Latin Grammys 2018

#AlternativeFacts Podcast: Deryck Whibley Went From Almost Dying to Reviving Sum 41 With an Old Friend

Will Ireland/Total Guitar Magazine via Getty Images)
#AlternativeFacts Podcast featuring: Deryck Whibley of Sum 4

Also on this week's episode, music journalist Maria Sherman previews the year's best, still-to-come punk and indie rock releases.

Against the odds, Sum 41 lives on. Bratty pop-punk with a metal edge doesn’t typically age well, but the 21-year old band has done some particularly dire growing up in recent years: Frontman Deryck Whibley nearly died in April 2014, his liver and kidneys collapsed from years of chronic alcohol abuse.

Doctors told him one more drink would have ended it all. Instead, a month-long hospital stay and lengthy rehabilitation lead to a return to the stage the next year and, a year after that, Sum 41’s pulverizing comeback album, 13 Voices

Whibley stopped by Billboard’s New York office to tell the tale: “I was so terrified that very first show,” he says. “It was about an hour and five, ten minutes. I came offstage and my manager was there and I said, ‘Book me a whole year; I’m ready to go.’”

Aside from detailing his recovery, the Ontario native reminisced on playing SNL in the early 2000s (along with a Chevy Chase anecdote), about what his high school was like, how it drew him to befriend Dave “Brownsound” Baksh, and what it’s been like having the guitarist responsible for all that shredding back in the band. 

And as always, #AlternativeFacts comes with not one, but two great interviews! Host Chris Payne also chatted with all-star freelance music writer/Billboard contributor Maria Sherman, who shouts out some of the new punk and indie rock records she’s most excited for this year: Palehound, Waxahatchee, Perfume Genius, and more. Somehow, the topic of Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit’s lasting influence comes up. If you’re hoping for a nü-metal revival as much as we are, you definitely want to listen.

“People who used to feel shame for liking a certain type of music in adolescence don’t really any more,” Sherman says. “There could be a revival and I think people would be open to it.”

#AlternativeFacts is a new weekly Billboard podcast devoted to all things alternative music. Click here to subscribe to the #AlternativeFacts Podcast on iTunes. Let us know what you think on Twitter (@cpayneonaplane) and by rating the podcast on iTunes. 

A new episode posts each Thursday, so check back May 18 for the next installment!