Don't believe the bullshit that rock music - or more accurately, "guitar music" - is dead. The new generation of rock is alive and screaming; its parents, like most Boomers, are too far removed from the initial spark that created rock and roll so many years ago to bother recognizing its legitimacy. Rock is built off the free-wheelin' spirit of jazz, the broken heart of traditional blues, coated in grit and grime. Rock is more inclusive than ever which means evolution is inevitable.

PUP is one of those bands setting the new standard.

The Canadian band has been on a collision course with destiny for some time now. But, with the release of The Dream Is Over, PUP has reached that next level of their journey.

I sat down with PUP's drummer, Zack, discussing PUP's rising popularity, meeting your heroes, and what to expect for the future.


Welcome to beautiful San Bernandino, California!

Thank you, thank you!

So, over the past year-and-a-half or so, PUP has been just blowing up. What's it like to go from one moment you're just on the brink to now being completely over the edge.

It's hard to see that you're really over any kind of edge because it's so gradual. But, we took opportunities as they came. They eventually started to get bigger and bigger and we work with some very generous and talented people. They just helped us along and it's been awesome.

Nice, nice! So, we're here at High & Low's inaugural fest. PUP is part of the freshman class of bands playing with Death Cab and Brand New. What's it like to be included in this lineup?

I mean, you know, some of these bands and artists are just legends, all legends. It's just an honour. And I mean, it's here in beautiful California which is great. It's starting to dip into fall in Toronto, so it's kind of a gift to come here. And, it's awesome to share the stage. I mean, Death Cab is one of my favorite bands, along with Charly Bliss. Stefan loves Brand New. It's just stacked with bands we love. Should be a good time.

Oh, yeah. And with your music, the recordings have a blistering energy. How do you capture that and translate it to a live show like this?

I would say it's easier. I think it's more challenging bringing that kind of energy to a recording. We do live track recording with all four of us in the room playing, trying to sound like we are recording a show. And with the live shows, it can be easier because you're feeding off the fans' energy and so it can be more fun and the energy becomes more obvious.

And the shows become stuff of legend. And here at High & Low, you're on a bill with some of the artists you admire most. Have there been any other instances where you've crossed paths with legends or been reminded that you're now part of that world?

It's almost too surreal to fully have that kind of moment. It's really cool to meet- not that we got to play with them- but we got to meet Chad Smith from the Chili Peppers. He came to one of our shows. Just like, we tweeted at him and he came. So, that's pretty crazy. But, just getting to meet people we look up to is pretty awesome.

That's so awesome. And so with 2017 drawing to a close, what's the plan for PUP tour-wise? Any new music we should be aware of?

Yeah! So, we're slowing down touring a bit because we've started demoing some new songs. So, we've started writing. No timeline on anything or stuff like that. But, we're to the grindstone now. We want to take as much time as we can so we can make it as good as possible.

Well, I'm already excited. Are there any words of wisdom that you would give kids in their garages picking up guitars with that same dream?

Something I've always believed is, "If you think you're working hard, you can probably work a little harder." And that's just kind of been my mantra with all of this.