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Q+A: Deryck Whibley from Sum 41

Rock Sound
Rock Sound 23 February 2011 at 16.01

The band’s new album is the best they’ve ever made, at least that’s what Deryck Whibley is telling us anyway!

Last night Sum 41 played a packed (actually, seriously and ridiculously packed would probably be more a more accurate description) show at the London Underworld.

The crowd were insane, the venue smelt weird and the band played Motorhead, Tom Petty, Metallica and Billy Idol covers alongside some of their finest tracks before finishing the night with an encore of 'Fat Lip' and 'Pain For Pleasure'. Quality.

Approximately four hours before all hell broke loose at the show Rock Sound grabbed ten minutes with singer Deryck Whibley to talk about the band and their new album 'Screaming Bloody Murder' (due for release on March 28). The fruits of that conversation can be tasted below...

Could you remember the specifics of how you wrote each song that is on new album?
“There is a lot of stuff I don’t really remember about them to be honest. I never really sat down and thought about what each song is about, I don’t even know what they are about. There’s not really a lot of story behind any of the songs, they just appeared. They were written over a period of four years and I never spent more than ten minutes writing them so when a song idea came up I’d record it quickly and then forget about it until two years later when we started reviewing ideas for the album.”

Who helped you pick out the songs and which was the hardest to finish off?
“Nothing was actually ever hard about this record, if anything was hard we just would not work on it. The rule of the record was let it go if it didn’t come out of nowhere and come quickly.”

So you binned a song the minute it became difficult?

What hits you when you listen back to the album? Are you surprised it sounds cohesive?
“Yeah it should not have worked out really but for whatever reason it did. When I hear this record because I’ve forgotten a lot of it I listen to it like it’s another band not my own, I happen to really like that band but it doesn’t feel like something I made as I don’t have the memories attached.”

Do you think people will presume that the entire record is about your personal life and what's happened to you over the last few years?
“I don’t really think about that. We have our fanbase and we are lucky enough that we can still tour the world and sell out shows, that’s all we care about. I’ll let people interpret it and say what they want about it.”

So you don’t worry about people interpreting the songs either rightly or wrongly?
“I really don’t care, once I’ve written and recorded the album I’ve done my part. I can’t control what people think or say about it, I have no choice in that, whatever happens happens.”

How is touring different eleven years in, how is the dynamic different?
“It’s not that different within the band but the only difference is that we recognize high points a lot more now, when we were younger they just flew by and we didn’t appreciate or pay attention to the moments as they passed. Now we enjoy those moments more. From the UK we head off to Australia to play Soundwave with Iron Maiden, that’s amazing, it’s exciting to be heading back to countries we’ve not been to in a while.”

Are you aware of your touring plans for the rest of the year?
“I’m not certain of the schedule yet but I do know we plan on coming back for festivals in Summer and we want to do a headline tour once the album is out too.”

What do you hope fans say about the new record when they hear it?
“I don’t know, obviously you hope it means something to them and they get something out of it but it’s ultimately something I cannot control. I remove myself from the album once it’s done, the goal for me is to finish a record and be happy with it, that makes it a success for me. I think it’s the best record we’ve ever done and I like it, but I don’t give a fuck if radio plays it or we get put on the cover of magazines, as long as people still come to shows and have a good time that’s all we really care about.”

Sum 41's new album 'Screaming Bloody Murder' will be out on March 28. On the evidence above Deryck Whibley clearly won't be reading the album's review in Rock Sound.

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