The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Texas A&M infielder Rylen Wiggins (2) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Aggies’ season ends with heartbreaking loss to Longhorns
Luke White, Sports Editor • May 27, 2024

Sharper play in the sixth innings of Texas A&M softball’s NCAA Super Regional series with No. 1 Texas may have been the difference between...

Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Push to Start: More than a cover band

Courtesy of Push to Start

Cover band Push to start performs aon stage.

Push to Start brings classic and modern rock to life in Aggieland.
The cover band — composed of statistics graduate Alex Peters, biomedical engineering graduate Sean Shamgar, industrial and systems engineering senior Paul Venesky and Nick Mischtian — is a local band whose sound encapsulates the spirit of rock and roll.
Venesky said the band is primarily a cover band for classic and modern rock, but they try to keep it hot and engaging to audiences.
“We really capture a niche that no other band quite fills,” Venesky said. “We are comfortable playing rock and roll, everything from the 1950s until today. It gives us a broad appeal across a wide range of ages and interest groups, like rock and roll throughout the ages.”
Before the band even started, Peters said he and Shamgar had already been playing together for several years, and Shamgar, Venesky and Mischtian were in jazz band together and had already begun experimenting with music.
“My friend in a fraternity said, ‘Hey, we need a rock band for a party that we’re throwing,’ and I said, ‘I have a rock band,’ and we didn’t have a rock band,” Peters said. “In about a week and a half, we had a rock band and we played that show, and we’ve been doing it since.”
After their first performance together, Shamgar said the band members noticed their chemistry, despite each of them practicing different styles of music for years.
“Once we did it, we’re like, ‘Hey, we’re kind of good at this, we can probably do this a little bit more professionally,’” Shamgar said. “We’ve all been individually playing different styles for years, but the chemistry was there.”
The band name was inspired by a button on their dryer, Shamgar said.
“In my head I thought of a push-to-start car and thought of car imagery,” Shamgar said. “That was the first idea that came to me, so I was like, ‘Our band should be called Push to Start.’ The car stuff never happened, we definitely went in a different direction. But, I just had to dry some clothes one day and now we’re here.”
Each of the members of Push to Start enjoyed similar music and all loved rock, Mischtian said, so collaborating to become a rock cover band happened naturally.
“We knew all the songs separately,” Mischtian said. “I learned the bass parts on my own before I even met them and they knew the parts when I came in. The first time we played together, which was actually at a block party, the first song I ever played with them was ‘Hotel California.’ I knew the baseline and they were playing it, and I was like, ‘I gotta play it.’ So, I jumped in there, and we just started off because we all knew the song, and we all enjoyed playing the songs.”
Since it’s a cover band, Veneksy said there is at least one song for everyone in their sets. This is his favorite part of being in a cover band, because they can target songs they know people will vibe to and have fun with, Veneksy said.
Performing covers makes the band modular, Shamgar said.
“If we only had original material, that’s really all we can play,” Shamgar said. “But the fact that the majority of our set are covers, that lets us change the sound and the dynamic of our band semester to semester, because that’s when we’re making the biggest changes to our setlist. Our setlist next semester, ideally, is going to look very different from what it looks like now. We never want to give people the same show. Ideally, we’re not even giving people the same show within a semester. That keeps it exciting and fresh for us.”
All the band members said they agree music by Arctic Monkeys is their favorite to perform because their music fits the band’s style well.
“We really didn’t have much exposure to Arctic Monkeys, and then [Venesky] brought that into our band, and we realized their music was perfect,” Shamgar said. “It’s a great combination of modern rock but also staying true to like, you know, that that classic rock and roll sound. Our criteria for most of the music we play is classic rock, British Invasion-type stuff.”
The band’s biggest goal is to mature and have a more diverse sound in their music and to play shows outside of College Station, such as in Austin and Houston, Peters said. He acknowledged the band would like to write more original music and they’re working toward playing at the 12th Jam at the beginning of next semester.
For anyone who doesn’t know Push to Start, Peters said regardless of what kind of music they listen to or what music they grew up with or what they’re a fan of now, they’re going to hear something that either brings them back in a nostalgic way or something they currently love.
“We’re about bringing energy to the stage,” Peters said. “We play songs that we think people are gonna love, and we want to play them with as much energy as we can and have as much fun as we can. We really try to make it a really fun show for people that they’re going to enjoy and remember.”
Shamgar said there’s a stigma around cover bands, but Push to Start brings its own uniqueness and professionalism to its music.
“We all have very diverse backgrounds, everything from jazz to metal is all blending together into a rock band,” Shamgar said. “We are trying to break out of that sigma of just being like a college cover band, to something more elevated and something more professional. We care about things like stage presence, audience interaction, having a high bar for quality, for our performances. We are going above and beyond what a cover band usually entails.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *