Need to know more about Sum 41? Don’t worry! I’ve got you covered. I was fortunate enough to watch (and photograph) them when they performed in August 2011 at Oppikoppi Unknown Brother. It feels like a lifetime ago, but it was awesome. Sum 41 had 16,000+ people rocking out to the max in front of the main stage.
I was first made aware of them in 2001. My favorite songs by Sum 41 are “Fat Lip”, “In Too Deep”, “The Hell Song”, “We’re all to blame”, “Underclass Hero” and “Over my head (Better Off Dead)”. They have definitely come a long way since their humble beginnings. They’re not “just another punk rock band”.
Here are 20 facts you might not know about Sum 41:
1. Sum 41 was formed in 1996 in Ontario, Canada.
2. The current members of Sum 41 are Deryck Whibley, Dave Baksh, Jason McCaslin, Tom Thacker and Frank Zummo.
3. Steve Jocz, Jon Marshall, Richard Roy and Mark Spicoluk are formers members of the band.
4. Sum 41 started out as a NOFX cover band named “Kaspir”. The band decided to change their name for a show on September 28, 1996 (which also happened to be the 41st day of summer). That’s how Sum 41 was born.
5. The lead singer Deryck Whibley was married to Canadian singer Avril Lavigne, but they got seperated in 2009.
6. The first song ever written by the band was “Five-O Grind”. The song is about being hassled by a security guard while skateboarding. Their 2nd song was called “I Love Meat”.
7. Sum 41 were signed by Island Records after they sent them a videotape of the band engaging in water gun fights with their music in the background.
8. They band spent a huge portion of the year 2001 touring. They played over 300 concerts in that year before returning to the studio to record another album.
9. Sum 41 has been nominated for seven Juno Awards and have won twice. In 2001, they were nominated for “Best New Group” at the Juno awards, but lost to Nickelback. In 2002 they were nominated for “Best Group” in the Juno Awards but lost to Nickelback again. In2003, Sum 41 won a Juno Award for “Group Of The Year”. The Juno Awards are the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy Awards.
10. Their song “Crazy Amanda Bunkface” is about one of Deryck’s ex-girlfriends.
11. To date the band have released 7 studio albums. Their most recent album release was in 2019. “Out For Blood” was the lead single off the album.
12. When Deryck got into fights with his mother (or whoever) he would always write songs to calm down.
13. Everyone in the band has ’41’ tatooed on their right arm.
14. The band’s more destructive tendencies were encouraged by their label. Island / Def Jam president Lyor Cohen, who worked with the Beastie Boys during their Licensed to Ill days encouraged the band to “fuck shit up.” He assured the band that the label would pick up the tab (as long as they videotaped the mayhem). “The Beastie Boys were much tamer” Cohen told Rolling Stone. “Sum 41 are a multiple of them.” Some of the footage, as well as the stuff they filmed before getting signed, appears on the appropriately titled live DVD, Introduction to Destruction.
15. Their 2004 album Chuck is named after the UN aid worker that helped them to get to safety in the Democratic Replublic of the Congo. The band went to the war-torn African country to film a documentary for War Child Canada in that year. Five days into filming, fighting and gunfire suddenly erupted around them, and they barely escaped unharmed.
16. Deryck Wybley was in an alcohol-related induced coma in 2014. The band was in hiatus at that point in time. His recovery included learning to walk and play guitar again. He contributes a large part of his healing to the writing process of the band’s 2016 album 13 Voices.
17. To date Sum 41 have won 2 Juno Awards (Canada’s version of the Grammy Awards). They were also nominated for a Grammy Award in 2012.
18. Their song “Fat Lip” peaked at number 66 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and at number 8 on the UK Singles Chart.
19. The band’s 2007 album Underclass Hero achieved commercial success. It peaked at number 1 on the Canadian Albums Chart and at number 7 on the US Billboard 200.
20. “In Too Deep” was originally a reggae song. It was supposed to be released by writer Greig Nori’s band Treble Charger and feature rapper Snow in the verses. This is according to Ben Cook of Fucked Up, No Warning and Young Guv.
There you have it, 20 facts about Sum 41. If you have anything you can add on this list, please comment on this post. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here.
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