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Deryck from SUM 41 chats to Jen about his routine for the new album and much more!

Hi Deryck, it is a real pleasure to talk to you!

Hey Jen, how are you?

Pretty good thanks. How is the record coming along?

It is really good just now I’m recording the guitars right now. Thats going really good. It is kind of my favorite part of the recording, well guitar is one of the easiest things to play and I really like getting guitar sounds. So it gives me a chance to be a bit of a nerd.

Ha! nothing wrong with being a nerd.

Can you describe a typical day in the studio?

Yeah I am on a pretty strict routine, that sounds rather boring but it helps me work. I wake up at 9 everyday by 10.30 I am usually in the studio and it depends on what I’m working on that day but I try and finish work at 10.30 or 11 but sometimes I go to be at midnight and that is the block of the time that I work so it depends on what I am working on. The other day on Friday we did three or four songs for drums so Frank was tracking drums and when Cone is in town we are recording his bass.It depends what I am doing that day but it is usually 10.30 am to midnight. Then I spend an hour with my wife and hopefully relax then try and go to sleep by 3 or 4 in the morning.

Wow that is a long day.

Then I get up at 9 again.

That is dedication for you, I am so glad that you are working hard on the album as I am looking forward to hearing it.

I don’t have days off but whenever I have taken a day off I actually can’t stand it all I can think about is work.


Yeah so I don’t do well with days off.

We have a chat about my other job teaching and how much work we do outside of the classroom and all the reports I have to write but are putting off by doing other things.


So you have used Pledge Music to help fund this album, I really like that as it gives fans the opportunity to see the record being made and hear it before anyone else, although I get albums early anyway to review. It is a good way of staying connected to your fans.

Yeah when it first came out, I didn’t really know much about it, then we started talking about an album, it got brought up because we were talking about the difference is going to a record company first or having to do it on our own but when we saw that Pledge would bring the fans into it that just seemed like the best option for me.  now we can just do this record and bring everybody into it. I think it’s a really cool concept, I really would have liked this when I was younger, with whatever band I listened to in high school.I just think it is really cool.

I have done it with Zebrahead, one of my fav bands, G Love and Special sauce to James Reyne from Aussie Crawl. my daughter is really into eclectic music like Five Finger Death Punch to Michael Buble.

Really? (Both Laughing) Yes!

I am not a Buble fan, he does what he does and I guess people like it.

I don’t like him at all.

For me I really don’t like it. For me I am such a Frank Sinatar fan.

Michael Buble voice bothers me when I hear those songs.

Do you feel that you have the same passion for creating  your best music that you had when you were younger?

I think I have more now. Yeah I think maybe it takes a little longer now to put out a record. I was thinking about this yesterday as there are little things that I have been working on, I know that say in the early days like ’99 or 2000, the all Killer days there was so many things that I would of let go on the record where I would not of cared as much and I would be fine with the way it is where now I am like I can’t even stand to listen to it that way as it is different from the way that I hear it in my head. If things turned out the way I didn’t want them to I just said whatever.

Are you bit more of perfectionist now?

It is not necessarily being a perfectionist it is that I have to get out what I hear in my head.That may not be perfect what I hear in my head necessarily it is just a certain thing or way that I want it to sound, so not perfect and how it is played or anything, I really don’t care about that it is more about how it makes me feel.Like the guitar is a hard one to make me feel something. it is just a basic instrument as the feeling comes from vocals. So I try and really maximize all those instruments to make me feel something.

My fav Sum song is Pieces , or  With me or Makes or No Difference……. Hard to choose. Like it is different every day but Pieces for me is just the best song ever.

Well thanks! 🙂

Is there a song that to you is that you enjoy the most to play live?

It is funny that you say Pieces as it is my favorite song that I have ever written. I like playing it only because when the song starts it is just me and no other band members and I just don’t want to fuck it up.  (both laughing) That is the only reason that I get nervous playing that song. I do enjoy it, once the band kicks in I really enjoy playing it.

I always get lost in the vide clip when I watch that.

Oh yeah that video turned out great too. The director was really good and he got our provision for red because it could have gone another way. He was a great director and everything was great about it and I loved it.

Any other music video that you enjoy doing?

I really like Walking Disaster, that was a really fun day and it  turned out better than I thought as we read the treatment for it and it could of gone so bad, I liked the idea  of the robot walking through the city but I also thought that this could be very lame. But the director did a really great job and he did it with no money too as that is when videos stopped getting budgets. So he made it look good for the amount of money that he had. Still waiting was a really fun video, I mean they are all pretty fun but I hated Motivation.

Really why?

That did not turn out at all like it was supposed to. So I really did not like that one.

‘In too Deep’ was a good one.

Yeah it was that was probably the most fun.

Can you tell us about your side project, You and the Happiness Machine?

Yeah basically it is a group of my really close friends that live near me in LA here that I have known for a really long time. Like Devin who plays guitar I have known since All Killer came out. He lives like a block away from me and it is just a way for me to play music still when I am off really. It is just for fun.

That is good! I see that you are playing Bowling for Bunnies?

Yeah another friend of mine Todd who plays with Cone in Operation it is him who is throwing that Charity night with Playboy. So yeah he is one of my best friends so I will play some songs for that.

Can I ask you questions about your alcohol abuse?

Yeah it does not bother me.

Living the rock stars life ended up causing you severe health issues, Congrats on kicking the addiction and become healthier and surviving! Can you tell us the point that you hit rock bottom?

