Sum 41 Name Album After The Man Who Saved Their Lives

Chuck was a U.N. worker who rescued them in the Congo.

Sum 41 walked away from their trip to the Democratic

Republic of Congo with a fuller understanding of the

country's six-year civil war, a sense of what it feels

like to be caught in a battle zone, and a name for

their next album.

The Canadian pop-punk quartet has dubbed its third

full-length album Chuck in honor of United

Nations peacekeeper Chuck Pelletier, who escorted Sum

41 safely to a U.N. compound when gunfire erupted

outside their hotel during their humanitarian visit in

late May (see [article id="1488128"]"Sum

41 Run For Their Lives During Violent Outbreak In Congo"[/article]).

"We started joking around about it while we were in

the U.N. compound," singer Deryck Whibley said. " 'If

we make it out of here alive, we're going to name the

album after Chuck.' Then a week later we said, 'Should

we still name it after Chuck?' and we all thought it

was still a good idea."

Sum 41 had visited the war-torn African nation in

association with the charity War Child Canada to shoot

a documentary called "From the Front Lines," which

examines human-rights violations, the role of child

soldiers, the condition of refugee camps, and the

demand for coltan, a mineral used in the electronic

components of cell phones and the foundation of much

of the country's land disputes.

Just days after the band arrived, fighting broke out

between government soldiers and renegade troops in the

street outside their hotel. As bullets flew through

window and bombs exploded in the street, Pelletier,

who was also staying at the hotel, orchestrated a

40-person evacuation into armored personnel carriers

that transported the group to a nearby U.N. compound.

Because Pelletier is still in the Congo, Sum 41 aren't

sure if the new album's namesake is aware of their

tribute. "We haven't been able to tell Chuck," Whibley

said. "We don't have direct contact with him. ...

We're gonna try and send him an e-mail or something."

Though it was without a title, the follow-up to 2002's

Does This Look Infected? was nearly finished

before the band left for the Congo. One tune, however, continued to rattle around in Whibley's head after touching down in central Africa (see [article id="1487991"]"Sum 41 Touch Down In Congo, Visit 'Witches' And U.N. Officials"[/article]).

Just as he was about to put the ideas on paper, the

fighting started and he was forced to temporarily

abandon the endeavor. When safely back in Toronto a

few days later, Whibley was able to completely recall

the work-in-progress, despite the lack of any

recording device, a mental phenomenon he equated to

fate.

"I had no way to record it while in Africa; there was

no electricity," he explained. "I couldn't even use a

cell phone to record it into my answering machine or

anything. So when I got home and remembered it

perfectly, I took it as a good sign.

"I made a little demo of it and showed our manager and

a few people at our record label," he continued, "and

everyone who heard it was just like, 'That's the best

song on the record.' So we went back in the studio and

recorded it, and now 'We're All to Blame' is going to

be our first single."

Despite its origin, "We're All to Blame" doesn't

solely place fault on the cell-phone-happy Western

world's demand for coltan as the reason for the

Congo's turmoil. Rather, the song looks at the bigger

picture of how the modern world's unquenchable thirst

for power, money and natural resources has put the

entire planet in hot water.

"It's about the state of the world, and how it's come

to be like this," Whibley said. "Directly or

indirectly, everyone is somehow to blame one way or

another. Whether you have direct involvement or you

just choose to be ignorant, we all have some kind of involvement."