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How would you feel to be told that after playing over 450 gigs the dream is over? Well that’s exactly what happened to Toronto punk rock band PUP when their lead singer Stefan damaged his vocal chords to the extent that he was told he’d never sing again. But they’re back on track, still going strong and we grabbed the chance to speak to Steve before their second trip to Te Owl Sanctuary this month.

Are you excited to come back to England? Yeah I am. You know you’ve certainly been in the news recently! Te shows have all been selling very well. It’s our fifth time over but our first headline show. Iit will be nice to go back and see some friends. What was the music scene like in Toronto growing up? Wow, great question! Well the music scene in Toronto was really vibrant for a number of years, this city is the one of the biggest on the continent and the scene here has always been really amazing. It was a lot easier to throw an all ages show when I was 13 - actually it’s very interesting that we are doing this interview in Norwich and about our show at Te Owl Sanctuary because they really embody a lot of the principles that I grew up going to shows with. Tey are very much about being inclusive and having as many all ages shows as possible, really supporting the community and building something for the people of Norwich. We

16 / August 2016/

would go to all ages shows in downtown Toronto but now it’s pretty much all bars, and kids who could play good shows are not allowed to go into those bars. Tat’s something you can draw a direct correlation between, a lot of the great and established bands in Toronto now who were able to learn how to play shows by having the opportunity to play at all ages shows when they were younger. All ages shows gave them that opportunity. It’s a little more difficult for young bands now, so that’s why we try to do more all ages shows as that’s the world that nurtured us. Speaking of nurturing I know you’ve all been friends since you were all really young. I wondered if you felt like that gave you a special connection as a band and whether it makes it easier to make music? Yeah definitely. We all know how to push each other’s buttons in like a brotherly sort of way which is fun - we do it in a loving way but we can also anticipate each other’s creative and musical

“Going on tour doesn’t mean I’m going to stop eating salad!”

INFORMATION PUP play Te Owl Sanctuary on 29th August. Tickets available from

contributions. So I recognize as a guitarist when it’s time for me to step out and kind of be in the forefront but I also recognize when it’s time for me to step down and sit back and work in a supporting role. It makes it a lot easier when we know each other so well musically but also just as people. How did you feel when the doctor told Stephan the dream was over? We were actually in Baltimore, Maryland at the beginning of a six week tour with Modern Baseball and it was the first night that we found out about the news of Stephan’s throat. He was visibly distressed. As a touring band, doing what we do things are stacked against you to begin with, you know, it’s not like we are Taylor Swift! We knew that we would probably have to make sacrifices and that the dream could be over so we have to be afraid of that at any time. So as soon as we found out the news about Stephan we immediately knew we would have to do what’s best for the band. We didn’t want to cancel gigs but we ended

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