The third and final entry of this blog post was supposed to chronicle the last few weeks of our first-ever headlining tour across North America. We were supposed to write about our journey from The Fest in Gainesville, FL as we wound our way up the southeast toward Cincinnati, through to Pittsburgh, over to DC, upward to Philly, further upward to New York and Boston, back south along the Hudson to Hoboken, and finally home to Ontario all culminating with a sold-out show in our hometown of Toronto.
Now don’t get me wrong – it was a blast and we are so, so lucky to be able to do what we do. The fact that we have visited some cities in America on three (or more) separate occasions this year is such a privilege and honour that it is difficult to accurately describe; but filling in Macbeth readers about that part of our lives doesn’t seem as important now as are the events that I just saw transpire in Ferguson, Missouri – where a jury decided not to file criminal charges against Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown and streets in some of our favourite cities in America flooded with people shocked and outraged at this ruling.
PUP is by no means a political band. We have always considered ourselves nothing more than four dudes writing songs who are lucky to be doing what we do. We try to do as much as possible to help unite people… to help them find commonalities through the shared experience of an album or live show... to have fun and enjoy oneself regardless of what might be going on in the outside world… and to maybe enjoy a drink or smoke if it tickles them. That’s not to say that we don’t have our own political beliefs – we just tend to use other, more personal platforms from which to eschew those beliefs if we so choose. We also live in Canada where, although we consider the American people our first cousins, our customs and values are different – for better and for worse.
In the last fifteen months, we have been on the road touring more often than we have been at home. We have met amazing people throughout England, Europe, and especially in the United States. That being said, we cannot pretend to know the many nuances and contrarian forces operating in the dense reality of American society. We are, after all, just visitors. However, it sometimes seems as though our friends from coast to coast are left helpless and confused by the way in which their own country operates on a daily basis. And that is distressing to us because we love our friends.
At this point in time, all we can do is tell you all that we feel your pain. We feel your confusion and sorrow. It’s times like these where songs seem so inadequate and, yet, music is the only response we know; it’s the only way for us to persevere. So we’ll keep on playing, and keep on singing, and keep on touring because that is how a community picks itself up: by staring down the evil and hatred and insanity, all the while yelling, “FUCK! YOU!” through a cacophonous wail of distortion, sweat, empathy, and love.
Be excellent to each other in all that you do.