- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 6, 2001

The members of Sum 41 were preparing for a different form of education back-to-back touring with the Campus Invasion Tours and the Vans Warped Tour last year as their peers were getting ready for their freshman year of college.

The Canadian pop-punk band is riding near the top of the Billboard charts with its debut album, "All Killer, No Filler," and about to start its first major headlining tour.

"We just played the Astoria in [London] England," says drummer Steve "Stevo 32" Jocz from a hotel in New York. "It sold out with like 2,500 kids. It sort of set a tone.

"This was our first time playing there and we're already gold in the U.K.," he says with an air of disbelief.

The band, made up of Dave "Brown Sound" Baksh (vocals/guitar), Deryck "Bizzy D" Whibley (vocals/guitar), Cone McCaslin (bass) and Mr. Jocz all between 19 and 21 years old stops Friday at the 9:30 Club.

The rapid rise of Sum 41 can be attributed to the band's energetic live shows and the success of its first single, the catchy "Fat Lip," which combines rap, metal and punk elements. The band started in the small town of Ajax, Ontario, where all four members grew up.

They spent their free time pulling pranks on people and playing music and won a record deal by mailing a tape of themselves doing both to major record labels. Within months, they had signed with Island Records and released a debut EP, "Half Hour of Power."

"We never thought any of this would happen, and now it's happening," Mr. Jocz says.

Advance hype, MTV play and spots touring with Blink-182 and the Offspring helped fuel sales of the follow-up, "All Killer, No Filler," turning Sum 41 into an anti-boy-band sensation.

For a bunch of young rebels, parental support is a bit of an embarrassment.

"One of the funniest things was we were playing in Toronto, where we're from, and a ton of kids were on the stage with us, and there's this one woman with white hair that's my mom," Mr. Jocz says.

The parents are sure to be along when Sum 41 makes it musical debut tonight on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." In the meantime, the band will tour for another full month before heading back home and then into the studio again. In addition to a third album, Sum 41 also wants to release an all-metal EP as a tribute to its roots.

"We're better players, more confident in our musicianship," Mr. Jocz says. "All we've ever wanted to do is put together anything we'd ever want to see. We just want to make it fun."


WHAT: Sum 41 with Unwritten Law and Hoobastank

WHERE: 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW

WHEN: Doors open 6:30 p.m. Friday

TICKETS: $15

PHONE: 202/432-SEAT

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