Childhood friends Darren Weiss and Danny Presant were both born and raised in Los Angeles, obsessed with punk bands like Fugazi and the Murder City Devils, but it wasn't until they moved to New York City as teenagers that they formed the idea for a band inspired by literature, art, and the unique qualities of American culture. Weiss studied literature at the New School and wanted to write music that captured the same themes that such authors and poets as Henry Miller, Saul Bellow, and Frank O'Hara explored.
Weiss and Presant formed PAPA, with Weiss as the singer/drummer and Presant as the bassist, and relocated to L.A. in 2010. They garnered a passionate fanbase in their hometown after releasing their 2011 EP A Good Woman Is Hard to Find and also after word of mouth spread about their captivating live show. PAPA brings their provocative songs to life on stage with the same wild punk rock energy that fueled them as teenagers. LAist has described their stage presence "as commanding as the capital letters in their name." The duo now regularly sells out hometown venues like the Troubadour and El Rey Theatre, and they earned national and international exposure after spending two years on the road opening for such bands as Handsome Furs, Grouplove, Girls, Temper Trap, Lord Huron, and Cold War Kids.
Last year, PAPA celebrated two major releases: In October, Weiss published his first book, The Only Thing Worse Than a Woman Is a Man, a collection of his poetry and drawings, taken from his personal tour journal. The same month, PAPA released their self-produced full-length debut Tender Madness, a collection of 12 audacious and anthemic songs that explore Weiss' and Presant's reflections on the complex and often confusing experience of being a young American. Tender Madness received praise from Interview, The New York Times, NME, Stereogum, and Filter, who described it as "an honest portrayal of what it means to be a 21st century boy by a songwriter who bleeds authenticity."