Selasa, 11 September 2007

Sum 41's Deryck Whibley Talks 'Underclass Hero'

For Sum 41 lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Deryck Whibley, the making of his band's latest album, "Underclass Hero," was a frightening experience.

On the album, he sings to his father he has never met ("Dear Father"), opens up about his love life, and tells his mother he doesn't miss her ("Walking Disaster"). Whibley, who is married to fellow Canadian pop star Avril Lavigne, said it was extremely difficult for him to open up for the album.

"It was hard to even think about a lot of the things," Whibley said in a recent phone interview. "It was the scariest record I've ever made, by far. It's the scariest thing I've ever done in music."

Ironically, that fear proved to be a strong inspiration for the album, he said.

"I found the things that were the hardest to say and thought about the things that were the scariest, and pushed myself to do all these things that were hard to do and frightening. That became exciting, in time."

"Underclass Hero" is Sum 41's fifth studio album and the group's first without guitarist Dave Baksh, who exited to concentrate on another act, Brown Brigade.

Sum 41 - which also includes drummer Steve Jocz and bassist Cone McCaslin - formed on the 41st day of one summer in the late 1990s in Canada. In the band's home country, each of its albums has gone at least platinum, spawning hits such as "Fat Lip" and "In Too Deep." (In Canada, sales of 100,000 is deemed platinum, whereas in the United States it constitutes sales of 1 million or more.)

Whibley thinks the album title "Underclass Hero" adequately captures the making of the new collection. It is also the name of a song on the album.

"At the time, we really started at the lowest point we can possibly be at, where we almost weren't sure if we were going to continue as a band," he said. "There was a lot of doubt and negativity in front of us from everybody around us. We decided to push through all the bulls--- that was in front of us and do something we felt was the best thing we've ever done.

"We've achieved that. It just made sense that when we started looking at what this record was and what it meant, that title represented it the most."

Whibley, who now lives in the United States with Lavigne and recently received his permanent resident card, said Sum 41's future had been in jeopardy because of his feelings toward the band.

"For me, personally and creatively, I didn't know what the purpose was anymore," he said. "I don't ever really do anything in life at all unless it's something that I believe in 100 percent. I didn't want to just go do another record just for the sake of doing a record. It had to be something that was the most exciting thing musically that I could possibly do. To get to that point took a long time."

Whibley explained that, when he finished the tour supporting 2004's "Chuck," he took a break from the music industry. After six months of being away from Sum 41, he felt as if he was no longer in the band. Despite that, suddenly the song ideas started to flow.

"I started seeing it though an outside perspective, and it all of a sudden became exciting again," he said.

The catalyst for the new songs came from Whibley's fond memories of Sum 41, who will tour Canada with Finger Eleven on the cleverly named "Strength in Numbers Tour."

"I remember thinking about all these things of the past and the things we've done and thinking, 'We're actually a really f---ing great band and we did some cool s---.' I really started being proud of everything we've done for the first time in a long time," Whibley said.

"Not that I was ever ashamed or not proud of it. I never really thought of it in that kind of way. I started thinking, ‘Wait, there's all these things I still never got to do or never got to say or never did in music with Sum 41.' I started having all these ideas and it started growing naturally. Then I started talking to the other guys and seeing how they felt. It was a process of figuring things out."

Find more info, including the tour dates, at

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