Guitarist Dave Baksh (aka The Brown Sound) is one part of Canadian punk outfit Sum 41. In their short career they have toured with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Face to Face, Blink 182, Unwritten Law and on the Warped Tour. Their last album ‘All Killer No Filler’ hailed the band’s arrival in the mainstream with hits like In Too Deep, Fat Lip and Motivation. With a new album on the way out and a list of dates as part of the Livid Festival things are looking pretty promising for Sum 41.
With a guest appearance from Slayer guitarist Kerry King, special effects using a green screen and the inventive use of wires for some high flying aerobatic maneuvers, What We’re All About is probably Sum 41’s most produced film clip to date. “Kerry King was an extremely nice guy to work with. You definitely don’t want to get on his bad side,” laughs Baksh.
While their last album concentrated on a unique mix of pop punk and hip hop, Baksh assures me that their new album will focus on a heavier sound, like their influences Slayer and Iron Maiden. “We’re just doing a mini club tour through Canada to set up for the new album. We just finished the album at the beginning of September and now we’re ready to start touring again. It’s a little heavier and rocks a little harder. We didn’t have to sacrifice any melodies or signature sounds. I think this album went a little closer to the Slayer influence.”
Sum 41 have made some good friends while touring and one of those happens to be Unwritten Law who are coincidentally playing on the Loudmouth stage at Livid. Last year they did an American tour together as Baksh recounts some fond memories. “It was so fun to take them out because it had been their first tour in a while. It was really cool because we’ve been fans of the band for so long. To meet them and find out that they’re all really cool guys was awesome to us. That was a really fun tour and I would definitely do it again. In fact we are touring with them again when we come to Australia.”
Don’t expect to be told how to live your life or what you should be doing at a Sum 41 concert. Baksh assures me that he’s there to have fun and not to force anything down your throat. “We’re out there on stage having fun. We’re not there to preach or anything like that. That’s not what we’re all about, we don’t take a socialist view. We observe issues and sing about it but we’re not going to tell you how it is. We’re just there to have fun. We’re living what we’re doing. We don’t have a huge message or anything like that.”
If there was any band Sum 41 could do anything with, Baksh assures me that Australia’s own The Living End would be a top priority. “It would be really fun to play with The Living End. That would be great to do a tour with them. To watch them play guitar and the standup double bass every night would be awesome. They’re all really good musicians.”
Even though Sum 41 are from Canada the band was relatively new to touring when they were signed to their record label, leaving some parts of the country unexposed to their music. “It’s cool playing in Canada. It’s fun because you’re at home. We didn’t get to tour Canada as much as we would’ve liked to over the past couple of years. As a band we were only three years old when we got signed to a record label so we only toured Eastern Canada and Ontario, the province where we’re from. We hadn’t been out West so touring Canada was quite a new experience to us when we did it.”
The life of a touring band consists of long stints away from home, friends and family. This is all familiar territory to Baksh. “We tallied it up and the last time we were out touring for ‘All Killer No Filler’ we counted up three hundred and twenty six days. You get used to being away from home all the time. It kind of sucks but than you see all the results and it’s totally worthwhile.”