Throughout their last two albums, Sum 41 have been almost synonymous with either revved-up pop-punk or over-the-top heavy metal. That may all change thanks to their new single, “Pieces.”
The Goons, as their fans are affectionately called, had better brace themselves for associations with things more on the sensitive side of the spectrum, like warm, fuzzy cardigans and online journals. Although it retains the band’s customary big guitars, the melody and subject matter are a lot gentler than signature songs “Over My Head (Better Off Dead),” “Fat Lip” and “In Too Deep.”
“We’ve had slow songs before, but we’ve never released one as a single,” singer Deryck Whibley offered. “This is our first slow single, and it’s one of my favorite songs on the record.”
With “Pieces” just taking off at radio, its video is scheduled to be shot in the next two weeks. But just because a deadline looms on the horizon doesn’t mean the band is prepared.
“There are a couple of ideas we’re working with, but we haven’t set anything in stone,” drummer Steve Jocz said. “The filming dates are set in stone; we just have to come up with the idea. This is the way it always happens with us.”
One thing’s for certain: the touching tune about being better off left alone won’t be accompanied by an equally sappy video.
“We don’t want to do your typical heartbreaking relationship video,” Jocz said. “I’m sick of those, and there’s enough of that. So what we’re trying to do is come up with a clever story.
“We just want it to be smart and clever — that’s why we’re having a lot of trouble with it,” he added with a smirk. “We’re not smart and clever.”
Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean that the guys in Sum 41 haven’t matured at all since their last album, 2002’s Does This Look Infected? The new album’s title, Chuck, refers to the U.N. peacekeeper who escorted the band to safety when it was in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on a humanitarian mission (see “Sum 41 Name Album After The Man Who Saved Their Lives” ). Factor in its first single, “We’re All to Blame,” which comes off as a socio-political wake-up call, and Sum 41 are close to being branded a conscious band. It’s still too early to dust off the Pulitzer, though.
“We’ve never really been a band that sings about girlfriends and relationships because we’ve never really had either of those,” Jocz joked. “The things that interest us aren’t necessarily, ’She broke my heart,’ because to be honest, I haven’t got one to break. What’s going on in the world is more interesting.”