Simple Plan


Pete: How are you enjoying your time in The U.K?
Jeff: We’re loving it! It’s a good opportunity for us to play some new songs, and just meet our U.K fans. We’ve played a few times here and it’s always good to back and see familiar faces at our shows.
David: A lot of the fans have really cool shirts and things, a lot of them come here just to see us.
Jeff: It’s a little bit of a humbling experience too; we’re pretty unknown here, so it’s just like starting all over again 3 years ago in the U.S.

Pete: So what have you been up to other than the shows? Have you been around the cities and sites?
Jeff: We’ve been drinking quite a bit.
David: Last night was kind of a mess. Avril drank way too much last night.
Sebastian: It’s the last night of the tour so who knows!
Jeff: We’ve been taking tours of cities with whatever time we have.
David: We’re just having a good time; it was really cool to play at Wembley.
Sebastien: We took a city tour in London and we walked around in Glasgow.
Jeff: We took a day off in Cardiff, which was also the best show of the tour I think. A lot of the crowd was really into it, and a lot of our fans came to the show. It was a really crazy night for us.

Pete: So how would you say this tour is going compared to other times you have been to this country?
David: It’s just different. We had really good shows with Bowling for Soup and we actually had pretty good shows of our own in London.
Jeff: This is the first time we’ve ever had to come here and play shows that are this big. It’s different for us because in America around Christmas time we play huge arenas that are similar to what we’re doing right here and on our own we fill bigger clubs and often smaller clubs, so we are used to juggling. But its interesting to see the crowd reaction, we haven’t had a lot of exposure through television or radio, so great to see that people have actually heard about us. You know we only sold 30,000 copies of our album here. It’s awesome to see people spreading the word about us.

Pete: What sort of differences do you think there is between the audiences over here, compared to back home?
David: The accent!
Pete: Nothing else?
Sebastian: I think a lot more guys come to the shows over here more than anything else.
Pete: Probably because you’re playing with Avril!
Jeff: I think there’s more of an alternative culture here. A lot of fans know a lot about bands and they know about U.K bands and American bands and music, and it’s interesting to see what kind of bands people are listening to here. I mean in America people listen to T.V and radio, and there’s a little bit of an underground culture, but it’s not as common as it here. Here people come to Avril Lavigne shows wearing Slipknot t-shirts, that’s one of the main differences.
David: I think they must have got the ticket for the wrong night!
Jeff: I think it’s pretty awesome that someone can listen to Avril Lavigne one day and Slipknot a few hours later. It’s about listening to great music, not separating genres, and you like it or you don’t.

Pete: How would you rate the British music scene at the moment?
Jeff: We were actually talking about this the other day, I don’t know, Coldplay are really really amazing.
Sebastien: I’m a huge fan of The Streets.
Jeff: I think it’s pretty healthy and there’s a lot of cool bands, but unfortunately we only get the really big ones that come to America, and that’s all we get to hear about. We’re always trying to ask fans, “who are the up and coming bands right now? And what’s going on?” but this time around we haven’t had chance to hear any of the CD’s I’ve had given to me.
Sebastian: We like the Libertines.
David: And Muse
Jeff: They are just starting to break through in the US now.

Pete: So do you think there are different demands in the US to what there are over here to define what a good band is?
Jeff: I think the concept of what’s going on, on the radio is different in America to what it is here. I think that’s one of the reasons bands get exposed here to what’s going on in the US, but obviously a good band is a good band. It’s not about where you’re from, where you’re going or where you’re touring, it’s about music and whether it reaches you or not. Universally there’s always some bands that will break on a world wide thing, and some bands are just meant to be centralised and local. It just has to with the nature of the music.
Pete: In the UK, we have a massive underground scene, and there’s a lot of bands on DIY, putting out there own records and touring 40 weeks a year.
Jeff: Yeah, that happens in America too. It’s just a question of what kind of thing you want to do with your band. In our case we decided we wanted to reach as many people as possible and the kind of music we’re making is the kind of music we really love and it happens to be the type of music that is working right now. Hopefully we can bring it to the UK and make it work as well as it for us in America.

Pete: What bands are you listening to then in the US right now?
David: My favourite band is from Canada called Billy Talent.
Jeff: I like Brand New, Thrice…
Sebastien: The new Used album is really good.
Jeff: The new Green Day record is amazing, there’s a lot of really good music coming out these days.
David: I like The Killers a lot.
Jeff: The new Simple Plan record is fucking amazing!

