Do you bear in mind method again within the fall of 2002 when Sum 41 formally modified their identify to The Sums? No? Well, true, that by no means really occurred. But after the band launched its “Still Waiting” music video, some followers actually thought it did.
“Yeah, individuals believed that for some time,” singer and songwriter Deryck Whibley advised MTV News not too long ago. It would have made some sense. After elevating their visibility in 2001 and 2002 through director Marc Klasfeld’s youthful, punkish, and energetic music movies, Sum 41 — a Beastie Boys-meets-Blink-182 pop/punk/metallic hybrid — discovered themselves competing with the most recent modern pattern in rock music: the “The” bands. You know, The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Hives, The Vines, et al, dominating journal covers because the faces of the hip, so-called garage-rock revival.
That’s why it made sense to rebrand themselves. The parodic “Still Waiting” video, additionally directed by Klasfeld, opened with Sum 41 being known as into the Island Records workplace to debate a brand new course. “The number-band factor is out,” a manic govt (performed by comedian actor Will Sasso) tells the group earlier than re-christening them The Sums. And the identify change is just the start.
“You guys smoke?” Sasso asks, then throws an unopened pack of cigarettes at drummer Steve Jocz. “Yeah, you do now. Smoke ’em up, Johnny.” They get new, Euro-centric, art-school names; as a substitute of Steve, Deryck, Dave, and Jason (a.okay.a. “Cone”), The Sums now include Sergio, Sven, Holmes, and Thurston. Perhaps most staggering of all, The Sums now carry out in a uniform of thin ties, backlit by gigantic, lit-up letters spelling out their new moniker.
“It was so laborious to not snigger the entire time,” Whibley mentioned about enjoying the straight man. “Every single take, [Sasso] was doing one thing totally different, and it was humorous, and we’re not used to being on digicam and never allowed to snigger.”
“At the tip of the day, the thought that went into our movies was, we needed to have a bit factor of humor but additionally a component of efficiency,” Whibley mentioned. “I am not a really humorous man, so the humor was normally both making enjoyable of one thing or different individuals being humorous within the video.”
In this case, Klasfeld teamed again up with the band to lampoon The Strokes, the emblems of rock music’s then-recent shift from playful and suburban to cosmopolitan and complicated. “I went to all of these movies that had been taking place at that second and type of picked and selected and satirized issues that they did,” Klasfeld advised MTV News. In this case, the particular look of The Strokes and the idiosyncrasies of their “Last Nite” and “Hard to Explain” movies.
“Still Waiting” is the sort of clip that, had it dropped in 2017, can be dissected throughout the web for its sly references and jabs — a falling drum package piece, a fast subliminal shot, particular lighting, and extra. But Whibley insisted there was no adversarial relationship between Sum 41 and The Strokes. In reality, one night time at an English resort earlier than the video got here out, Whibley stayed up all night time partying with Strokes singer Julian Casablancas, who he’d befriended attributable to their bands being in concurrent press cycles, and ran the thought by him simply to verify.
“Everyone else had kinda disappeared, and it is now like 9 within the morning, so it is a kind of kinda events,” Whibley mentioned. “Julian and I [were] within the foyer ingesting, and I simply advised him, ‘We received this concept for this video. What do you assume? Do we’ve got your blessing or do you hate it?’ And he was dying laughing. He goes, ‘Please do it! You need to do it.’ So we mentioned, alright, cool, we’ve got his blessing.”
“The method we checked out it was how rapidly genres can come and go, and you may be the It band of a style, and swiftly, a 12 months later, it is an entire new factor,” Whibley mentioned. “That’s why the intro was so essential to us as a result of it arrange that we’re making enjoyable of ourselves. We’re irrelevant now due to all these new bands which are the brand new cool factor.”
Neither Whibley nor Klasfeld might bear in mind exactly the place the idea for “Still Waiting” originated, although at the moment, the band’s workforce (together with Klasfeld and Island Records A&R man Lewis Largent) brainstormed concepts often. One of these concepts, written as a remedy by Klasfeld, turned the pop-culture-action-figures-come-alive video for “The Hell Song” video, which continues the mild prodding at TRL movie star tradition. It’s additionally, after all, a efficiency video.
“The purpose that video labored is that video budgets had been so massive at that time and so outrageous that it is like, wait a second, let’s go within the fully other way and do one thing that is handmade,” Klasfeld mentioned.
Conduct any unofficial Sum 41 ballot and also you’re prone to gather near-unanimous outcomes that “Fat Lip” is the quintessential Sum 41 music and video. But the legacy of “Still Waiting” shines by means of in among the band’s most up-to-date movies, together with the online culture-satirizing “Fake My Own Death” from 2016 — directed by Klasfeld. Parody by no means goes out of favor.
“It’s nearly equivalent to the ‘Still Waiting’ video,” Whibley mentioned. “We’re simply making enjoyable of no matter’s present proper now simply the identical method we had been. … Now that I take into consideration, most likely one of many coolest issues about these previous movies and [‘Still Waiting’] particularly as a result of it is about one thing at the moment [is that] individuals nonetheless come as much as me and say that they just like the video now. It nonetheless interprets.”