Sum 41's Deryck Whibley Shares Story Behind 'Never There'

sum41

Canadian rock band Sum 41 this week released “Never There,” an emotional ballad that is resonating with a lot of people, especially those who were raised by a single parent.

“Do you think about me? / ‘Cuz I don’t have any doubts you must,” sings Deryck Whibley, who was raised by his mother, Michelle Gordon. “I don’t need you by my side / I think by now I’m doing fine / Myself, on my own.”

No one is more surprised than Whibley that “Never There” is on Sum 41’s powerful new album Order in Decline (out July 19).

“I thought it’s never going to be anything, it’s never going to go anywhere,” he said. “I never thought it would be a Sum 41 song, ever.”

MORE: Deryck Whibley Makes Sense Of Chaos On Sum 41's New Album

Whibley, on the phone from a tour stop in France, told iHeartRadio.ca about the origins of the deeply personal track.

“I just sat down at my piano and I was kind of playing around, I wasn’t even trying to write a song,” he recalled. “This melody came out. It was one of those songs where it just kind of came out all at once. There were a couple of words right away and I thought, ‘Oh, OK. Usually that doesn’t happen so I’m going to follow it.’ And I kept coming up with some more words and I wrote it down right away.”

Whibley said he had not imagined writing about his absent father – “I’ve never met my dad but I don’t necessarily think about it that much,” – so he figured the words he was reading back had come from a subconscious place.

“I thought what do I really, honestly think about the situation? And I just thought it’s gotta to be worse for him because he’s lived his whole adult life not having a son whereas me, I grew up with this great single mother,” he said. “I never thought about him because she was so great.”

Whibley said because the song was a last-minute addition to the album, his mother didn’t get a preview.

“She heard it just like everybody else when it came out,” he said. Her reaction? “I think she’s our biggest fan and she loved it but I wasn’t actually there to play it for her.”

Read the full interview with Whibley here.