Sobering times for Sum 41
Barely a month ago, the music world was shaken by the suicide of Chester Bennington, the late frontman of US rock group Linkin Park.
Their music peers, Canadian rockers Sum 41, are still reeling from his tragic death.
On hearing the news, frontman-vocalist Deryck Whibley told The New Paper in an e-mail interview: "It was awful. We were all shocked and saddened beyond belief. And we still are...
"Our bands crossed paths quite a few times. I always thought he was really a nice guy, extremely talented and I was a fan."
Sum 41's bassist Jason McCaslin added: "I had met him a handful of times and he seemed genuinely happy. We just opened for Linkin Park at the end of June in Amsterdam and we all chatted for 10 minutes before the show... Also being a father myself, I felt really sad for his six kids and his wife."
Just three years ago, Whibley was hospitalised for liver and kidney failure, caused by years of heavy drinking.
But the 37-year-old, who no longer struggles with alcoholism, reassures fans that he's not the type who will succumb to depression.
He said: "I am really honest and open about how I feel. And the reality is I don't ever really have dark thoughts. I've gone through tough and dark times, but I've always been pretty positive through it all."
Sum 41 will be bringing new-found energy to their comeback concert here this month.
Released last October, 13 Voices was the group's first album in five years and marked the return of lead guitarist Dave Baksh since leaving for his own band in 2006.
Whibley said it's been "amazing" touring the new record, adding: "The biggest difference is that we're a five-piece band now (from a quartet), which lets us all focus on our strengths as musicians and allows us to do more with the music on stage."
McCaslin, 36, added: "We are a little older and wiser in life and make better decisions on most aspects of the band and even personally... We aren't partying as much any more. We are still having fun, but the drinking has been kept at a reasonable level now, which makes everything better and everyone is in better spirits day to day."