Sum 41 to honor 15 years of ‘Chuck’ in heaviest set yet on upcoming tour
This summer, Canadian pop-punks turned metallic bruisers Sum 41 announced their world tour. The North American dates will feature support from Australian metalcore force the Amity Affliction and the Plot In You; come November, the band will team up with the Offspring in Canada.
Sum 41 are announcing that the already epic run just got more so with the reveal of their planned setlist. In addition to the high-spirited power found on this year’s Order In Decline, the band will also be playing a majority of tracks from their 2004 album, Chuck. Both Order and Chuck are the quintet’s heaviest releases, and Sum frontman/guitarist/co-founder Deryck Whibley kept that in mind putting this tour together. The band will be performing both albums (along with fan favorites) for nightly sets averaging two hours in length.
Chuck is a special installment in Sum’s mythology, stemming from the band’s support of the War Child Canada charity. The band were filming a documentary in the Democratic Republic Of The Congo when fighting broke out among warlords and the hotel where the band were staying was routinely sprayed with gunfire. The band were shepherded out of the country by a United Nations peacekeeper, Charles “Chuck” Pelletier. Whibley said if they got out of the country alive, they’d name the record after him. The 15-year anniversary of the record was befitting of a revisitiation; coupled with the velocity of many of the tracks on Order In Decline, it’s a downright no-brainer.
Whibley spoke to AP about the tour, the excitement he feels putting it together and how performing isn’t a duty but a way of life.
This is a pretty ambitious program you have happening this fall. These two albums in their entirety and some fan favorites, as well. How long are these sets going to be?
DERYCK WHIBLEY: It’ll be our longest, for sure. I think they’ll be two-hour sets. Not sure if it’s going to be 2:05 exactly, but definitely two hours. The good thing about those two is that they’re relatively shorter records, so it makes sense to play them at one show.
You’re obviously in rehearsals, practicing and getting yourselves tour-ready. When revisiting Chuck, was there anything that you had to relearn, or were there any discoveries you made while revisiting the tracks?
The thing is, we never played every single one of those songs before. Some of those songs we’re going to be playing, we’ve never played ever. There’s maybe a good four or five songs we’ve never gotten around to playing when the album came out. So yes, you are learning stuff. But there’s also the brand-new record: We’ve never played a lot of those songs off Order In Decline; they were built in the studio, but live is a whole different thing. What I’m trying to say is, there’s a lot of rehearsing going on. [Laughs.]
How long are band practices, anyway?
Well, we’re still in solo rehearsals. I’ve been working on stuff for at least a week-and-a-half, two weeks on my own. We get together as a band starting Monday, but the rest of the band have been doing their own personal practicing for a while. It’s pretty intense already. We’ve done a lot of work. By Monday, we all should know what we’re doing.
Are there any tracks from Chuck you have a hard time revisiting for personal reasons?
Not really. I don’t really ever have a hard time revisiting old songs for personal reasons. They all meant something at a time, and they all mean something different to me now. The only thing—and I really don’t have this so much with Chuck—sometimes going back and playing some of the older songs, the reservations I have are that I don’t like them. Some of them I think aren’t very good songs. [Laughs.] The thing about this setlist—and putting these two records together—[is that] they’re our heaviest records. And we’re making one show out of all these heavy songs. And the funny thing about these records is that they both have some of our slowest music, as well.
You don’t think about the personal travails that happened to the band facing civil war in the Congo when you revisit the record?
I don’t necessarily when I am listening to the music. I do remember the experience very well in my mind, but it doesn’t get triggered by the music. The music doesn’t do that for me, and I don’t know if that is because I’m the writer of it and I have so many attachments to it that it doesn’t remind me of one particular thing.
You are also participating with Plus1 to donate a dollar from each ticket to the charity War Child. Does that organization mean different things to you considering the long-term support you’ve given it?
We’ve always been a fan of the different things they have done. We like the people. It’s an organization we’ve been involved with for a very long time, and it’s an organization we’ll support in the future. The whole idea of us going through the Congo came out of us having meetings with them and trying to think of something different to do. I think in the future we won’t be going back to any war zones, but we’re always open to new ideas from them.
Considering everything you’ve accomplished in Sum 41 and with this tour being the official tour for Order In Decline, are these records considered personal milestones as opposed to just releases? What are the things that truly resonate with you after the making of a record? The process to get there? The live experience?
I think for us, being onstage and being on the road is what we really love to do. It’s why we do all this. I’ve always felt like records are the things that get you on the road. I like writing music, but I like performing. So this is the exciting part.
Sum 41’s latest Order In Decline is available now. The band kick off the Order In Decline world tour at the end of this month in Pittsburgh following their Louder Than Life set in Louisville. A full list of dates and tickets is available here.