When Rock 'n' Roll emerged eons ago it was all about teen angst and trying, no matter what, to have a good time. That unquenchable desire ripped across the U.S. and spread to the U.K. before thundering back to the States. Since then, it's been ricocheting all over the place. The drive is omnipresent. Even in Canada. OK, eh? Sum 41 rolled up and out of the Great White North from the area commonly known as Ontario. Taking the blender approach, they mixed Punk, Metal and Skate with a taste of Hip-Hop.
Dropping boring birth names, Sum 41 came up with catchy new handles. If you worked in a plumbing store and called yourself Bizzy D or Stevo 32 you'd probably get laughed out of the building. But in a Rock group, it works just fine.
Their debut EP "Half Hour of Power" did well enough to warrant opening slots with Blink 182 and Offspring. The "All Killer No Filler" CD featuring "Fat Lip," an unconsciously good single with shotgun lyrics, packing a rhythmic punch, scored big time. With a sense of humor, the required satirical outlook and caustic attitude, they were a lock to make it in the music biz.
To keep the pipeline full, Sum 41 released the "Motivation" EP in '02 with three live tracks. Later in the year, the full-length "Does This Look Infected" with the comic book/horror movie cover and booklet was unleashed. '05 saw the release of "Chuck." The title was a nod to Chuck Pelletier, the U.N. official who helped the group escape the Republic of the Congo. They were taking part in a documentary when trouble, as it often does, broke out. Needing an exit, Pelletier provided it.
Things may appear to be on the right track when a group's first three albums sell over 7 million copies. But looks can be deceiving. First, guitarist and original member, Baksh left. Then the group split from their management company. "We were kind of left with nobody," said Whibley, who produced the group's fourth studio effort, "Underclass Hero." "And all the odds were stacked against us. People were saying we couldn't recover from all these changes. There was so much doubt." But adversity has a way of bonding people, especially a band. "We haven't been this together since our first album," claimed Whibley. "I would only have done this record if everyone was into it. There was no point otherwise. There was a lot of negative energy out there." "Underclass Hero" was released in the summer, '07.
Whibley, who had been dating singer/songwriter Avril Lavigne for two years, tied the knot in '06. Though the marriage only lasted three years, the couple continued to work together - mostly on her projects (a song for the "Alice In Wonderland" soundtrack and her '11 album "Goodbye Lullaby").
Whibley had time to work with Lavigne because it was slow going on the Sum 41 front. Guitarist Tom Thacker was added to the line-up and Whibley announced an album would be released in '09. A similar statement followed months later with Whibley adding that the album would be "less poppy, more punchy record."
A stint on the 2010 Warped Tour, Sum 41's fourth Warped trek, was interrupted when Whibley was hospitalized for a slipped disc in his back after he was attacked at a bar in Japan.
Finally, "Screaming Bloody Murder," the band's fifth studio effort, was released in March, '11.
Whibley's health took center stage in '14 when he collapsed in his girlfriend's kitchen due to years of alcohol abuse. He was rushed to the hospital where he was put in an induced coma. Near death, Whibley somehow managed to recover.
Now, jump ahead two years for "13 Voices." During an interview to promote the album, Whibley discussed his recovery from alcohol addiction. "I had to fall in order to rise," he stated.
2001 All Killer, No Filler
2002 Does This Look Infected?
2007 Underclass Hero
2011 Screaming Bloody Murder
2016 13 Voices