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Music / Sum 41

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"I don't want to waste my time,
Become another casualty of society,
I'll never fall in line,
Become another victim of your conformity,
And back down."
"Fat Lip"

Sum 41 is a punk rock/metal band from Ontario, Canada, formed in 1996 by vocalist/guitarist Deryck Whibley and drummer Steve Jocz under the name Casper. They were soon joined by lead guitarist Dave Baksh, and after a set of bass guitarists they settled on Jason "Cone" McCaslin in 1999, by which point they'd changed their name to Sum 41 (because they'd formed 41 days into their summer vacation).

Their first album, All Killer, No Filler, was released in 2001 and spawned their most successful single, "Fat Lip". Their follow-up album, Does This Look Infected?, was released in 2002, featuring a darker sound and also more serious lyrical themes. This continued onto their third album Chuck, released in 2004. In 2006, Baksh left the band to focus on his own band Brown Brigade, and the band recorded their next two albums — 2007's Underclass Hero and 2011's Screaming Bloody Murder — as a trio. In this time, Tom Thacker of Gob was hired as their touring guitarist.

Drummer Steve Jocz left the band in April of 2013 and was replaced with Frank Zummo, leaving Whibley as the sole remaining founding member until Dave Baksh returned in 2015. By that point, Thacker became a full-time member and they recorded their next two albums, 2016's 13 Voices and 2019's Order In Decline, as a five-piece band. A double album, titled Heaven and Hell is in works, and will be the band's final album.

The band's primary musical style is pop punk, but also includes various sub-genres such as rap rock ("What We're All About," "Fat Lip"), emo ("Pieces"), melodic hardcore ("Still Waiting", "We're All To Blame," "Fake My Own Death"), straightforward hardcore punk ("A.N.I.C.") and various types of Heavy Metal.

Principal members (current members in bold):

  • Deryck Whibley - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, occasional drums (1996 - present)
  • Steve Jocz - drums, backing and occasional lead vocals (1996 - 2013)
  • Dave "Broundsound" Baksh - lead guitar, backing vocals (1998 - 2006) (2015 - present)
  • Jason "Cone" McCaslin - bass, backing vocals (1999 - present)
  • Tom "Brown Tom" Thacker - guitar, backing vocals, keyboards (2009 - present; 2006 - 2009 as touring member)
  • Frank Zummo - drums, backing vocals (2015 - present)


  • Half Hour of Power (2000, EP)
  • All Killer, No Filler (2001)
  • Does This Look Infected? (2002)
  • Chuck (2004)
  • Go Chuck Yourself (2005, released in Japan as Happy Live Surprise)
  • Underclass Hero (2007)
  • All the Good Shit (2008)
  • Screaming Bloody Murder (2011)
  • 13 Voices (2016)
  • Order in Decline (2019)
  • Heaven :x: Hell (TBA)

