The end result was Rocked: Sum 41 In The Congo, a documentary made in collaboration with NGO War Child Canada. It’s a story that culminates with the band under siege in a hotel room, taking shelter in bath tubs, as warring militias bombarded their surroundings.
“They almost paid with their lives to tell that particular story”, Executive Producer of War Child Canada, Dr. Samantha Nutt recalls of Rocked: Sum 41 In The Congo to Blunt Magazine.
“My job was really to brief them and to provide them with information and to answer their questions, and also to make sure to steward some of the interviews; to make sure that everything was being handled in a sensitive and appropriate way.”
Sum 41 had to cancel their show in Paris after an “explosive device” was detonated outside of the venue. No injuries have been reported. The manager of the venue believes it was firecrackers from a nearby protest:
Vincent Le Gall, the manager of the venue, said that the supposed explosion was merely firecrackers set off by “yellow vests” in ongoing protests in the city, the Daily Mail said, citing local reports.
It’ll be our longest, for sure. I think they’ll be two-hour sets. Not sure if it’s going to be 2:05 exactly, but definitely two hours. The good thing about those two is that they’re relatively shorter records, so it makes sense to play them at one show.
The thing is, we never played every single one of those songs before. Some of those songs we’re going to be playing, we’ve never played ever. There’s maybe a good four or five songs we’ve never gotten around to playing when the album came out. So yes, you are learning stuff. But there’s also the brand-new record: We’ve never played a lot of those songs off Order In Decline; they were built in the studio, but live is a whole different thing. What I’m trying to say is, there’s a lot of rehearsing going on.
On their seventh studio album, Order in Decline, Sum 41 wastes little time in describing the state of the world we are living in. And they do a great job of summarizing the feeling of growing up in a country where the leader seems to suck the life out of everything that we once held so dear. Sum 41 have delivered their late career masterpiece and they have never sounded better in this mixture of punk, metal, and rock that pulsates with immediacy and a strong call to action from their fan-base. The styles they have teased and tinkered with over their career come to full fruition on this record that finally realizes the band’s full potential.
Even from the first few riffs delivered on “Turning Away,” Sum 41 rock with a confident swagger found in scene mainstays such as Green Day, while still showcasing vulnerability and a human element behind their words. Deryck Whibley sings in the first powerful chorus, “I’m turning away/Because I feel like I can’t go on, while we’re living in this lie/And when all of my faith is gone, I don’t even want to try/There’s nothing that you could say, that could ever change my mind/And will all of these steps I take, it’s giving me back my life.” There’s a lot to unpack here, as we know Whibley nearly lost his battle to alcohol addiction and had a long road to recovery to fight for his life, much less his career as a touring musician in a successful band. Whibley sounds re-focused, refreshed, and doesn’t appear to want to let his new outlook on life go to waste any time soon.
Lyrically, this is a weird record for me. I never know in advance what I’m going to write about – it’s a case of getting those first couple of lines out, and then I get the gist of where I’m going with it. I have a very stream-of-consciousness way of doing things. With this album, though, I didn’t want to go down the path that my subconscious was leading me, and I tried to fight it. I was reluctant to make a sociopolitical album, but it’s really hard to ignore everything that’s going on in the world – you can’t not have an opinion on things. I was trying to stop myself from writing anything that sounded politically ‘of the times’, but every time I tried to change the lyrics it all stopped making sense.
I had the opportunity to interview a few people at Emo Nite Baltimore last Saturday.