Chuck and the Congo (2004-2006)
In early 2004, the band contributed to the first Rock Against Bush album by recording the song "Moron", which was also a bonus track in the Japanese import of Chuck.
“ One bomb came too close, hit the hotel and the hotel just started shaking. Everyone dove and was lying on the ground. Things were falling off the walls, mirrors were breaking. That's when we all kind of realized that this was really going bad, and we're probably not going to make it out. ”
In late May of 2004, the band travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo along with War Child Canada, a branch of the British charity organization, to document the civil war occurring in the country. Days after arriving, fighting broke out near the hotel the band was staying at in Bukavu. The band waited for the firing to die down, but it never did. A U.N. peacekeeper, Charles "Chuck" Pelletier (also Canadian), called for armored carriers to take the hotel's occupants out of the hot zone. After nearly six hours, the carriers arrived, and the band and the forty other civilians were taken to safety. The band named their next album Chuck in honor of Pelletier for taking them to safety. The documentary was made into a film called ROCKED: Sum 41 in Congo, and was later aired on MTV. War Child released it on DVD on November 29, 2005, in the United States and Canada.
Sum 41's album, Chuck, was released on October 12, 2004. It was a heavy album that had a much more serious tone, without the humour of the band's previous releases. The first single from the album (as well as the only song written after the Congo incident) was "We're All To Blame". The song switching from a fast pace to a slow one represented the band's trip in the Congo, how one minute it was peaceful, and the next there were gunshots being fired. The band followed up with "Pieces", a relatively soft song which reached the top of the charts in Canada, and "Some Say", released as a single only in Canada and Japan. The last single off the record was "No Reason", released at the same time as "Some Say", but with no video and only in Europe and the USA, where it reached #16 on the Billboard Modern Rock charts.
Sum 41 released a live CD, Happy Live Surprise, in Japan on December 21, 2005. The CD contains a full concert recorded live from London, Ontario and was produced by Deryck. The same CD was released March 7, 2006, in Canada under the name Go Chuck Yourself. This version was released under Aquarius Records instead of EMI, the band's former label in Canada. (The band had an issue with their producer and their management company, Greig Nori and Bunk Rock Music; since their management company had a contract with EMI, after the band left the company and dropped the producer, the contract was broken.) The Japanese version contained a CD with five songs from their live performance. It was originally to be a DVD, but the band was unhappy with the way the filming turned out and decided to put out a live CD instead. The footage is being incorporated into a project along with the rest of the film from the tour.
Following their September 11, 2005 show in Quebec City, Quebec, the band went on a touring hiatus, although on April 17, 2006, Sum 41 played at a tribute to Iggy Pop, joining Iggy on stage for "Little Know It All" and "Lust For Life".