All Killer, Trope Filler:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Tom's nickname, Brown Tom comes from Steve almost calling him Brownsound, the nickname of then-former guitarist Dave Baksh.
  • Affectionate Parody:
  • The Alcoholic: Deryck came dangerously close to dying from alcohol poisoning in the mid-2010s. After he collapsed at home and was rushed to the hospital, his doctors told him that one more drink would kill him.
  • Album Title Drop:
    • Pretty much averted with all the albums that have a Title Track (see Non-Appearing Title below). "Underclass Hero" and "Screaming Bloody Murder" play around with their titles but don't say the exact phrases, while "13 Voices" has neither "thirteen" nor "voices" anywhere in its lyrics.
    • Played straight for Order in Decline in "The New Sensation".
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Steve. Averted with Frank.
  • Alter-Ego Acting: As Pain for Pleasure (see below). Also in music video for Still Waiting, they performed as The Sums and were renamed. Deryck was Sven, Dave was Holmes, Steve was Sergio and Cone was Thurston.
  • Alternate Music Video: "Makes No Difference". The first video features the band driving around town and causing mayhem and was made a promo to get the attention of record labels, while the second version has the band playing at a house party.
  • Audience Participation Song:
    • "Fat Lip". Most typically, the fans sing the bridge, but they sometimes also do a brief call and response part with Deryck at the beginning of second verse (be - cause - you - don't).
    • For "We're All to Blame", the fans are supposed to scream "sacrifice!" at the top of their lungs after the second chorus.
  • Ascended Extra: Tom Thacker was originally only hired as a touring guitarist. He became an official member in 2009, co-writing the title track for Screaming Bloody Murder, but still wouldn't play on any of the albums until 2016.
  • Break-Up Song: “Pieces”, “Time for You to Go”, “What Am I To Say”, “Blood in My Eyes” and “Baby, You Don’t Wanna Know”. Note that 4 of these 5 songs were recorded after the divorce from Avril Lavigne
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Cone. Not only does he not get any rapping or singing parts (at least, not in studio recordings), but he's constantly at the butt of jokes, too. And the victim of Steve's teasing and torment! (See Disproportionate Retribution below.)
  • Call-Back:
    • The bridge to "Subject to Change", a Japanese-exclusive track of Chuck, is almost the same as the outro of "No Reason", one of the album's standard songs.
    • The chorus of "We're All to Blame" from Chuck has a soft reprise with different lyrics in the outro of "Pull the Curtain" from Underclass Hero.
  • Canada, Eh?: The band hail from Ajax, a sleepy coastal town in Southern Ontario.
  • Careful with That Axe: “Mr. Amsterdam”
  • Celebrity Song: “A.N.I.C.”
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Half Hour of Power and All Killer, No Filler were both very upbeat, MTV-friendly pop-punk albums. They were followed by the hardcore/horror punk inspired Does This Look Infected?. Nearly all of their subsequent albums have continued the darker sound, save the much lighter Underclass Hero.
  • Country Matters: "A.N.I.C.", which stands for "Anna Nicole Is A Fucking Stupid Cunt."
    • Also in "Ma Poubelle". The song contains a line "Tu sais tu es ma petite fleur, avec une plotte qui est comme du beurre", which translates to "You know you are my little flower, with a cunt that's like butter".
  • Darker and Edgier: Does This Look Infected? is this to All Killer, No Filler, Chuck is this to Does This Look Infected?, Screaming Bloody Murder is this to Underclass Hero, 13 Voices is this to Screaming Bloody Murder, and Order in Decline is this to 13 Voices.
  • Disappeared Dad: "Dear Father" and "Never There" are about Deryck's.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In Basketball Butcher, Stevo murders (and later cooks and eats) Cone simply because he beat him in a basketball match.
    • Stevo does it again in the super-rare short film "Wise Guys," where he shoots and kills Cone (or, at least someone who likes like him, it's hard to tell because of the Censor Box on his eyes and the poor quality of the video) just because he wouldn't tell him something.
  • Distinct Double Album: Heaven and Hell is expected to be one, with one part (Heaven) seeing the band returning to their Pop Punk roots, while the other (Hell) will focus on their current, metal-influenced sound.
  • Drugs Are Bad: “Angels With Dirty Faces”
