Grow your own way
There was no fight to prompt the dissolution of Pushbox, but the Reno rock band played its final show on July 22, 2011 at Sidelines Bar in Sparks.
“It wasn’t like we stopped playing together, but I needed a break from people in general,” said Georgia Maestro.
The multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter describes her life during the years that followed as a “spiritual walkabout.”
“Some parts of it I was traveling around, all over the U.S.,” Maestro said. “Parts of it I lived in L.A. It was a big, big, huge transformational period for me, in order to find who I was without being around anybody else who could imprint what their thoughts of me were. I played with other people. … I took more vocal lessons. I joined the Nevada Opera when I came back into town. I did vocal jazz a cappella … and even took more piano lessons from my mom.”
Her bandmates, drummer Pat Williams and bassist-cellist Mike Grover, stuck together, for the most part.
“We went to a little different, more of a funky vibe—as bass players and drummers kind of have a tendency to do,” Grover said. “And we didn’t really look to replace Georgia. We just did it for fun—which is a good thing, because we never lost our timing, our fit-together.”
A little more than a year ago, Grover and Maestro decided to start collaborating again. It wasn’t long before Williams joined them.
“It was cool because as soon as we got back together, it was just like we had never left each other,” Maestro said. “And it was fun because all we did was like—I laughed so hard I cried, and then I played music with these wonderful people.”
“We’ve always had an amazing thing where we can just play and write really well together,” Williams said. “I don’t think we’d probably ever experience it with other people. We can write a song in like 10 seconds, it seems like.”
That’s only sort of hyperbole. In the 15 years since they first started playing together, the trio has written more than 200 songs. And they’ve been writing more since their reunion last year.
“We’re gearing up for recording, and I think that’s coming sooner rather than later—so that’s one of things that I want to see us all doing,” Maestro said. “I think that’s another art form that we really thrive in together—recording, for sure. I mean, before, when we were together, we had at least like eight albums of recordings. Not all of those are complete gems, but we recorded quite a bit.”
The band’s new music actually sounds a lot like its old stuff, which is to say it’s eclectic—with songs that cover the canon of rock ’n’ roll styles, from ballads to art pop numbers in the vein of artists like Fiona Apple.
“For me, the difference in the band is that each of us is an individual, and we’re not dependent on the success of what this group can do, because we are successful—because every time we get together it is successful,” Maestro said. “And that’s different. I think the drive, in the past, was to make it—whatever that means. Now, it’s like I have made it, because I get to play with these people.”