An Interview with PUP


We chatted with Canadian Punk-rockers of PUP over email and talked about their signing with SideOneDummy, Fisted Sister, their SXSW experience and more, much more. Check it out.

PUNCHLAND: First things first: tell us who is PUP? Give us the cast of characters, who does what in the band?

PUP: Yo! We are a punk rock band from Toronto. Stefan and Steve play guitar, Zack plays drums, Nestor plays bass and we all yell into microphones all the time.
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PUNCHLAND: How did you come up with the name PUP and what other names were considered?

PUP: PUP came from a term coined by my family called Pathetic Use of Potential. It was said as a joke (they’re very very supportive), but it seemed fitting as we all quit pretty great career jobs to be broke and hang out in a smelly van together.

Other names we considered included: Sisted Fister, hyena beam, Steve Urkel Jerk, George Michael Jordan, and Nihilizard
PUNCHLAND: How excited are you about Pup, the record? Great record, by the way!

PUP: Hey thanks a lot! Super excited by the reaction we’ve had. We had pretty low expectations of what would happen when we put out the record and it’s been cool to see people connecting with it. We’re pretty proud of the album but we still feel like we tricked everyone into thinking we don’t suck. Whatever. Ride the wave baby.

PUNCHLAND: Reservoir is in heavy rotation on my Spotify. What’s your favorite PUP song?

PUP: My favourite is Guilt Trip. I find it super cathartic to play. And I think it’s a pretty good representation of what the band sounds like and what to expect on the next record.

PUNCHLAND: How was the process of creating the LP?

PUP: Tons of fun. We worked with an incredible producer named Dave Schiffman, which was a total dream come true. Most of the record was recorded live off the floor with all of us jumping around in the studio. We had a great time. We recorded it in Montreal in the dead of winter, when it was cold as fuck. So we just hung out in the studio each day and made punk rock and drank a lot of whiskey and it was the best way to spend a long winter.
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PUNCHLAND: I noticed you guys just came back from your European tour. How was that?

PUP: Really fun. It’s such a cool experience to be so far from home and have kids coming out, jumping around and singing along. We feel really lucky to get to see the world in this way and play music every night and meet new people. Life is good.

PUNCHLAND: You guys have been super busy, yeah? How many festivals have you played this year? How many shows so far? Which one was your favorite?

PUP: Ya, insanely busy. We made it our goal to play 200+ shows in 2014, and were gonna do it. We’ve actually just booked our 200th show and were very excited. I’m not sure how many festivals we’ve done – maybe 30? And there have been so many fun shows, choosing one would be almost impossible. Playing Toronto (our hometown) is always fun and insane. Philly has been really cool to us too. And our first ever show in Southampton UK was pretty nuts. There were only like 30 people there but they were super into it. The whole crowd formed a human pyramid in the middle of our set and the chick on the top was hi-fiving me while we played. Tons of fun.

PUNCHLAND: How was the experience of opening for Keith Morris at SXSW?

PUP: That was pretty rad. And intimidating. Were all big fans so it was an honour to play with OFF! Also, the black lips were on that bill and I’m a big fan of those guys. It was a really cool experience for sure.

PUNCHLAND: What’s your favorite on the road story?

PUP: One time we played a house show and when we do house shows we often do this thing where we play for 26 minutes and in that time we try to finish a 26 of jäger. It’s gross. Anyways, there was this pop punk band called Gob who were super famous in Canada like 10 years ago. And sometimes at Canadian house shows we would cover one of their songs. And people love that band so much that they just kept asking us to play the same song. So we played it 5 times in a row until the jäger was gone and Steve couldn’t stand up anymore.
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PUNCHLAND: What’s the punk scene like in Toronto?

PUP: It fucking RULES. there are the amazing bands like fucked up, Metz, flatliners that everyone’s heard of. But tons of bands too that haven’t broken outside of the city yet. But they will. Check out Pkew Pkew Pkew (gunshots), the dirty nil, Greys. Good shit happening in that city.

PUNCHLAND: You just signed with SideOneDummy not too long ago. How did that happen?

PUP: I dunno man. I guess they heard our record before it came out and dug it? Anyway, since we signed with them it’s been really awesome. They’re all such great people and super enthusiastic and hardworking. We love em.

PUNCHLAND: What’s next for PUP?

PUP: Touring! Non stop. Right now were on a pretty long USA tour with some amazing bands: The Menzingers, Lemuria, and Cayetana. Once this is over, we’ll do some festivals in Canada, then head back to the UK to do Reading and Leeds festival, Pukkelpop in Belgium and a tour with The Frontbottoms. Then back to North America for Riot Fest and some other fun shit! Were really excited.