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Half Hour of Power, although it's actually slightly shorter, with the 30 minutes length being padded out by three minutes of silence after the last song. This is because EP is literally just the band's entire live set at the time, which was also called The Half Hour Of Power and usually did last exactly half an hour, but recording it in a studio meant spontaneities like stage banter and vamping which would make the songs longer got lost in translation.
  • Fading into the Next Song: They use this a lot. "Grab the Devil by the Horns" to "Machine Gun", "Summer" to "32 Ways to Die" to "Second Chance for Max Headroom", "Dave's Possessed Hair" to "Ride the Chariot to the Devil", almost entire All Killer No Filler, "Thanks for Nothing" to "Hyper-Insomnia-Para-Condroid" to "Billy Spleen", “Intro” to “No Reason” to "We're All to Blame", all three parts of “A Dark Road Out of Hell” and "Never There" to "Eat You Alive".
  • Flaming Skulls: The album cover for Order In Decline features a skull with flames for eyes.
  • Flipping the Bird: At concerts, Deryck leads the audience in the "41 Salute," which consists of holding up four fingers on the left hand and the middle finger on the right.
  • The Four Chords of Pop: "Pieces," "Crash," "Never There," "The Hell Song" and "Thanks For Nothing" all use these, though they have plenty of songs with variations on it.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: From the early days, before Dave's departure:
    • Sanguine: Steve
    • Choleric: Deryck
    • Melancholic: Dave
    • Phlegmatic: Cone
  • Genre Roulette: Mostly varieties of rock, but they've done Pop Punk, Horror Punk, Hardcore Punk, Rap Rock, Emo Music, Alternative Rock and even Thrash Metal.
  • Genre Shift / New Sound Album: See above.
  • Gratuitous French: "Ma Poubelle". Although the song is entirely in French, Deryck uses English accent.
  • Greatest Hits Album: ‘’All the Good Shit’’
  • Grief Song: Played with in case of "Catching Fire". What originally started out as a love song, that Deryck wrote for his wife, eventually turned into a song, that describes the feelings of those left behind after their loved ones committed suicide and how Deryck would feel, if he lost her. It was partially inspired by deaths of Robin Williams Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell among others and the impact, that their deaths had on their families and friends.
  • Heavy Metal: They had an Alter-Ego Acting band named Pain for Pleasure, where they performed in wigs and costumes and used nicknames - Steve (who was lead vocalist here) was Pain, Deryck (drummer) was Gunner, Dave was Pleasure and Cone was Sniper. They recorded three songs under this monicker: Pain for Pleasure, Reign in Pain and WWVII Parts 1 & 2. They also appeared as this in two of their music videos: Fat Lip (where they performed their self-titled song) and We're All to Blame (where they were announced as next band to perform on Solid Gold). Incidentally, Deryck is shown as guitarist in both of those appearances, although he actually played drums in this band.note 
    • As of 2017, Pain for Pleasure is back. Except now they call themselves T'aint for Pleasure, with a slightly different line-up: Pleasure and Sniper remain on their instruments, Gunner switched to rhythm guitar and was replaced by new drummer El Dildo (Frank), while Pain was replaced by T'aint (Tom).
  • Hold Up Your Score: The music video of "In Too Deep" includes shots of judges judging the diving meet between the band and the jocks. One person is blinded by a mirror being shone from a spectator and scores badly, the judges all showing "4.1".
  • I'm a Humanitarian: In one of their web videos, Basketball Butcher, after losing against Cone in basketball match, Steve kills him and then cooks him. Later, Deryck and Dave come in. They ask him what is for the dinner. Steve replies with "You!".
  • Incredibly Long Note: Dave has one near the end of “How You Remind Me”.
    • Deryck is prone to due this live, probably because he's a Large Ham.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: The band, in it's original incarnation, were animated into the King of the Hill episode "Reborn To Be Wild," where they played the members of a Christian youth group.
  • Insult Backfire: Noel Gallagher once called them "the worst band in the world". They liked it enough to use it as a slogan for a while.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Does This Look Infected?
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: The record executive (played by Mad TV veteran Will Sasso) in the "Still Waiting" video, who spouses his alleged knowledge of successful "The" bands like "The Led Zeppelins" and less successful "number" bands like "Green Day 75" when trying to convince Sum 41 to change up their style in order to cash in on the then-popular Garage Rock revival.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Underclass Hero is this to Does This Look Infected? and Chuck. After the latter two albums departed from the upbeat, often goofy sound from Half Hour of Power and All Killer, No Filler, Underclass Hero makes a notable return to it; that said, it's still a bit darker than Half Hour and All Killer, as plenty of its songs retain the lyrical themes from Infected? and Chuck, and there a couple somber tracks.
