The Montreal-based punk-pop group Simple Plan is comprised of high school pals Pierre Bouvier (vocals), Jeff Stinco (guitar), David Desrosiers (bass), Sebastien Lefebvre (guitar), and Chuck Comeau (drums). The five-piece initially came together when Comeau and Bouvier founded Reset at age 13. Reset was a modest success in Canada, touring the country with fellow punkers MxPx, Ten Foot Pole, and Face to Face. A debut album followed in 1997, however Comeau bowed out quietly to attended college. Two years later, Comeau let his studies take a back seat in order for he, Stinco, and Lefebvre to start making music. Bouvier was still in charge of Reset during this time, but grew tired of being both a frontman and a guitarist. He and Comeau reconnected at a Sugar Ray show in late 1999 and it wasn't long until Bouvier was back with Comeau and the rest of his motley crew. Desrosiers, who replaced Bouvier in Reset, was asked to join Comeau and his pals, and Simple Plan was born. They landed show dates with the annual Vans Warped Tour in 2001 as well as spots with Toronto's Snow Jam. By now, Simple Plan had a spunky, energetic punk sound. It was textured like Cheap Trick, but raw like Pennywise. In 2002, Simple Plan headed into the studio to make a record. Good Charlotte's Joel Madden and Mark Hoppus of blink-182 joined Simple Plan during those sessions and the end result was the fiery, fun No Pad, No Helmets...Just Balls, which was released in spring 2003 on Lava. The group took home a 2003 MuchMusic Video Award for People's Choice "Favorite Canadian Group" in June.
Simple Plan and The Olsen Twins
A punk rock band and the Olsen twins? Seems like a weird match, but Simple Plan makes their big screen debut in the movie New York Minute out in spring 2004. New York Minute stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in their first feature film. Simple Plan plays the band that Mary-Kate Olsen's character, Roxanne Ryan, is obsessed with. Roxanne spends the movie trying to get backstage at a their video shoot.
Simple Plan and Scooby-Doo
The guys from Simple Plan may be best buds, but they are also tight with Scooby-Doo. The boys have music that has appeared on both the Scooby-Doo and the Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed soundtracks. Pierre Bouvier says he's always loved the animated dog and still watches the cartoon on television.
Simple Plan - Did U Know?
Jeff Stinco, Chuck Comeau, Pierre Bouvier and Sebastian Lefebvre all attended the same high school.
Pierre Bouvier loves Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream.
Seb Lefebvre prefers boxers over briefs!
Jeff Stinco's fave superhero is Wolverine.
Dave Desrosiers was born on August 29th, 1980.
Both Pierre Bouvier and Chuck Comeau have girlfriends.
Simple Plan Says... "We've always done this kind of pop-punk music, and I can't deny this is a good time for this kind of music."
SIimple Plan Is Just A Great Band
Hands up, who's sick of debating what is or isn't "punk"? If you're reading this, chances are you've already made up your mind about Simple Plan. But maybe it's time to forget what you know, because Simple Plan couldn't care less about people's opinions of them. Simple Plan have spent the last year channeling their energy, positivity and, yes, sometimes frustration, into their music. And no matter how you want to label their music, the 11 songs on the band's highley anticipated second album, Still Not Getting Any… proves that SP are not a punk band, a pop band, a rock band or whatever label you can come up with… they are just a great band… a band that strives to write great songs and put on a hell of a show!
Admittedly, a lot has happened since the Montreal, Canada band—vocalist Pierre Bouvier, drummer Chuck Comeau, bassist David Desrosiers and guitarists Sebastien Lefebvre and Jeff Stinco—released No Pads, No Helmets, Just Balls… in the spring of 2002. Aside from selling a couple of million albums, the group have shared the stage with everyone from Rancid to Aerosmith; made appearances on the Vans Warped Tour for three years running (two as Headliners), and been nominated for four MTV Video Music Awards—not bad for five kids who used to tour in their parents' station wagon.
"Songs about cars and partying do nothing for me," explains Comeau. "I like songs where I listen and it makes me shiver." That said, you may want to don a parka while listening to Still Not Getting Any…, because it's packed with shiver-worthy moments: "Crazy," chronicles the insecurities each of us go through on a daily basis (yes, even if you're a rock star), while "Perfect World," struggles to make sense out of loss. However, for a while, it looked like these songs would never come together.
"For us songwriting is a craft we really have to work hard at," admits Comeau. After the band wrapped their first U.S. headlining tour with MxPx last February, Comeau and Bouvier spent three months in Vancouver writing every single day for the new album, throwing away more ideas than they came away with. "At first we had trouble coming up with stuff we loved, so we just kept writing and writing… never giving up. After months of doing this and pushing each other, it just came together," Bouvier explains. 'Perfect World' was one of the first good songs that we got, and from there the songs just started coming out of us like a waterfall."
When it came time to record, the band enlisted famed producer Bob Rock (the man behind some of Metallica's, Mötley Crüe's and Bon Jovi's biggest records). The vision behind Still Not Getting Any… was simple… the band would not restrict themselves to the punk genre, which ironically seems to have more rules than one can keep track of these days.
