Sat in the bands dressing room in Sheffield’s Corporation venue, home to a multitude of live performances from a wide variety of bands each month, the trio of Jock (guitar / vocals), Will (bass) and Billy (drums) that make up Puppy prepared to get berated by my droning docket of questions. However they proved to be a humorous set of fellas who answered the questions well and were a pleasure to talk to! Each member seemed in good spirits and accompanied by my friend who is an emigrated native to the ever-welcoming city of Sheffield, we simply had a good laugh with the band and were soon all in high spirits – check out what was said:

Okay so starting things off, you guys have recently announced your debut album ‘The Goat’ which is due for release the 25th January, can you tell us anything about the project?

Will: It’s terrible!

It’s terrible?

Will: Yeah (laughs)

Billy: Don’t waste your money!

Jock: Yeah, we went in a kinda like new salsa direction (laughs) and it hasn’t paid off at all.

Will: The thing is with recording an album is once you record one take, that’s it – you can’t delete that

Jock: Cause we record straight onto the vinyl

Will: I mean it sounds better for it, but obviously one take and you’re done.

Jock: That day we had tapas for lunch!

Will: We had tapas for lunch, I had a tequila shot I think that went straight to my head, and I found some maracas!

Jock: The rest is history

Billy: It’s gonna bomb basically!

Lovely! Is it titled ‘The Goat’ as in Greatest of all Time or goat as in an actual goat?

Billy: Neither..

Will: Greatest of all tapas. We were very inspired by the tapas (all laugh)

I’m feeling that! So, in your own words how would you best describe your sound to someone who for some reason perhaps hasn’t heard you yet – apart from Salsa?

Jock: I think we kinda try to fuse a lot of different kind of elements of rock that we like but broadly speaking I’d simply say rock music. I think it feels like a lot of 90s bands!

Billy: Rock is the one word

Jock: That’s not very helpful is it

Billy: The Rock!

Jock: The musical equivalent of Dwyane ‘The Rock’ Johnson yeah

Will: It’s quite complex as in you thought he was one thing, but actually he’s proven himself to be a high earning Hollywood actor

Billy: He was the highest paid actor in the world

Will: Did you know that?

Oh wow no I did not know that!

Will: They don’t have ‘The Rock’ anymore, it’s just Dwayne Johnson.

Jock: Yeah he’s outgrown ‘The Rock’!

Billy: Slithered outta that!

Will: Have you seen Skyscraper?

Jock: No

Will: The new Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson movie

Oh! I’ve seen trailers for it, looks rather crazy! As you guys have a very unique, rock sound, who would you cite as top influences?

Jock: I think Weezer are a really big band for us, you know early Weezer always have been, I think with the new album we’ve had Helmet in mind but then also other stuff like early Ozzy, some Black Sabbath.

Billy: I think maybe a better answer to that question is bands like Faith No More or the Beastie Boys, although they’re not necessarily sonically very similar to us, they combined aspects of stuff they thought was cool

Jock: Yeah their approach I think

Billy: Like with Faith No More there’s a light-heartedness but it’s still pretty serious aswell, which is similar to what’s going on with our music.

Cool, the name Puppy is quite an intriguing one and I feel like people might be surprised by or just not know what to expect when they hear you because of that, is that accurate at all?

Billy: It’s an acronym for a far more darker thing..

Jock: No-one’s worked it out yet!

Can you tell us or is it still not to be given away?

Jock: Nooo! If someone tells us the right answer we’ll tell them they’re right but…

Billy: It’s actually to do with some shit that happened when were a bit younger that we all shared, it’s kinda what brought us together, kind of a defining moment in all of our lives and like in world history really if you look at it I guess, if we all take a step back, but yeah we saw all this shit and that’s a reference to that (the band name) so, nice little clue there for some people. I think it’s quite obvious if you think about it in context!

Ah wow okay I didn’t realise – I just figured you guys really liked puppies!

Jock: I mean that’s also true! Big fan of them.

Good stuff, moving on; can you explain what you were going for or what the meaning was with the videos for ‘Demons’ and ‘Black Hole’? I mean obviously they’re both quite different videos but they’re both a very different approach to how a lot of bands would have gone about a music video?

Jock: I think other bands have a bit more budget than us, that’s why maybe we go for a different approach, but I mean these two directed those two videos, Billy made ‘Demons’ and Will made ‘Black Hole’ so I’m sure they’d be able to answer your question better than I would!

Billy: We just didn’t have any budget and I mean the ‘Demons’ thing is true that happened, that was an actual real thing and the Black Holes video there was only elements of that, that were fake, right?

Will: Yeah it was all the parts that look like we’re having a good time on tour that was all fake so (all laugh). We actually had a better concept for that video that was us playing in a warehouse…. (long pause for comedic effect which works well as they burst out laughing, again). But there wasn’t any warehouses available that day, so we had to go with something else!

Billy: Our dream is just to set up the instruments in like a sort of industrial space and just pretend to play the songs..

Jock: With some lightbulbs hanging off with no lampshades on em!

Billy: Yeah and occasionally go to a handheld black and white camera from the side that’s shaking and then maybe with a sepia tone for the entire film and just have a lot of attitude which is maybe what we lack. We got no presence or attitude

Jock: We need to be tougher. That’s what we’re tryna go for

Billy: Do you know any good gyms in Sheffield?

My friend Tom here would be your guy for that question, I don’t live here myself

Tom: I live in Sheffield but I don’t know about no gyms

Billy: We’re tryna beef up a bit for the show

Jock: Yeah we need to get really quickly hench before tonight’s show!

Tom: Steroids.. That’s my answer

Jock: Do you guys have a hook-up?

