Dave Baksh (Brownsound): Lead Guitar/Vocals
Jason McCaslin (Cone): Bass
Steve Jocz (Stevo): Traps
Ok, so they're not the most attractive group of guys...
Formed in 1996, forty-one days into the summer before 12th grade, hence the name SUM 41.
Nothing seemed to add up when my friend introduced me to “Pieces” by SUM 41 several weeks ago. The morose, dejected tones in “Pieces” caught my attention, even though I’m more a fan of upbeat, cheerful music. But the vocals were so controlled, so perfect, his voice truly seemed like an instrument in it’s own right. Then there were moments when you can hear his voice strain; you can hear the passion. Well, I looked up their other songs, and to my amazement “Pieces” is their departure from the norm! They’re a guitar-grinding, bass slapping (haha I’m musically clueless), politically and socially aware, punk ass band from Canada. Who would’ve guessed?
But fear not, it seems that most of their songs, no matter how punk they are, have some sensitive elements—a gentle plucking of the guitar, a soft chorus, or somber vocals. And the lyrics—oh the lyrics! My favorite lyric is in “Fat Lip”: “Storming through the party like my name was El Nino”. Oh man…good times. The lyrics send a positive message about survival (no, I’m not kidding), although the group tries really hard to uphold a punk image on their music videos. They refuse to “become another casualty of society. [They’ll] never fall in line. Become another victim of your conformity. And back down”. If you’ve ever felt like giving up or giving in—if you’re tired of living—listen to SUM 41’s “Pieces” and “In Too Deep”. The message I got was to just deal with all the shit life throws at you.
Graphics of bomber airplane grace their web page and their fan club is called the “Goon Platoon”, but if you read why SUM 41 named their latest album “Chuck” then you can look past the militant, rebel façade and understand how socially conscience this group is. They traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo to help film a documentary for War Child Canada (a charitable organization that aides children in war-torn countries around the world and raises awareness of children’s rights). Well, the group was caught in the middle of a two-day gunfight between warring factions, and a man named Chuck Pelletier, an ex-Canadian soldier and UN volunteer, kept the band and some 40 other hotel guests alive until they could all be safely evacuated. It’s crazy that SUM 41 can be so talented, good-hearted, and humorous, I really admire this group more than any other band (except their journal can be raunchy :( at times). This punk band actually gives a damn.