Artist Insights


Dave Baksh of Sum 41

Posted: 18th July 2023

Sum 41 guitarist, Dave Baksh joined us in the Marshall cabin at Hellfest 2023. Whilst he was here we got the chance to sit down and talk to him about his love for the JCM800, how his guitar journey started and his most memorable career moments.  

Read time: 5 mins

What encouraged you to start playing guitar in the first place? 

Well, it was actually my two cousins! I remember the two of them were always playing in bands when we were growing up, and I think I just ended up gravitating towards them and listening to their music with them.  

My cousin was the first guy to ever actually hand me a guitar and give me any sort of education at all. I remember him briefly teaching me how to read tab and giving me a copy of Guitar World magazine, which had a page featuring Scott Ian from Anthrax, with one of the coolest guitars I’d ever seen and a tab that was a riff from ‘Caught in a Mosh,’ and the rest is history! That is when I really fell in love with the guitar, because I realised I could connect my mind to something, that I felt like I understood. From that point on it’s always felt very natural to me to have a guitar in my hand. 

Can you talk us through some of the amps you’re using at the moment and ones you’ve used in the past? 

Marshall and I have a long history. Back when I was a kid,and I’d just started playing, I had a Valvestate and that was great because I was playing a lot more metallic stuff back then. 

After that, I moved to a JCM800, which was my cousin’s. which I actually tried to steal it but he wasn’t having any of it and wouldn’t let me keep it.  

Then I moved onto a DSL – which was amazing. We even ended up using the JCM2000 on a lot of Sum 41 recordings, especially on our earlier stuff. 

I can’t remember the exact year, but when Derek picked up a JMP Super Bass from a shop in LA. This amp was one of the only amps that ended up sticking with me and the band through the years as a trusty backup. For me the Super Bass is the perfect blend between a Plexi and the 800, it was an amp I always overlooked until I tried one! I actually still have my Super Bass to this day - it's my sound for some bands that I play back home with. 

"From that point on it’s always felt very natural to me to have a guitar in my hand."

Other than marking the beginning for you, why do you love the JCM800? 

This amp is awesome! I don’t really have to touch the settings; I just plug my guitar in and I’m ready to go. When I was younger and in bands, we were inspired by our favourite punk rock bands in Canada that all used JCM800’s, we found ourselves chasing this ‘800-sound’ that we couldn’t seem to get anywhere else. If you are an amp collector, this thing is an absolute essential!  

The smaller studio version even sounds extremely close to the original 800, which is great because that’s something that's much easier to play in a smaller space. 

Who would you say your musical influences have been? 

Honestly, it changes depending on what music the band is making at that point, we draw inspiration from a lot of different places. Despite that though, there have been some artists who I’m always inspired by, for example, there’s a great guitar player from a 70’s funk band called The Meters - Leon Santelli. Others include Stephan from The Descendents, El Hefe from NOFX.  

I mean, they’re the only names I can pull from the top of my head without turning this into a 30-minute interview! I draw influence from a lot of music, and I find there's beautiful guitar players across every genre. 

What’s been a memorable moment of your career so far? 

I think that one moment that really stands out to me would be the last time we played Hellfest, it was crazy - I was lucky enough to see a ton of great bands. I can remember walking through the crowd with my guitar so I could catch five minutes of Fu Manchu. Before quickly running back to our stage just in time to play our set, the place was just packed. 

We were playing on the Warzone stage and there were people everywhere, even stood on top of the toilets! People were just trying to get in anywhere they could see the stage to watch the show, you can see it on the video and YouTube and it’ll always make me smile because it's just it's something that I never expected would happen to us. 

And finally, what does Marshall mean to you? 

Marshall is so iconic when it comes to rock and roll. The first time I ever saw guitars plugged into something, there was always something that connected them all and it was that beautiful Marshall logo just emblazoned on the cabinets - It is just so influential. Sometimes with other amp companies, you'll see that cool logo and I'm like ‘I'll try that out’, but it just always feels right when it’s Marshall.