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PUP on Wikipedia
PUP (Band) Logo Graffiti.jpgPup logo graffiti at Sneaky Dee's, 2004
Background information
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresPunk rock,[1] hardcore punk[2] pop punk[3]
Years active2013–present
LabelsRoyal Mountain, SideOneDummy
MembersStefan Babcock
Nestor Chumak
Zack Mykula
Steve Sladkowski

Pup (stylized as PUP) is a Canadian punk rock band formed in Toronto, Ontario in 2013, originally under the name Topanga.[4] Pup's self-titled debut album was released on October 8, 2013 on Royal Mountain Records.[5] In December 2013, Pup signed with SideOneDummy Records and re-released their debut album in the United States on April 8, 2014.[6] The group was in the studio in late 2015 recording their second album The Dream Is Over which was released on May 27, 2016 through SideOneDummy.[7]


  • 1 History
  • 2 Acclaim and awards
  • 3 Members
  • 4 Discography
    • 4.1 Albums
    • 4.2 Singles
    • 4.3 Demos
    • 4.4 Music videos
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


Pup is made up of four childhood friends who went to elementary school together. They originally called the band Topanga (a Boy Meets World reference) but changed the name just before the release of their first record after learning that the franchise was set to be rebooted by Disney.[4] The new name PUP is said to be an acronym for Pathetic Use of Potential.[8] Babcock has stated that this was inspired by something that his grandmother had said to him, although there are rumours that they found inspiration for their logo from graffiti above a urinal at Sneaky Dee's.

The band originally recorded an EP and self-released it digitally.[4] The EP started to get noticed and the group was approached by Hollerado to tour together. PUP has been named one of Canada's up and coming bands by the Calgary Herald,[9] as well as one of Stereogum's top 40 bands of the year.[10] PUP won 2 Bucky Awards from CBC Radio 3 for Best Live Show and Best New Artist in 2013, as well as being nominated for Best Video.[11] They've played festivals such as NXNE, Halifax Pop Explosion,[12] Pop Montreal, and CMW.[13]

From September to the end of November 2013, Pup joined Hollerado and the Zolas on a 24 stop tour across Canada to promote a newly released self-titled album. 2014 was a banner year for PUP, they went on their first tour of the UK, playing 8 shows around the country with the UK band Slaves. The first two shows of the tour in London were part of the NME Awards tour.[14] After which they played South By Southwest in Austin, Texas followed by several more London shows and the Groezrock festival in Belgium. In May they started an extensive tour of the US with the Menzingers, Lemuria and Cayetana, playing 32 shows in 39 days. In August they opened for the Hives in London, England.

In late 2014, Pup completed its first head-lining tour of Canada and the US, culminating in a sold-out concert at Toronto's Lee's Palace featuring a "next level" performance.[15] In early 2015, Pup completed a multi-city tour of Australia, supporting The Smith Street Band.

Pup then participated in the 2015 Vans Warped Tour, joining the tour for the month of July, including a highly anticipated date in Toronto, the band's hometown and place where the band has enjoyed success. This was the band's first time playing the Molson Amphitheatre.

In late 2015, Pup completed a 38-date tour with headliner Modern Baseball in the US and Canada. In early 2016, Pup is set to headline a very select number of shows in New York City. They also released a new track, "DVP", from their second album.[16]

On May 27, 2016, Pup released their second album, "The Dream Is Over".[17] According to the band, the title is a direct quote from Babcock's doctor after damaging his vocal chords.[18]

Pup are touring the US, Canada, Australia and Europe in 2016 on a headlining tour entitled "If this tour doesn't kill you, I will", which is also the name of the first track on their second album "The Dream is Over".

Acclaim and awards

Pup has enjoyed critical success, having been nominated or won in major Canadian contests such as the Juno Awards, the Polaris Music Prize, the CBC Bucky Awards, among others.

Pup's first single "Reservoir" was nominated for a SOCAN Song-writing Prize.[19] It was also used on gameplay footage showed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2016 for the game Watch Dogs 2.

