Ray Lego
From left, Push Play members Nick Deturris, Derek Ries, CJ Baran and Steve Scarola will play in Utah on Dec. 16.

Push Play lead vocalist/guitarist CJ Baran started his first band with bassist Nick Deturris when they were preteens.

"I was 11," said Baran during a phone call from their tour van near Little Rock, Ark. "We did that until we were 15, and then we wanted to be more serious with music."

That's when the two hooked up with guitarist Steve Scarola and drummer Derek Ries.

Now, with the band members' average age being 19, the group has signed a deal with Wind-Up Records and released its full-length debut, which is called "Found."

However, Baran said a record deal isn't the end-all, be-all.

"We are still trying to get our music out there and get it to the masses," he said. "There's an influx of bands coming in, especially nowadays with the Internet being an easy way to release music."

That challenge hasn't put a damper on Baran and his mates.

"We just love touring," he said. "We love playing music. We love seeing people enjoying our shows."

Although "Found" was released in September, some of the songs on it were written nearly two years ago, said Baran, who cited Blink 182 as the band that made him want to play music.

"It was funny, because to us, the songs felt so old and we didn't want to put them on the album, but to other people, those songs are brand new."

Originally the band had 17 songs ready to record but whittled the list down to 12, with songs filed away for bonus tracks somewhere in the future. They might end up on an extended play or a deluxe edition release of "Found."

The band's double-entendre-laden single "Midnight Romeo" was actually one of the last songs written for the CD, Baran said.

"‚ÄČ'Midnight Romeo' was written almost as a joke," he said. "We were on an airplane, and we got to make a song that would push the label as far as it can go lyrically. Let's just see what we can get away with.

"So we ended up making the song, and it became the first single."

Push Play began by playing at parties, moved up to local clubs and is now playing even bigger stages, thanks to radio shows.

"Things have changed, but you always want more," Baran said. "Now, we're radio shows and Christmas shows throughout December. I know the Utah show isn't a radio show. It's one of our regular shows. And it's nice to be able to go to places like Utah, where we don't have a fan base, and grow organically."

If you go ...

What: Push Play

Where: In the Venue, 219 S. 600 West

When: Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.

How much: $10

Phone: 801-467-8499, 800-888-8499

Web: www.smithstix.com

e-mail: [email protected]