Sum 41's "In Too Deep" Was Nearly a Reggae Song with Treble Charger and Snow
Believe it or not, one Sum 41’s biggest hits almost became an entirely different song, as an early version “In Too Deep” was actually a reggae song featuring ’90s Cancon institutions Treble Charger and Snow.
Ben Cook ( No Warning, Fucked Up and Young Guv fame) made the reveal to the masterminds behind the Blink-155 podcast, saying that early version “In Too Deep” really did exist.
Treble Charger’s Greig Nori was a frequent presence around Sum 41 when the Ajax pop-punks were coming up in the early 2000s, producing and managing the band for most their early career. Nori gets songwriting credits on “In Too Deep” on Sum 41’s 2001 All Killer No Filler, but he initially recorded it as a collaboration with Canadian rapper Snow, according to Cook.
“I’ve heard it, it’s amazing,” Cook revealed on the podcast. “One his early ideas was to mix pop punk and reggae.”
Cook went on to describe the early version for those who haven’t had the pleasure hearing it.
“The original version ‘In Too Deep’ is Snow on the verses going, adopts Snow voice] ‘Maybe I’m not trying too hard,'” he explained. “It’s sick. And then Greig Nori comes in on the chorus.”
Cook added, “It’s such a good song for what it is, so it doesn’t matter who did it. But Sum 41 got it and it became their song.”
Cook’s relationship with the Canadian pop-punk act doesn’t end there. He later went on to ghostwrite for the band, most notably co-writing “We’re All to Blame.”
“They just had the chorus,” he recalled. “They were like, ‘Can you help us build a hard sounding song around this?’ In my head I was like, ‘No, I don’t have any idea how to do this.’ But then I tuned the E string down to D and I just came up with a riff that sounds like System a Down kind , and they were like, ‘Sick.'”
And it’s only fair to say that Sum 41 have influenced his own work too.
“If you listen to ‘Wound Up’ on the Ill Blood record, that’s a Sum 41 song that Jordan just heard on the radio,” Cook said. “This was before we knew those guys, and he just changed one note and it’s like a complete direct lift.”
Listen to the full interview clip below Blink-155.
Full disclosure: the Blink-155 podcast features Exclaim! editor Josiah Hughes.