PUP has only been playing as a band for nearly five years now but managed to make it to the Groezrock line up for the second time. Armed with a new album soon to be released the Toronto outfit was set out to destroy the Watch Out Stage on Saturday. But before the madness commenced we found vocalist Stefan hanging out in the press area. So time to find out some more on the new album The Dream Is Over and where it originated from.
Congratulations with the soon to release new album The Dream Is Over.
I've heard it and sounds amazing. What can we expect?
You can expext a lot of touring. The new record, we kind of think is heavier than the first one. It sounds a little bit more confident. I'm excited to get back. I think it's a step forward.
The video for the new song It This Tour Doesn't Kill You, I Will has been broadcasting some time now. I've noticed it's getting good reviews?
It's been good. We have a friend of ours, his name is Jeremy. He makes awesome music videos. He's one of our best friends. He's always kind of like totally got where we were going for. I think he nailed it with that one. It was really fun to shoot that one. We all pretend to kill each other in the video. It was a fun shoot and i think the reaction has been really strong. We haven't put out a record in a long time. There's just a lot of anticipation.
This is your second time at Groezrock, pretty impressive for a band that started five years ago. Anything planned for today's set?
We're really lucky. We're going to be playing some new songs from the record for sure. See how that goes.
The album title The Dream Is Over was inspired by a doctor's visit where you heard your vocal chords were damaged. How is everything now?
PUP did 40 or 50 shows. That can be really hard on your body. We finished touring the first record, we went straight to the studio and recorded the second one. Two days after we finished recording we started a seven week tour. So it was a lot of singing for my part. The first days of touring i had to go to the doctor. Something was up with my throath. I was having a lot of health issues during the whole year. That was kind of the climax of all of that. They have a little camera that they can stick in your throat. They can see your vocal chords vibrate. And when she pulled the camera out, the words say said to me, the dream is over. Which is kind of ridiculous.
She found a cyste on my vocal chords and a hemorrage, it wasn't good. But, like i'm pretty persistent. I've been working and touring the band a long time and it seems that things are just starting to work out. Naming the record that is like a testament to our persistence.
Do you need something special for your vocal chords?
Yes and no. I kind of had the option between having a chirurgy or retraining my vocal chords. A chirurgy would mean that PUP couldn't tour for a year. That's not really an option for us i think. I've just been on some medication and retraining my vocal chords. It's going to be a long process but i'm feeling good. I've recovered from those injuries. I'm feeling pretty good.
New album, new merch. Clocks for one featuring The Dream Is Over and a genius parody shirt with the BA Baracus overall and gold chains. Who's idea was that?
That's our drummer Zack. He's a really creative, kind of visual artist. He's got a really unique sense of humour. He designs most our merch and it usually blows me away everytime i see it. He's a man of many talents.
Every tour he comes up with at least one really creative design.
Fellow label mates AJJ recently made a cover of your song Reservoir. Featuring electronic sounds and Sean's distinctive voice. How did you feel when you first heard it?
It thought it was amazing. Some of our fans were angry, because they didn't understand. The cover is kind of done tongue in cheek. I thought it was so good. It just took the song in totally different direction. Kind of poked fun at the genre at the same time. AJJ is such an amazing band, they're like one of my favorites. They're so good. We felt really flattered that they choose a PUP song to cover.
And is that the sound of a bong at the end of the song?
Could very well be.
Speaking of covers, PUP has a video where you cover the Jay Reatard song My Shadow. Any particular reason for that track?
We're all Jay Reatard fans, particulary Zack and Nestor. The drummer and the bassplayer. Just thought it was a nice song. We didn't play it live to many times. We did it on one tour. We just like covering songs that we enjoy. That record is one that we all grew up listening too.
Canada has spawned some great artists, from Leonard Cohen to John K Samson. If you could form an all star Canadian superband, who would you pick? And no Celine Dion!
Oh boy. You named John K Samson, who's i think one of the greatest songwriters in the world. I really admire him. He'd be onboard aswell as all of Rush. Because it's Rush, greatest Toronto rock band of all time. What i would like to say, right now in Toronto there are a lot of new amazing young bands that are kind of emerging. That we get to share the stage with often. I would love to put an all star band with just the kids that come from our scene. There's a band called Pkew Pkew Pkew, who are really amazing. There's Single Mothers and Dirty Nil,… there's a good Toronto scene happening now. We feel lucky to be a part of that.
Any last words?
Yeah, Our new record is called The Dream Is Over and it's going to be out May 27th. We're going to tour it like crazy, like we always done, like we did since the beginning of PUP. There's going to be live touring, we're going to be back in Europe several times.
I'm really excited to be back at Groezrock, last time we were here it was an incredible experience.
I'm looking forward to drinking a few too many beers and having a great day.
Photo by Jurriaan Hodzelmans
Interview by David Marote