Sum 41's Deryck Whibley To Chronicle Addiction Struggle in Upcoming Album

By David Konow 07/10/16

After surviving a life-threatening battle with alcoholism, the Sum 41 lead singer is sharing his journey to sobriety in a new concept album.  

Sum 41's Deryck Whibley To Chronicle Addiction Struggle in Upcoming Album

In mid-June, Sum 41 announced the upcoming release of 13 Voices, the band's first studio album since 2011's Screaming Bloody Murder. Lead singer Deryck Whibley recently spoke about his latest work, which has a single storyline about his journey through the darkness of alcoholism.

As the frontman for the successful pop punk band, Whibley seemingly had it all: Success, fame, and a marriage to Avril Lavigne. Then, at the age of 34, his liver and kidneys shut down from drinking.  

As Whibley told Noisey last year, he was taken to the hospital and put into a medically-induced coma for a week. At first he woke up feeling great, then noticed all the tubes sticking out of him. “The doctors said I was lucky to be alive and that there was still a chance I could die.”

He added, “Mentally, I don’t even want to drink again anyway. If I literally hadn’t done it to death, I might feel like I’ll be missing something, but I’m not missing anything. I’m done with it.”

Whibley talked to Fuse about how he incorporated his addiction struggles into the writing of 13 Voices, which is due for release in October. "I would go as far as to say it's a concept record about my entire experience. From beginning to end, I would say it's chronologically laid out, which I didn't intend to do at first. I just started writing and it came out. As it grew I realized what it was. At first, I didn't want to do that. When you're writing that personally, about yourself, you can fall into a thing or it just being a journal or a diary. As it started going I tried to find ways to make it sound more storytelling than journaling."

Whibley admitted to Gigwise that “There’s not too much light on the album. I wrote these songs during a dark time of my life, but it deals with mature life situations. The music always reflects who I am at that time of my life. There’s still a lot of me that’s 15-years-old, but I’m getting older and this is where I’m at.”

Now that he’s sober, Whibley has remarried, to model Ariana Cooper. “There are so many exciting things now. So many things are new for me. I’d never done anything sober," he told People. "Now there’s this whole world out there and things I’m realizing I’ve never done.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.