    • According to them, the first part of Heaven and Hell is also going to be notably softer than the last few albums preceding it.
  • Longest Song Goes Last: 13 Voices ends with the 5:28 "Twisted by Design", the album's only song to have a length of over 5 minutes.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "All She's Got" and "War".
  • Lyrical Dissonance
    • "My Direction," a fun punk song (and one of only two songs on ''Does This Look Invected?" to be in a major key) about how suicide rates in North America had gone up in the last 30 years.
    • Similarly, "Underclass Hero" is as light-hearted as "Fat Lip," yet contains more overly rebellious lyrics like "Burning the flag!" and "Everyone sing- down with the mass!"
  • Miniscule Rocking: "A.N.I.C." is a scant 37 second on the album, and concerts usually play it even faster.
  • Mood Whiplash: Chuck is especially made of this. Not only does it put relatively softer songs ("Some Say", "Pieces" and "Slipping Away") between fast and aggresive songs, but even some of the heavier songs on the album have slower, melodic parts such as on "We're All to Blame" (aggressive verses, calm choruses) or "88" (which has calmer first verse and the outro, but is otherwise fast and heavy).
    • Screaming Bloody Murder is similar to Chuck in this regard, with a mostly heavy album featuring some softer songs such as "What Am I to Say" or "Crash" and heavy songs featuring occasional softer passages, such as in all parts of "A Dark Road Out of Hell".
  • Musical Squares: The cover of All Killer No Filler features a 4x4 grid of the band members with Flapping Cheeks.
  • My Nayme Is: Deryck insists that the spelling of his name is British.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist:
    • Cone is the only one to not rap on both "Fat Lip" and "What We’re All About".
    • Inverted with live performances of "Fat Lip" during the Screaming Bloody Murder, and to an extent, 13 Voices years, as he does get a few lines... and boy, does he play them up.
      "I like songs with distortionnnnNAH!"
  • Non-Appearing Title: Sorted by albums, excluding some partial examples and instrumentals.
    • Half Hour of Power: "Machine Gun", "Summer" (also on All Killer, No Filler), "Second Chance for Max Headroom" and "Dave's Possessed Hair".
    • All Killer, No Filler: "Introduction to Destruction", "Fat Lip", "Crazy Amanda Bunkface" and "Heart Attack".
    • Does This Look Infected?: "The Hell Song", "A.N.I.C.", "No Brains", "Mr. Amsterdam", "Hyper-Insomnia-Para-Condriod", "Billy Spleen" and "Hooch." "Thanks For Nothing" just barely averts this.
    • Chuck: "Angels with Dirty Faces", "Welcome to Hell", "88", "Moron", "Noots" and "Subject to Change".
    • Underclass Hero: "Underclass Hero", "Speak of the Devil", "With Me", and "Confusion and Frustration in Modern Times".
    • Screaming Bloody Murder: "Screaming Bloody Murder", "Jessica Kill", "Crash" and "Exit Song"
    • 13 Voices: "A Murder of Crows (You're All Dead to Me)", "There Will be Blood,", "13 Voices", "The Fall & the Rise"
    • Order in Decline: "A Death in the Family", "45 (A Matter of Time)" (although the part in parenthesis does appear), and "The People Vs..."
  • Ode to Sobriety: "War," inspired by Deryck's stint in rehab for his alcoholism. While there, he realized he needed to set a goal for himself to get sober, that goal being continuing to perform. His mantra of "What am I fighting for?" became the song's refrain.
  • Overly Long Name: Dave's name that is credited in 'Does This Look Infected?' is "The Right Honorable Sir Captain David Brownsound of the First Airbone Regiment Heavyweight Champion PHD."
  • Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: In the outro to “Skumfuk”.
  • Power Ballad: “Slipping Away”, “Pieces”, “With Me”, “What Am I To Say”, "Never There".
  • Protest Song: “Still Waiting”, “Underclass Hero”, "45 (A Matter of Time)", "The People Vs...", and the majority of ‘’Chuck’’.
  • Pun-Based Title: The band's name comes from the fact that they formed 41 days after the start of summer vacation.
  • Punk Rock
  • Put on a Bus / The Bus Came Back: Dave Baksh.
  • Rap Rock: Many of their earlier songs, especially "Fat Lip" and "What We're All About," as a holdover from Deryck's brief tenure in a rap group prior to the band forming. "The Fall and the Rise" from 13 Voices has elements of this. They also collaborated with Ludacris for a rock version of "Get Back."
