Interviewed by Alex Kluft
Alex Kluft: Is this the first time Sum 41 is doing Does This Look Infected live?
Steve Jocz: Ya, I think so. When the album came out, we didn’t play everything. It’s not a particularly long album so were going to try to rip through all that stuff then were playing stuff like Fat Lip, and songs from the new album. Our fans liked Does This Look Infected the most. That’s why were doing it.
AK: Did you think 10 years later it would be just as big as when it came out?
SJ: One of the things I think is funny with music in general now with YouTube, a lot of the videos from that album and before have millions of hits. Kids can go watch the “Still Waiting” and “Hell Song” videos. They’re still fresh and cool so it kind of gives it new life. Our fans still love that album, so it will be a fun thing for us to do.
AK: Do you have a favorite song to play live?
SJ: Regardless of the Does This Look Infected tour, I always like to play “Still Waiting.” The ones that we like playing are the ones that really get the crowd going. We’ve probably played “Fat Lip” more than any other song, because we’ve played it since our first album. Its still fun to play. There’s stuff from the new album that’s fun to play, but that’s relatively new so it’s the old stuff that shows we still really like it after playing it for 12 years.
AK: Will the set change each night after playing Does This Look Infected?
SJ: Were probably going to change it up. Were going to do the Does This Look Infected Stuff then once that’s over we’ll switch it up and do a bunch of different songs.
AK: How did you get into playing drums?
SJ: Wow, that is a long time ago. My dad played guitar when I was a kid. He bought me a guitar when I was really young. He was like “Boy, this a G-String” and he strummed it and every string on the guitar broke so my career as a guitar player was shot in one go. A few years later someone we knew had a drum kit then there was a guy that moved in next door around when I was 11 that offered drum lessons. I took lessons from him for a bout a year then started getting into bands. I met Deryck when I was 14. We started Sum 41 shortly after that. It jus kind of happened when random things fell into place.
AK: Sum 41 started when you guys were still in high school.
SJ: I had met Deryck and played in another one of his bands. Then we dissolved that group and started Sum 41 when I was either 15 or 16. Jason [McCaslin, Bass] joined when were 18, and Dave [Baksh] our old guitar player joined early on. Now we have a newer guy Tom [Thacker] whose in the Canadian punk band Gob. In the early Sum 41 days we brought Gob on tour all the time and now he’s in the band. I’ve been in the same band for 16 years now. It’s lasted a lot longer than we thought it would.
AK: Who are some of your influences?
SJ: Early on it would have been Dave Grohl and John Bonham, all the rock music you grow up listening to. Then we got into the southern California punk scene so Erik Sandin from NoFx, Byron McMackin from Pennywise, Josh Freese from the Vandals, and Brooks Wackerman all of the guys helped develop that style of fast playing. I couldn’t really point to anyone specific. I was also into heavy metal so Lars Ulrich and Clive Burr. I’ve actually met all of those guys I just mentioned and know them to a certain degree. Its cool to have grown up listening to these guys then kind of know them whether or not you talk about drumming at all which we never do. When were on an early warped tour back in 2001 I got to watch Wackerman and Freese and see how they do things. That was a great opportunity to see people that are that good everyday. Then you get to become friends with them and ask how to play certain things.
AK: How many Warped tours have you done now?
SJ: We’ve done a lot, but from beginning to end of the tour only once or twice. Maybe 8 times altogether including the times we did a few shows. It’s a great tour to get on especially back a few years ago. When we first started it was all bands we were into and grew up with that were major influences on our band.
AK: What’s your drum set up going to be for the upcoming tour?
SJ: It’s usually the same kit 1 rack tom, 2 floor toms with Zlidjian cymbals. I think it’s a brand new one, because when we toured in Europe it was all rentals. This is going to be the first time I play on it.
AK: Do you do any backup vocals live?
SJ: Not really, Jason and Tom do that. It just sounds like sh*t for the sound guy if theres has a bunch of drum sounds blending in with the mic, and Toms a better singer than I am anyway.
AK: How did you become a director for music videos?
SJ: I haven’t done that in a while, but it’s really fun to do. In all of our videos I’ve been really involved and the guy that did all the classic Sum 41 videos. His name is Mark Klasfeld. I was doing videos in Toronto, and when I moved to California he hit me up. He asked if I wanted to videos for his company. I did a bunch with him. It was something I enjoyed doing that was fun. Because I knew him he helped me to do. I never went to film school. I don’t really know how that stuff works, that’s we have a director of photography. I like coming up with the ideas.
AK: Are the Sum 41 videos a collaborative effort among you and the other members?
SJ: Not necessarily, whoever is directing will come up with the idea, then all of us agree on what the idea is. Everyone has a say in editing. For the actual filming that’s more of the director’s job. The guys trust me not to f$%k it up. When someone else is doing it we do the same thing. As far as coming up with the idea or at least accepting the idea, we’re kind of involved in the stages of how it’s going to look. Each video is very different. Sometimes we might be very involved, other times less involved. With the most recent video “Blood In My Eyes”, we were part of the beginning stages, but on the day of the shoot, we just showed did the performance part and left. It was the easiest shoot we’ve done. In earlier videos like “In Too Deep,” it was like filming a movie. We did it over 2-3 days in different locations.