Interview with: Dave Baksh of Sum41 When & Where: 11/13/04 - ECC Flickinger Center - Buffalo, NY
Please state your name, your role in the band, and something random about yourself.
My name is Dave Baksh. I play guitar in Sum41 and something random about myself is... I had indian food for dinner last night!
Do you feel, with the new album, that it is the best representation your band has put forth?
Um, yeah. I mean, any record we put out is going to be the best representation of our band at that point. So, yeah right now, our new album is our best representation. Both, musically and lyrically.
While recording the album, did you have any idea of what you wanted the final outcome of the CD to sound like? Do you think that everything you were looking for was achieved?
Not really. When we initially went in to record, we didn't have a specific way we wanted it to sound like. Achievement wise, we're extremely happy with how the record turned out. We worked very hard on it. So yes, I believe we achieved our goal of recording a great record.
Both the album name and album artwork are pretty unique. What's the story behind them?
Well, the name Chuck came from a U.N. worker in Congo. With the album cover, we have television sets falling around a kid. It basically represents the idea that kids are almost watching a little too much crap on TV that really doesn't concern anything. So, they're focusing on the things that really don't matter... Like, they're not really paying attention to anything in the real world that's happening all around them?
Yes, exactly! They should really start paying attention to their surroundings a little bit more.
It seems that whenever Sum41 releases a new album, there is always a new sound and unique twist to it. A lot of bands like to stick to one sound while with you guys, it's clear you guys are open to anything. What's inspired you guys to put out such diverse albums?
Well, I don't think that necessarily one thing has inspired us to do an album a certain way. We basically write and whatever comes out, comes out. We don't try to sit there and make a record sound a certain way. We don't say, "Well, we're a punk band, so this is what we need to do." I guess you can say we love so many different types of music, and in a way, yeah that does influence us. But, we just go with whatever happens.
If you could make your own infomercial about buying the new album, what would you tell your listeners?
It tastes great. It's minty fresh. It'll remove the soap scum from your tiles! It's a great investment, you'll make lots of money. You'll get chicks and you'll get fucking laid! [Everyone laughs]
Aside from any of the crowd pleasers, is there one song that really stands out that you like playing live the most?
Well, we have this song on our new album, that's actually going to be our next single. It's called "Pieces." It's more of a darker song, ballad that has a lot of meaning to us. I really like that song.
Do you think MTV and radio changes the way fans are for a certain type of music?
Oh, definitely. Only because that's what a lot of kids are watching today and they base what they listen to, directly by what is being played on MTV or even the radio. So, yes I think it does and I think they retain a certain image. Yeah, like those who see a band on MTV and they automatically say, "They're sellouts!"
Yeah, exactly! Def Leopard were on MTV and I don't think they sold out! Yep. I think that's so wrong. I don't believe in the MTV/Sellout theory.
Definitely. Me neither.
What are some bands that you and/or the rest of the guys look up too?
Well, I can't say we really look up to any bands... Okay, well how about, inspiration wise?
Um, Deryck really loves The Beatles. Well, we all love The Beatles. Def Leopard... a lot.
What motivates you to keep growing and to stay strong with what you are doing?
Personally, I do this for myself. I love performing. So basically, I guess I can say I motivate myself.
Now, I'm not trying to stir up anything with my next question...
Okay... While checking out the band's website a few weeks back, I couldn't help notice the dis about Simple Plan. Can you tell me what the was all about, considering I had thought you guys got along and were friends?
Well, we're both Canadian bands. But, just because we're both Canadian, doesn't mean we're friends... Well, I'm only asking because I know David loves you guys. He considers you guys one of his favorite bands and they even thanked you guys in their thank yous on their new record.
Oh really? Yes, so that's where the confusion comes in.
Okay, well... I will say this and this isn't off the record. You can put this in the interview. Those guys will say one thing to your face and totally say something different later on... If that's all you want to say, that's fine.
Do you guys carry out any rituals each time before you go on stage?
Um, not really. Steveo will have a couple of drinks. Actually, he has been on antibiotics for a while. So, he's been a little loopy. [laughs] (then says something about being Steveo alcoholic) But, yeah we don't really have any rituals. Basically, we just warm up.
The tour has about a handful of shows left. What cities/venues can you say stood out the most and what's up next for you guys?
There was this venue that I really liked in Chicago, called the Aragon Ballroom. Every time we go to Chicago the fans are crazy. We absolutely love Chicago. There has never been a time that we didn't have a crazy show there and after this tour we'll have a little bit of off time and we'll most likely be doing a few more shows.
This is going to be my last question for you. As time goes on, what do you hope Sum41's legacy to the music world will be?
Well, I can say is, I really hope, we do not end up on one of those VH1 music specials! That'll really suck!