Pete: Seen as you moved us on to it, would you say you developed a lot more since the last one?
Jeff: I think it’s an evolution in regards to what we’ve done before. We just took out the crap really!
Sebastian: We got better is what he is trying to say!
Jeff: It’s like 3 years later, so we toured a lot, we’re better musicians.
David: We know what we want.
Jeff: We had Bob Rock (Metallica, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi,) produce this record so it’s a little tougher, we chose Bob because we knew what we wanted to do and the songs would be heavier and deeper too. Lyrically it’s more mature, there’s some songs on the record that are straight up Simple Plan songs, really energetic, really fun, and there’s some darker stuff. It’s more diverse than the first record was. There a really different song called “Me Against The World” its super heavy, its not Slipknot heavy, but for us its pretty heavy, and then there’s a song called “Untitled” which is a piano ballad, and you get these two diverse worlds on that and everything in between and I think its kind of a journey. It’s a full album that you want to listen to completely and that was the intent when we actually made it.

Pete: What sort of bands and influences came forward to make this record?
Jeff: Partly it was just playing live and seeing what songs would react the best and what were the best parts of what we we’re doing and being very critical about it. Being on the Warped Tour defiantly did.
Sebastien: Yeah playing with so many awesome bands just makes you kick our own ass and trying to get better.
Jeff: Listening to Rancid every night, you know, there are a few things that you catch! There’s a lot of other bands, you know, Billy Talent… some bands were really influential, Thrice were really a great band to see live, it was like “Holy Shit!” something really special, really heavy and really full. I think that influenced the whole thing, it’s also just listening to music and talking between ourselves about what we wanted to do, stepping it up for us. I think this record is closer for us to what we wanted to do the first time around; we just never managed to do it, because I don’t think that was where we were at, at that time.

Pete: So where would you categorise this record?
Jeff: I think one of the biggest intentions of this record was just too break the barriers, and not fit into a genre of music. To just be one of those bands that sounds like themselves, so we looked up to bands like No Doubt and Weezer. I’m not saying we achieved that, bands that re-invented themselves, like U2.

Pete: So would you say this record is a step towards removing tags you were previously branded with?
David: Yeah defiantly.
Jeff: I think if people call it pop-punk, they are very close minded. I think it did fit before, but this record is so much more, it is still that, but a lot more too.

Pete: In attracting new fans with this style, do you think old fans may turn there noses up a little?
Jeff: I don’t want to think about that, I think it’s a really good record and hopefully it will appeal to our fans, and hopefully more people will listen to it. It’s not our job to think about marketing a record, we do our music and we like it so lets put it our there. We’re going to tour our asses off for this record. Our schedule is fucking crazy. We’re playing every single day, sometimes twice a day. We’re going to really work it. I think we are coming back to the UK in the spring for a headlining tour. Goldfinger once did 380 gigs in one year, starting in 2005, we’ll top that.

Pete: Is touring your arse off the way to make a successful band?
Jeff: There’s no formula, its just really hard work and just sticking with it. I think the most important part of being in a band is being with people that you actually trust and that you’re friends with and that you respect. That the basis of it. If that isn’t there, don’t even think about making a career in music. It’s just not going to happen, it’s like us 5, there are arguments, but we’re friends. Imagine if we weren’t, if we’d picked musicians through an ad in the paper, it’s not about that. We’re not the best of musicians but we’re friends and that’s what brought us together in the first place.

Pete: There are few questions through the site that people wanted to know! Where did you get your name from?
David: We stole it from the film, A Simple Plan.
Sebastien: We figured we’d change it later.
Jeff: We were playing this show, and we’d recorded a few demos, and we needed a name, and someone had watched the movie, and it just stuck, and then it spread we realised we got to keep it.
David: It was either that or Bonez (like Bones with a Z) but then we realised everyone would say it Bone-ez. Which we think is boner is Spanish.

What do you think of Avril?
Jeff: She’s wonderful. She’s short and lovely.
Pete: Do you like hanging out with her?
Jeff: We toured with her a lot now. We’ve know her for a while. I was impressed on this tour, I knew she was a pretty good performer, but just watching her every night, I’ve been blown away by how good she sings. She got a lot better. She deserves being here.
Sebastien: She’s got a nice arse.
Jeff: And a nice rack.
Pete: What do you think about her getting married?
Jeff: She’s not getting married!!
Pete: I thought she was to Derek from Sum41?
Sebastien: That was a rumour.
Jeff: That was before she came on tour with Simple Plan.
Pete: So is he stepping on someone’s toes?
Jeff: Don’t let anybody here you say that! You know… French-Canadians, it’s hard not to…
David: (talks in French)
Jeff: I’m just kidding. I don’t know. We haven’t spoken about it all so I don’t know anything.
Sebastien: We like Sum41 an all but…
Jeff: I think she should get laid more before she gets married. That’s my opinion!
Pete: And would Simple Plan be willing…
Jeff: Oh no, no we’re way too old for her. That would be like incest!

I thought it best I left it at that. Anyway, you heard it from her touring buddies, apparently Avril is still available. Simple Plan’s new album, “Still Not Getting Any…” is out on the 25th October, and the band will return for a headline tour in spring.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]