Since their sophomore album The Dream Is Over was released in May 2016, Canadian rock band PUP has been running full force. From touring with Tiny Moving Parts and The Wonder Years to touring with Thursday and Frank Iero, PUP has been all over the music scene, as well as the world in 2017 alone. These childhood friends turned punk rockers are spinning out songs that are full of passion, heart, relatability, catchy melodies, loud instruments, and — of course — talent. We got to talk to PUP’s drummer, Zack Mykula, and find out what’s coming next for the band, hear some stories from tour, and discuss the current state of the political, social, and musical world.

What’s been a highlight for the band during 2017?

Meeting and hanging out with Chad Smith, obviously. But seriously, the list of bands we’ve toured with and great festival experiences we’ve had and amazing people we’ve met this year is really too long to mention. We’d be here all day. 2017 was just a great, big eye opening and overall positive year for us. We can only hope for more of that in 2018.

The Dream Is Over came out a year and a half ago. How has the touring process been over this time?

It’s been intense, but at the same time definitely more pleasant. We’ve gotten pretty used to the rhythm of touring, and having backed off (not very much, mind you) from the pace we used to take, it’s become easier to tolerate the rigors of such an inconsistent lifestyle and career.

What’s to come next for the band? Is new music in the near future?

More touring, more sweaty shows and sweaty trips in the van. Hitting the road with Cayetana and The Menzingers in February 2018, which we’re incredibly excited for. And we’re currently writing material for our third record.

Do you feel like the current sociological and political climate has, or will continue to effect, PUP’s writing, recording or touring? If so, how?

I’m sure it has — in one way or another — since we’re all students of sociology, whether it’s subconscious or not. But also, in writing, we generally have always tried to learn, adjust and be aware of the vast differences of others’ worldviews and life experiences, and be respectful of that and not trod on or alienate people. Not that our songs carry a particular political or social charge, one way or another. But, no matter what, words carry different meaning for different people and it’s always worth putting that under a microscope.

I also think it’s no secret that we like to try to amplify the voices, and take on tour the artists whom we respect and who will further the dialogue of respect (particularly for those who are largely voiceless) in society, for the better. We will always make an effort to bolster the efforts and voices of positive social change.

What changes would you like to see in the world in 2018?

More listening to each other, less gut reactions. More acting for positive change. More giving space to those who need it, less judging someone else’s personal choice based on your own personal worldview. Basically, I’m saying that we need more understanding.

What do you hope will come for the band in 2018?

More writing. More shows in new places.

You’re currently on tour with Thursday and Frank Iero. What’s excited PUP most about the tour?

Well, we get to share the stage with some awesome musicians and bands that paved the way for us. They are legends and we couldn’t do what we do without them. So that’s pretty exciting.

Do you have anything you want to say to your fans?

Be good to one another. Make space and cultivate a culture of respect for others, and especially for those who aren’t like you. Be a force for positive change. Also don’t forget to drink coffee. It makes everything in your brain go faster.

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