Sum 41 to perform at Alternative Press Music Awards after four-year hiatus


Photo courtesy of Deryck Whibley, Sum 41

Jenna Kuczkowski

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of stories about the Alternative Press Music Awards, which will be held July 22 in Cleveland. To read the first article about Alternative Press magazine, click here.

After more than four years of silence, Sum 41 will be returning to the stage to perform during this years’ Alternative Press Music Awards at the Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland.

“We haven’t played in so long and there’s been so much uncertainty with the band these past few years, it felt like a great thing to be the first performance back,” said Sum 41 lead singer and guitarist Deryck Whibley. “It’s been over two years now that we haven’t performed, which is a long time in band years.”

The Alternative Press Music Awards, which takes place July 22, is hosted by Alternative Press magazine and recognizes some of the successful musicians of the past year  in the alternative rock world. This is the show’s second year and will feature performances by Weezer, Panic! at the Disco, Taking Back Sunday, All Time Low, Sum 41 and others.

Whibley said Alternative Press has always supported the band in the past, especially when they were first starting out.

“They were the first legitimate publication to put our ugly faces on a magazine cover, so that was pretty big for us at the time because we weren’t really big anywhere yet,” he said. “I even still have the cover framed on my wall.”

The band released its debut album, All Killer, No Filler, in 2001, which was certified platinum in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Its first single off the album, “Fat Lip” also rose to number one on the Billboard Modern Rock chart after its release and remains the band’s most successful single to date.

The band later released Does This Look Infected? in 2002 with the singles “The Hell Song” and “Still Waiting,” which were both on the Billboard Modern Rock chart. The next album, “Chuck”, in 2004, with singles “We’re All to Blame” and “Pieces,” peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Top Albums chart, selling five million copies worldwide.

In 2007, the band released Underclass Hero, which became the band’s highest charting album to date. Sum 41’s most recent album, Screaming Bloody Murder, was released in 2011.

In recent years, the band has experienced problems with its members. Longtime drummer Steve Jocz left the band in 2013, and in 2014, Whibley was hospitalized for liver and kidney failure due to alcohol abuse.

Now, Whibley said he’s fully recovered and ready to start performing onstage again.

“I’ve been preparing, both mentally and physically, to be ready to start performing again because there was a while that I couldn’t have even gotten on stage,” he said.  “Mentally, I’ve wanted to get back on stage for a while. Physically, it’s been a process.”

Whibley said the band recently rehearsed for the first time in years in preparation for the Alternative Press Music Awards.

“It just felt great to be playing again, and it all comes back so quickly,” he said. “After the second day of rehearsing, I already wanted to play a show because I thought we were ready.”

Whibley says he and the band are in the process of deciding what to play at the APMAs. The band has been hinting since March about new songs in the works.

“We might throw some new stuff in our set but possibly not since the songs aren’t recorded yet, and because they might change and it may not be the right time to play these songs,” Whibley said.

Whibley says Sum is also working on finding a replacement drummer to join the current band of three at the APMAs and in the future as a new permanent member. He said they received several offers from some big-name drummers after former drummer Jocz left the band.

“I can’t really say any names just yet, but we’ve been playing with a few people and some of them we like, but we’re still in that process of figuring it all out, but things are looking pretty good,” Whibley said.

In the future, Whibley said fans can  expect another Sum tour when the record does comes out. He said a world tour might also be in the works.

Contact Jenna Kuczkowski at [email protected].