It is hard to say when it happened as it is sort of just happened. Like if it was that clear then you would recognize it and change it. It gradually happens so no I don’t know when it happened. I can look back at the time that I was getting a little bit out of control but it is hard to say what reason it happened as there is usually a lot of reasons why that happens, my back pain was a really big part of it, I would say the physical pain of that, a couple of drinks would take it all away. But that starts to not work and you take a few more and it just gradually gets worse. But that is only one small part of it. I mean Life in general, we have been on the road for probably too long on that run and things were getting tired and that contributes and me coming out of my divorce that contributed too and everything at once leads you down that path and if you don’t recognize it and I didn’t I fell into it and it is really difficult to get out.

Do you have a strong support network around you that helps you?

Yes for sure, family and friends. My mother and my wife were there all the time.

You got married in August this year?


So she stuck through with you for that time?


Well she is a keeper!!! My husband is the same, he stuck through me with my illness when he could of easily walked away.

Starting out in the Music industry were you supported by family or a friend to follow your dreams? Or were you told to stay at school and get a real job?

I say as we were so young my mum was definitely nervous as this kind of stuff did not happen and when I was graduating from high school and my mum was saying you need to think about what you want to do and I said that I want to be in a band and I am going to get big and she was like no what are you really going to do? I said I am really going to do that. I think in her mind. So she definitely supported me but was nervous as were friends. They liked our band but I don’t think anyone thought we were going to take off.


I was reading last night The Red Wine Chronicles, what were they about ?

They were just basically tour diaries. Like when I was on the road I would basically, on our down time on our days off ,you know sit around and write about cool things that I had seen or happened and I titled it Red Wine Chronicles because I usually sat with a glass of wine and started writing stuff.

Nice idea.

In your photos I saw the cool dressing room in one of those posts with Buddah and candles, can you tell me the best dressing room you have ever had and why?

There was one that stood down, it might not be the best but it might be, from the top of my head  there is one from Norfolk Virginia. It is pretty common tour stop, it is a place called the Novah and it is a decent club like something out of a movie, this whole top level, it has hot tubes and sauna’s and games rooms and all this stuff that seemed to keep going and going. It was definitely set up for partying for sure. I never ended going in the hot tub, I mean night after night  different bands going in it who knows what has happened in there!

(both laughing)

Back stages here in Australia I have never seen one even remotely like that.

Yeah that is the only one I have ever seen like that. Most of the really nice venues usually the backstage really sucks.

Everyone wants to go backstage and see what it is like, when I first got the chance too I was really disappointed as I thought it was going to be so much better.

Another one that sticks out to me, usually when we are playing arena’s the dressing rooms are usually the Hockey change room or something like that. So nothing that special. Some people like Tommy Lee from Motley Crue he brings his own dressing room with him and it gets set up every time, every night. He has a whole crew of people that set it up every night and it looks like you have walked in to a night club every night. A full PA system, lights and they bring out these drapes and you step into a sort of tent thing that you feel like that you are just somewhere else. That is probably the best dressing room that I have ever seen.

Sounds great!

Usually everyone wants to get into Tommy Lee’s dressing room so it becomes packed and looks just like a night club.

Has there been a worse gig ever for you?

um the only thing that comes to mind, I remember this, and it probably was the worst and I get reminded about it from my grandmother as she was there and she always brings it up that it was the worst and we should not of played but we played this one show in Halifax years ago, probably 2004 or 2005, and we flew from Cleveland to Halifax and we were meant to play a show in Cleveland but it was cancelled due to bad weather and it was really windy, it was an outdoor show so the promoters said we can’t do it so we did not end up playing and we were trying to fly to Halifax but doe to the weather they stopped all the planes so we could not get a commercial flight out. We ended up paid and rented our own jet to get us to Halifax. Which was really expensive and basically cost more than the show was going to pay us so we had to get there. But when we got there, the weather in Halifax was the issue the planes would not fly out, it was so much worse than it was in Cleveland and we were playing outdoors and the promotors made us play anyway. We were playing in a foot high of water and it was so dangerous, I blew up four different amps and I am surprised that we did not get electrocuted. The promotor tried to get the Police to arrest us when we were leaving as we did not play long enough!


Yeah we got into a huge big fight and we just took off and ran out of the venue. We left out Tour Manager to deal with it all. We split and we have never played at Halifax again as that promotor won’t work with us ever again. She is the only promotor in Halifax apparently.

What kinds of bands do you listen to now?

I listen to the same kind of music that I have listened to for a long time now. Which is what happens when you get older. Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, The Police, I guess all the good stuff really! That is my rock music stuff but I really love a lot of Jazz and Sinatra and I like Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash.

Interesting. I am not really into Country music.

I am really only in to Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash. It is not like an every day thing, it depends on my moods. I don’t listen to a lot of newer stuff really, not intentionally it is just that nothing really sticks out.

I guess I only listen to new music because of my job and that I have two teenagers who want me to interview more mainstream bands.

Who would be your top band that you would like to play with on tour?

I don’t know! We tour with so many different kinds of bands. It is always fun to play with Metallica.

I was hoping that you guys would be announced for Soundwave for next year as the line up is so bad.

(Deryck and I discussed that they might come the year after, well we know now that that is not happening!)

Deryck and I then had a more personal discussion that I will keep between us.

It was awesome to chat to one of my fav bands, and even better that I got the chance to chat to two members of SUM 41.

Huge thanks to Derryck for his time.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley On A Typical Day In The Studio – “I am on a pretty strict routine” |
  2. Jen’s review of SUM 41’s new album ’13 Voices’ out on the 7th of October. – Music Injection

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