March 8, 2007
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Sum 41 finishes new album
By -- For JAM! Music


Rock band Sum 41’s follow-up to 2004’s “Chuck” is being mastered this week and is expected to be released in late June or early July. Frontman Deryck Whibley produced the still-untitled album and Chris Lord-Alge mixed it.

It’s the first time in Sum 41’s career that Whibley has taken the reigns as producer of a full studio album for his own band, which formed in Ajax, ON more than a decade ago. “We just hired a really good engineer,” says bassist Cone McCaslin, whose band is signed to Aquarius in Canada and Island Def Jam/Universal in the U.S. for the rest of the world.

That engineer was Doug McKean, producer Rob Cavallo’s right hand on Green Day’s “American Idiot.”

“Rob gave us his engineer and Deryck produced it and nothing really changed in the studio [from the demos],” says Cone, the only member of Sum 41 still living in Toronto.

Whibley and drummer Steve “Stevo” Jocz both live in Los Angeles. Cone flew down regularly, so they could demo at their rehearsal space. They recorded the album in L.A. at Ocean Way and Sound City, keeping a few things from the demos that Whibley did at his house. “He just said, ‘I don’t know if I can recreate it,’” Cone explains.

The band — which did not replace guitarist Dave “Brownsound” Baksh when he quit last May — recorded 20 songs for the album and selected 14 for the final track listing.

“They’ll be about 12 songs, but 14 tracks,” Cone clarifies. “There’s little snippets we did, like this song where Deryck sings in French. It’s kind of a lounge song that’s in between songs. It’s funny.”

The new album, the band’s fifth studio album, is lighter than “Chuck” but “a lot of it is fast,” says Cone.

“We didn’t want to do another metal album and ‘Chuck’ wasn’t really a metal album, but it was a hard album for us. If we were to keep going [in that direction], we’d have to make it heavier and harder,” says Cone.

“So this one’s not like ‘Chuck,’ where it was heavy; there’s no metal or anything on it; it’s kind of back to our first few albums, not as poppy I guess. It’s a little edgier and harder than our first few albums, but melodically it’s kind of the same.”

Baksh, who was noted for his love of metal, says one of the reasons he left Sum 41 was to pursue a more metal-oriented project, which he has with Brown Brigade. Cone says Sum 41’s new album isn’t sans metal because of his departure.

“Even if Dave was in it, I think we’re over that now. We did that and it was really fun to do that album, but what are you gonna do now?”

As for lyrics, Cone doesn’t feel right discussing them.

“They’re Deryck’s lyrics and I don’t want to say anything that’s maybe wrong. He’ll be like, ‘Why did you say that? You don’t even know the lyrics,’” he laughs.

Cone believes the new album will also contain a “making of” DVD portion.

This month, Sum 41 will begin rehearsing in Los Angeles and will also hold private auditions for a touring guitarist.

“I don’t think he’ll be in videos or photo shoots,” says Cone. “It’s really hard to at this stage to bring in a guy to be a real member. We’ve just known each other so long.”

No tour dates have been set, but “there’s talk” the band will join the Vans Warped Tour this summer.


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