Manche Bands sind mit einem natürliche Talent für den Abriss gesegnet: die kanadische Punkband PUP riss bei ihrem diesjährigen Auftritt auf dem Reeperbahn Festival alles ab, was an Wänden und Decken hing. Der Grüne Jäger in der Schanze, ein Club der sich nicht gerade regelmäßig mit Punkkonzerten schmückt, hatte an dem Abend genauso das Nachsehen wie meine Ohren am Tag danach. Sei’s drum – ein Interview war vor dem Auftritt sogar auch noch drin. Die Nachricht, dass die Jungs im Januar 2017 wieder nach Deutschland kommen, stimmt mich umso glücklicher.
Ich unterhielt mich mit Nestor Chumak (Bass) und Zack Mykula (Schlagzeug) über die aufkeimende Punkszene in Toronto, der Freundschaft zur Band zum „Stranger Things“-Star Finn Wolfhard und bahnbrechenden Releases aus anderen Genres (Hello, Kendrick!). Außerdem ließ ich es mir auch nicht nehmen die Beiden nach dem Hintergrund zum blutrünstigen Videoclip von „If This Tour Doesn’t Kill, I Will“ zu fragen. Erste Auszüge gab es am Dienstag bereits bei NOISIV Radio zu hören (startet ab 16:16).
noisiv.de: Congratulations on „The Dream Is Over“! It’s an amazing album and I believe you’ve worked on it with Dave Schiffman again, who’s got a pretty impressive catalogue. How did the collaboration come together?
Nestor: It was good! We also recorded our first record with Dave Schiffman. Around 2012 or 2013 we sent him a couple of demos and he was interested in working with us. It was very awesome for us, cause he made so many records that we love. He’s like a Jedi Master in the studio: he knows exactly what he’s doing and makes us sound huge. It was really fantastic working with him. He definitely helped us to shape our sound.
I guess you’ll keep working with Dave then, right?
Zack: If he has time and we have time: why not. It worked really well in the past.
Nestor: Yeah! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Dilly Dally – who are also from Toronto – are also playing at the Reeperbahn Festival tonight. You generally see quite a lot rock outfits from Toronto popping up in the last couple of months. What is happening there right now?
Nestor: I think Toronto has a really supportive music scene and now all these fantastic bands are getting the opportunity to go abroad.
Zack: It’s the support and also having healthy competitions, so that everybody wants to do their best. It doesn’t matter what genre it is, everybodys pushing each other to be better. That’s all kind of because we all grew up with a strong all ages scene, so it was shown early on what could happen if you stick with it. We all come from the same kind of generation and I guess that’s now the fruit of being born out of the all ages scene. It’s awesome to see bands like Dilly Dally and everyone doing really well, see Alvvays do awesome, who’re also from Toronto.
How’s Toronto doing with it’s nightclub scene and in general? Is it a good place to be at right now?
Nestor: There are still a couple of legendary venues and all ages venues. For a band it’s pretty good still.
Zack: There are shows every night, so it’s strong. But also, being in a band, it’s hard to pay for the rent. But people make it work and there are various communities within Toronto that support each other, DIY-communities of sorts, so it’s really cool.
Which clubs would you recommend to go to right now?
Nestor: The Silver Dollar!
Zack: The Silver Dollar is amazing, they are all downtown. One that’s kind of regained steam, cause it’s been around for a while but just recently revitalized, is The Smiling Buddha. It’s a super small venue and has like tiny shows, but there are bands coming from out of town that are way too big to play in that venue and play the craziest shows. It’s cool.
Nestor: It’s funny for us, cause when we were in high school, that was like the place where our crappy bands would play and be able to drink there underage and have a great time. It kinda got shutdown but now it’s like back in a big way, which is kinda neat.
Do you think canadian acts are bringing something new to the table?
Zack: I think a lot of it is like the expression „Throw a lot of crap at the wall and see what sticks“. Not to say bands are crap, but a lot of people are trying new stuff, which is revitalizing and an amazing phenomenon. I think that’s what we are seeing. Again, going back to the all ages thing and like growing up in that scene, while also see bands like Fucked Up and Alexisonfire in the same area: Growing up with those bands really motivates a band to try their best and that really invigorated a lot of people to start bands and try to make something cool.
