Sum 41 – Interview [2001]

Sum 41

talking smack with cone

Where in the world did this new album come from?

We kind of did two albums at once because we just wanted to keep touring and keep the momentum going. We did Half Hour Of Power last year in February and it came out in June. Around the time that came out, we were recording All Killer No Filler.

You could call it Half Hour Part II.

(laughs) It’s only like five minutes longer.

When I first got into punk, all the records were really short.

Yeah. We have short attention spans so we don’t want to keep dragging it on.

Are you jamming the songs out or were they floating around?

Some were floating around, some were half songs, and some just happened. We are actually playing some live now, but we haven’t had much time to practice them. We just throw it together.

Because you had those two albums done so fast, do you already have new songs so you are way ahead of the game?

Well, yeah. Deryck is already starting to write the new one. We are like, ‘Slow down, the new one isn’t even out yet.’ But he can’t. If he has an idea, he just heads to the back and writes it all down. I guess that is good. So after this we’ll have ideas for the new one.

The opening track is creepy once again.

Yeah, the whole metal thing. We wanted to keep it going.

I put it in and gave it a listen and I thought maybe they sent me the first record.

We’re kind of into that metal thing.

So is “Pain For Pleasure” serious or mockery?

We kind of really like it. Because we did metal stuff in the past, we wanted to take it one step further. That is Steve’s song. He sings on that. He wrote lyrics in like ten minutes on the toilet and we were reading them and were rolling on the ground.

I wasn’t sure if you were joking or not.

Some people might think it’s a joke. Actually, it’s kind of a joke, but it’s also serious in a way too. We did a video for that song too.


Yeah, when we shot the video for “Fat Lip” we had all this rock gear and we had like fifteen minutes to blow off, so we got into this rock gear and got our director and he thought it was a cool idea. So we had these big wigs, tight shirts, and ripped jeans. It was amazing. We sent it to Mtv.

Are you going to release it as a single?

Well, we sort of attached it on the end of “Fat Lip” and it’s their choice if they play it or not.

How has the road been treating you?

Great. This is our first tour on a bus, so it’s like a slumber party. We have bunks, so it’s like camp. We get drunk every night and just have fun. Like in a van you can’t bring people you meet over to the hotel in a van, but with the bus you are parked and it’s amazing.

(All of the sudden there is screaming coming from the back. It’s the rest of Sum 41 yelling at the tops of their lungs because their video was being played on the tv. Cone calmly asks them to ‘Shut up, you fucks, I’m trying to do an interview.’)

Well, that is good news, which means maybe you can keep the bus.

Yeah, but I heard we have to go back to a van after this tour.

You’d better really pimp out the songs.

I hope “Fat Lip” totally blows up so we don’t have to give the bus back.

So on the road, who are you guys listening to?

I listen to a lot of Epitaph bands. Most of the cds I bring on the road are like Nofx.

Do you look at bands like Nofx and maybe Green Day and try to pattern yourselves after them?

We are really lucky because we are doing it our way right now. We wanted to start with an EP and work our way up, which is what Green Day did. We’re kind of doing what we are doing. Before we signed, we didn’t want to come out from a big album right away. We wanted to tour first and then do a record and get on the radio.

Green Day started out as a bunch of kids and now they all have families. What do you think about starting your own family?

(laughs) I don’t know about all that.

You know, ten years from now you’ve got a bunch of kids on the tour bus.

Yeah, kids running around the place yelling ‘Daddy Cone.’

You’ll learn how to change diapers pretty quick.

Yeah, don’t remind me of that.

Killer isn’t full of the same tracks. I mean, you have a ballad on there.

This album is a little bit different. Do you think it is?

Definitely. That is why I’m surprised you recorded them so close together.

It’s more of a rock album. You can’t always record the same songs over and over. You’d go crazy. That is why when Green Day came out with their new album everyone was slagging them, but I was like ‘They’re doing something different.’

They’ve gotten bored of doing the whole “Dookie” thing.

I think on the new album we were listening to a lot of new stuff from the Foo Fighters to the Beatles. Maybe on the last album we were really into the So-Cal punk scene.

Have you had the chance to meet groups that you grew up idolizing from those scenes?

Yeah. When we were recording in LA, Warren from the Vandals came down. And Fat Mike came down and told us we had really great songs. I got to meet Tim from Rancid. People were coming up to us because they saw our EPK. That EPK really did a lot for us. (The EPK is the video where Sum 41 steals a pizza, sprays unsuspecting individuals with giant squirt guns, and there are all sorts of silly, childish, hilarious gags.) We have a new one too that is really funny called “Going, Going, Gonorrhea”. (laughs)

That last one was hilarious. We used to get emails about all the time from fans about it.

Kids would come up to us and tell us how they got arrested from doing what we did at the pizza place.

Did your record label ask you not to do those again?

No, they wanted us to do more, but it’s really funny how kids are influenced by stuff like that.

Is that video part of your attitude of not taking life too seriously?

We totally don’t take ourselves seriously. We are in it for the fun. As soon as the fun stops, we’ll stop.

+ charlie craine

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.