SUM 41 BIOGRAPHY
This Canadian punk quartet broke through in the US charts in 2001 with their sophomore release, All Killer No Filler. Sum 41 was formed in Ajax, Ontario in 1997 by teenagers Deryck Whibley (b. 1980, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; vocals/guitar) and Steve Jocz (b. 1981, Ontario, Canada; drums). Dave Baksh (b. 1980, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; guitar) and Cone McCaslin (b. Jay McCaslin 1980, North York, Ontario, Canada; bass) were recruited to complete the line-up, with the band taking their unusual moniker from the fact that they were formed 41 days into the summer. The quartet created a stir on the local scene with their playful antics and energetic live performances, which in turn attracted the attention of several major labels looking to cash in on the commercial success of poppy hardcore bands such as Blink-182 and the Bloodhound Gang. Sum 41 signed to the independent label Aquarius in Canada, but opted for Island Records in the USA. Their 2000 debut, Half Hour Of Power, helped establish their reputation for snappy pop melodies and puerile lyrics. All Killer No Filler repeated the formula, albeit with a better production sound, and was buoyed by the success of single "Fat Lip" on US radio.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN BIOGRAPHY
This Los Angeles, California, USA-based alternative metal band comprises three members of Armenian heritage, Serj Tankian (b. 1968, USA; vocals), Daron Malakian (b. 1976, USA; guitar) and Shavo Odadjian (bass), and John Dolmayan (drums). Tankian, Malakian and Odadjian first played together in 1993 as Soil, renaming themselves System Of A Down, from a poem by Malakian, in 1995. Recruiting drummer Dolmayan they built up a following on the southern California circuit with their explosive live act. Rick Rubin, who, in September 1997, made the band the first new act on his American Recordings label, spotted them playing at Hollywood's Viper Room. Their debut album, released in June 1998, was recorded at the Sound City studios with Rubin and Dave Sardy acting as producers. The band's heady fusion of alternative metal and programmed beats was augmented by subtle Eastern European influences, earning them comparisons to contemporary metal bands such as Korn and the Deftones. The band's political agenda raised their aggro-metal to another level, however, with songs such as "P.L.U.C.K." ("Politically, Lying, Unholy, Cowardly Killers") and live favourite "War?' refusing to draw a veil over atrocities committed in their homeland. The band subsequently enjoyed high-profile touring slots with Slayer and on summer 1998"s Ozzfest, and confirmed their status as one of the leading rock acts of the new millennium with the release of Toxicity.