Nostalgia is all the rage in 2022, and pop-punk band Sum 41 wants to get in on the party. Their last album may have been released in 2019, but when was really the last time you heard of them? Was it 20 years ago when “Fat Lip” became one of the biggest songs of the year?
The band is back with a new double album, Heaven And Hell, and after years of experimenting with metal and more operatic rock, they’re returning to their bratty roots.
The surprising return wasn’t planned this way. Whibley, in an interview with Rolling Stone, admitted the album came about on accident after his record label asked for leftover tracks from Sum 41’s breakout debut All Killer, No Filler for a 20th-anniversary re-release.
There weren’t any leftovers, but Whibley agreed to write some new songs in the old style, and then realized, “Once I had about four or five songs, I was like, ‘You know what? I like all these. I’m not giving these to anybody.’”
Whibley continued, “some weird nostalgia kicked in because of the pandemic. A lot of other people were retreating to things that made them feel good in the past. It all made sense to me why pop-punk is coming back: it’s feel-good music. There’s something that’s happy about it. Something young and innocent and free.”
That doesn’t mean every track will be a return to snotty lyrics and power chords. With the freedom of a double album at hand, Sum 41 was able to separate their punk influences from their love for metal, something they’ve failed to mix cohesively in the past.
The Heaven half of Heaven And Hell will be a loving nostalgia trip to the days of “Fat Lip” and “In Too Deep.” The Hell half will see Sum 41 release their angrier inhibitions, “Some of the metal stuff comes with a lot of anger for people who have stolen from me and hurt me in the past. I can deal with stress and the issues that go on in life probably because I write about it and I get it all out.”