While Sum 41 were on tour with Good Charlotte last week, the show made the local news. The report, however, could have been a little more positive.
Under the banner "Concert Concerns," a segment ran on the local news in New Orleans that slammed Sum 41 for the violence in the short film the band plays before their set. The clip shows drummer Stevo, decked out in the dorkiest basketball uniform he could find — complete with knee-high socks, wristbands, short-shorts and sports goggles — challenging a demurely dressed bassist Cone to a game of hoops. Cone, of course, righteously whoops him, but Stevo gets to laugh last. After the game, he kills his bassist rather violently.
"It's stupid and funny, but all these parents complained about it," Stevo said of the short. "[The announcer said,] 'It's not Good Charlotte you have to be aware of, it's the other act, Sum 41. Go for the other three acts, but skip Sum 41.'
"I guess they don't think it's appropriate for children," the drummer theorized, "but I don't think rock shows should be for children. I guess there's a difference between our fans and Good Charlotte fans. Theirs might be a little younger. They may not be prepared for the real world."
Making such videos has been one of the things Stevo and other members of the band did to pass the time while on the road with Good Charlotte, a trek that began on October 12. Much of their work can be seen on Sum 41's Web site. Although the tour wraps up Monday in Houston, the band is already prepping their next film, an opus that promises to shift the negative reaction from concerned parents to mustachioed gentlemen.
"We just think mustaches are funny," Stevo said. "And we just bought a bunch of [fake] ones, so we just figured out how to use them in a skit. It's about a guy who grows a mustache, and the mustache forces him to kill people. Each day he wakes up, there's a body in his bathtub or something. In the end, to kill the mustache, he jumps out the window. But then Cone, who plays the police officer, turns around and suddenly he's got the mustache! We got the idea from watching that Denzel Washington film 'Fallen.' "
Fans may not get to this new video for some time, however. After this tour concludes, the band has a few days off before hitting the road again to play a few radio-sponsored holiday shows. Sometime in between, they'll film a proper video for "Pieces," the next single off their latest album Chuck. They've yet to decide on a treatment for the clip, but, like in most of the band's videos, your funny bone will undoubtedly be tickled.
"The song is about a relationship, but not necessarily one with a girl," Stevo said. "Maybe you're better left alone — f--- everybody else. The last single ['We're All to Blame'] was a pretty serious song, too, but we wanted to offset it with a funny video. With this one, we don't want it to be too hokey, but we don't want it to be too serious either. The trick is to make it interesting while playing up the fact that it is a sincere, genuine song."
All this filmmaking must be getting to Stevo's head: Within the next year, he's set to appear in two movies. In the first, "Dirty Love," the members of Sum 41 play a band, which isn't exactly a stretch. In the second, "The L.A. Riot Spectacular," the consummately funny drummer plays a National Guardsman, who, along with characters played by Snoop Doog and Emilio Estevez (see "Snoop, Porn Stars To Appear In Satire of 1992's L.A. Riots"), helps turn a tragedy that killed 50 and injured 4,000, into something to laugh at.
"There's humor in everything," he said. "It's kind of Mel Brooks-y; it's racist on all fronts. Everybody hates everybody, just like real life. It's funny."