Pup have pretty much blown up the scene ever since they jumped on in 2013. The Canadian punk rock band has an amazing slew of old school videos that harken back to Nintendo’s original console greatness, have had videos with Stranger Things’ and IT star Finn Wolfhard, and played a headlining slot at one of the stages of High and Low Fest this year. If you don’t know them already, now is your chance. We had the amazing opportunity to interview Zack Mykula, the drummer for the band about Boy Meets World, how they avoided getting sued into oblivion by Nintendo, and a potential name change for the band because of all their newfound success.
Taylor Wong for The MAT Mag: Since you’re a Canadian band, how often do you make it down to the U.S. to play
Zack Mykula of PUP: Pretty often. Everyone is super nice and we usually play our most fun shows here other than Toronto. It’s great.
Shane Scully: Where is the fan base the largest in America?
ZM: Chicago is like a second home. We’ve always done alright in California but Chicago and New York
Taylor: How do you like playing in Southern California?
ZM: It’s awesome. It’s a treat. Even if we’re relatively small fish it’s cool.
Shane Scully: How is the heat wave we have going on right now out here treating you?
ZM: It’s fine. It’s great. We didn’t get much of a summer in Toronto so I’m quite happy to be here.
Taylor: You all met in Elementary school right?
ZM: We met one member in grade 3, another in high school and then another in university.
Taylor: How often do you hangout outside of doing music?
ZM: Definitely too much outside of the band. It’s like being married to 3 other people. I understand how it could be having divorced parents.
Taylor: What do you think Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World would think of your show?
ZM: I don’t know. I haven’t watched that show.
Taylor: Dammit! All our questions are going to go…
Shane: We had so many questions about that!
ZM: I’m the ONE in the band who never watched that show.
Shane: Let’s just ask it anyways! Do you think that Shawn should have ended up with Topanga instead of Cory?
ZM: I don’t know. Well, Cory was very much of the time. I feel like a vain person would go with Cory but Shawn is an everlasting thing.
Taylor: Where do you derive your influence from?
ZM: We all draw from different places. Stefan loves Brand New so it’s awesome to be doing this. Stefan likes Built to Spill. Steve and I love Wilco. Nestor and I love metal, so Dillinger Escape Plan. They’re doing their last shows in New York Soon. Steve really likes jazz, he went to school for jazz guitar. If you need him to figure out something musical, he just does it.
Shane: Do you see your band being the influence on other younger audiences?
ZM: I’ve seen our band on lists of influences online. I don’t understand that. I don’t know what we offer that other bands don’t but that’s cool and an honor we influence anyone.
Taylor: This fest consists of a lot of bands that have been influential over the last 10 years and you’re headlining one of the stages. How does that feel to be placed with bands like Brand New?
ZM: It’s great. Stefan and I love Brand New and Death Cab. Huge influence for me. It’s huge, it’s really cool. We’re lucky because we play a lot of festivals where we play with lots of bands we love. That feeling never wears off how cool it is.
Taylor: Now that you’re headlining with these bands, will you be willing to change your name to Good Use of Potential (GUP) instead of Poor Use of Potential (Pup)? Or perhaps, DUP (Decent Use of Potential)?
ZM: That would put people off. Being polite, it doesn’t sound NOT stupid… I’m trying to be as Canadian as possible.
Taylor: Speaking of other acronyms, the music video for DVP is all Nintendo references and characters. Was it hard getting the licensing for that?
ZM: I think it’s technically considered a parody, so it goes into fair use. We haven’t been contacted so? My optimistic side which is smaller and smaller these days, would like to think they see it as an homage. I grew up with Super Nintendo. It was just one of the big things that I did all the time growing up.
Shane: When you say your optimistic side is shrinking, what do you mean?
ZM: Just life.
ZM: That’s the only food we have. Just that. We were just having this discussion. Like if LA has an iconic food like that.
Taylor: Street dogs!
Shane: We’re the melting pot in Los Angeles!
ZM: Tornoto is like a melting pot like that. People come to Canada and they’re like “Where can I get poutine?” I don’t know. I don’t eat it. It’s like if you went to Chicago and asked someone about deep dish.
Taylor: Lou Malnati’s!
ZM: We go to Pequod’s, that’s the good one.
Shane: Hot Dog Circle!
ZM: The Wiener’s Circle!
Make sure to catch the band on their international tour and make sure to eat the best food in YOUR city before the show.