Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ PUP

PUP“They’re called PUP. They’re from Toronto. They play loud music. You’ll like it. Or maybe you won’t.”  Toronto-based PUP are insane, and in the best of ways. The punk rock and rollers release their self-titled debut record on October 8th, and if you like music you can blast that will make you go wild, you’ll love this Pathetic Use of Potential (don’t worry– we’re not being mean, read on!) In a recent interview, A Music Blog, Yea? caught up with the energetic quartet to talk about their name, their rad opinion on twerking, Macho Man, and more!

AMBY: Hello PUP, cheers for speaking with AMBY today. What’s the band been up to lately?

PUP: Hi AMBY cheers for speaking with PUP today.  We are busy!  Playing a ton of shows, and getting ready to release our debut album on October 8. Exciting times.  Oh, we also just put out a video today for our new single “Reservoir”.  We get really fucked up in it.  Both in terms of like we drank a lot, and in terms of we actually fucked our bodies up.  Like I get impaled with a cymbal and Zack breaks his hand and Nestor and Steve both rip their faces open. It’s crazy and you should watch it!

AMBY: You recently announced that you have “super big news ya!” and will be touring Canada. What are you most looking forward to?

PUP: We really like touring – it sounds dumb but we are best buds and it’s a lot of fun to hang every day and travel and find new and exciting ways to make fun of Steve.  Also we’re doing a bunch of shows with Hollerado and we’re good pals with them and we generally peer pressure each other into doing stupid shit and it’s a lot of fun.  And also, we’re playing a couple shows with Fucked Up and Billy Talent.  Those should be pretty nuts.  I’m excited.

AMBY: Where is your favourite city in the world to play?

PUP: Toronto! Best place.  We have a lot of fun in our hometown.  We’re doing an album release show at Sneaky Dee’s on Oct 17 and its gonna be funnnn. You should come!  Steve needs a date.

AMBY: And where would be your dream location to play a concert?

PUP: Wendy’s.  But we get to sit and eat while we’re playing.  Also, we’re not actually playing. So yeah, finally answer: I’m going to Wendy’s after this.

AMBY: Your debut, self-titled album comes out on October 8th. What can fans expect to hear?

PUP: It sounds like us, playing our songs.  Is that a terrible answer?  I dunno – its a punk rock record with yell-along choruses and way too many gang vocals. We’re really proud of it, I think it rocks pretty hard.  We recorded with one of our favourite producers in the world, Dave Schiffman (Weezer, The Bronx, Vampire Weekend) and we recorded mostly live off the floor using our own gear, so there’s no studio bullshit on the record.  Dave said it best when he said “This record sounds like the best live show you’ve ever played”.  I think it’s a compliment, but maybe he just thinks we suck live.

AMBY: The band wrote “Fuck Disney, and fuck Topanga. WE ARE PUP.” What’s the significance behind the new band name?

PUP: It stands for Pathetic Use of Potential.  My grandma named our band. Truth.  She is a proud Grandma – she emails me before all of our big shows and says good luck & have fun – but she also once expressed concern that playing punk music is a “pathetic use of my potential”.  And honestly, she’s not wrong. It kinda is a pathetic use of all of our potential.  So anyway, thanks for the band name grandma.  And fuck Topanga.

AMBY: On your website, Zack once did a review on his thoughts regarding Queens of the Stone Age. Who else have you been listening to lately?

Stefan: METZ, Single Mothers, The So So Glos

Zack: King Tuff, Pissed Jeans, Diarrhea Planet

Steve: Vampire Weekend, Thundercat, Kendrick Lamar

Nestor: Same as Steve coz Steve is sooooooo cool

AMBY: If PUP could create a law that everyone would have to follow, what would it be?

PUP: Anyone who says twerk, twerked, twerking, or does anything related to twerking shall be sentenced to 30 days of eating strictly out of garbage cans.

AMBY: Who would be in your ultimate concert line-up?

PUP: Steve opens the show playing an acoustic set.  “Macho Man” Randy Savage comes on stage and smashes a folding chair over Steve’s back. WCW/NWO.

Macho Man proceeds to perform a one-time only reunion show of his rap project (seriously, Macho Man Randy Savage had a rap career for a hot second).

Best show ever.

AMBY: What’s the best release of the year?

Stefan: FIDLAR – “S/T”.

Zack: Queens of the Stoneage – “…Like Clockwork”

Steve: Killer Mike & El-P – “Run The Jewels”

Nestor: Same as Steve, coz Steve is sooooo cool

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about PUP that nobody knows yet?

PUP: We collectively invented that thing where you put up your index finger to silence people.


Thank you PUP, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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