Your music video for „If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will“ is one of the best videos I’ve seen all year. Who came up with the idea for it?
Nestor: We have a really good friend, Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux, whose in one way or another a part of all of our music videos. He directed this one and most of our videos with his pal Chandler Levack. Jeremy came up with the whole idea after listening to the record and just did it all. He’s a fantastic and talented filmmaker.
Zack: It’s funny, cause it’s very obviously literal to the lyrics, but he took it to the furthest extreme. It’s not a lame video that’s just doing what the song says, but it’s like so insane. He has these big visions that he just pulls together and it’s amazing. He’s so talented and we’re very greatful to have him.
You also teamed up with „Stranger Things“-Finn Wolfhard, I’ve just seen that YouTube-Video of you guys, where he’s oddly enough bitching about Grimes. He also played a part in the video for „Guilt Trip“. Must be fun to hang around with him.
Nestor: I feel like he’s gonna be a huge movie star! Which is kinda cool to see, yeah!
Zack: It’s fun to hang out with him, cause he’s just an awesome dude. It’s like we have a little brother as a band, which is cool. He’s so talented, not only as an actor, but he also plays music..
Yeah, he covered Nirvana, right?
Zack: Yeah. And other than us, he’s got a really good taste in music and he’s just awesome.
Are you guys into Dungeons and Dragons?
Nestor: I never played D&D, I played Warhammer.
Zack: And we played Magic The Gathering. I think that’s the closest we came to Dungeons and Dragons. It’s definitely a culture we associate with as a band, cause we all grew up with it.
Do you guys see yourself teaming up with Finn Wolfhard for another project in the future?
Zack: If he wants to, yeah. But his schedule is insane, he’s doing all sorts of stuff, so we’ll see what happens.
I was looking at some major label pop-punk releases these days and think a lot of them sound a bit uninspired. Do you still find some inspiration in todays pop-punk scene at all?
Zack: I would say collectively, that a lot of our pop-punk influences are in the past and a lot of our recent influences are not in pop-punk. There are lot of great bands, like the new Against Me! record is super cool. We’ve seen a lot great people make really strong records, which is very encouraging. But I’d say in terms of what we’re currently influenced by, it’s less and less pop-punk. But there’s definitely a lot of great stuff outthere.
What’s the last cool thing you listened to in general?
Zack: The new Dillinger Escape Plan single is crazy, it’s amazing. I listened to the new Angel Olson record a couple of times, which was really cool. There’s like records that were on the Polaris Prize shortlist, that are amazing. Like the one from Carly Rae Jepsen or the new A Tribe Called Red, which is an amazing hip-hop group from Canada.
So hip-hop is also something for you to get some inspiration out of?
Zack: A little bit, we all get our inspiration from every source. Steve and I love Kendrick Lamar, who made an amazing record.
He also released a new one this year, „Untitled. Unmastered“.
Zack: Yeah, that one’s cool. It’s obviously a little less refined, but you can hear his process in that record and it’s really crazy.
One last corny question: If there’s a song from the 80s you guys wish, you would have written – which one would it be?
Nestor: I’d probably say „Jawbreaker“ by Judas Priest.
Zack: „Hip To Be Square“ by Huey Lewis and The News. I love that song! I mean, I also love Judas Priest, but that song is crazy. The song sounds insane, and it’s just tounge-in-cheek, funny and just really poppy, while it’s also ridiculous. I love it.
Thank you guys for the interview!
PUP auf Deutschland-Tour 2017
- 26.01.16 – Hamburg (Molotow Skybar) (Tickets)
- 27.01.16 – Berlin (Badehaus RAW-Gelände) (Tickets)
- 28.01.16 – Köln (Blue Shell) (Tickets)
Das zweite Studioalbum „The Dream Is Over“ ist am 27. Mai via SideOneDummy Records erschienen.