"I think on the first record we just wanted to write a pure pop-punk record, and on this one we didn't care—we just wanted to write good songs," explains Comeau. Bouvier has a fitting analogy for the band's approach: "As an artist, why limit yourself to just doing certain things?" he asks aloud. "It's like being a painter; do you decide to only use seven or eight colors, or blend the colors together and make the most beautiful painting possible. From the deeply personal story behind the album's lead single "Welcome To My Life" to the insanely exhilarating guitar solo on "Promise", this illustrates the band's approach to songwriting.
Granted, Still Not Getting Any… isn't going to be in the trip-hop section of any record store, but there are some surprises, be it the subtle but powerful interludes in "Shut Up", the cool and yet intricate drum loop on "Perfect World", the beautiful string section and touching lyrics you can hear on "Untitled", or the epic string arrangement on "One." "Thank You" recalls the early 90's melodic punk bands who influenced Comeau and Bouvier's old hardcore band, Reset.
The record is a bit different from the first one, but it's still us," Lefebvre is quick to point out. However, although Simple Plan are open to experimenting with the formula that made them famous, their biggest concern is not letting down their fans, because, that's who this album is for. "The connection between us and our fans is the most important thing we have," explains Desrosiers. "They'll ultimately be the ones who make or break our album, not some music critic who's already made his or her mind up about us," Stinco adds. "Without them, I would probably be working a nine-to-five job that I hate."
In the end, the band speak best though their lyrics, and during "Shut Up" when Bouvier sings, "Nothing you say today will ever bring me down," it's not calculated rebellion—it's the truth. So, whose side are you on?
Lavigne, Simple Plan, Sum 41 To Junos
Although Avril Lavigne didn't get any Grammy nominations this year, she did receive five Juno Award nominations for her latest album, "Under My Skin."
The Juno Awards are Canada's version of the Grammy's and honor outstanding Canadian musical artists. Lavigne is nominated in five categories, including Album of the Year, where she'll face competition from Simple Plan, Diana Krall, Billy Talent and Celine Dion. Lavigne also got nods for Artist of the Year and Pop Album of the Year, among others.
Nominees for Group of the Year include Simple Plan and Sum 41. Simple Plan's latest album "Still Not Getting Any..." also earned a nomination for Best Pop Album of the Year, while Sum 41's album "Chuck" received a nomination for Rock Album of the Year.
U2, Green Day, Eminem, Norah Jones and Usher will battle it out for International Album of the Year at the April 3rd Juno Awards ceremony. This year's show takes place in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Simple Plan had DualDisc too
On February 8, Avril Lavigne's latest album, "Under My Skin," will be available as a DualDisc. One side of the DualDisc features the full audio album of "Under My Skin," while the other "DVD side" includes a new photo gallery, a 22-minute behind-the-scenes special on Lavigne that previously aired on MTV and Fuse, and videos for "Nobody's Home," "My Happy Ending" and "Don't Tell Me."
Other titles to be released as DualDiscs in February and March of 2005 include David Bowie's "Reality," Destiny's Child's "Destiny Fulfilled," Incubus' "A Crow Left of the Murder," John Mayer's "Heavier Things," Los Lonely Boys' "Los Lonely Boys," Switchfoot's "the Beautiful Letdown," Usher's "8701" and Velvet Revolver's "Contraband."
Last November, the latest Simple Plan album, "Still Not Getting Any..." was included in DualDisc's initial rollout. The Simple Plan DualDisc featured the audio album and behind-the-scenes footage of the band as it made the new album.
Simple Plan Singer Rates His Acting Debut: 'Eh, It's OK'
Pierre Bouvier has an improvised scene in band's 'Shut Up' clip played by old, rich men and women.
"The song is about people who told us our band sucked or that we didn't belong where we were. It was like telling those people to shut up," singer Pierre Bouvier explained. "The old people are like the people who are telling us we suck, and we're telling them to f--- off.
"I don't know," he paused. "The whole thing was [drummer] Chuck [Comeau]'s idea."
The clip, which follows the guys as they accidentally crash a swanky shindig , was shot over two days at a Los Angeles hotel that was selected, according to Bouvier, despite its shabby outward appearance.
"It was this really beat-up, crappy-ass hotel in Los Angeles, but it had a really nice ballroom," he explained. "And then the other room we used for the video, where we play for our fans, was in the same hotel, a couple of stories up. It was just really cool looking, but also kind of gross."
Bouvier himself misses out on nearly all the action in the clip as his bandmates stomp on tables, hit on the assembled masses of trophy wives and, in one truly epic scene, smash an ice sculpture. But he's not mad. After all, he's the lead singer. And he's the only guy in the band who actually gets to act in the video, in an improvised scene where Simple Plan's roadie informs them that maybe they've shown up at the wrong party.
