Should Sum 41 decide to record a cover while working on their second full-length, John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Hurts So Good” might be a fitting selection.
In addition to tracking the follow-up to last year’s All Killer No Filler, the Canadian quartet are creating an EP by their alter ego, Pain for Pleasure. They hope to have both releases out in late November.
Fans may remember Pain for Pleasure as the group who looked frighteningly similar to Sum 41, only dressed like metalheads, performing their namesake song as a coda to the “Fat Lip” video. But this time out, the pop-punks’ evil doppelgÃ¤ngers aren’t content with a cameo and having a song named for them on Sum 41’s platinum All Killer No Filler. Now the alter-ego side project is out to prove it’s just as good as – if not better than – Sum 41, even if both groups have more than a few things in common.
“A lot of the things that people don’t understand is that Pain for Pleasure and Sum 41 are two different groups,” explained Sum 41 singer Deryck Whibley. “And they hate each other.”
“And it’s so funny because they consist of the same members,” drummer Steve Jocz added with a chuckle.
Actually, Jocz doubles as Pain, the lyricist for the side project, and guitarist Dave Baksh is Pleasure, the feel-good composer of the music. Whibley and bassist Cone McCaslin are self-defined “hired guns.”
“They might be out of the band – and then back in the band – before this record comes out,” Jocz, as Pain, barked.
The remaining 12 songs that resulted from the three weeks they’ve spent in a Manhattan studio and the one song that’s yet to come are reserved for Sum 41’s as-yet-untitled new album. After finishing recording, the group plans to wrap post-production in Toronto before heading off to the U.K. for the Reading and Leeds festivals, August 23-25.
Despite being at odds with Pain for Pleasure, Sum 41 took a nod from their nemeses and the decidedly metallic “Pain for Pleasure.” Although they’re only at the halfway point in the recording process, the new material kicks like an ’80s rock god in spandex. The riff-heavy direction is sure to please Sum fans, or Goons as they’re referred to, who enjoyed the group’s performance with Tommy Lee and Rob Halford during MTV’s 20th anniversary show, which included a medley of MÃ¶tley CrÃ¼e’s “Shout at the Devil” and Judas Priest’s “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ “.
“On the last album, the only metal thing we did was ‘Pain for Pleasure,’ ” Jocz said. “On this one, we want to incorporate more metal into the whole thing.”
“It’s a bit harder of a sound, I guess,” added Whibley. “It still sounds like Sum 41, but a little bit harder, [with] better songs. In the past few years, we’ve grown a bit.”
Grown perhaps. Matured, not likely, considering some tracks carry working titles like “Hell Song,” “Hooch,” “Loser,” “B–hole” and “A-hole.” Maybe, as their impending release may prove, you can take the punk out of the band, but the snotty sense of humor will remain forever.