Q Magazine

Sum 41's Deryck Whibley Speaks on New Album 'Heaven :x: Hell' and the End of the Band's 30-Year Career

'This is the record I've been trying to make my entire career,' Whibley tells Q. 'This is the finished painting.'

Sum 41
Source: Anthony Duty

Sum 41's upcoming double album 'Heaven :x: Hell' will be the Canadian pop punk band's last release, frontman Deryck Whibley said.

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

Sum 41's career will soon come full circle with their upcoming double album Heaven :x: Hell, which is due out on Friday, March 29 via Rise Records.

The LP will be the band's last, frontman Deryck Whibley tells Q – although he wouldn't rule out the possibility of a reunion at some point down the road.

"This is the record I've been trying to make my entire career," the vocalist says. "This is the finished painting."

Article continues below advertisement
Sum 41
Source: Rise Records

The album is due out on Friday, March 29 via Rise Records.

When Whibley first started working on the tracks that would become Heaven :x: Hell in 2020, he didn't realize he was penning a new Sum 41 album. He was actually trying to ghostwrite for other musicians. But Whibley loved the songs so much that he decided to keep them.

There was another factor at play, too: the frontman's first child was born right as the pandemic lockdowns began. He apparently inherited his dad's rambunctious spirit and love for punk rock.

"The only thing that would chill him out was listening to the same '90s punk rock music I listened to in high school," Whibley says.

The baby playlist he created, with songs from NOFX, Pennywise and Lagwagon, had a big influence on the first half of the album, which features an updated version of the pop punk sound that made Sum 41 famous.

But Whibley was also sitting on some heavier tracks that are more in line with the band's recent output.

Sum 41 was always very metal for a punk act. The first track on their debut LP, Half Hour of Power, opens with lofty Iron Maiden-style guitar shredding, which surprised some listeners at the time.

"People always thought it was weird," Whibley says. "There were a lot of people saying a pop punk band can't be a metal band."

But Sum 41 doubled down, and now many of the band's diehard fans appreciate their melodic hardcore albums like Chuck and Screaming Bloody Murder the most.

Article continues below advertisement

After months of writing, Whibley compiled 17 demos which he sent to the rest of the band. They all agreed that a double album was in order.

"The music is telling us all the same thing," Whibley recalls.

Heaven :x: Hell might be the logical conclusion of the band's two sounds, but there's one way in which the upcoming release is distinct from Sum 41's recent output.

Whibley has self-produced every album since 2007's Underclass Hero, but this time around he teamed up with Mike Green, who the frontman met while writing tracks from the Australian pop rock outfit 5 Seconds of Summer.

They also penned four of the new songs together before Whibley realized he was working on Heaven :x: Hell. He was working out of Green's studio at the time while his family was moving into a new home.

With Sum 41 nearing the end of its storied three decade tenure, Whibley has naturally been reflecting on the early days of his music career. The band formed in Ajax, a suburb about 30 miles northeast of Toronto. But Whibley didn't arrive there until he was in middle school. The frontman and his mother, who had him at age 17, moved from an inner city section of Toronto's Scarborough neighborhood.

"Where we were living was just not that great," he says. "Ajax was affordable but close to the city. We had some family there."

Whibley found the town incredibly boring at the time, and still does to this day.

"Boredom creates creativity, so you start a band," he notes. "We would just go around skateboarding and causing trouble and playing punk rock music."

The lineup that would become Sum 41 started forming on Whibley's first day at Exeter High School. He met guitarist Dave Baksh during his very first period and crossed paths with bassist Jason McCaslin later that day. Steve Jocz was a year younger than the rest of the original lineup, but Whibley said he was such a strong drummer that he'd already made a name for himself around Ajax.

Article continues below advertisement
Sum 41
Source: MEGA

'This is the record I've been trying to make my entire career,' frontman Deryck Whibley said. 'This is the finished painting.'

Just a few years later, Whibley was a mainstream Canadian celebrity who had to face the paparazzi while dealing with the ire of music outlets.

"No matter what press we were doing, we felt like it always went somewhat negative," Whibley recalls of the band's breakout years.

The frontman's profile was boosted even more by his relationship with Avril Lavigne, which brought its own complications.

"Fans would talk s--t about Avril to me. I just got a lot of negativity and backlash for being with a pop star at the time," he says. "Music genres were so sacred to people back then, and it felt like you couldn't coexist together."

Nowadays, things are a bit calmer for Whibley, who's living in Los Angeles with his wife and son. He says he's ready to move on to a new chapter of his life.

