Sum 41 Frontman Deryck Whibley Combats Alcoholism
Sum 41 formed in the late 1990’s but did not garner much success until 2001, the same year that front-man Deryck Whibley turned 21 years old. Their brand of pop punk became quite popular as did their reputation for their hard partying ways. Being young and successful proved to be detrimental to Deryck Whibley ‘s health as he spiraled into a dangerous relationship with alcohol. Drinking became a way to cope with the stress of success and a vigorous touring and recording schedule.
In 2001 Sum 41 played 300 shows and eventually went on to release 4 more albums with 4 more subsequent tours. One of those tours, for their 2011 album “Screaming Bloody Murder” lasted 3 years. Their reputation for hard partying coupled along with their inexhaustible work ethic are what eventually led to the downfall of Deryck Whibley.
In April of last year, the years of abusing alcohol eventually caught up to him and he collapsed, drink in hand, in his kitchen. His fiancee brought him to the hospital where doctors delivered a devastating blow. Deryck Whibley was hospitalized because his kidneys and liver had collapsed from years of drinking heavily. To save his life, Deryck Whibley was sedated into a coma like state to deal with the withdrawal symptoms. If he had not been induced into a coma chances are he would not have survived the withdrawal.
His struggle with alcohol became public knowledge when pictures of an emaciated, physically diminished, and bed-ridden Deryck Whibley surfaced on the internet. In a recent interview with Vice’s music channel Noisey, Deryck Whibley explained how this happened and how he is feeling better. After waking up from the coma, Whibley realized things were bad when he was connected to IVs. Doctors advised him that he would have a long recovery ahead of him and that drinking in the future would kill him and thus should be avoided at all costs.
Whibley is learning to walk again because being bed-ridden for so long caused his muscles to shrink and be riddled with atrophy. He is getting stronger every day and has even begun working on a new record, writing when he isn’t attending physical therapy which takes up 80% of his time. These days drinking is the last thing he has on his mind. He is mostly anxious to get back out on tour and back up on the stage. When asked if he had any concerns or fears about going back on tour he stated, “I have slight fears. Not really drinking fears, but I hope my balance for my legs is going to be fine. I just don’t want to fall over.” He also admitted that he didn’t know what to expect, the he won’t know until he is out there, but that it could be the best thing he has ever done. Hopefully the love and support of both his mother and fiancee (who are helping with his recovery) will keep him on the straight and narrow.