Yeah (all laugh)

That’s the best way I mean the bands I’ve spoken to previously all do that, it’s a trick of the trade!

Jock: Yeah that’s something we’ve learned as well.

Will: Makes your music tougher right?

Tom: I believe Cher actually pioneered that

Jock: Cher-oids (all laugh)

Except she never does!

Jock: She’s greedy that’s the worst part about her!

That’s how she got so big! Haha. Who would you say are currently your favourite artists to listen to?

Jock: What we been listening to in the van a lot?

Will: All the James Bond themes, listened to them all yesterday in order

Jock: Tryna figure out which ones are the best

Billy: Well it’s John Barry – let’s take a step back cause he wrote the key, the *imitates Bond theme* that works it’s way into a lot of them

Will: Make it Last All Night‘ is one of my favourites

Jock: Duran Duran is one of the best ones

Billy: I don’t like that one

Jock: I think that one’s great! ‘A View To A Kill‘? I thought it was wicked!

Billy: I like the lyrics, I just don’t think it’s very catchy. My favourite one was Nancy Sinatra – ‘You Only Live Twice

Jock: Chris Cornell – ‘You Know My Name‘ as well!

Billy: Oh banger! I think if I wrote a song that good I’d kill myself cause it’s only gonna go downhill from there (laughs)

If music wasn’t working out or ya know seeming like it’s gonna work out, what do you think you guys would be pursuing instead?

Billy: I’d wanna be a spy – can I do that?

Will: I’ve got a business idea where I’m gonna rent warehouses to bands to shoot music videos (all laugh) it’s the problem that happened to me, I think a lot of bands don’t know where to get a warehouse so I’m gonna make them, with all the props – ready made warehouses

Okay very nice! Similar kinda vein really; what’s something you love to do outside of music?

Jock: Urmmmm…

Billy: Play a lot of football

Will: Serious answer there!

Will: True story: Jock plays dungeons & dragons once a week with some friends of ours

Jock: I do do that, that’s pretty fun, I’m a level three bard

Will: I like computer games a lot!

Okay cool! So I’ve heard that you guys are something of meme connoisseurs, is this true?

Jock: I think Will’s a real meme connoisseur, I’m a bit of a meme tourist, I’m a weekend memer. Will’s a real 9-5er

What is it about the memes that grab you?

Will: Probably their dankness, the danker the meme the sweeter the lols I guess. I believe that was Rudyard Kipling who said that (all laugh)

Is it true you have aspirations to create a meme company?

Will: No, that’s just something people have said because the way we promote the band is through stupid online shareable dumb videos, I think I might have made a joke of ‘oh we need to maybe all just give up making music and just make memes I think we’re better at it’ cause I made this football meme during the world cup, I made it on the Puppy account and it got shared so much, it just eclipsed any association with the band and just became this cultural thing, it made The Guardian’s list of best football memes. It was weird thinking that the meme was more popular than the band, it’s kind of annoying so I sorta joked about maybe I’ll just do that instead.

Billy: I’ve heard people say we should start a marketing company cause it’s not just memes, it’s the whole shebang, throw that in maybe!

Will: If you can market a band this shit you can market anything! (all laugh) Think what we could do with a good product!

*Puppy have two tracks, ‘The Great Beyond’ & ‘Forever’ playable on Guitar Hero Live’s TV mode!*

Is it as cool as I imagine it might be having a couple of your tracks on Guitar Hero?

Jock: That was a very big moment, as Will mentioned we’re pretty into games – or at least me and Will are – it was so out the blue as well, I dunno how they heard the tracks but it was like really early on in the band’s lifespan. We hadn’t done anything and then we got an e-mail from Activision that we thought was a prank or a phishing scam and didn’t take it seriously, and then turned out it was pretty real! I don’t think I’ve actually played it though!

Billy: it’s online, this dude from America who’s a pro Guitar Hero guy clocked it on the hardest level and he put it on his Youtube and gave us a shoutout, again the traction that got was so much more than the traction the song actually got. It always takes a once or twice removed facility for people to give a shit!

Will: We should start a cover band, that cover band will blow up and then..

Jock: Yeah and then we’ll reform, good idea! That’s an exclusive!

Is it easier or harder to play the tracks on guitar hero than it is in real life?

Jock: Way harder, although you (Will) were pretty good at Guitar Hero weren’t ya?

Will: I’m better at Guitar Hero than I am at bass! (all laugh) That’s not saying much though.

Jock: I played you at Guitar Hero, we were at the video games museum in Nottingham and you were like oh it’s the wrong controller or something?

Will: I made an excuse, the new one is weird! I grew up on the five colours, the old school one!

Jock: What’s the new one?

So instead of having the five buttons you’ve got three up top and then three directly below em, so you’ve gotta go up and down

Jock: Ohh! That’s pretty tough!

Billy: Guitar Hero, or Rockband rather is why I hate computer games cause these guys had it with the drum kit and I played it and was absolutely terrible at it.

Will: The only thing I enjoyed more than computer games was probably karaoke so when they made that game I was like ‘oh my god!!’ it’s like the two best things in one!

Jock: Yeah Will’s a really good karaoke-er, you gotta see it!

Oh okay! That’s a fallback skill right there

Will: Yeah! Actually when you said what would I be doing otherwise? Karaoke tours is the answer, maybe be on Stars in their Eyes!

Puppy

The band really didn’t like my questions…

And so concludes this documented conversation that was very entertaining to conduct with the boys and is certainly the most I have laughed in an interview so far! Be on the lookout for Puppy‘s debut album ‘The Goat‘ which as posed in the beginning of this interview is out at the end of January! Also you can catch them supporting King 810 on their UK tour through the end of November and December!

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