"I've been having these thoughts for the past four, five years," he says of Sum 41's retirement. "I'd always bury them."

Whibley says he didn't know Heaven :x: Hell would be the band's last album until the record was complete. He's not sure what he'll be up to after Sum 41's hometown farewell show next January.

"I don't want to have anything lined up," he says. "All I want to do is focus on Sum 41 until it's over."

Article continues below advertisement
Sum 41
Source: MEGA

The band is currently in the midst of a global farewell tour that will end with a hometown show in Toronto next year.

The band is currently in the midst of its global farewell tour. Check out a full list of the upcoming concerts below:

March 30 – Monterrey, Mexico – Pa’l Norte*

April 19 – Omaha, NE – The Astro^

April 20 – Wichita, KS – Wave^

April 21 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater^

April 23 – Minneapolis, MN – The Armory^

April 24 – St. Louis, MO – The Factory^

April 26 – Grand Rapids, MI – GLC Live at 20 Monroe^

April 27 – Milwaukee, WI – Rave^

April 29 – Baltimore, MD – Pier 6^

April 30 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall at Fenway^

May 1 – Portland, ME – Cross Insurance Arena^

May 4 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Summer Stage^

May 6 – New York, NY – Brooklyn Paramount^

May 8 – Reading, PA – Santander Arena^

May 9 – Raleigh, NC – The Red Hat Amphitheater^

May 11 – Atlanta, GA – Coca-Cola Roxy^

May 12 – Daytona Beach, FL – Welcome To Rockville*

May 14 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium^

May 15 – Charlotte, NC – Skyla Credit Union Amphitheatre^

May 17 – Columbus, OH – Sonic Temple*

May 18 – Philadelphia, PA – Skyline Stage at The Mann^

May 19 – Norfolk, VA – Chartway Arena^

June 14 – Hradec, Czechia – Rock For People*

June 15 – Nickelsdorf, Austria – Nova Rock*

June 16 – Derby, United Kingdom – Download Festival*

June 19 – Dublin, Ireland – Fairview Park

June 21 – Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany – Southside Festival*

June 22 – Lyon, France – Slamdunk*

June 23 – Schneesel, Germany – Hurricane Festival*

June 26 – Viviero, Spain – Resurection*

June 28 – Ysselsteyn, Netherlands – Jera on Air*

June 29 – GeiselWind, Germany – Mission Ready*

June 30 – Marmande, France – Garorock*

July 4 – Nantes, France – La Nuit de l’Erdre*

July 5 – Werchter, Belgium – Rock Werchter*

July 6 – Belfort, France – Les Eurockéennes*

July 7 – Hunxe, Germany – Ruhrpott Rodeo*

July 9 – Milan, Italy – I-Days*

July 11 – Argeles sur mar, France – Les Deferlantes*

July 12 – Madrid, Spain – Madcool*

July 13 – Lisbon, Portugal – Nos Alive*

August 1 – Rimouski, Quebec – Parc Beausejour

August 7 – Saguenay, Quebec – La Baie’s Harbor Village Agora*

August 8 – Québec, Quebec – Quebec City Old Port Agora*

August 9 – Victoriaville, Quebec – Rock La Cauze*

September 4 – San Francisco, CA – Masonic Auditorium^

September 6 – Portland, OR – Alaska Airlines’ Theater Of The Clouds^

September 7 – Seattle, WA – Wamu Theater^

September 8 – Boise, ID – Revolution Concert House and Event Center^

September 10 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Lot at The Complex^

September 11 – Denver, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre^

September 12 – Des Moines, IA – Vibrant Music Hall^

September 14 – Detroit, MI – Masonic Temple^

September 15 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Blossom Music Center^

September 17 – Pittsburgh, PA – UPMC Events Center^

September 23 – Miami, FL – The Fillmore Miami Beach^

September 24 – Orlando, FL – Orlando Amphitheater^

September 28 – Austin, TX – H-E-B Center at Cedar Park^

September 29 – Houston, TX – 713 Music Hall^

September 30 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory^

October 2 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Financial Theatre^

October 3 – Los Angeles, CA – YouTube Theater^

October 5 – Las Vegas, NV – Bakkt Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino^

November 23 – Nanterre, France – Paris La Défense Arena

January 30, 2025 – Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena

* Festival Appearance

^ with The Interrupters


Subscribe to our newsletter

your info will be used in accordance with our privacy policy

Read More