Deryck Whibley Names the ‘Torturous’ Sum 41 Album That Was His ‘Worst Experience’ in Music
Sum 41's second album was titled Does This Look Infected?, and that appears to be fitting as the album is still a bit of a sore spot for singer Deryck Whibley. The vocalist recalled the very rushed experience of turning around the band's sophomore set with Stryker of the Tuna on Toast podcast (heard below), chalking up some of the issues to inexperience.
“It was a weird thing. For us, we didn’t know how the business worked or anything. We were just doing what we do and being told, here’s your schedule. And this was the schedule. They said, ‘Ok, the tour ends in May, you’re going into the studio at the end of June, and the record’s gonna come out in November, and you’re playing Reading and Leeds festival in August, so we’re gonna start the tour a few weeks before that.’ That was just the itinerary." said the singer.
"I looked at it and I was like, that’s only giving me six weeks to write this follow-up record. And I kind of voiced some concern about it, but it was just met with like, ‘This is just what it is.’ It was very like, ‘Welcome to the show.’ This is what this business is. Here’s your schedule. You just do it. So I didn’t really push back on it. I said, ok, I guess if this is what people do, I’m gonna try to do that,” recalled Whibley.
According to the singer, he started writing songs the day he got home from touring, writing all day and all night for a period, sleeping very little in the process. "It was the worst experience I think I've ever lived through, ever in terms of writing," says the singer. "It was torturous for sure. And there was so much anxiety and so much panic and self-doubt."
While Whibley is proud of some of the material that came from that second record, he admits he's not overall satisfied with the set. “I still look back [at the album] and go, I mean there’s things I don’t like about it. I still to this day hate the way it sounded. I don’t like the way it was mixed, I don’t like the production of it," he explains.
Adding to the issues was the management dynamic at the time. "I wished we would have worked with [producer] Jerry Finn again on that record, cause we only worked with him on All Killer, and at that point our manager who was an aspiring producer had kinda pushed Jerry out and inserted himself in as the producer. And I wish we would’ve worked with Jerry on that record. That’s my only real regret.”
Whibley takes some of the blame for the hectic nature of their schedule at the time, admitting, "I'm partly to blame because I didn't really speak up enough. I know Island in those days, if I would have said to them I don't think I can do this in six weeks, just give me a couple of months, they would have."
The album did yield the singles "Still Waiting," "The Hell Song" and "Over My Head," achieved at Top 40 debut and went on to be gold certified in the U.S., so it wasn't what you might call a sophomore slump, but the singer insists that he'd like to redo the record.
"It can be remixed, it can sound better and maybe we'll do that one day," said the singer.
Within the chat, Whibley reveals that the band is still working on their next studio album, which he expects to arrive in late 2023 or early 2024.