Q&A: Sum 41

(Photo Credit: Ashley Osborne)

I chatted with Cone from Sum 41 about the bands legacy and their upcoming album

When did you know you wanted to be a musician?

It would have to be the summer of 1994 I think. All of my friends were getting guitars and drums. They were starting this little band. I wanted to be in the band too. They had an extra guitar so I had to play that regardless. This was before Google or YouTube so I had to go buy music magazines and figure it out. We started out playing Nirvana covers and even started writing our own songs. Once I joined Sun 41, I knew I could do this for a living if it was sustainable. 

I think it worked out well. ::both laugh::

How did Sum 41 form?

Deryck and our old drummer Steve and went to Warped Tour 1996. We were all in different bands at the time. They saw PENNYWISE and Bad Religion, and decided to form a band that sounded like those SoCal punk bands. They then got Dave and then me and we got signed in 1991. 

I’ve been to Warped Tour and how INSANE is that show? 

The first time we did it was in 1999. We played two shows and then in 2000. 2001 was the first time we did the entire stretch. 18 days and no days off..kind of intense. It introduced us to a lot of our idols and now, friends. It taught us how the punk rock community was and how to interact with the fans. Dude, it ends in August, and it was so hot. We were 21 years old..I’m turning 42 years old this year and if we did 18 shows in a row, I would probably drop dead. 

What is it like growing up in this band?

It’s been half my life thus far. Its my job but I don’t consider it to be a job if that makes sense. My other friends laugh because they say I’ve never had a real job but I was an usher at a movie theater when I was 18. I just feel lucky to have been able to travel the world with some of my best friends. There’s been ups and downs in the band and we’ve been able to overcome it and play live. 

What is your favorite song to perform and why? 

I would say “Still Waiting.” It’s one of my favorite songs we’ve ever done. Lyrically it’s even relevant today with the Ukraine War raging on. It was written about the George W Bush days. I love the energy of the song. It was the first heavy song we had. I love that it was different from the first two singles we released.

What is the Blame Canada tour? 

Simple Plan wanted to go out and celebrate the anniversary of their first albums and so did we. We never toured together so we thought it would be perfect. Not to mention, that we’re all from the same scene. Why don’t we do it together? It’ll be exciting for the fans to come and experience both bands together. 

What can you tell me about the new album?

It’s called “Heaven and Hell.” There’s a lot of songs written for it. We were all sitting home during the lockdown and we were concentrating on writing and laying down tracks. There’s some stuff on there that sounds like the first record and some songs are the heaviest songs we’ve done. We didn’t know how to put everything together so we decided to put a double album out there. It’s gonna be a cool!

Do you prefer streaming, vinyl, cassette or CD?

Well i don’t like cassette because I hated when the tape got chewed up. I gave all of my CD’s to Value Village years ago. I do use Spotify but I have to say vinyl. I’ve started collecting vinyl again. It sounds the best.

Some of your songs, like “In Too Deep”, have been featured in films and TV shows, most notably “American Pie 2.” What is it like being a part of that films legacy? 

It’s cool. We were so young back then and all of a sudden those songs are in major motion pictures. People come up to us all the time and say that they first heard us in “American Pie” and it still floors us. It’s become this cult classic. There were movies that we turned down that became classics. We were asked to do a scene in “Zoolander.” The scene were they’re shooting each other with gas pumps and they wanted us to sing “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.” We watched the movie but the original just seemed like a better fit. If it was us doing that song in that scene, it wouldn’t have had the same effect.

Are you excited about your show at the Fillmore?

 I’m excited to strap up any bass and play because it’s been so long. Some of the songs we’re playing we haven’t played in 20 years so it’s going to be fun to see the crowds reaction. 

Sum 41 plays Fillmore Silver Spring May 4th! Buy Tix

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