Download 2017: No. 40 - Sum 41 - 50 bands in 50 days

By Eric Mackinnon


Sum 41

Download Festival

The Avalanche Stage

Friday, June 9


Sum 41 will headline Download's The Avalanche Stage on Friday, June 9, as the pop-pink's continue their journey back from the brink of the abyss.

The band released a new album late last year and '13 Voices' is an album which charts the journey of frontman Deryck Whibley from the brink of death due to kidney and liver failure where he has been one warned one more alcoholic drink could kill him.

But '13 Voices' is far from a gloomy album charting his troubles as he explains it is an album which ends on a positive note.

“I feel that even though the lyrics on this record are talking about dark situations or dark things that I've been through I feel like its kinda positive,” he tells Fuse.

“I'm always trying to put a positive on it and by the end of the record I was getting a lot better. The record tells the store, it's darker in the beginning but it's more optimistic by the end.”

He continues: “When I'm writing lyrics I just kinda write whatever comes out. I always feel if I wrote a song on a different day it'd be about something completely different. It's just whatever is in my mind at the time, I pick up a pencil and start writing.

“Half the time when I start I don't know what I'm writing about. It's just words and then they start to take shape and then I realise I am writing about this person or this thing which has recently gone on or something like that.

“It's always about my general thoughts on what's happening in my life around that time.”

Reflecting on his spell in hospital Whibley recalled: “"I was drinking hard every day until one night I was sitting at home, when all of a sudden I didn't feel too good.

"I collapsed to the ground, unconscious. My fiancée got me rushed to hospital, where they put me into the intensive care unit. I was stuck with needles and IVs all over – I was completely sedated the first week."

"I finally realised I can't drink any more,” he acknowledged. “If I have one drink, the docs say I will die."

"I'm not preaching or anything, but just always drink responsibly. I didn't – and look where that got me."

The punk veterans recently released a video for their new track 'Goddam I'm Dead Again' and the video sees the band tread familiar ground and a return to the skate park – some 16 years after 'Fat Lip.'

The video for the track itself was something which developed organically and evolved purely as a result of the fans.

Whibley explain: “We were sitting around on our tour bus thinking about the next video and we thought 'why not make our fans be the next video?'

“We had played a festival the day before. In that area I just said it on stage and asked if anyone wanted to be in our video to just show up. We didn't wanna do a crazy thought out video.

“We wanted to do our thing, let the fans do their thing and we'll film it.

A day of hanging out, a barbecue, invite a bunch of people and whatever happens, happens.”

“We were pretty nervous that morning how it was gonna turn out,” he laughs. “There was nothing planned so I didn't know if people were gonna come in costumes, if anyone was gonna bring anything or do anything. And I didn't get to see all the stuff happening at the time so when I watched the video for the first time I was seeing it for the first time myself.

“I didn't know they were breaking guitars or had a dance competition. I didn't get to see all that, that day.”