Sum 41 have returned with new music and a chip on their shoulder. Listen in as Ozz chats with frontman and founder member Deryck Whibley about “Order In Decline” and where Sum 41 is headed in the future.
In the late summer of 2018, Sum 41 frontman, Deryck Whibley, stepped off the tour bus after three solidyears of worldwide touring, turned on the console in his home studio, picked up a guitar, and startedpouring out song after song. Feeling incredibly inspired from 2016’s critically-acclaimed Europe ImpalaGold certified, #9 Billboard Top Albums charting,13 Voicesalbum and touring cycle, Whibley feverishlystarted putting together songs from the cascade of ideas flying throughout his mind. Relentless touringand immense energy from some of the largest crowds the band had ever played in front of bred amultitude of ideas that Whibley had stockpiled and couldn’t wait to record. Within three weeks, themajority of the music for the new album,Order In Declinewas written.With much of the music written, Whibley focused his attention on the lyrics. “I’ve always just let wordscome out and whatever they are, they are,” Whibley remarks, “I usually just follow and let them flow.”Unconsciously, Whibley realized that there was a persistent theme in his stream of consciousness thatultimately became a critical response to the world and society at large. Traveling the world and observinghow pervasive division, racism, and hate had become,punctuated by the repulsive social and politicalturmoil invading his own home nations of the United States and Canada, Whibley found himself writingabout a great many things he didn’t necessarily want to write about. “The last thing I wanted to do waswrite a social or political protest record, andOrder In Declineis not that,” Whibley clarifies. Instead,OrderInDeclineis a burst of uninhibited feeling, a page out of his journal, a window into his soul that reflectson extremely personal and vulnerable events, because as heconfesses, “It’s also very hard not to havefeelings about everything that’s going on in the world.”Armed with the most honest and personal songs of his career, Whibley continued to pour everything hehad into the album. Producing, engineering, and mixing the album in his home studio, Whibley pain-stakingly crafted and fine-tuned each song, highlighted by Deryck’s fast and full riffs, guitar solos fromlead guitarist/backing vocalistDave Brownsound,harmonious chords from guitaristTom Thacker, andtheheavy, heart-thumping rhythm section of bassist/backing vocalistCone McCaslinanddrummerFrank Zummo. The result is undoubtedly Sum 41’s heaviest and most aggressive album intheir storied career, while also being its most dynamic and raw.For each fiery, arena-rock entry (i.e. “Out For Blood”-a down-tuned skate-punk number with an insaneguitar solo and “45 (A Matter Of Time)”–a groove-heavy mid-tempo rager that’s about exactly who youthink it is), there is an equally powerful, vulnerable ballad that hits just as hard. The honest process ofwritingOrder In Decline, in which Whibley chose to not hold back any feelings, ultimately released aweight that has plagued the frontman in recent years.For the first time in Sum 41’s 23-year career,Whibleyexcavated one of his most personal stories ever: “Never There,” a powerful track about theconnection he shares with his absentee father, who he has never met.He also shares his feelings onmental health awareness the best way he knows how, by closing outthe album with a beautiful balladcalled “Catching Fire” about those he has lost and almost lost throughout his life. The song holdsmultiple meanings, as at its core, it is also a love song about his wife and the prospect of loving andlosing someone sosignificant to his life.After over 15 million records sold worldwide,a Grammy Award nomination, 2 Juno Awards (7nominations), aKerrang! Awardin 2002, as well as multipleAlternative Press Music Awards, Sum 41 isquite simply a rock band–uncompromising and honest with no intention of slowing down.Sum 41 consists of five members includingDeryck Whibley, lead guitarist/backing vocalistDaveBrownsound, co-leadguitarist/backing vocalistTom Thacker, bassist/backing vocalistCone McCaslinanddrummerFrank Zummo.