A brief conversation with 'The Smallest Band in Rock Music'

Bet you didn’t know you could get a tattoo at RIMAC, did you? Well, most mortals can’t, but when you are busy rock stars like Sum 41, all the amenities — tattoo artists included — come to you. While drummer Steve Jocz got branded in an adjacent room, lead singer Deryck Whibley and bassist Jason “”Cone”” McCaslin sat down for some Q and A, Heinekens in hand.

LB: Now, you guys have reputations for being big partiers on the road. Do you have any good stories to tell me?

Deryck Whibley: Really? We don’t drink (laughs).

Cone McCaslin: Well, college people drink all the time, right?

LB: Any hotel rooms trashed?

DW: It all happens. Some bands chose not to do it. I don’t know why — maybe because they’re not into it, or they think it’s cliche ….

CM: Have you ever heard the sound of a TV breaking?

DW: It’s weird. It’s a vacuum tube, so they … implode. It’s not like a breaking sound, it’s more like a pop sound. So anyway, it can happen. [Some] bands choose not to, and we were just one of the bands that chose to do it, I guess.

LB: Steve did an episode of “”MTV Cribs,”” and showed off his parents’ house. Do you all still live at home?

DW: Well, we live on a bus, so we don’t really live anywhere. But when we go home for three days, every now and then, we go to our parents’ house. We were all just home for a month. I’ve never even thought of getting a house … and then when I was home, I thought, “”I need to buy a house,”” because I got bored and I had nothing to do. By the time I found some that I liked, it was like, “”up, you’re leaving for tour in two days,”” so I didn’t buy a house.

LB: So have you guys seen the new Rolling Stone Readers’ Poll? You guys cleaned up.

DW: I didn’t even know what it was. I came home one day … at Christmas and my mom had it and she just showed it to me.

CM: We have some very die-hard fans, I guess.

DW: And they’re clearly the bestdressed.

LB: Many people think it’s odd that a Canadian band sounds so much like Orange County punk rock. Who did you listen to growing up?

DW: Uh, bands from Orange County. The whole Fat Wreck Chords, Epitaph kind of stuff is the kind of punk rock we got into.

LB: So what are your top five albums?

CM: Tenacious D, Jimmy Eat World, H20, The Strokes … So that’s top four of the year.

DW: Of all time: Weezer (the first one), Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “”Appetite For Destruction,”” Foo Fighters’ “”The Color and the Shape,”” John Lennon’s “”Imagine”” and Nirvana’s “”Nevermind.””

LB: I wouldn’t expect Nirvana to be on there.

CM: That’s why we started playing music.

DW: When we started playing music, that was when Nirvana was at their height. It’s almost cliche, but the time is now. In a couple more years — three more years, five more years — it will be really cool to say you like Nirvana again.

LB: Is there anything else about you that would surprise people?

DW: We’re a lot smaller in person.

CM: We’re like the smallest band in rock music.

LB: Do your fans pull crazy stunts to get backstage?

CM: They do get crazy. They run after you.

DW: Some people just walk on the bus. They just come on and sit down.

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