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The End Of The Road With DAVE BAKSH From SUM 41

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“But an elitist attitude started creeping into the scene there and people that were just doing their best and trying their best were being shit on by people”

Dave Baksh

For almost three decades now, Sum 41 have acted as a connecting force between pop punk and heavy metal. People who generally hate anything other than pure metal or pure punk found themselves intrigued by the musical amalgamations unleashed by the Canadian outfit, genuinely conflicted by their own elitist attitude and unexpected attraction to the band’s music.

To say Sum 41 have never fit in is an understatement of epic proportions. But the fact remains they never wanted to.

Not even for a second.

Their music has also appeared in movies and television, taking punk and metal to places never before dreamt of, all the while displaying a contemptuous attitude towards conformity and control that has stuck with them throughout their whole career.

With the band announcing they would soon be disbanding, Sum 41 have released an album befitting of their entire service to the music industry.

Titled Heaven :x: Hell, the double album pays homage to both sides of Sum 41’s musical spectrum, with Heaven being ten tracks of snarling, high-energy pop-punk while Hell consists of the same number of metal anthems with crushing riffs and solos and massive, fist-pumping hooks.

It is an album that not only sums up almost thirty years of music, but also caters to all fans of the band, offering a humbling and appreciative parting gift to their legions of supporters.

HEAVY caught up with guitarist Dave Baksh to head down the musical rabbit hole that is Sum 41.

With Heaven :x: Hell coming out last month we start by asking Baksh how the fans have reacted so far.

“It’s wild,” he beamed. “It is absolutely wild. I don’t know if my algorithm is getting rid of the bad comments, but most of the comments have been really, really nice and gracious. After putting so much blood, sweat and tears into this record, it’s nice and vindicating.”

Being Sum 41’s last album ever, HEAVY presses Baksh as to what sorts of things were discussed by the band leading into the writing and recording process.

“The odd thing was in the early stages of the record it wasn’t even going to be a double album, let alone our last album ever,” he explained. “We just all kind of mentioned – every single one of us – on a phone call with Derek that maybe we should just take all the songs we have and put them out, because there was nothing that we heard from the demos that we wanted to cut. I think thanks to that, we were able to lean into the heaviest stuff we have ever done, and lean it to that classic sound with the updated appearance.

In the full interview, Dave discussed various topics related to Sum 41‘s legacy. He shared insights into the intense effort and emotional experience of creating the band’s last album, discussed the radio decision behind the singles, reflected on his personal preference for playing pop punk, and explained the decision to release a double album as the band’s farewell. Baksh also opened up about his early experiences with punk rock and heavy metal, highlighting the challenges of merging pop-punk and heavy metal and the elitist attitude that emerged in the heavy metal community.

He emphasized that the band’s musical legacy is not for them to decide, but rather for the fans to determine, and expressed his dedication to the band’s work and sacrifices made for their music. Baksh also shared his plans to continue in the music industry and explore other artistic endeavors, such as voiceover work and background acting, and expressed his excitement for the future and the prospect of trying new things that take him out of his comfort zone.

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