Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley Talks Writing ‘Fat Lip’

Sum 41 are among the winners of our Rock Sound 25 Icon Award and in our new interview, Deryck Whibley has opened up about the writing process and inspiration behind ‘Fat Lip’.

Whibley joined us for a career-spanning conversation ahead of upcoming final, double album ‘Heaven :x: Hell’. When it came to the writing of their early, breakout hit, he spoke fondly of the rap and 1980s influences that informed it.

He said “‘Fat Lip’ was the last song written for the record. We were almost 70% done with the record and all the songs were technically written for the most part. The label had thought it was going to be ‘In Too Deep’ as the first single, ‘Motivation’ was going to be the second single and ‘Handle This’ was going to be the third single, so we’re gonna go with the slow one as the last one. And at the very last second…I mean, I’d been working on ‘Fat Lip’ for a while so it wasn’t that it just came out of nowhere. But at the last second, I had this idea of trying to bring old school rap that I grew up loving, this late ‘80s, Run DMC, Beastie Boys kind of thing, and try to marry it with punk rock into one song.”

“Obviously, Beastie Boys were a punk rock band and there’s some songs that they have that are punk rock songs, but we’d never heard them mixed together in one song. So that was my goal. I’d been working on something like that for a couple years and I was getting nowhere with it. I even thought at one point that maybe it was impossible to figure that out. Until one day, it just happened at the very end. I had been writing these different sections of ‘Fat Lip’ not knowing that they were all going to eventually be one song, I had the riff for something that I thought was actually going to be a ballad because I was playing it really slow. Then I had this chorus that I’d written six months later that I just thought was something else that was a fun punk rock song. Then I’d been working on this little riff that I was trying to do some rap stuff over. I realised that they all could actually work together. If I sped up that riff and maybe slow this thing down, and all of a sudden change the key of that, they all work together.”

“That’s a track that came at the very, very end. That happened a lot though, ‘Still Waiting’ on ‘Does This Look Infected?’ and ‘We’re All To Blame’ for ‘Chuck’ were very last second songs and they became the first singles.”

You can read our full interview with Deryck inside the Sum 41 cover edition of Rock Sound. Plus, in this bundle, you get a digital copy of new album ‘Heaven :x: Hell’ included – just tap your phone to the sticker on the cover to hear the record and unlock exclusive bonus content.

Available now at SHOP.ROCKSOUND.TV

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