ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Sum 41 has an image
And they like it.
By Lori Mastronardi
Gazette file photo
FOOLED BY THEIR INNOCENT LOOK. These guys will do anything
to induce some laughs, even - gasp - throw plants at you.
"We don't really do anything."
Drummer Steve Jocz is eager to delve into
Sum 41's uniquely chaotic and carefree lifestyle. The remaining
three members of this crazy quartet are Derick Whibley and Dave
Baksh on guitar and vocals and Cone McCaslin on bass. These
four guys from Ajax managed to stumble upon a lot of exposure
in a short period of time, thus making them a staple in radio
and video play - and theyĠre enjoying every minute of it.
"It's really easy and you get everything
for free," Steve explains. "I can't believe it's a
job. We're encouraged to do things you were brought up never
Steve reveals the band doesn't feel any pressure
to maintain an image "like Avril Lavigne," but rather
get to behave however they'd like. "The best part is that
our image is that we're dumb goof-offs - we just get to act
like ourselves... the trouble is writing music, not maintaining
"I live in Toronto near Ryerson, so I always see
girls. I always see them at the grocery store. All the
girls that go to college are pretty cute. I'm looking
at them right now! Out the window!"
"I would take something dorky and boring like history
or political science - something that sounded smart, so
i could appear to be smart."
In reference to the Britney, Madonna and Xtina
"That's pretty hot. The idea is hot, but
I hate all three of those girls... give me an episode
of Melrose Place any day."
Apparently, the band has morphed over the
past couple of years, dropping and adding members with relative
"We've gone through so many bass players
- we're like Spinal Tap. We kick people out of the band just
for fun... but our bass player Cone is the best looking one.
We need him for his good looks. He's handsome, no - he's adorable."
It's obvious Steve is easily distracted and
enjoys recounting random events from his life. "It's Cone's
birthday today! I have to remember to call him!" Following
this sudden burst of energy, he calmly continues, "I'll
call him and remind him what friends do on each others' birthdays...
I didnĠt get a call on my birthday... and Derick's mom gave
him a birthday party and we all had to go."
Steve's rants do lead up to some pretty interesting
disclosures. He recounts his odd experience with a fan at Warped
Tour. "This guy asked me to sign his leg... and pulled
off a prosthetic leg and handed it to me! Another guy grabbed
it and ran off with it... the guy probably had to buy it back
Sum 41 has also played their share of evil
pranks - perhaps more than their share. "You pick your
friends on tour and then you have to pick an enemy," Steve
slyly reveals. Steve insists there's a strategy involved in
choosing your friends on tour.
"Pennywise are all big and weĠre little
guys. We need big guys."
And who are the latest victims to suffer the
wrath and pain of Sum 41's pranks?
"We spent time tormenting Placebo with
Flex from Pennywise. Derick fucked up their dressing room, he
threw plants at their wall... huge tree plants."
The band indulges in everything that is cliché
rock, as well as more guilty pleasures than they would like
to share. "Our guitar guy, he left, so we had to get him,"
"Our favourite thing is to use fire extinguishers
and we dumped water and put hot sauce in his eyes."
Steve admits the band is proud of how the
last album turned out and are optimistic about their presence
in the industry.
"We're glad where we are. We know what
kind of band we want to be. As long as we keep things fresh
and keep making music that we think is good and not phony."
These guys aren't afraid to experiment, as
long as it's not something too drastic. Their next album will
embody a slightly different sound, as fans can expect to hear
more heavy metal.
"Being in the studio can be tricky, but
Derick does the grunt work - we do the drunk work," laughs
He discloses that playing is the easy part
of the job and reveals that he gets his exercise from performing
"We're still growing," shares Steve.
"We haven't plateaued. As long as we keep things fresh
we have five to seven more years. The four years after that
is when people start to hate you... we'd like to be around when
people really hate us."