In 2013 Stephan Babcock (lead vocals & guitar), Nestor Chumak (bass & backing vocals), Zack Mykula (drums & backing vocals) and Steve Sladkowski (guitar & backing vocals) formed the punk rock group PUP. Chumak, Mykula and Sladkowski, grew up together in Toronto’s west end and added Babcock to their ranks during college. That same year they released their self-titled album with Royal Mountain Records, signed with SideOneDummy Records and they joined Hollerado and the Zolas on a 24-stop Canadian tour. 2013 was a busy year, but 2014 is when they really started to kick off.
They re-released their debut album in the United States, had their first 8-stop UK tour, played at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, play a 36 show US tour in 39 days, and ended the year back in Toronto playing a sold out Lee’s Palace. They continued their busy scheduled into 2015 playing tours and festivals across Canada and the US. In late 2016 PUP released their second album titled The Dream is Over.
From their self-titled debut to The Dream is Over, PUP has continued to impressed audiences and critics with their original punk rock sound. The sharp energy that they put into ever track calls back to the punk influences that came before them but their elevated lyricism and catchy hooks brings a distinctly modern flair. The result is a refreshingly original and fun sound that both old school punk rockers and newer alternative listeners can enjoy thoroughly. Reservoir, If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will and Sleep in the Heat are the best examples of this powerful convergence.
Much of PUP’s success can be attributed to their consistent touring schedule and their devoted fan base, but the band has been receiving much critical praise since their first album. These include both their albums being nominated for Polaris music prizes, winning two CBC Radio 3 Awards, being nominated for three Juno awards between 2015 and 2016, being listed by Rolling Stone as one of 2014 break-out artists, their track Reservoir being nominated for a SOCAN songwriting Prize and much more.
PUP has been up to a lot during the four years since their inception. They’ve been on a steady upward trend and show no signs of slowing. Continuing with their endless amount of touring they are playing several shows throughout the US in May, but you can catch them at the WayHome Music Festival in Oro-Medonte on July 28th.