Published Aug 25, 2014Toronto punk pop band PUP have been melting the tires off their van, touring non-stop since the release of their 2013 self-titled debut album. Yet somehow, the band have managed to carve out time to work on new material. As guitarist Steve Sladkowski explains, PUP are about nine songs in toward making their next album.
"We tried to take a little bit of a different approach in the way we write," he tells Exclaim! "We only went into that first record with 11 songs. It's not like we had whittled down from 50 songs, but we were super meticulous. We'd work on a song for months on end. I think the self-inflicted wounds have finally healed.
"We're trying to be a little bit less precious. We have this little improvised recording [setup] in our jam space so, once we settle on a structure for a song, we track it, put it away, and go on to the next one. That allows everyone to get some distance from the song and reflect a bit easier because we generally play together four to five days a week."
Sladkowski suggests that the band are in the early stages of demo development, with skeletons of songs, but they're closing in on the next step, which means fleshing out these practice recordings. PUP has also figured out that tracking — recording one set of instruments at a time — doesn't work for this band. They're a live animal and thus must be captured that way.
"We've tried different producers — some really great ones — and it never translated until Dave [Schiffman, producer of PUP] was like, 'Okay, we're just going to record live-off-the-floor.' That model hit with us, so we try and do as much work to the songs as possible so that when we get into the studio, there's minimal overdubbing. That's how our band sounds most vital and energetic."
Sladkowski says the new songs are each in respective states of completion and some are even making it into the band's live set. Their goal is to have three or four songs ready for their North American tour in the fall. At least one has already been road-tested.
"The working title is 'DVP,'" he reveals of the song. "It's named after the Don Valley Parkway. Stefan [Babcock] grew up around there and there was something he liked in the weird, almost dystopian imagery of that region. The river and the jail's there. So yeah, the song is kind of dealing with that."
Listen to this entire interview with Steve Sladkowski on the Kreative Kontrol with Vish Khanna podcast.
09/07 Toronto, ON - Riot Fest
10/07 Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock
10/08 Winnipeg, MB - Windsor Arms
10/09 Saskatoon, SK - Amigos
10/10 Calgary, AB - Broken City
10/11 Edmonton, AB - Mercer (Up + Down Music Festival)
10/13 Vancouver, BC - Fox Cabaret
10/14 Seattle, WA - El Corazon
10/15 Portland, OR - Slabtown
10/17 San Francisco, CA - Brick & Mortar
10/18 Los Angeles, CA - Culture Collide Festival
10/20 San Diego, CA - Casbah
10/21 Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
10/23 Dallas, TX - Three Links
10/24 Austin, TX - Red 7
10/25 Houston, TX - Fitzgeralds
10/29 Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder
10/30 Tampa, FL - Pre-Fest
10/31 Gainesville, FL - The Fest
11/03 Cincinnati, OH - MOTR Pub
11/04 Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox
11/05 Washington, D.C. - DC9
11/06 Philadelphia, PA - Barbary
11/07 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
11/08 Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall