Pup (band)

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PUP (Band) Logo Graffiti.jpg
Background information
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Punk rock
Years active 2013–present
Labels Royal Mountain Records / SideOneDummy Records
Members Zack Mykula
Nestor Chumak
Steve Sladkowski
Stefan Babcock

Pup (stylized as PUP) is a Canadian punk rock band formed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada formerly called Topanga.[1] They released their debut self-titled album on October 8, 2013 on Royal Mountain Records.[2] In December 2013, they signed with SideOneDummy Records and released their first LP in the United States on April 8, 2014.[3]


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.[1] The new name PUP is said to be an acronym for Pathetic Use of Potential.[4] 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.[1] 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,[5] as well as one of Stereogum's top 40 bands of the year.[6] 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.[7] They've played festivals such as NXNE, Halifax Pop Explosion,[8] Pop Montreal, and CMW.[9]

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.[10] 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 the Fall of 2014, Pup completed its first head-lining tour of Canada and the U.S.A., culminating in a sold-out concert at Toronto's Lee's Palace featuring a "next level" performance.[11]

In early 2015, Pup begins a multi-city tour of Australia, supporting The Smith Street Band.

Acclaim and awards[edit]

Pup's first single "Reservoir" was nominated for a SOCAN Song-writing Prize.[12]

In June 2014, Pup was long-listed for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize. The national newspaper The Globe & Mail called them out as front runners in the contest along with Drake among other artists.[13]

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.[7]

Rolling Stone Magazine have listed the "Canadian punkers" of PUP as one of 2014's "breakout rock acts". [14]

Pup was nominated for two Juno Awards in 2015: Recording Package of the Year and Video of the Year for "Guilt Trip". [15]


  • Zack Mykula - drums & vocals
  • Nestor "Mr. Fancy" Chumak - bass & vocals
  • Steve Sladkowski - guitar & vocals
  • Stefan Babcock - vocals & guitar



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


  • Pup (2014)
Track list
  1. "Guilt Trip" - 3:20
  2. "Reservoir" - 3:16
  3. "Mabu" - 2:08
  4. "Never Try" - 3:46
  5. "Yukon" - 5:26
  6. "Dark Days" - 3:26
  7. "Lionheart" - 2:41
  8. "Cul-De-Sac" - 3:22
  9. "Back Against The Wall" - 2:26
  10. "Factories" - 4:29[16]
  • Reservoir / My Shadow 7"
Track list
  1. "Reservoir" - 3:16
  2. "My Shadow" (Jay Reatard cover) - 3:14

Music video[edit]

  • "Reservoir" (2013)
  • "Lionheart" (2014)
  • "My Shadow (Jay Reatard cover)" (2014)
  • "Guilt Trip" (2014)
  • "Mabu" (2014)
  • "Back Against The Wall" (2015)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Hudson, Alex. "PUP - Boys, Meet World • Interviews •". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  2. ^ "Check out Toronto Punk Band – PUP". Indie88. 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  3. ^ "SideOneDummy Records signs PUP". 2013-12-09. Retrieved 2013-12-09. 
  4. ^ "Maimann: Punk band PUP has no regrets | Columnists | Opinion". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  5. ^ Bell, Mike (2013-11-08). "Pup: The best new band in Canada heads to Calgary". Calgaryherald.com. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  6. ^ "Stereogum’s 40 Best New Bands Of 2013 PUP – Stereogum". Stereogum.com. 2013-09-19. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  7. ^ a b "2013 Bucky Award Winners". CBC. 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  8. ^ "Watch PUP Cover Fucked Up With Damian Abraham". Stereogum. 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  9. ^ "Topanga "Oceans"". Indie88. 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  10. ^ "NME Awards Tour". NME. 2013-12-09. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  11. ^ http://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/blog/pups-homecoming-show-next-level.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "SOCAN Songwriting Prize". 
  13. ^ Wheeler, Brad (20 June 2014). "Long list for the Polaris Prize is diverse, but not all-inclusive". The Globe and Mail. 
  14. ^ "The Breakout Rock Acts of 2014". 26 June 2014. 
  15. ^ (PDF) http://junoawards.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/2015-JUNO-Nominee-List.pdf.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ "PUP - PUP | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 

External links[edit]