Pup's first album was long-listed for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize of 2014. The national newspaper The Globe & Mail called them out as front-runners in the contest along with Drake, among other artists.[20] Pup's second album was again long-listed for the Polaris Music Prize in 2016 and advanced to the short-list for the Prize in July 2016.[21]

PUP won 2 Bucky Awards from CBC Radio 3 for Best Live Show and Best New Artist in 2013, as well as a nomination for Best Video.[11]

Rolling Stone magazine listed the "Canadian punkers" of PUP as one of 2014's "breakout rock acts".[22]

Pup has been nominated for three Juno Awards. In 2015, Pup was nominated for Recording Package of the Year and Video of the Year for "Guilt Trip".[23] In 2016, Pup was nominated again for Video of the Year for "Dark Days".[24]

Pup was nominated for the 2016 Prism Prize for Music Video of the Year for "Dark Days".[25]

Pup achieved commercial success with the release of their second album, The Dream is Over, on May 27, 2016, with chart achievement recognition from Billboard in several categories including Canadian Albums, Alternative Albums, Heatseekers, Independent Albums, Top Rock Albums, and Top Album Sales.[26]

In July 2016, The Dream is Over was nominated to the Short-list of the 2016 Polaris Music Prize.[27]

Rolling Stone also listed the "Sleep in the Heat" music video as #4 of the "10 Best Music Videos of 2016".[28]

In February 2017, Pup was nominated on Top 20 long-listed 2017 Prism Prize for Music Video "DVP" and "Sleep In The Heat".[29]


  • Stefan Babcock – lead vocals, guitar (2013–present)
  • Nestor Chumak – bass, backing vocals (2013–present)
  • Zack Mykula – drums, backing vocals (2013–present)
  • Steve Sladkowski – guitar, backing vocals (2013–present)


  • PUP (2013)
  • The Dream Is Over (2016)


  • Reservoir / My Shadow 7"


  • Oceans as Topanga (2011 digitally) 7" re-release 2012

Music videos

  • "Reservoir" (2013)
  • "Lionheart" (2014)
  • "My Shadow (Jay Reatard cover)" (2014)
  • "Guilt Trip" (2014)
  • "Mabu" (2014)
  • "Back Against The Wall" (2015)
  • "Dark Days" (2015)
  • "DVP" (2016)
  • "If This Tour Doesn't Kill You, I Will." (2016)
  • "Sleep In The Heat" (2016)

See also

  • iconMusic of Canada portal
  • Music of Canada
  • Canadian rock


  1. ^ "PUP | Biography, Albums, & Streaming Radio". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  2. ^ Lampiris, Steve (April 14, 2014). "PUP – PUP". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved September 28, 2016. ...a fantastic hardcore band. 
  3. ^ Weiss, Dan (November 3, 2016). "For Toronto pop-punks PUP, the dream is just beginning". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c Hudson, Alex. "PUP - Boys, Meet World • Interviews •". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  5. ^ "Check out Toronto Punk Band – PUP". Indie88. 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  6. ^ "SideOneDummy Records signs PUP". Propertyofzack.com. 2013-12-09. Retrieved 2013-12-09. 
  7. ^ "PUP Announce 'The Dream Is Over' LP". Exclaim.ca. 2016-03-30. Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
  8. ^ "Maimann: Punk band PUP has no regrets | Columnists | Opinion". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  9. ^ Bell, Mike (2013-11-08). "Pup: The best new band in Canada heads to Calgary". Calgaryherald.com. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  10. ^ "Stereogum's 40 Best New Bands Of 2013 PUP – Stereogum". Stereogum.com. 2013-09-19. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  11. ^ a b "2013 Bucky Award Winners". CBC. 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  12. ^ "Watch PUP Cover Fucked Up With Damian Abraham". Stereogum. 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  13. ^ "Topanga "Oceans"". Indie88. 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  14. ^ "NME Awards Tour". NME. 2013-12-09. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  15. ^ Howard, Richard (2014-11-25). "PUP's Homecoming Show Took Them to the Next Level | NOISEY". Noisey.vice.com. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  16. ^ "PUP - DVP [punk rock, pop-punk] (2016) : listentothis". Reddit.com. 2016-01-26. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  17. ^ "The Dream Is Over, by PUP". Puptheband.bandcamp.com. Retrieved 2016-05-30. 
  18. ^ "PUP talk their "rowdy, noisy clusterfuck" of a new album, 'The Dream Is Over'". DIY. Retrieved 2016-05-30. 
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 8, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2014. 
  20. ^ Wheeler, Brad (20 June 2014). "Long list for the Polaris Prize is diverse, but not all-inclusive". The Globe and Mail. 
  21. ^ "2016 Polaris Music Short List Is Here". Polaris Music Prize. Retrieved 2016-07-14. 
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 28, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  23. ^ "2015 JUNO Awards Nominees" (PDF). Junoawards.ca. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  24. ^ "2016 JUNO Awards Nominees" (PDF). Junoawards.ca. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  25. ^ "News". Prism Prize. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  26. ^ "PUP - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2016-06-18. 
  27. ^ "2016 Nominees - Polaris Music Prize". Polaris Music Prize. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  28. ^ "10 Best Music Videos of 2016". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  29. ^ "Prism Prize Announces Top 20 Finalists". Retrieved 2017-03-04. 

