Norwalk band performs in Def Leppard video

Cary Ashby • Jan 1, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Being in a rock band’s video is dream-come-true for countless fans.

The Norwalk-based band Push is part of that reality now. Zac Rister and Jacob Ulery appear at the 2:17 mark in the new Def Leppard video, “We All Need Christmas.” The pair is in one of the 35-plus segments in which fans are featured.

Rister and Ulery recorded their performance about a month ago.

“They had this special website, weallneedchristmas.com, and that’s where you would submit it,” said Rister, a 2016 Monroeville High School graduate and longtime Def Leppard fan.

“I follow them on everything. They’re my favorite band; I’ve listened to them all my life. My dad got me into them (when) was I little.”

Rister discovered the video-appearance possibility while scrolling through Facebook. Def Leppard, one of several 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, had posted that Ohio fans had an opportunity to be in one of its new videos. Rister sent a screen shot to Ulery, who was all in.

“I think we were the only submission to cover the song,” said Ulery, who who graduated from St. Paul High School in 2017. “Everyone else was like mimmicking guitar playing (or singing); we actually did the song.”

The pair formed the rock-pop band Push about six years ago and has a rotating lineup.

“The original two were actually me and my cousin Brendon Hipp. We were actually in library class one day. We just love singing and doing harmonies together … so we decided to start a group,” said Ulery, who plays guitar, drums, piano and bass guitar.

Push plays a mixture of original and cover tunes.

“I write a song a day just out of nowhere,” Ulery said. “It comes differently. Some times I will have the melody in my head and the vocal arrangement and then some times I’ll just record an instrumental.”

Rister and Ulery have played at several of the Imagine Norwalk events. On Monday, they performed at the Milan Wine Post.

“I get a lot of messages from fans (who) have been there (at gigs) and tell me how much they love our stuff,” Ulery said.

The pair didn’t know if their submission to Def Leppard had been accepted until they saw “We All Need Christmas” on YouTube.

“It just showed up out of nowhere,” said Rister, who plays guitar and bass.

“Nobody told us anything,” Ulery added.

“I was so shocked when I (saw) that; I had to tell everyone and share it on Facebook,” Rister said. “I’ve gotten over 50 likes on it and everyone is like, ‘Congratulations, good job; that’s awesome.’ ‘That’s very cool;’ yeah, it is.”

Ulery and Rister have yet to hear any feedback from Def Leppard.

“I would love to,” Ulery said.

Push has an EP coming out soon, “Christmas With You,” which will include the band’s version of “We All Need Christmas.” Push’s debut single, “dNCEwMe,” is available on iTunes and Spotify.

There are many options to follow what’s going on with Push. The band is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/musicbypush. Band videos are available on Instagram — @jacob_push and @push_zac. The official Push YouTube channel is located at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8mbcpQ_BFrX6snhSosTpQw.

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