PUP and the Dark
“The dream is over.” Four words that no singer wants to hear when seeking medical attention for damaged vocal chords. This was the unfortunate reality for the band PUP when lead vocalist Stefan Babcock visited a specialist for issues with his vocal chords this past winter. With their anticipated second album ready to drop, the timing couldn’t be worse.
PUP has been together for only three short years. In that time, they’ve skyrocketed in the punk rock scene, and that has kept them on near-constant tours across Canada and internationally. PUP’s catchy hooks, scream-along choruses and carefully crafted arrangements have set them apart. A poor prognosis of damaged vocal chords at this crucial moment in PUP history was devastating. Babcock is quoted in an article in DIY Magazine as saying, “It was pretty dark. I spent a lot of time revaluating my life, wondering if I was going to be able to play shows again.”
In a cocktail of coincidences with a twist of irony, their second album has an underlying theme of coming to terms with the realities of life and letting go of dreams. This is especially heartbreaking for a band whose guitarist, Steven Sladkowski, said in an interview for Hillside 2014, “Touring is the best way to see the world…there isn’t anything like it. We have made friends for life and seen places that we would have otherwise never seen before.”
But PUP is pushing through these dark times. It would seem that the drive to tour and perform hasn’t slowed down, even in the face of potential disaster. After the upcoming performance of Hillside 2016 on Friday July 22nd, PUP is scheduled to play 57 more shows before the end of the year.
The plucky band has even found humour in the ominous news Babcock received from the vocal specialist. Their second album is titled, “The Dream is Over.”