PUP SHARES NEW SINGLE “TOTALLY FINE”
THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND OUT APRIL 1 VIA LITTLE DIPPER/UNIVERSAL MUSIC CANADA
Toronto punk heroes PUP—comprised of Stefan Babcock, Nestor Chumak, Zack Mykula, and Steve Sladkowski—will release their incredible, ambitious and aptly titled fourth album, THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND, next week on April 1. Following the previously released “Waiting”, “Robot Writes A Love Song”, and “Matilda”, PUP shares one last single before the entire album drops next week. Accompanied by one of the Greatest Music Videos Of All Time™, “Totally Fine” is a hilariously self-lacerating track with an undeniable chorus that offers plenty of opportunities to open up the pit. The track features Mel from Casper Skulls on vocals, with Sarah from Illuminati Hotties, Kathryn from NOBRO and Erik from Remo Drive on the gang vocals. Watch PUPTHEBAND Inc. get away with their criminal business dealings in the Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux directed video for “Totally Fine”.
We wrote ‘Totally Fine’ after a long creative drought,” the band says. “We all agreed to take a break from PUP during lockdown, to take some time to deal with our mental health and get some space from each other. After 3 months of not writing any songs, ‘Totally Fine’ was the first thing to pop out. It broke this creative dam wide open, just months worth of pent up frustration all smashed into this one song. After that, we ended up going on a bit of a tear and wrote the rest of the record really quickly. The drumming on this song still blows our minds. It’s so manic and wild and makes the song feel like it’s about to fall apart at any moment, which is kinda like how it feels to be in PUP.”
PUP will unravel right before your very eyes on tour, starting in the U.S. next week. See below to find a show, including festivals such as Coachella and Shaky Knees, below. Tickets are on-sale now HERE.
THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND was recorded and mixed over the course of five weeks in the summer of 2021, in GRAMMY Award-winning producer Peter Katis’ bat-filled mansion in Connecticut. Full of typically furious, ridiculous and anthemic songs, the recording process allowed PUP to push themselves further than ever before. With more time in the studio, they were able to craft their songs sonically in a way they were unable to in the past, and allowed themselves to incorporate new instruments like piano, synths, horns, and more for the first time. Though made in madness-inducing isolation (aside from Peter and the bats, of course), PUP were remotely joined on the album by Sarah from Illuminati Hotties, Kathryn from NOBRO, Mel from Casper Skulls, and Erik from Remo Drive. The result is not just the next PUP record, but the *most* PUP record.
MORE ABOUT THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND
PUP released Morbid Stuff in 2019 to critical acclaim, earning countless year-end nods from the likes of Pitchfork and NPR, their late-night debut on Late Night With Seth Meyers, the JUNO award for Alternative Album of The Year, the short list for the Polaris Music Prize, and sold-out shows across the globe. Two years later, they spent a few weeks in the Summer of 2021 in a mansion in Connecticut with Peter Katis (Interpol, Kurt Vile, The National) to record and mix their new record, THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND.
The band—Babcock, bassist Nestor Chumak, drummer Zack Mykula, and guitarist Steve Sladkowski—more or less never left. When the band got comfortable in its strange new home, the (figurative) walls came down. “As the weeks passed, we seemed less and less rational, objective, and sane,” Babcock says. “You can hear the band start to fall off the cliff, and because of that, I think this record is our truest and most genuine to date. There is nothing more PUP than a slow and inevitable descent into self-destruction.”
Every PUP record arrives with an implied “contents under pressure” warning; the tension between the band’s instinct for the melodic and its gift for chaos propels the songs forward while making them also seem close to flying apart in a horrifying spray of tears and gore. THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND is the sound of a band that is not just comfortable with but in command of that chaos. “There’s only so many times you can write a song about how much you hate yourself before you write a song about how fucking good you are at hating yourself,” Babcock says. “It’s funny that we’ve provided for ourselves by being fuck-ups and writing songs about being fuck-ups. We’ve been fuck-ups forever, and now we’ve got a responsibility, to others and to ourselves, to fuck up in a productive manner.”
Babcock says. ““I wanted to write about the horrible state of the world, but through a very specific and personal lens. It’s a lot of me trying to articulate my own coping with existential dread, hopelessness, and what I’ve called ‘Grim Reaping’—which is to me, the idea that we are all reaping what we sow, and right now we’re sowing some pretty fucked up shit.”
THE UNRAVELING is not a departure from what got PUP here, really; for all the new breadth, this is still very much the fourth album by the band that has spun songs about The Bad Decisions Lifestyle into scrappy art. The hooks are as bright and barbed as always; the poison threaded through every song is no less potent. But a fourth album should be different from the first, or even the third, and THE UNRAVELING is. “I don’t know that we set out to do new stuff,” Mykula says, of a record on which the band does a great deal of new stuff. “It’s just a band trying to sound as much like themselves as possible. Every record you make, you get closer to that.”
THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND is that next step—not towards perfection, or even towards some more perfect version of writing songs about fucking up, but just in the direction of its choice. It’s a product of this endless awful broader moment, but also very much a step forward into that uncertainty. “The whole album process really brought us closer together, even as things unraveled,” Babcock says. “It’s hands down my favorite PUP record, and I don’t think it could’ve been made under any other circumstances.”