In the studio with PUP

Post Author: Stefan Babcock
PUP in the studio

Last Friday, PUP announced the title of of their next record to a packed Saint Vitus crowd at their Brooklyn stop during a string of select NYC dates. The Dream Is Over will be the Canadian band’s second full length on SideOneDummy, and first recorded with Dave Schiffman. PUP recorded The Dream Is Over in the fall of 2015 at Union Sound Company and Lincoln County Social Club studios, and photographer Amanda Fotes was there to document Zack Mykula, Nestor Chumak, Steve Sladkowski, and frontman Stefan Babcock making their newest LP. Babcock gave us the story behind the record’s title, along with some motivation to keep dreaming.

You can see the full photo set of PUP in the studio here. And scroll below for Babcock’s explanation of The Dream Is Over.

Stefan Babcock PUP
PUP’s Stefan Babcock in studio.

The past couple years have been pretty amazing. We’ve been on the road for over two years straight. We sleep on floors every night, we never see our girlfriends, and we’re constantly broke. But man, there is nothing better than touring the world with your best friends. For as long as I can remember, that’s been my dream.

Somewhere along the line, we started joking that “The Dream Is Over,” whenever something went slightly wrong. If Taco Bell got our order wrong, or a promoter stiffed us on beer tickets, or whatever, we’d be like “oh that was fun while it lasted. The Dream Is Over, back to the shitty desk job.” It was just a dumb, self-deprecating band mantra.

On our last tour, I had some health issues, and my voice was totally out of whack. So I go to see a specialist, who sticks a little camera down my throat so she can see what’s going on with my vocal cords. When she pulls the camera out, she looks real grim. She says—word for word—”I don’t know how else to tell you this, but… The Dream Is Over.” And I just burst out laughing in the examination room. Like, did you seriously just say that to me? Is this a joke? But, no, she wasn’t joking. She found a small cyst on my left vocal cord and it was in the early stages of hemorrhaging (meaning my vocal cord was filling up with blood). This was day one of a very long tour.

We didn’t pack it in and go home like she suggested. Instead, we went back out on the road for six weeks straight. One thing that really kept me going through that tour was a burning anger, a desire to say to that doctor “hey fuck you, the dream’s not over. Only we decide when the dream is over”.

I got a new (less shitty) doctor. I spent two months taking care of myself, getting healthy again. I got the “all clear” to go back on tour. We haven’t been this excited to hit the road since day one. Touring isn’t always easy or fun or healthy. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

The Dream Is Over? Fuck You. See you on the road.

View the slideshow of PUP in the studio.