SUM 41 on Rock Overdose:”We work really hard at our albums and live shows all the time.”

Modern punk-rock legends, never-aging rebels, childhood heroes of a whole generation- sum41 are definitely here to stay! We were privileged enough to have a chat with them about their latest album "13 voices", the tour they are currently on and all those experiences they have gathered, being together for over 20 years!


Rock overdose: Hello Sum 41 and welcome to rock overdose! You recently came up with a magnificent extraordinary new album, ‘’13 voices’’ that was released via hopeless records. Where did you draw all that inspiration from and how much of yourselves do you ‘’put’’ in each and every one of your songs? 

SUM 41: Most of the album was inspired by deryck’s addiction and recovery and ulmitely his beating of a sickness that took i’m over for a long time. Whenever we do albums we put everything we can into it. If you’re not gonna give it 100% there’s no point in doing it. We work really hard at our albums and live shows all the time.


Rock overdose:  The release of ‘’13 voices’’ was followed by ‘’don’t call it a sum-back tour’’, your first tour in the 4 last years which is still going! Would you like to share with us some experiences you have gained so far at all those places you have visited?

SUM 41: Ya it’s great to be back on the road after a few years away. Feels very fresh and exciting for us and it seems the fans share that excitement with us too. This tour is quite different then any other tours we’ve done. The production we have is nothing we’ve ever done in the way of lighting, set design ect and we are playing a longer set then we’ve ever done as well. Its allowing us to play a lot of new songs but also a ton of old songs as well.


Rock overdose: Why did you choose ‘’punk’’ over the majority of musical genres as your own genuine genre? What was the thing that got you into the punk sound from the very beginning? Is it a just matter of musical preferences or it has to do also with your mentality and way of life?

SUM 41: When we were in high school at the time sum 41 started which was 1996 deryck and steve got really into the so-cal punk scene and eventually just through hanging out with those guys a lot and eventually joining the band in 1998 i started listening and loving that stuff too. It wasn’t really mainstream and you felt like it was kinda yours that not everyone knew about. Lyrically and the energy in the music really defined those late 90’s years for us and into the early 2000’s.  There was such a tight knit scene where we grew up in ajax that it was really cool to be a part of. Good memories.

Rock overdose: You have been the ‘’childhood heroes’’ of a great deal of young fans of the punk rock music scene. Do you think that a musician can actually have the ‘’power’’ to influence people, transfer thoughts, emotions and ideas throughout music? And is that what you aim as a band?

SUM 41: Absolutely musicians can influence people. No matter what you are singing about weather its politics or relationships or whatever you always have the oportunity to influence people with your lyrics especially when you have a big fan base behind you. We think musicians should use their voices more especially in today’s world with whats going on especially in politics. Us as musicians have a platform which can be heard and we should use it. As a band we don’t necessarily always aim to “influence” or “preach” to people but we will and have spoke up and many occasions on topics that we feel strongly about weather its being on the “rock against bush” compilation or writing songs like “we’re all to blame” or “still waiting” ect. We just do things we feel strongly about.


Rock overdose: What do you enjoy most in your life as musicians? What makes it worth all the struggles? And how do you choose to spend your time when you are not in the studio or touring?

SUM 41: I would have to say what makes it worth is going city to city everyday on tour and seeing our fans so into the band and the music. Its really nothing you can explain. When you see all the passion in the fans and how much the band means to them its all worth it.


Rock overdose: Your evolution throughout the years has been actually remarkable! Watching your music transform, evolve from album to album throughout the years offers certain proof that the band is actually here to stay! Do you believe that bands and musicians should constantly experiment with their sound in search of their own individuality and authenticity?

SUM 41: Well i can only say whats good for us and for us we always felt like evolving and trying new things was the right thing to do. We all love so many different styles of music so it just feels right to do that. Other bands may stay with the same forula all the time and it could work and that’s cool too but we’ve always had a drive to go further and try new things and experiment.


Rock overdose: What is your opinion concerning success? Do you believe that is a matter of hard-work, luck, or the combination of both? And what advice would you give to all the young musicians who look up to you?

SUM 41: Ya all of that. Hard work being #1. Luck plays into it too for sure. Young musicians just have to be ready to work for it and not think its gonna be handed to them because they feel like they recorded a good record or whatever. Recording great songs is definietly a plus but it’s the constant work and touring and really dedicating your life to it is the only way to be successful in the music industry. You have to live it.

Rock overdose: After all those years in the music world, being a band with wide recognition and acceptance is there anything you still haven’t accomplished and you would like to?

SUM 41: Ya we still wanna keep going up from here. We aren’t satified yet, we wanna keep growing and reaching new people and proving ourselves to people that might not know us.


Rock overdose: What does the future hold for sum41? How do you see yourselves in a few years from now?

SUM 41: This year we are continuing to tour all over the world and that’s all i really know at this point. There’ll be another album after that at some point and then we’ll do it all again!


Rock overdose: Finally, would you like to leave a message for your Greek fans and anyone who is reading this interview?

SUM 41: Greece has always been a place we’ve wanted to come to and hopefully 1 day we’ll get over there. Thx for all the support and we hope to see you soon.

For Rock Overdose,

Hope Vnz