They were supposed to perform here last year but it didn’t happen. Not because they didn’t want to but fragile health can be a pain in the arse sometimes (thankfully it’s all over now). There were rumors that they’d come back but we didn’t want to get our hopes up until it was certified. Earlier this year it was announced that the rumors were true. By now (if you follow Rockaway on Twitter or Facebook) you’d know that Sum 41 is on Malaysian soil. JUICE was fortunate to speak to Sum 41’s drummer, Steve Jocz, and we found out what they thought of their new album and of Malaysian crowds.
How are you doing today?
How’s Deryck’s condition?
He’s good. All the shows have been really good so he’s been doing good.
Yeah? What’s the day been like?
Today? It’s been fairly uneventful until now because I haven’t done anything but tonight we’re playing in Shanghai. That should be good and more exciting.
That’s cool. So we got a couple of questions about the latest album, Screaming Bloody Murder. What do you think of the non-commercial success of it (not being played on the radio)?
I don’t think being played on the radio, having music videos, and selling a ton of records exist anymore. Bands like us used to be played on the radio and MTV but they don’t do that anymore. Fortunately for us, our albums come out and people listen to them even if they don’t really buy them and they still come to our shows. So, as long as people are still coming to see us play live, that’s how we gauge success. I don’t really know any band that does sell records anymore. It just doesn’t matter – it’s a shame but it’s also really liberating, in a way. It’d be great to be played on the radio but then again most people don’t listen to the radio; it’s not 2001 anymore. When we were starting there was a big formula on how to get successful; get yourself on a certain radio station and other radio stations would catch on and that doesn’t matter anymore. Radio stations are dying. Record business is dying but people still want music and still want to go to shows so we’re fine.
Do you think that’s the way to go though? With the music industry not being dependent on radio and minimal sale of records?
I think it naturally happens. Some people still have to depend on things like that. Like some popstars, if they don’t have a single on the radio, they can’t tour. If they don’t have a fan base that’s loyal in any way then people don’t go to the shows. Whereas with our band, we do have a loyal fan base and thanks to the internet; YouTube, Twitter, our website, Facebook and all these things that we can use to interact with our fans – we can still grow. So you know, I don’t know, I think what’s happening is great.
Do you think Screaming Bloody Murder is one of your best albums?
We’re all really happy with the way it turned out. Getting back to radio stuff, we wrote the album knowing that it wasn’t radio friendly and we couldn’t care. A lot of the songs have weird time signatures; either too long or short, too heavy or too soft, or whatever and we just didn’t care and we just did what we thought was cool. It came out really naturally.
We think this is one of your heaviest albums.
Yeah it’s dark and heavy. I mean, we have had dark and heavy albums in the past but I just think this one is a really solid record.
What’s your favorite track from the new album?
I like ‘Blood In My Eyes’ and ‘Sick Of Everyone’. Those two are my favorites. I really like the intro sound. As an album though, I think it’s fun to listen to the whole thing but those ones stand out. I think ‘Blood In My Eyes’ is the best song for sure.
When do you guys arrive in KL? Not that we have fans that want to stalk you guys…
We arrive a day before the show and we always like to try and check stuff out. The other day we were in Beijing and we went to the forbidden city. We always try to find some sight seeing to do. What’s the ‘thing’ in Malaysia?
The Twin Towers…
Yeah, I’ve heard that. Gotta check that out. Is there any old stuff?
In KL? Temples and mosques.
Yeah, we want to see stuff like that.
Yeah, there’s one called Batu Caves. Definitely check it out if you have the time.
Yeah. I think we have a day ‘cos we arrive a day before the show so we’ll probably do that thing.
Cool. So this will be your first time in KL, yeah?
This is the first time. It’ll be cool to finally come.
Do you guys have any suprises for your fans that bought tickets to see you guys last time but were left really disappointed when you guys had to cancel.
We’re just going to play some new and old stuff. Don’t know if it’s going to be very surprising or anything but it’ll be a good show.
What do you expect from the crowd in KL?
I heard that the shows are really good. I think it’s going to be a hot, sweaty, rock show. So i’m looking forward to it! See you in a couple of days!
Sum 41 is set to play at KL Live tomorrow on Saturday 14 April 2012. More details here.