot in a lineup that includes national acts Avenged Sevenfold, Shinedown, Atreyu and Framing Hanley.

"We always do shows for 99X, so we're pretty tight with them," said Pushmower's lead singer, Greg Pope, who moved from North Port to Port Charlotte six months ago. "We might have got an e-mail from somebody at the station (telling us about the contest), and we took it from there. We played four or five shows, and kind of just squeaked through the first round. But the opportunity to be able to play for this show, the Christmas Ball, with thousands of people in the audience on a big stage, is pretty amazing."

The band started with Pope and lead guitarist Edd Snook of Port Charlotte back in 1995. The current lineup, along with bassist Jim Grimmer of North Port and drummer Rob Vogel of Port Charlotte, has been together for the past six years. The band's name, Pushmower, has stuck through some changes.

"We started off as a punk band, and now we play metal," said Pope, acknowledging that the name still works. "We were pretty young and tried to come up with the silliest name we could think of."

For a metal band, Pushmower has some "vast" influences.

"Rob, our drummer, comes from a jazz background -- his father is a jazz drummer -- but it runs the gamut from rock to rap to reggae," Pope said.

And all their music is original. The band writes songs collectively, and has "a really good chemistry," often knocking out a song in a month. They've recorded more than 50 songs over the years, and played more than 500 shows around the state, from Jacksonville to Miami.

"We're the only local band (in the X Mas Ball); everyone else is the national act," Pope said of Friday's concert. "I imagine we'll have at least 20 or 30 minutes to play. All these bands are top 10 on the radio, so for us to be in that ... And we've played with Shinedown before, and those guys are awesome."

As part of their competition win, Pushmower received a three-song recording contract with Bierler Bros. Records.

"We're kind of hoping that this will be a springboard in terms of getting a (major) recording contract," said Pope, who added that the band has worked with companies such as Paradox Studios in North Port. "But this time, we'll be able to put a CD into a major label's hand and say 'Here's the finished product.'"

For more about the band, visit the Web sites www.myspace.com/pushmower or www.pushmowerband.com.

If you go

Tickets for Friday's 99X Mas Ball concert are available at the 99X Web site, www.99xwjbx.com, or by calling 888-695-0888.

Gates open at 4 p.m., music starts at 5 p.m. at Royal Palms Park in Fort Myers. Advance tickets are $30, or $40 at the gate.


Staff Writer

- Sun Herald

"Pushmower's many influences will move you in different ways"


Pushmower members like to say they feel, breathe and live metal music.

The Port Charlotte-based band members pride themselves on their hard-core sound, and they are known in Southwest Florida for their intense live shows.

The band's members are all originally from the New York and Boston areas. They are Greg Pope on vocals, Jimmy Grimmer on bass, Edd Snook on guitar, and Robbie Vogel on drums.

Check out their Web Site at pushmowerband.com for upcoming shows and listen to their songs.

Band members responded as a group to profile questions from The News-Press.

• What influenced you to play music?

Well, Rob's dad is an accomplished jazz musician and that influence is apparent in his style of play; Greg came out of the womb with a mic in hand (born to perform). Edd's first love was drums but eventually gravitated toward guitar. Jimmy found his calling on bass after years of playing guitar. We are just monsters on stage! With all of us the main influence is the fire inside to play music and perform. It's like a caged beast within that just won't or can't be contained.

• How would you describe your musical style?

That's the beauty of Pushmower. There are so many musical influences from rock to rap, jazz to metal, that at any given moment you can hear it all. Don't get us wrong though, our sound is definitely unique and very much our own. We pride ourselves on the fact that this is music from the heart and soul. We feel what we play, no pretending here. We didn't wake up one day and say, "Hey it would be cool to be in a band, let me call up Mr. Peabody down at the office and get weekends off from now on;" we were born to do this, we are artists.

• How would you describe the perfect performance?