External links

  • PUPtheband.com PUP official site
  • PUP at CBC Radio 3
  • PUP Album at bandcamp
  • Metronews.ca
  • Torontoist.com

Upcoming Live Shows

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PUP has 65 upcoming shows:

The Owl Sanctuary (Norwich, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
The Rainbow (Birmingham, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
Exchange (Bristol, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
Joiners (Southampton, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
Sound Control (Manchester, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
Brudenell Social Club (Leeds, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
King Tuts Wah Wah Hut (Glasgow, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
The Bodega (Nottingham, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
The Dome, Tufnell Park (London, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
Bestival (Isle Of Wight, United Kingdom)Buy Tickets
Underground (Koln, Germany)Buy Tickets
Bi NUU (Berlin, Germany)Buy Tickets
CONNE ISLAND (Leipzig, Germany)Buy Tickets
Strom (Munich, Germany)Buy Tickets
Legend Club (Milano, Italy)
Traffic Club (Rome, Italy)
Arena (Vienna, Austria)
Treibhaus (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Schlachthof (Wiesbaden, Germany)
Reeperbahn Festival (Hamburg, Germany)
Beta (Copenhagen, Denmark)Buy Tickets
Dynamo (Eindhoven, Netherlands)
Patronaat (Haarlem, Netherlands)
Cambridge Hotel (Newcastle West, Australia)Buy Tickets
Oxford Art Factory (Sydney, Australia)Buy Tickets
The Brightside (Brisbane, Australia)Buy Tickets
The Rev (Footscray, Australia)
The Rev (Footscray, Australia)
The Mansion (Kingston, Canada)Buy Tickets
Le Cercle (Quebec, Canada)Buy Tickets
The Capital Complex (Fredericton, Canada)Buy Tickets
The Sinclair (Cambridge, MA)Buy Tickets
Ottobar (Baltimore, MD)Buy Tickets
Local 506 (Chapel Hill, NC)Buy Tickets
Club Downunder (Tallahassee, FL)
Crowbar (Tampa, FL)Buy Tickets
The Fest (Gainesville, FL)Buy Tickets
Cattivo (Pittsburgh, PA)Buy Tickets
Union Transfer (Philadelphia, PA)Buy Tickets
Black Sheep (Colorado Springs, CO)Buy Tickets
Kilby Court (Salt Lake City, UT)Buy Tickets
The Cobalt (North Vancouver, Canada)Buy Tickets
Lucky Bar (Victoria, Canada)Buy Tickets
The Starlite Room (Edmonton, Canada)Buy Tickets
Amigos (Saskatoon, Canada)Buy Tickets
The Good Will (Winnipeg, Canada)Buy Tickets
La Sala Rossa (Montreal, Canada)Buy Tickets

Further Reading

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