Warped Tour Preview: Sum 41

We love all things Canadian. Free health care, weather that doesn't resemble hell, all of it. The country's musical traditions may not grab headlines. Celine Dion's voice induces vomiting for most of the staff, not pleasant but cheaper than a stomach pump when you're in a pinch. But Canadian band Sum 41 is currently enduring the American temperatures (we like to call it Freedom Heat) for this year's Warped Tour, which hits Riverbend Music Center on Wednesday.—-

For those of you who haven't been following along at home, in 1999, the band signed an international record deal with 

Island Records

. The band released their debut album, 

All Killer No Filler

 in 2001. The band achieved mainstream success with their first 


 from the album, "

Fat Lip

", which reached number-one on the 

Billboard Modern Rock Tracks


We caught up with Sum 41's drummer Steve Jocz to talk about the Warped Tour.

CB: Basically, I just wanted to ask how things are going so far for you guys. Have you been on the Warped Tour all summer, or did you just jump on?
: The tour is going awesome. The shows have been huge for us. It’s nice because we have been off for two years and we get to come back. We have been on the tour all summer. We have already done four shows. I think we are off in a few weeks because we are going to be in Japan, but other than that I think we’re on for the whole thing.

CB: Have you had any crazy stories?
: Well the tour started off with our bus driver being crazy. We caught him drinking, while driving. Literally driving the bus. He started the bus, and as he was driving, he consumed an entire bottle of scotch. I mean I drink, you know, every day pretty much I have a drink. I get drunk every once and a while, well maybe more than once in a while and even with all that drinking, a bottle of scotch, that’s like lights out. I don't even remember my name.

CB: Right
: I don't know what day it is. You know? I don't know what country I am in. And this guy was driving twelve people like that.

CB: So did you catch him?
: Yeah we caught him. Deryck walked in and caught him. He said he tried to throw it out the window. But I don't know exactly how it happened. We made him pull the bus over and he almost ran into something. We were in the middle of nowhere, and we were just waiting for another ride. Fortunately there was another bus with a driver, who was on the bus but not driving, just a passenger on the bus. And actually, we were like an hour away from the show, and if he weren't there, there would be no way for us to have gotten to the show. Maybe a cab or something, I don't know. So that is how the tour started.

CB: You guys have a new album in the works, right?
: We do, Deryck actually just finished recording the last song. The day before Warped Tour started we were working on it. We are not sure when it is going to be released, hopefully by the end of the year. If not this year, early next year. We are just trying to figure out the best time. But it’s going to be pretty bad ass.

CB: Well that is your first record in awhile, right? A couple years?
: It’s the first record since 2007, which is the last one we recorded. We were off, that tour was cut short because of Andrew's back. And then we were just off for awhile. I got married.

CB: So what have you been up to in the time that was off?
: Aside from getting married?

CB: Yeah, aside from getting married, that is a big project.
: We have done some music videos. I was in Katie Perry's music video, another video for 3OH!3, one for KORN. I work with this company called Rock Hard Films that directs videos for artists. I just directed a video for Airbourne as well. So we all keep busy, we all have our own things that we do.

CB: So on the tour, I know you have had a chance to check out the other bands, which ones are your favorites to catch, or which ones do you think have potential?
: To be honest, I haven't watched a lot of bands. I have watched Pennywise, it’s fun to watch them play.

CB: I love them.
: The Alkaline Trio, they are good. Most of the new bands, I mean, I don't really know a lot of them. There's a band called Sunset Vista and they have a girl drummer who is awesome. I watched them yesterday. She is the most interesting part of the band to me, really. She is just so bad ass. There are not too many girl drummers, and this one is awesome. She's better then like 90% of the drummers on tour. She is fun to watch.

CB: As you wrote the new album, what was your process? Do you have one guy that leads the writing? Do you all participate?
: No, Deryck is the main song writer and then he and I start working on drum parts and things like that. And then Colin will start flying in from Toronto, and we will start rehearsing together every couple weeks when he comes down. The general song is written by Deryck.

CB: So when you're out on the road, I mean obviously you just got married, what is the hardest part about being out? What do you miss?
: Well, the wife is actually coming today in like an hour so that is nice. I actually don't mind touring. The only thing that is a bit tricky on Warped Tour is personal hygiene. There are no showers here. I don't think I have showered in two days. The wife is coming, so I should probably do that.

CB: Yeah that would be recommended probably. It seems like it has been the hottest summer ever. Yesterday felt like 100 degrees with 100% humidity.
: Yeah it has been pretty yucky. Fortunately, we have been going on late. Its different every show but usually we go on stage after 4 o'clock, and most of the time here we have been going on around 6:45.

CB: So it’s not as bad.
: I have been so sweaty that I have dropped my drum stick. It has definitely been a hot one for sure. You only have to play for 30 minutes on the Warped Tour, so it’s not that bad.

CB: What do you do all day during your downtime?
: We gamble, we drink, no. We do whatever we can to pass the time. We try to eat well.

CB: Then you pull out and drive all night, right?
: Yeah you pull out and you’re like, "Tonight is going to be a 12 hour ride." The bus driver is just cranking, you roll all over the place. And hopefully he won’t be drunk.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles
Join the CityBeat Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.