"Man, we did like three takes of that scene," Bouvier laughed. "I wanted to do it again. I was like, 'We should figure out something to do here,' but they didn't want anything scripted. It was also one of the last shots of the day and people wanted to go home, so we just shot it real quick. And now I watch it and I think, 'Eh, it's OK.' "
Now that they're done terrorizing the rich and elderly, Simple Plan are turning their attention to a massive world tour. The band will be spending the next three months in the U.K., New Zealand, Australia and Japan before coming back to the U.S. in April to begin a super-secret co-headlining tour.
"I can't tell you who we're going to be touring with," Bouvier said. "All I can say is that it's going to be one of our biggest tours."
And while they're in the middle of said co-headlining tour, they'll shoot a clip for the third single off Still Not Getting Any ..., which Bouvier said would be the song "Crazy."
"The next video is going to be a bit more artsy and cryptic. Less in your face," he said. "Not mature, but not funny, either. The song is a bit more serious, so the video will be more beautiful. It will be more about the quality of the film rather than us just jumping around."
If You're Into Ice Sculptures, Simple Plan Are Not The Band For You
Simple Plan have no respect for ice sculptures.
In their video for "Shut Up," which shoots this week, the bandmembers try to play to a crowd that doesn't know, understand or appreciate them, while wreaking a little havoc at a hotel banquet along the way.
When Simple Plan show up for the gig, by all appearances they're somewhat out of place, according to the treatment for the video, to be directed by Erik White (see "Simple Plan 'Shut Up' Naysayers, Work To Keep Longtime Fans"). The bandmembers walk side by side down the block in an upscale neighborhood, drawing stares from the country-club residents. They arrive at a fancy Four-Seasons-like hotel, where the valets, doormen and guests act as if they're dangerous or contagious, quickly getting out of their way.
Seemingly none the wiser, Simple Plan go straight through the lobby to the brightly lit ballroom, where they take the stage, as more guests drop their champagne glasses in shock. As the bandmembers really get into their performance, jumping off tables and smashing ice sculptures, a roadie/manager runs in and tries to get them to stop, telling them that this is the wrong address — and the wrong crowd.
The film then suddenly starts to unwind, until colors are muted, shadows are longer, the upscale ballroom is gone and the genteel folk are replaced by punk kids. Simple Plan are now onstage in a hole-in-the-wall rock club that looks like something out of the movie "Fight Club," bouncing with the crowd. The last choruses surge as the band finally realizes the message of the song — to shut out those who don't get it and find those who do.
Simple Plan 'Shut Up' Naysayers, Work To Keep Longtime Fans
Canadian quintet stay dedicated, extend creativity to video-making process.
Save your sympathy. Despite the title of Simple Plan's latest album, Still Not Getting Any ..., the Canadian quintet is getting on just fine.
"Everything's great," singer Pierre Bouvier said emphatically. "Our record just came out a
ago, and it's already doing great. We're just excited to have some new material to play on the road".
Really, what can Simple Plan complain about? Their second album debuted on the Billboard albums chart at #3, and has sold more than 207,000 copies in its two weeks out. The first single, "Welcome to My Life," is a top-20 hit on pop radio, and its video is a "TRL" fixture. After the short club tour they're currently on comes to an end, Simple Plan will top the bills on a half-dozen radio-sponsored holiday shows in December.
While all this exposure is sure to expand the band's audience, the fans who were hip to the Plan back when 2002's No Pads, No Helmets ... Just Balls was released are the ones the band is most concerned with impressing.
"We're just stoked that people are actually requesting the songs and loving the record," guitarist Jeff Stinco said. "Making sure people who were our fans are still our fans is what really matters to us."
As a sign that Simple Plan have made the big time, their video, shot by director Phillip Atwell (Eminem, Xzibit), features the mark of any self-respecting superstar. A helicopter was hired to film Bouvier for the bridge scene, where he's hundreds of feet in the air. And this was the band's design.
"The coolest part is to be involved in the creative process and coming up with ideas," drummer Chuck Comeau said. "We actually write all the treatments for our videos. It's really fun to have a vision in your head, and then you go and shoot it. It's so crazy how a little angle can make the difference between a great shot and a crappy one. It's the closest thing to being in the movies."
Comeau, the bandmember who most enjoys the video-making process, will soon turn his attention to crafting a treatment for "Shut Up," the tune pegged as the album’s second single. A video shoot is scheduled for December, while the song won’t show up at radio until January.
"Shut Up" also bodes well as a mantra for Simple Plan, who credit hard work, an unrelenting schedule and boatloads of dedication for their current position as rock's newest royalty.
"That song is about not listening to people telling you negative stuff about what you want to do with your own life," Bouvier said. "When you have a dream, you want to follow it. A lot of people will try to bring you down and intimidate you. But you have to shut them out."
"Keep doing what you do, and don't give up" Comeau added.
In the new year, Simple Plan are planning to embark on a full-fledged North American headlining tour, complete with opening acts who haven't yet been decided. By then, perhaps, their egos can better manage their recent rush of success.
"We don't know [who will open]," Comeau said. "It's got to be a great band, maybe two great bands. We're thinking Jay-Z could open. Maybe Michael Jackson or Madonna, if they're free," he joked.