pop quiz: PUP

pop quiz: PUP

In case you missed it, PUP has returned in the most epic fashion and released Morbid Stuff, an eternal favorite album that’s quickly become one of my favorites. As the band continues their seemingly endless touring, which includes a sold out stop in Pittsburgh on April 30th (Ratboys and Casper Skulls are opening aka the dream), TGE was lucky enough to give Zack Mykula, drummer, a Pop Quiz. Below, read up on the answers, and then check when PUP is playing near you!

For those that don’t know, a Pop Quiz is like an interview but fun. I mean, I think it’s fun.

photo: Vanessa Heins

photo: Vanessa Heins

The Grey Estates: Describe Morbid Stuff using six words.

Zack Mykula: An album about very bad feelings.

What are the some of things that inspired this new record?

In general, I can speak only for myself, but struggles with mood disorders. It’s about trying to work through those issues and give some kind of perspective, and appreciate what we have. We’re trying not to take things too seriously, while still trying to find a way to live as healthful as we can.

Just a lot of humor. We’re just a bunch of mopey dudes trying to be the best versions of ourselves.

You mentioned using self-care as a means of feeling better. What are some ways you practice self care, and how do you find time for that on the road?

It starts with sleeping well, eating decently healthy food, although not all the time. I try to practice meditation and mindfulness exercises. I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Making sure I get enough exercise or some form of exercise during the day. It’s about making space for your brain, and trying not to beat myself and my brain up.

I’m no paragon for self-care, but being on tour, meditation is borderline impossible when you’re in a vehicle. I pop in some headphones and listen to solitude or nature sounds. There’s also just the value of talking, and giving yourself a second to not react with your get to negative situations.

On tour, if you do sleep, it’s usually not enough, but it’s about trying to find the time to take a good seven to eight hours. It’s very difficult to practice self-care on the road, but if you keep some kind of structure, that helps a lot.

We have a special question from Augusta of Cayetana. What’s your favorite Star Trek episode or character?

Measure of a Man from the second season of Star Trek: Next Generation. It’s one of the most awesome screenplay writers, and it was exactly what Star Trek is supposed to be. There’s a very humanizing feel.

What TV, movie, or video game would you want PUP’s music to appear in?

I’d love to hear PUP in a Tony Hawk Pro Skater Game. The music in those games really set me on the path. And I’d love to be in a NHL video game; that’d be pretty crazy as a hockey fan.

What are some of your favorite places you’ve stopped at on tour?

We try to plan little excursions on our day off. We went to the Grand Canyon, and that was one of my favorite places I’ve ever been. We almost found a waterfall in California, and that was one of the most amazing experiences.

I love going to local coffee places, almost always go to whatever roaster or brewery is nearby. Usually anything that’s recommended by a local person. We really like going to Sheetz.

What’s your go-to Sheetz order?

My absolute favorite is boneless Bitez tossed in buffalo sauce with a side of Boom Boom sauce for dipping. We’re also really partial to their ridiculous hot dog deal.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you ever dream of being in a band?

I started playing in high school and I had dreams of playing regularly. When I was young, I wanted to be a doctor, but I wasn’t great at learning the biology side of things, and that’d be pretty useful as a doctor. I gave up on that and wanted to be a manufacturer, and then started a band and decided to focus on this right now.

What advice would you have for readers?

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

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the beat: Death Valley Girls