Music

Sum 41 Opens Up About Final Album, Farewell Tour & More

After becoming a band nearly 30 years ago, iconic pop-punk act Sum 41 has approached a milestone: its final album. Out Friday (March 29), Heaven :x: Hell arrives as the band’s eighth and last project together.

“The title doesn’t just represent the light and dark sonically of the record — to us that’s been our whole career,” frontman Deryck Whibley tells Billboard News. “It’s been extreme highs and extreme lows and the only way you stick with it is if you love what you’re doing.”

Across its career, the Grammy-nominated Sum 41 has scored two top albums on the Billboard 200 (2004’s Chuck and 2007’s Underclass Hero), while its biggest hit “Fat Lip” became its only Billboard Hot 100 entry, peaking at No. 66.

Heaven :x: Hell arrives as the band’s first double album, chronicling the fine line it has walked between more uptempo pop-punk with harder-hitting rock and metal music. As the band confirms, having these two sides was never a conscious choice, with Whibley saying they never even set out to make any sort of album at all.

“A lot it was by accident,” he says. “Right as we went into lockdown, I started getting calls from labels and managers and artists asking if I would write some songs for them, and everyone was asking for something leaning pop-punk. And we haven’t really done pop-punk in a long time … it’s been like, 16 years. I wrote about seven or eight songs, and once I listened to them, I realized I actually liked them and I didn’t want to give them away.”

Once he started sending the songs to the band, Dave Baksh jokes about how amazing it felt. “Like, ‘Ah, something to do.’” Adds Frank Zummo, “It was a light at a dark time.”

And now, this album — and the band’s forthcoming farewell tour, which extends through 2025 — will, funny enough, get them through the undeniable fact that the end is near. “Right now, it feels like 2001 for us when we were first coming out, getting pushed and pulled everywhere,” says Jason McCaslin. Adds Whibley: “As it gets closer to the end, it will start to hit us. I think it’s gonna get stranger and stranger as we get closer to the last shows,” which he teases will mix their greatest hits with fan favorites and, of course, some of the new songs.

“The entire band, I feel like we’re at the top of our game,” says Tom Thacker. “It’s almost a shame. I’ve never been in a band that was this tight and this mentally in tune with each other.”

When asked if this is indeed the last record and tour, each member’s eyes widen, though Whibley assures it is. “People are like, ‘You sure you want to call it the last record?’ I’ve seen Elton John six times in my life, only on the farewell tour,” he laughs, adding that will not be the case for Sum 41.

“We all knew no one was going to write our story except for us,” he continues. “I remember in the early days when people would say, ‘This band will be gone next year,’ or ‘One hit wonder’ when we had our first hit single. I always thought, ‘You don’t get to write our story. We’ll tell you when we’re leaving.’”

Watch the full Billboard News interview above.

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