Whenever we can move somebody, we've obtained our goal. Whether it's one person catching us at a rehearsal or performing to thousands. We love, we feed off of seeing the hands in the air, the smiles on the faces. I mean this in the most humble way, Pushmower is not a band you listen to, or just stand there and watch with your hand on your chin. If you have a pulse, you will feel us!

• What are the rewards of playing live every week? Drawbacks?

First off, there are no drawbacks, every moment leads to another and the worst situation can mysteriously lead you to a great one. We are a live band. We are raw unadulterated metal! We love to perform, no venue too small and definitely none too big. Music is such a wonderful thing in that it can be therapeutic to listen to as well as to perform and we get to climb on stage and let it all hang out. Typically, you act the way we do on stage in public and the consequence is jail. Us? We get an encore.

- Know of a band you'd like to see profiled? E-mail jbuitrago@news-press.com with information including where the band plays, its members and what they play, and a contact name and number.

- news-press


"Vin and I had the privilege to check out Pushmower at Rockstarz here in Fort Myers, FL, last night. The signing party featured local acts, Second Head, A Dank Season, and of course, guests of honor, Pushmower. The night marked their addition to the Rockstarz Records family pioneered by Allen, owner of Rockstarz venue.

The show was balls to the wall right off the get go. A local act (who I missed the name of) got the party started with an awesome show. Their set was excellent, and noteably, their bass player was amazing. Next up was Second Head. If you haven't seen their live show, you don't know what you're missing. These guys make you laugh all the way to jumping up and down to say **** the man! With a very Zack De La Rocha feel to them, they fuckin' kicked **** and got the place on their feet. Then the men of the hour, Pushmower took stage. The energy is their live show is amazing. Half of the crowd was jumping up and down and singing along. Greg, the lead singer, gets up in your face, walking through the crowd, and (if that wasn't enough) does somersalts across the stage! At one point, Greg pummels himself into the bass player, flies off stage...the song takes a pause...then out of the crowd flies Greg again into a tumble on stage again. He fuckin' jumps up and the song starts back in PERFECT beat!! If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't believe you!! Everytime we see these guys, we have more fun! The crowd just eats it up! Last, but certainly not least, A Dank Season came up to help close out the night of celebration with a hell of a show. The whole night was band after band of hard **** rock kickassery. I can't imagine a better way to spend a Saturday night!


The guys in Pushmower are great guys. They've worked their **** off for years, and it shows in their live act all the way down to how they treat their fans like family. We at RockSites wish them luck as they venture out with Rockstarz Records in hopes to bring these guys to the masses! Good luck to Allen of Rockstarz, as well. Anyone who does so much for the good of great local music acts is great in our books! With a local music scene like this, it makes you feel good about music again, to know that it's not all about puffed up egos and acting like assholes. Music can kick **** and be brought together by amazing people."
- www.rocksites.com


PUSHMOWER CD includes:

Bleed In
War Machine
Cut My Skin
Crown of Lies
Down on my Luck
Running Man
Rubber Duckie

We have radio airplay with our song War Machine



Many things have been spawned through the eons of time but none such as Greg. Such a turbulent evil mutant with sonic vocal range has never before laid his feet upon this earth...UNTIL NOW! Greg's rise began from the evil empire known as New York. Now in Florida, he likes to play music with PUSHMOWER!

Sent from the outer limits of the cosmos by an unknown entity, Edd learned to cultivate his unique abilities at a secret location somewhere in Boston. Latest reports indicate increased powersurges coming from the Southeast sector, known to be in the vicinity of PUSHMOWER.

Jimmy is the product of genetic research gone awry. Human DNA spliced with wolves never should have been...but it was. The thundering tones of bass guitar soothe his savage beast so he plays on with PUSHMOWER!

From an alternate universe based on drums, pure fantasy and cartoon madness, a freak transdimensional shift propelled Robbie to our world! One of God's own prototypes, too weird to live and too rare to die, he now creates the powerful backbone behind PUSHMOWER.