Puppy formed in 2015 when school friends Jock Norton (vocals, guitar) and Billy Howard (drums) met bass player Will Michael while working in a London bar; the three bonded by playing the soundtrack to cult 80s comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and figuring out that Norton and Michael’s voices worked nicely together on Karaoke versions of Van Halen & Metallica.
Later that same year, the band released their eponymous debut EP, a joyful blend of swooning Power Pop and beer-guzzling Heavy Metal, that quickly earned comparisons to acts like Smashing Pumpkins, Dinosaur Jr and ‘Weezer fronted by Papa Emiritus of Ghost’ (Noisey). Early tracks “Forever” and “The Great Beyond” were picked up and used in the mammoth video game series Guitar Hero, opening up the fledgling group up to a huge new audience and satisfying their axe wielding inner-children at the same time.
A second EP quickly followed in 2016, and “Vol ii” saw the band take their first major steps into the live sphere, with UK festival appearances at Download and 2000 Trees, rounding out a healthy run of tours with acts like Creeper and CKY.
Around this time The Guardian picked the band as one to watch, noting:
‘British rock hasn’t had a prospect like Puppy for a while:
a young(ish), heavy(ish), accessible band who could break out of metal’s bubble’.
All this culminated in the band catching the attention of Spinefarm Records, who signed them to a global album deal in 2017. In between European tours with Kvelertak and Turbowolf, the band retreated to the studio in England to begin work on their debut album.
The result of a lengthy recording process with producers Tom Dalgety (Ghost, Royal Blood), Neil Kennedy (Creeper, Boston Manor) and mixer Adrien Bushby (Placebo, Foo Fighters), The Goat was released in January 2019, while the band were midway through an epic European tour with Monster Magnet. The album received rave reviews and cemented Puppy’s status as the oddballs of up & coming Heavy music, with Upset Magazine making the case that;
‘Puppy are a band who are redefining what it means to be in a metal band, and their debut sees them deliver with gusto.’
In support of the album, the band recorded a live set at BBC’s iconic Maida Vale studios (their second), and racked up festival appearances everywhere from Glastonbury to Bloodstock Open Air. That year also saw Puppy travel to the US for the first time, selling out a headline show in Brooklyn’s iconic St Vitus Bar as well as heading to Texas for that year’s SXSW festival.
Without missing a beat, Puppy saw out the year by releasing a surprise EP, ‘iii’, which drew inspiration from their favourite Steve Albini led productions of the 80’s and 90’s, stripping their dense sound back to its rawest components. The band then set out on a lengthy European run with Norwegian stonerpunks Bokassa to promote the record before returning home to begin writing again.
2021 marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the bands career. Having recently signed to Rude Records, they’re excited to finally be able to share the fruits of their creative labour. Crushingly heavy, explosively fun and laced with the group’s signature sense of melancholic melody, “Angel” sets the stage for Puppy to unleash what they’ve been working on out into the world. Play it loud.
Jock Norton Vocals, Guitar // Will Michael Reese Bass // Billy Howard Price Drums