With Velvet Revolver seemingly still on hiatus, guitarist Dave Kushner has assembled a new project that resembles a set-up akin to Gorillaz – an "animated" rock band called PusherJones, featuring The Simpsons' creative director Dave Warren, singer Frankie Perez (Camp Freddy and Scars On Broadway), bassist Scott Shriner (Weezer) and drummer Joey Castillo (Queens of the Stone Age). The group's first single, "Count Me Out," will be issued on May 1st, but you can listen to it exclusively here on RollingStone.com.
Kushner describes the band's sound as "A cool riff-rock thing. We're all influenced by everything from Zeppelin and Sabbath to newer bands," he says, adding that the lyrics for "Count Me Out" chronicle a fish-out-of-water story about the genesis of the band. "A lot of it has been based on different stuff that has happened to me or stuff I've heard being in Velvet Revolver for eight years," says Kushner. "It's basically about a big, notorious rock band, and there's a new guy that's coming into the band. You're basically seeing all of the dysfunction and insanity, and the things that make for great rock bands through the eyes of the new guy."
Unlike Gorillaz, PusherJones hope to become an honest-to-goodness cartoon. Kushner is currently shopping around a pilot episode in the hopes of landing an animated TV series about the trials and tribulations of a famous rock band. "The original concept was for a Gorillaz-type thing, animated," Kushner says. "Basically, me and Dave Warren became friends through Don Bernstein, who used to buy all the memorabilia for the Hard Rock. Dave worked on the The Simpsons, and then he and I started talking about stories and different ideas. It eventually became an idea for a TV show, but then we thought, 'The music has to be as good as the animation.'
"Count Me Out" will appear on the star-studded Avengers Assemble soundtrack on Hollywood Records. Sometime later this year, the quintet will also issue a five-song EP on a label yet to be determined. Kushner hopes that the band will eventually play shows or record a full-length at some point, too. "That's the hope, that we can do that," he says. "Who knows what Weezer, Queens of the Stone Age, or Velvet Revolver are going to do next? It's just a matter of getting everyone's schedules and ducks in a row."
On Velvet Revolver's current plans, Kushner says, "Again, anything's possible. I can't really say for sure. After we did that benefit a couple of months ago, the rumors and everything started swirling. Everyone's kind of fragmented right now. People are all still talking, so that's a good thing."