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7 Questions With Sum41

Sum41
All Killer, No Filler. It's one of those album titles that promises the world, and as far as Sum41 — guitarists/singers Deryck "Bizzy D" Whibley and Dave "Dave Brownsound" Baksh, drummer Steve "Stevo32" Jocz and bassist Cone McCaslin — are concerned, the concentrated 32-minute burst of pop/punk/hip-hop/metal delivers on its title's promise.

The Canadian band's Monkees-like exploits on a home-brewed video helped land them a major-label deal and now their smashmouth single, "Fat Lip," is swelling up south of the border. They came up with their name after forming 41 days into summer, and Jonathan Klein found out that now it's all about hanging with DMX, scamming free dinners and being in a band that doesn't, like, suck.

MTV: When did you know this band was going to turn into something serious?

Stevo32: When we sent out the first EPK [electronic press kit] and then all the sudden, a week later ... all these American record labels [came around] every week for things.

Cone: Taking us to strip clubs and open bars.

Stevo32: The dinners [with record labels] were fun. That's when we knew things were happening. When the credit card is out of the wallet and they're dropping it into your hand.

Cone: There was this one label that took us out to dinner when we had already signed with a different label. But they didn't know and we got a free dinner anyway.

"Fat Lip"
[RealVideo]
MTV: How did you get DMX to be in the video for "Makes No Difference"?

Bizzy D: He was doing a movie ["Exit Wounds"] with Steven Seagal in Toronto. We were doing our video and someone said, "Would you like him to be in the video?"

Stevo32: He's awesome, he's really funny. We were all scared. It's DMX! He's a big dude. He was telling jokes and then we were taking pictures with him. We were all laughing at him because he was so funny. And he was like, "No laughing, no smiling," and we were like, "OK."

Cone: It was so funny because when you walk into his trailer, five or six hot girls walked out before him. This guy means business.

Stevo32: See, those are the guys that have all the fun now. The metal bands, they're not having fun, the new Mötley Crüe of today is Jay-Z, DMX, all those guys. All you see in their videos is the strippers and wine.

MTV: Talk about the fickleness of music and style and why you think you guys are beyond that kind of thing.

Stevo32: I don't think too many things go out of style. They just start to suck, like bands. Everyone gets a punk-pop band, and they're not that good. Half of them suck. So punk-pop starts to suck, and then it goes away for five years and then it comes back with another band and then it's good again. It just goes away when things get washed out. We don't take anything too seriously. It's gotten us into a lot of trouble.

MTV: "Fat Lip" is a kind of a declaration that you guys aren't just into one kind of music. Talk about the kinds of music you're into.

Stevo32: We listen to a lot of classic metal and a lot of classic hip-hop. Dave was the big death metal guy.

Dave: Yeah, I was a total metalhead when I was a kid. I was in a death metal band called Embodiment. Not gouging enemies' eyes out or anything like that, just the total fake death metal scene where I thought I was mad but then I realized one day I'm not that mad. What am I mad about?

"Makes No Difference"
[RealVideo]
MTV: If you could talk to the kids out there, what would you say you guys are about? How do you want to affect people?

Stevo32: I see all these kids. They listen to the rap-rock bands and they're all into this music that is really miserable when they're all pretty happy. Come on, have fun with us! We're there to have fun. We're happy and we're having fun. You want to join the party. You're invited.

MTV: I noticed about you guys have a slight English accent thing going.

Bizzy D: I didn't even know that.

Stevo32: Well, we're Canadians, so maybe...

Bizzy D: Everybody in my family is from England.

Stevo32: My dad was born in England. Sometimes American people think Canadians sound British anyway, and we don't. I don't think we do.

MTV: Did you guys always know you'd be in a band?

All: We've always been in bands.

Bizzy D: We probably thought we'd go to school, go to college.

Stevo32: None of us have ever been in college. I was working in a grocery store when we got signed. It was awesome.

Dave: I was working for my uncle selling jewels.

Stevo 32: Before we even got any interest at all, this [label] guy called. He just wanted to talk to us. So I called my boss and I was like, "I'm quitting." He was like, "OK." They were going to fire me anyway, because I'm a terrible employee.

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