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Sum 41

Interview von: arne mit Deryck, am: 02.12.2016 ]

Für SUM 41 und insbesondere für Deryck Whibley scheinen die Dinge wieder richtig gut zu laufen. Aufgrund seines exzessiven Alkohol-Konsums erlitt der Frontmann der kanadischen Band vor einiger Zeit einen Zusammenbruch und wurde mit Leber- und Nierenversagen ins Krankenhaus eingeliefert; lag sogar einige Zeit im künstlichen Koma, um eine schnelle Entgiftung einzuleiten. Einen zwei Jahre währenden Genesungsprozess später melden sich SUM 41 nun im aktiven Dienst zurück. Mit „13 Voices“ erscheint der sechste Longplayer der Gruppe, die 2001 schon mit ihrem Debüt „All Killer, No Filler“ international durchgestartet ist.


Musicscan: First of all: how big is the interest in Sum 41 being back with a new album? Do you get lots of requests from your fans and press people? What are they asking or telling you these days? Are there unexpected questions / thoughts, or something that is different compared to when you released your previous albums?

Sum 41: the interest for the band has been bigger and better than i was expecting. i didn t really know what to expect after being away for a so long. but to be honest, i wasn t really thinking about any of that at all either. i was so focused on my recovery and sobriety and just trying to get myself back to a place where i could feel confident and strong again both mentally and physically. i was in the hospital and under out patient care for four months in 2014 and it took about 2 years to recover from liver and kidney failure.

Musicscan: If you would have to say what your band and especially the philosophy behind Sum 41 is all about ? how would that description be like? As you are around for 20 years already. have the intention, spirit, or attitude changed over time?

Sum 41: it s all about love. the only reason we re still here is because we absolutely love what we do. and not much has changed. the only thing that changes over time is your appreciation for what you do becomes stronger. i recognize the great moments more. where as in the early days when you re young, things seem to go by much quicker.

Musicscan: You are around for so long, and built up your career constantly. But nowadays it seems anyone can find a gross picture on the internet and make 20 minutes of noise and be an underground sensation. Do you consider it cheating or lazy? What do you think of this recent phenomenon and about possibilities for musicians - even in the underground - in general? Does Sum 41 somehow benefit from the digital age and internet?

Sum 41: i don t really think about or focus on any of those things that come and go so quickly in the public. i really couldn't care less. i just live my life and enjoy the time that i personally have everyday. as far as sum 41 benefiting from the digital age we definitely do. all of our history lives online. you can check out any of our songs or videos anytime you want and it?s definitely helped new people get into the band every year.

Musicscan: Whether you re going pop punk, emo rock, or power pop ? it tends or is told to be a somehow youth oriented movement. Would you agree, and how do you stay young with what you?re doing?

Sum 41: yes i would agree. i see the same age group in the audience every time i go on tour. which is great. i love that new people find the band somehow every time. as far as how i feel, at least these days, I m in the best shape of my life and feel stronger and have more energy than i did when i was 20. i thought i would be more tired and slower now that i don t drink but it s been the opposite. i have more energy than i know what to do with.

Musicscan: Growing up, was there anyone that you would look up to and say Oh I wish I could be like so and so I wish I was as cool as him?? If not on a famous level, do you remember seeing any local bands when you were younger that you looked up to and that made you start your own band career?

Sum 41: i guess in high school is when i felt those kinds of things. when i was really young i wanted to be jim morrison so bad when i grew up. and in a way i came really close. unintentionally i ended up almost dying from alcohol abuse at home bloated and with a big beard.

Musicscan: Do you feel any responsibility nowadays, knowing that there are a lot of fans looking up to you as – let s say - their rock heroes? Or does is it feel strange to you at least?

Sum 41: yeah. to be honest i don t ever really think about stuff like that. i never really think that anyone out there would be looking up to me in some sort of way.

Musicscan: Rock, Punk, Power Pop have always been emotional genres ? have to be emotional out of my view. How would you classify the state of your sound right now compared to 1996, when you started with Sum 41?

Sum 41: I ve always said we re just a simple rock band. and i still think we are. i write songs about my life and and things that are important and relative to me. It s all very personal.

Musicscan: Having in mind the five years since the release of Screaming Bloody Murder: do you consider 13 Voices to be a fresh start for the band?

Sum 41: yeah definitely. dave brown sound is back in the band again. We re now a 5 piece band for the first time. I m sober. everything feels completely new for all of us.

Musicscan: Everyone is always speaking about the so-called difficult third album of a band. How did you experience creating your second third album? ;-)

Sum 41: our 3rd album was called does this look infected? and it was difficult. it was the follow up record to all killer no filler which had surprisingly sold a bunch of albums. so there was a lot of pressure and expectation on us. we were also on tour so much at that point playing over 300 shows a year around that time. i wrote the entire record in a few weeks and then we went in and recorded it in another 6 weeks. and then had to continue recording it while we were back on the road again. we ended it in olympic studios in london when went over for reading and leeds festival. it was very rushed and a lot of pressure. but it happened so fast there was no time to even think about it.

Musicscan: Its obvious, that you are playing a catchy style. But why is this style the ideal one for your group?

Sum 41: it s just the natural sound that i enjoy playing. i don t really think about it.

Musicscan: Sum 41 definitely writes honest music, at least that's my opinion. Your band seems to stand for a certain kind of emotional intelligence that sometimes gets missed in nowadays music. Do you as a band ever think about your lyrics and music in this particular way?

Sum 41: thank you. i always try to write music that is honest and means something to me. the only thing i think about when I m writing is what is different and unique in my life at that point and time when I m writing a new album. and usually when i start writing about things that make me feel uncomfortable to talk about i usually know that that s what i should be writing about it.

Musicscan: From being on the road a lot, what is one of the things you ve come to realize? I'm sure driving to and from a venue almost every night leaves you ample time to sit and think about things. Do you think it's made you a stronger person at all? It's difficult to maintain friendships with people back home, I'm sure?

Sum 41: it s true there is a lot of time to think. which can be a bad thing. i like to feel rather than think too much. i have never really found it that difficult to keep friendships back home. i always stay in touch with people that i care about.

Musicscan: What's the toughest thing touring taught you?

Sum 41: well it can really tire you out. especially me. i get sick very easily. i don t sleep very often and i usually push myself too much. when i was drinking it didn t stop me from working at all. so i was constantly working while drinking. in fact alcohol used to give me energy to keep working while also partying. the combination wore me out after years and years of it with no breaks. so now i still work as much but i don t feel as run down and i have more energy.

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