Canadian punkers Sum 41 are returning with their sixth album Screaming Bloody Murder, out March 29th. The self-produced effort is hardly anything to scoff at either, bringing forth some of the band's heaviest material to date. Recently, Alternative Addiction caught up with bassist Jason McCaslin (Cone) to talk about the new album and the heavy direction that the new record seemed to take.
"It's like a heavier, more aggressive album. We've done heavier stuff in the past but this elaborates on it more. It's a better cohesive album than what we've done. Chuck was kind of heavy but it was kind of all over the place in terms of styles. This flows as a proper album front to back. You can listen to this album from first song to last song and it all goes. There's no 'whoa' where'd that come from? song. It's just a hard rock album all the way through."
Was this something that the band did intentionally? The album was inspired more by the recent experiences of lead singer Derek Whibley.
"We never really sat down and said lets make a hard album. This is what just came out. Maybe these were the songs that Derek was writing at the time because he was going through this dark period in his life. Maybe this was just natural with what came out. We never really had a conversation with what album we were going to make. There was no real thought process behind it. It's just what it is."
Things haven't been easy for Whibley. He's gone through a public divorce and it's been hard for the band to stay out on the road due to some recent bad luck being thrown Whibley's way too. That includes the band having to pull out of several Warped Tour dates last year after the singer was assaulted in Japan. Cone recalled the incident in the recent interview.
"We were at a bar in Osaka. A bar that we've been going to for like ten years and we've never had issues. We were leaving and we were kind of drunk and we all went out of the bar to get some cabs. Derek was waiting for his cousin to get out of the bathroom so he was standing alone. And there were three American guys that basically just jumped him and started beating him up. People were jumping into cabs and the bar was on the third floor of this building. I hadn't jumped in a cab yet and I heard all this screaming. I ran back up the stairs and there was a full bar brawl with Derek at the bottom of a pile. I didn't know what to think so I just started pulling people off. It was pretty bad, he slipped his disc again. "
A common misconception about the incident is that it was caused by Japanese people in the bar. It wasn't. According to Cone, it was three American men that jumped Whibley.
"Obviously people thought because we were in Japan that it was Japanese people. But, no they were from North America. Everybody was like 'It's rough in Japan', it's not like that in Japan... Don't get mad at them."
The incident in Osaka isn't the only incident that' s been hampering Sum 41's lead singer though, recently he's had a bout with pneumonia that's caused the band to miss a few more shows. Cone hopes that good luck can come to his friend after a string of bad things.
"He had slipped his disc before in 2007 so he reinjured this disc again. We had to cancel the rest of the warped tour and all of this stuff. It seems like he's been having a lot of bad luck lately being out with pneumonia and all that stuff... He's accident prone."
Sum 41's Screaming Bloody Murder is out March 29th. The band is back on the road touring, they've got a few dates in the U.S. (including Jimmy Kimmel LIVE on 3/31) and then they'll be touring internationally in May and June.
Listen To Alternative Addiction's Interview with Sum 41