  • Rock Trio: During Underclass Hero era they officially consisted only of Deryck, Cone and Steve (Tom was a live member only and as such did not play on the album, nor did he appear in music videos). Screaming Bloody Murder was also recorded as a three-piece despite Tom Thacker already being a member of the band at that point (he did get a co-writing credit for the title track, though).
  • Rockumentary: Rocked: Sum 41 In Congo. Subverted in that it's not so much about the band and their music as it is their experience visiting the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa and getting caught in the middle of a deadly shootout. See "War Is Hell" for more.
  • Special Guest: Kerry King on What We're All About, and some more obscure, random rapper appears on the "Half Hour of Power" version to do a verse.
    • Sum 41 themselves performed on Little Know It All by Iggy Pop and Get Back by Ludacris. Also, in a Christmas song by Tenacious D.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Is it Sum 41, Sum-41 or Sum41?
  • Stage Name: Cone was born Jason (Jay) McCaslin. Deryck gave him the nickname in high school when he always saw Jay eating ice cream cones at lunch.
  • Start My Own: Dave Baksh, left the band in 2004 to start his own band, Brown Brigade, who released one album, then quickly dissolved.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Aside from singing on Pain for Pleasure songs, Steve also rapped on "Fat Lip," "What We're All About" and "Thanks for Nothing" (along with Deryck and, in case of first two, Dave).
  • Studio Chatter
    • At the beginning of “We’re All to Blame”.
    • On "What' We're All About," Jay can be heard saying "You ready?" after the line "I was drinkin' underage, I belong onstage." A few seconds later, you can hear a female voice counting him in.
    • Steve's "FUCKIN' SHIT!!" after the false start on "A.N.I.C."
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: “Slipping Away”, “Pieces”, “With Me”, “What Am I To Say”, bits of “Happiness Machine”, “Crash”, "Never There" and "Catching Fire".
  • The Something Song: "The Hell Song," "Exit Song."
  • Those Two Guys: Tom Thacker and Dave Baksh have developed this dynamic on lead guitar since the latter re-joined the band. They gleefully trade licks and talk about the different ways they play solos on classic songs.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Deryck and his current wife Ariana.
  • Title Track: Underclass Hero, Screaming Bloody Murder and 13 Voices
  • Trash the Set: The end of "Still Waiting" video. Also in "Walking Disaster."
  • Uncommon Time: Opening riff of "Nothing on My Back" is in 7/8 measure.
  • Updated Re Release: "Summer" was recorded three times: once for their demo tape, once for the Half Hour Of Power EP and once for their first full-length album All Killer, No Filler. At one point, the band considered recording a new version for every album as a joke, but decided it wasn't worth it.
  • Video Full of Film Clips: The first video for "Makes No Difference" was a compilation of home movies that the band had filmed of themselves pulling pranks and causing mischief throughout their hometown, along with some on-stage footage, with the song dubbed in. They would up using it essentially as a "pitch" video to record labels when shopping around demo tapes wasn't working.
  • War Is Hell: After recording Does This Look Infected?, the band took a break from music to join War Child Canada (the Canadian equivalent of The Peace Core), which sent them to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa to work with Congolese youths. While there, they witnessed the country's long-ongoing war firsthand, and were later caught in a deadly crossfire between rebel soldiers and government troops which destroyed their hotel. The band and everyone else staying there were trapped in the rubble for two days until they were rescued by a peacekeeper named Chuck Pelletier, who brought them safely home. Most of their following album, named Chuck in Pelletier's honor, was written to reflect on the experience.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!:
    • MC Shan performs second verse on the original verse of "It's What We're All About" on Half Hour of Power.
    • In a more visual sense, DMX makes a cameo appearance in the second music video for "Makes No Difference", riding a quad bike.
  • Wild Teen Party: In the second video for "Makes No Difference".


Video Example(s):


Sum 41 and Island Records

The opening to the music video for "Still Waiting" features an overly-excited executive trying to steer a bemused Sum 41 in a new direction.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / ExecutiveMeddling

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