Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley on New Album, Tour, and His Own Mortality; “Lose Control” with KOPPS’ Song Premiere
If you’ve followed Sum 41 over the last few years you know just how close frontman Deryck Whibley came to leaving us. I won’t go into specifics because it’s been so well documented (Google it if you will). Instead, I’d rather focus on the singer and the band’s recent resurgence. Last fall, the band released their first album in five years entitled 13 Voices and it was met with arguably the best reviews in the pop punk band’s career.
For Whibley, it’s easily his most personal work. He recorded, produced, and engineered the album in his Los Angeles home, and wrote it immediately following his four-month stint in the hospital. As he stated in the press release, “I had to learn how to do everything again-my motor skills, learning how to play guitar again… I couldn’t even walk at the time. It was really difficult, but at the same time if I didn’t have a record to make, I don’t think I would have recovered as quickly, or even at all. Writing music gave me a purpose. I had to get better.”
And he did, and so did the band. I recently caught up with Whibley and asked him about the process of making the album, touring in support of it, and more. Enjoy.
The political climate is dog shit now tell me why punk will make a resurgence.
I think it’s not necessarily just punk that is feeling this, but a lot of people are angry and have something to say. They will use this, music and being creative, as an outlet.
13 Voices is your comeback record, and it’s been well-documented how close you came to leaving us. Put into the words the gratification of not only recording, producing and engineering this record, but being able to perform the tracks live.
It’s hard to put into words because I do think about it quite a bit. It’s so simple, but I feel so unbelievably happy seeing people sing back to us — old songs, new songs. I’m happy performing this album. It’s crazy to think about how easily this was not going to happen, that I would not be here.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in life?
One thing I’ve realized is how quickly life just keeps going. The amount of stuff that I’ve done in the time (in these past three years)…it’s crazy to think that I wouldn’t have done all of this if I had died. So much great shit has happened and I would have missed it.
If you could tell the younger you what not to do what would it be?
I wouldn’t tell me not to do anything. I would say, “You’re gonna go through a lot of ups and downs, but they’re all important.” Everything that has happened has played into who I am right now.
Getting back to the record, the reviews were off the charts. Do you pay attention to reviews? Did it vindicate your work at all or do you not give a shit?
I’ve sort of conditioned myself to not pay attention to reviews because they have been bad in the past. I also really try to avoid reading anything about all of this, good or bad. I’m so involved already in myself, I don’t need to spend my off time doing that type of research. I have heard that they have been good for this album, which is great, but I don’t judge anything other than what happens on stage. That is what validates it for me. When everyone is singing these songs back, that’s how I know I did my job.
Describe the minutes before going on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. It had been quite some time since you guys had been on late night.
Well, I was really excited and then got a bit nervous. I definitely had a lot of nervous energy.
What do the next few months look like for you guys tour-wise and how long must we wait for a new LP?
You don’t get a year-and-a-half between albums anymore. It’s crazy. The way you get music is the same way you get, like, a Netflix show now. You watch the whole thing and then you’re ready for the next one already.
We definitely are going to be touring this entire year. I don’t know when there will be new music, but a lot of touring up until 2018.
We move from Sum 41 to the four-piece electro-rock band KOPPS out of Rochester, NY. The band, who were featured on Joywave’s hit “Tongues,” have been gaining momentum for quite some time. They signed a published deal with Razor & Tie and have become a favorite of Howard Stern who even invited them to perform on his SiriusXM station. A-Sides is so very pleased to debut their new song “Lose Control” – their followup to their Sound of Music EP.
KOPPS consists of Patricia Patrón (vocals), Kyle O (bass), Travis Johansen (guitar), and Andrew York (drums). The band will play the A-Sides fifth anniversary show at Garcia’s in Port Chester, NY on Feb. 24. Until then listen to the song, which Patrón says, is “really just about letting go of societal pressures and doing what you want to do with your life shamelessly.”
Oh, and Whitney Tai will also be on the lineup in Port Chester. Check out her single “Good at Being Bad” here!
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman – thisisasides.com :
Jon Chattman’s music series typically features talent (established or not) from all genres performing a track or two, and discussing their latest news, songs, and everything in-between. A-Sides focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. From time to time, the series also features humor columns, film/TV personality interviews, and a kid-centric spin-off called “Lowercase A-Sides.” Artists featured on the series have included Elle King, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, James Bay, Jimmy Eat World, Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Yoko Ono, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds, and Bastille. Theme song written and performed by Blondfire.