By: Tracy Forsyth-Lundy
2010 has been an amazing year so far for Canada & our extremely talented musicians. The 2010 Winter Olympics have come and gone, but in it’s wake we helped the world to see how many artists we have in this fine country and a good number of them performed during the opening ceremonies, through out the games as well as the infamous closing ceremonies where we showcased our bands! Simple Plan was amongst the many groups who were summoned to Vancouver to show the world what Canada has for talent!
I’ve watched Simple Plan grow from their debut album to who they have become with their latest album. Their single ‘Your Love Is A Lie’ shows how much this group has grown as well as matured into intelligent song writers who have a keen ability to express their thoughts and share them with their unique style of music we have all grown to love.
David Desrosiers, Sebastien Lefebvre, Pierre Bouvier, Chcuk Comeau & Jeff Stinco are the members of Simple Plan and it’s not hard to tell that they are indeed a close knit group who enjoy hanging out with each other and touring to bring their music to the stage for all of their fans. Jeff was kind enough to take some time to speak with me about what is going on this year for them as well as participating as musicians with respect to the Olympics in Vancouver.
TFL: Jeff! So tell me how excited are you for the Olympics as well as your performance?
JS: I think it’s great! I love the Olympics and it hasn’t been in Canada for a long time & this time around it’s going to be just crazy wild. This has been super organized & it’s going to be a big party!
TFL: So you guys are working on your 4th album, how is that going?
JS: It’s going really well. There is a lot of great songs that are written, there is about 30 songs that we have already. There is some really great material in there, I think we will be able to start recording at the end of March. You should be hearing some new music this year I would say…yeah this year for sure. I don’t know when the record is coming out necessarily, but I’m really really excited about these songs. It’s more of a ‘rockish’ record, very positive sounding, very energetic and there is a lot of fast tempo songs.
TFL: I’ve noticed that about Simple Plan; you guys were all so young when you started that of course your music, your lyrics even your tones are going to mature as you guys grow it’s just common sense right.
TFL: When I heard ‘When I’m Gone’ & ‘Take My Hand’ which has that exact faster tempo with a heavier tone to it that you’re talking about. I have to say that my favorite song on the last album was ‘Holding On’ I just love the off beat drums, Chuck did a really good job about laying his drum tracks down on that song.
TFL: Your guitars even Jeff, I can hear that you’re growing. You went from being a young man to a mature man and it’s coming through on your guitar. I love your heavier tones and your harmonies are brilliant.
JS: Thank you!
TFL: As a group, you are all so in tune with each other, you all mesh so well together as a band. You can tell that you all are friends because it comes through in your music. On stage it’s even more apparent how close you all are because you are always in sync with one another. Not every band can do that.
JS: That’s great to hear & Thanks to you! I do have to say that; when you get into the studio and you start as a band, you’re a young band & you’re insecure. There are many little things; you’re insecure because you can’t pay your bills (laughs) your rent is overdue, your hydro bill is overdue (chuckling) and you walk into the studio & make your record & survive. There is a producer there to make sure that you put out some great music, it’s super stressful…and when you’re stressed in the studio environment you don’t necessarily put out the best that you can do. I mean that tension is important to some extent but as you perform live more and more you start developing a sense of security of identity; you know who you are and you plan to start sounding that way when you are in the studio and recording
TFL: Now when you sit back and you look at your statistics – you guys have sold over 7 million records worldwide, you’ve sold over 1 million records in Canada alone…how did it feel when you finally broke through into the US market & the European market – which are markets that the average band is DYING to break into – what goes through your head when you look at all of this?
JS: I have to say that the stats are a bit overwhelming. When you start looking at numbers and news within the industry that things are not going that well (piracy wise) the sales of records are going down – you kind of realize that the industry is changing. I mean when you see that Madonna sold over 850,000 I kind of go ‘wow, I thought she was the biggest thing on the planet’. It’s stressful, but as a band you have to start thinking about what is really important as well as communicate with your public & in our case it’s just a great communication. On our last record, our shows grew tremendously, we played some huge venues in Europe (France, Italy, Spain & Germany) those are HUGE markets for us. Asia got even bigger & South Africa is insane to perform in…you can’t even imagine! It’s some serious fame that is hard to grasp. There is a moment when you need to just step back and appreciate it & we are able to do that as a band & I think it’s a great gift you know the fact that we’re all friends as you said and we’re very tight & we’re able to celebrate those moments.
TFL: How have you embraced the whole digital revolution Jeff with the whole MySpace, Facebook, Itunes, CD Baby – with everything that is out there, what was your approach as a group & individually how you were going to handle this?
JS: It’s kind of funny because these things are making our lives easier in a way. We were using our website as a blogging tool. Sebastien our guitar player always says “I invented blog, I’m the one who invented that term”. It’s funny because i did hear him say it in a very early video of ours. In the early days we would answer emails from fans, we would all take turns for like an hour each every single day answering those emails & that’s kind of what I think helped us be an alternative band that became a main stream band because we took care of our fans so well that they would give it back to us.
TFL: What can Simple Plan fans look forward to in 2010?
JS: Whether or not the album comes out this year we will be releasing new music this year for sure. I think our fans can look forward to that & we’re going to be playing a few shows here and there over the summer but the main focus for us is keeping our fans informed on what the studio sessions are like, new music, new snippets.
TFL: Any other message you want to send out to your fans Jeff?
JS: I need to thank our fans for being so supportive. This time around people can know for sure that we did our homework and there are many new songs that are great & for sure they are going to hear new music a lot quicker this time around than the last time.
Always making their fans proud regardless if they are from Canada, the USA or overseas. Simple Plan has always given 100% and more on stage as well as in the studio and the growth of their success proves that music is alive and well and fans around the world are still looking to go to the next great concert to support the music they love.
Backstage Live Magazine welcomes Canada’s own Simple Plan into our huge Rock & Roll family!