Over the past decade, the members of PUP have made careers out of turning their despair into a celebration. The punk quartet launched itself as a “pathetic use of potential” with 2013’s scrappy, shoutable PUP and now, three albums later, has predicted its personal cynical demise on new document THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND. If something, success has made PUP doubt themselves all of the extra. However these days, that appears to be altering. “That is the most effective place I’ve been mentally since we began this band 12 years in the past,” says lead singer and guitarist Stefan Babcock. There’s no enthusiasm or pleasure pinning up his phrases—as a substitute he simply sounds confused. “I’m feeling… good? That’s a bizarre factor for me to say. Any day that delicate individuals can get up and never really feel just like the world is utter trash is a victory.”
That feeling of normalcy—or slightly, the absence of fixed anxiousness and despair—was initially spurred by the recording of THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND final yr. Over 5 weeks, Babcock, guitarist Steve Sladkowski, bassist Nestor Chumak, and drummer Zack Mykula locked themselves in a bat-infested mansion-turned-studio in Connecticut to create the album with producer Peter Katis, finest recognized for his work with the Nationwide. The 18-hour days shifted issues into perspective: There was a readiness to experiment with synths, middle the piano, and lean additional into joke songs than ever earlier than. However extra vital was their renewed bond. “I’ve unfavorable self-talk to a level that’s not regular,” says Mykula, “and there have been enormous benefits to rising collectively in the home as we made the document.” As Sladkowski places it, “Although it was an intense stress cooker, it was the end result of one thing, whether or not we acknowledged it or not: We’re a assist system for one another.”
The brand new songs are boisterous, catchy, and meta whereas additionally earnestly wading by way of the nuances of despair in a way usually reserved for “confessional” indie rock. PUP sound happiest after they’re taking pictures at their very own psychological sickness by way of punchlines, gang vocals, and chipper riffs. Maybe that’s why their information are an on the spot mood-booster. When the band invitations you to sing alongside, it feels much less like being drafted into an emotional battle and extra like a Nerf gun combat with your pals: Should you’re going to take some injury, you might as effectively have a blast.
As PUP performs its largest headlining reveals so far (together with Coachella), Babcock and co. are using excessive on a brand new, palpable “wave of positivity” from audiences. “There have been reveals previously the place a giant a part of the gang is simply there to fuck shit up within the pit,” he says. “As a lot as we love an excellent pit, that was by no means the vibe of the band. However now, after a pair years off, there’s an entire new mentality and shared gratitude between us and the crowds. The imposter syndrome is actual, however I’m simply attempting to not let it derail how a lot enjoyable I’m having.”