“Life is easier when it revolves around drinking and partying. You can shut your mind down” - hmv.com talks to Sum 41
Currently hard at work on the follow-up to 2011’s Screaming Bloody Murder, we chatted to Sum 41 mainman Deryck Whibley about recording the LP and how his life has changed after a life-threatening battle with the bottle…
How’s the new album coming along?
“It’s getting there. We’re in the home stretch, there are still a few things to be done, but we’re pretty close to having it done.”
This is your first time making an album as a five-piece, how’s that been?
“It’s not that different because when you make a record there are so many parts it’s not like there’s five of you just playing in a room, but now there’s five of us we can really pull it off live, there’s nothing we can’t play.”
“The writing is the same, except I’m sober now, so writing is quite different for me, there’s no escape from it. I used to write all day and then go to the bar and escape. Life is a bit easier when it revolves around drinking and partying. You can shut your mind down.”
How has being sober affected the lyrics?
“I always write about my life, but this record will chronologically look at the lowest point in my life and how I got back out of it. It’s a very personal record. It’s a new level, but it’s not a journey, it’s telling a story.”
How did you want to move on from Screaming Bloody Murder?
“I like Screaming Bloody Murder, it’s a good record, but this is much more fun and written to play live. This is a really live record and a collection of fast, aggressive, fun, rock songs.”
Screaming Bloody Murder was quite political, are you tackling any political issues on the new album?
“Not really no. If I was writing right now, with everything that’s going on in this election with Donald Trump then maybe it’d be different, but no this is a personal record.”
This is your first album without Steve (longtime drummer Steve Jocz), has it been weird recording without him?
“No it wasn’t. I write the songs and I try to complete them as much as I can before I get to the band. We tend to record very quickly and it wasn’t any different this time.”
When did you hope to release the album?
“Definitely this year. We’re currently looking for a label and once we sign we’ll have an idea on what they want to do. I’d hope it’ll be middle of this year.”
How has it been recording as an unsigned band?
“Oh it’s amazing! I’m so glad we did it this year. Our first three or four records it wasn’t too bad, but as music has turned towards pop all our label wanted us to be was a pop band and we’re not. Last time they didn’t want us to make a pop record and we kept being told to change our sound. I kept telling the label “F**k Off” and they came back and said “Okay, well we won’t give you any money for the record then. It was a really s***ty time.”
You’re touring the UK this month, will fans get to hear any new songs?
“Until the record is done it’s unlikely we’ll play some new stuff. I won’t rule it out, but I’ll say we probably won’t.”
Finally, how has playing live sober been? Are you enjoying it?
“I am. It doesn’t feel a whole lot different, the energy in the room means you can’t be sober anyway. I’ve realised I didn’t need any of that, playing live is heady enough.”
Sum 41 tour the UK this month. You can check out their back catalogue here in our online store.