In a recent interview with GQ, Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley talked about his friendship with Avril Lavigne. The pop star position of Lavigne brought back anger from people, he recalled. Whibley pointed out that it was frowned upon for pop and rock musicians to tour together in the 2000s, stating that they could not go on tour with Lavigne and could only spend a very short amount of time together. He declared: “People used to bring ‘Avril Sucks’ placards to our gigs, and they would tell me straight out how bad Avril’s music was and how stupid it was that I was with a pop singer. Back then, musical genres were highly revered. You can like Taylor Swift and Metallica these days. However, at the time, we were unable to travel together or even perform at the same festivals, so in between engagements, we occasionally just had two days at home.
Whibley also talked about the media pressure she faced because of her friendship with Avril Lavigne, pointing out that media coverage in the US and Canada differed. He declared: At the time, I was a teenager living in the suburbs of Toronto, and the national media was covering the story with the same giddy excitement as a royal wedding. It seemed as though we were the renowned couple that the Canadian press had been waiting for. While our pictures went unnoticed by periodicals in the US, they were widely circulated in Canada. Sometimes our mothers would call and say, “Oh, I saw you were out at such-and-such place,” even though we had no idea the paparazzi had been present. In Los Angeles, no one seemed to care.
Following their divorce, Lavigne and Whibley remained friends. In 2009, Lavigne and Whibley announced their divorce after three years of marriage. Avril disclosed that she and Deryck had broken up amicably in a 2009 MySpace post. She said: “I love him with all my heart and he is the most amazing person I have ever met.” I’m splitting up with Deryck and going forward in a constructive way. Whibley left a note on Sum 41’s MySpace page as well. He said: “The most incredible years of my life have been the last six and a half years.” Though I’m sorry to see it end, Avril and I are still family and will continue to move forward in the best way possible. She will always have a special place in my heart and remain a wonderful friend, and our decision to part ways is amicable. We appreciate all of the support from our fans, family, and friends. The pair kept their friendship and continued to collaborate after divorcing.
Whibley was singing “Goodbye Lullaby” by Lavigne.
Deryck Whibley was Avril Lavigne’s co-producer on “Goodbye Lullaby,” her first album following their 2009 divorce. When Lavigne spoke with Rolling Stone in 2011, she had nothing but good things to say about her former partner. Says she:
“Deryck is the most gifted individual I am aware of.” He mixed, produced, and performed bass and guitar. It’s not a breakup record, in my opinion. It has to do with life. I approached it with the intention of not writing hits. Although people will assume things, they can be shocked by the themes of some songs.