Get excited because Toronto punk four-piece PUP are heading back to Aussie stages this October to celebrate the release of their sophomore record The Dream Is Over which dropped today, May 27 via SideOneDummy/Cooking Vinyl.

Following the release of PUP’s self-titled debut in 2014, this blistering four-piece have captured fans across the world thanks to their genuine brand of modern punk rock.

Named after the first thing doctors told singer/guitarist Stefan Babcock following a recent examination of his damaged vocal chords, The Dream Is Over sees the band as confident and as in tune with each other as they have ever been.

It’s a conscious act of rebellious defiance that turns this crazy dream of theirs back on its head. If anything, The Dream Is Over is a visible, visceral proof that the dream is, in fact, very much alive.

To celebrate he release and impending tour, Stefan Babcock shared with us the records that changed his life. Check them out below and don’t miss the band when they roll into town later in the year.  

Built To Spill – There’s Nothing Wrong With Love

1994, Up Records

My first girlfriend showed me this record when I was 14, and to this day it is still my favourite album ever.

Hearing this record was the first time I ever felt a real, significant emotional connection to any music. This album was the reason I started writing music and playing guitar in the first place.

The first song I ever learned to play on the guitar was ‘Reasons’ and I played it to my girlfriend over the phone because I was too nervous to play it for her in person.

Refused – The Shape Of Punk To Come

1998, Epitaph Records

This is a record that probably a lot of “punk” dudes have on their list.

Before hearing this record, I didn’t know music could sound like this. Everything I’d heard before this was just 4/4 or ¾ time signatures, straight-ahead chords and melodies and song structures.

This record opened my eyes, made me realize that music could also be textural and weird and dense and a-melodic, and all that stuff.

The Constantines – Tournament of Hearts

2005, Three Gut Records

The Constantines are a wicked Canadian rock band, that honestly, I was kinda late to the party for. I heard two of their albums on the same day, and I just got obsessed, listening and re-listening over and over again.

The other record is called ‘Shine A Light’. This band is a lot of things. Often loud, but sometimes soft, and always heavy. They’re weird but also simple, and groovy but not in a funky way – more almost stonery or shoegazy or something. It just puts me in this weird trance-like state. But my favourite thing about this band is their simplicity.

Not every song is simple, but sometimes they play the simplest thing and it just feels massive. The first song on this record is called “Draw Us Lines” and it’s over 4 minutes, and it’s just the same chord over and over again. It’s one of my favourite album openers ever.

Weakerthans – Left and Leaving

2000, G7 Welcoming Committee Records

Another amazing Canadian band, with so many good records. Left and Leaving probably isn’t my favourite of their records, just the first one I heard. John K Samson (the main songwriter) is probably my favourite lyricist in the world.

Honourable mentions also to Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) and Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel). I think all of these guys changed how I write music. When I first started writing, I was really only concerned with catchy melodies and capturing a feeling. These guys made me realise that maybe words are important too.

Brand New – The Devil & God Are Raging Inside Me

2006, Interscope Records

I don’t think this record really changed my life. But, it’s still easily one of my top five favourites. At this point, it’s pretty rare that I put a record on and go “whoa”.

This one still makes me do that. And whenever I listen to it, I am reminded why I love music so much.

Bomb The Music Industry! – Get Warmer

2007, Quote Unquote Records

Honestly, I chose this record at random, because BTMI!, for me, wasn’t really about ‘albums’. It was about the band as a whole, and as a concept.

BTMI! Is Jeff Rosenstock’s old band. And it feels kinda weird to write about it because Jeff is now my friend and label mate and sometimes tour mate, but BTMI! was pretty important to me. That band made me realize that anybody could make music. They were scrappy, and sometimes dumb, and sometimes they sounded like shit.

But the songs are so fucking good and the lyrics are so relatable, and it’s everything I love about music. So when I got into that band, I thought – hey, maybe I can be in a band too, I love these songs, and they sound like songs that me and my dumb friends could write.

One of the first shows I ever played in my very first band was opening for BTMI! – and as I recall, that show was just Jeff playing with an iPod backing him and it was simultaneously one of the best and dumbest shows I’ve ever seen.

2016 Aussie Tour Dates





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