When PUP set out to release their first studio album, they shared demos with as many labels and producers as they could get a deal. They managed to strike big when SideOneDummy Records and producer Dave Schiffman (Rage Against the Machine, Weezer, Anti-Flag) took notice of them. Schiffman listened to their demos but wasn’t totally convinced until he saw their live show in Montreal. After witnessing the band’s energy and chemistry cultivated from years of friendship (quite literally, the band had been friends since elementary), Schiffman decided he had to capture this band in a studio. The result was PUP’s self-titled release in 2013 that went almost entirely unnoticed outside of a few indie publications like Noisey and Consequence of Sound. But the band set out on a grueling set of tours through 2014 that tallied up to 250 dates that would capture the attention they so desperately worked to earn. Oh, and the sick music videos helped too.
Why does any band start a band? Fame? Ha! Money? Double Ha! I’d hedge my bets that nine out of ten times, a band starts a band to simply feel a tiny semblance of meaning and hope in this world. Why else would DIY Toronto punks set out to play 250 dates across the continent in a year? PUP proudly wears their fatalistic, nihilistic, pessimistic attitude on their collective sleeve. They see where the world is headed and are fully embracing its demise. All the while, they are sharing their misery with a surprisingly large amount of people who feel the same way. It’s a testament to their songwriting and lyricism that so many can find their melancholic songs as a source of connection and healing. As the acronym stands for “pathetic use of potential,” perhaps starting a band is a mistake but maybe it’s the only thing that keeps them alive.
- Guilt Trip
- Never Try
- Dark Days
- Back Against the Wall