Sum 41's Deryck Whibley felt 'schizophrenic' during booze battle

Deryck Whibley
Deryck Whibley (Image credit: Getty)

Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley says he felt like he had schizophrenia and was “going crazy” during his battle with alcohol addiction.

The singer, who suffered a near-death experience brought on by alcohol abuse last year, says their forthcoming album 13 Voices is inspired by his mental health struggles on his road to recovery.

When asked why he went public with his medical emergency, Whibley tells Canoe: “I felt like there’s got to be a lot of people that are in the same position or the same level as I am. I’m not going to tell anybody what to do but I can say, ‘Hey, this is what happened to me.’”

Recalling his harrowing experience, he says: “It was just a very uncertain time. A lot of insecurities.

“I actually thought I was going crazy at one point. I thought I was turning schizophrenic or something. I had so much chaos and so much noise in my head. Everything was a question, which is where the term 13 Voices came from.”

Whibley also admits that he drank most days between the ages of 17 and 34 to get “fake energy” before their shows.

He adds: “You always felt like you just needed that little buzz to go on stage because it just enhanced the show. Everything you did felt like it jumped – it was better.

“I used to think if I didn’t have that buzz, it would be kind of boring. But I enjoy it way more – and what I also notice more is the audience reaction.

“Getting back to doing what I love the most, that was the thing that guided me towards and pulled me through the recovery.”

Sum 41 will kick off their Don’t Call It A Sum-back tour in North America with Senses Fail and As It Is this week.

13 Voices artwork

13 Voices artwork

Sum 41 13 Voices tracklist

  1. A Murder Of Crows (You’re All Dead To Me)
  2. Goddamn I’m Dead Again
  3. Fake My Own Death
  4. Breaking The Chain
  5. There Will Be Blood
  6. 13 Voices
  7. War
  8. God Save Us All (Death to POP)
  9. The Fall And The Rise
  10. Twisted By Design

Sum 41 Don’t Call It A Sum-back tour 2016

Oct 05: Orlando House of Blues , FL
Oct 07: Ft Lauderdale Revolution, FL
Oct 08: St Petersburg State Theatre, FL
Oct 09: Atlanta Masquerade, GA
Oct 11: Boston House of Blues, MA
Oct 12: Philadelphia Fillmore , PA
Oct 13: Sayreville Starland Ballroom , NJ
Oct 14: New York Playstation Theater, NY
Oct 17: Montreal Metropolis, QC
Oct 18: Toronto The Phoenix, ON
Oct 19: Detroit St Andrews, MI
Oct 21: Chicago House of Blues, IL
Oct 22: Minneapolis Mill City Nights, MN
Oct 25: Edmonton Union Hall, AB
Oct 26: Calgary MacEwan Hall, AB
Oct 28: Vancouver Commodore, BC
Oct 29: Seattle Neptune, WA
Oct 30: Portland Hawthorne, OR
Nov 01: San Francisco Regency, CA
Nov 02: Riverside Municipal Auditorium, CA
Nov 04: Phoenix Livewire, AZ
Nov 05: San Diego House of Blues, CA
Nov 06: Los Angeles Mayan, CA

Sum 41: Deryck Whibley's Long Hard Road Out Of Hell

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.