2012, Features, Interviews — June 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Chuck Comeau & Sébastien Lefebvre of Simple Plan

by


“I think for me it’s the reaction and hearing the kids sing every night, it kind of makes everything we do worthwhile, and it gives you a lot of cool emotions when you’re on the road for so long and you’re in the studio for so long and when you actually see the result in some ways.”

Back in Australia for the second time within twelve months, it seems that Simple Plan just can’t stay away, well more to the point; the fans just can’t get enough of them.  Here playing sold out shows on this run, we once again sat down with drummer Chuck and this time guitarist Sébastien came along for a chat about the tour, and touring in general, the life of their album, their upcoming book and we also took to Twitter to get some questions answered from some fans…

Welcome back guys and thanks for your time.
Sébastien:  Thank you.

Now you were only here in Australia last October, what brought you back so quickly?  Can’t stay away huh?
Sébastien: There is that, definitely, we do love touring here, it’s always fun.  We try to come every record, even twice if we can like we’re doing now and I think because ‘Jet Lag’ did so well and ‘Summer Paradise’ did so well that we just had to come back.
Chuck: Yeah it felt like this album has been welcomed so amazingly here, and the first tour it was kind of a smaller more intimate thing and it did so well and we had so much fun so we were like OK well let’s see if we can make the next step and play bigger shows and more cities…
Sébastien: We were still here in October planning this one, ok when can we come back?  May, June, OK June…
Chuck: As soon as we saw the response, we knew we had to come back and I think even over on Twitter as soon as the tour was over everyone was like ‘When are you guys coming back?’ so alright, cool.  Honestly it’s so fun for us to come to Australia, it’s not like work or anything, it’s a pleasure, it’s like a vacation and we have to play some shows in between, so we have a love affair with this place and we always love to play for the fans, we have a great connection with them.

What have you been up to since last we spoke? Just touring?
Sébastien: Touring, yeah, absolutely, we did a US tour, we did an Asian tour, a big Canadian tour, a European tour, came back here, we’ve been extremely busy travelling obviously and we’re working on a few things, we’ve got a picture book we want to put out, so we’re working on that, that’s coming out in the Fall.  We’re thinking about other cool things before we start writing for the next album to keep the fans going, because we do tour for a really long time, so some fans out there maybe they’ve heard the album enough and they’re ready for some new songs, so we might give them something to help them wait.
Chuck: Yeah and honestly we have more touring to go as well, we have more shows lined up for the Summer, you know we’re going to Europe after this right away and we have South America obviously that we have to get to, we’ve played a little bit but not that much yet, so we’re going to be busy until Christmas easily, so it’s good, it’s a good sign for us, it just shows that this record has been welcomed super well, and we’re lucky you know?  Ten years down the road and to still have that same kind of reaction is priceless, we’re very blessed.

When does this touring cycle end for you?
*both Sébastien and Chuck shrug their shoulders*
Sébastien: Usually it’s once we’ve been everywhere, maybe twice.  So that right now seems like it would be Christmas, so it’s 18 months, a year and a half and then we write and we release and we tour, so we’ve been pretty much non-stop for the past ten years, it’s what it feels like sometimes you know?
Everyone keeps getting their ‘Heart On’…
Sébastien:  Yeah, Heart on…
Chuck:  It’s like we took too much Viagra.
Sébastien: Permanent Heart On ha ha.

It’s somewhat ironic as we hit the first day of Winter today that you’ll more than likely be up there playing Summer Paradise…
Sébastien: Do you guys do it on the 1st and not the 21st?  OK cool, so the first day of Winter here, it doesn’t look like Winter at all I’ve got to tell you ha ha.
Chuck:  Yeah you guys have pretty mellow Winters compared to ours.
Sébastien: Canadian Winter… come on…
Well it seems this song has taken on a life of its own, how has the reaction to it been for you guys?
Chuck: Well we had a good feeling about that song even from the moment we wrote it, and we knew we had to come out in the Summer and there was even a debate about should we should put it out as the first single, but it’s a little different than what we usually do so we felt like maybe we establish what the record kind of sounds like and then we can go with the curve ball and the different kind of song, but we had a good feeling about it and then with the Summer thing being in Australia in December, which is different than ours we put it out way early, Australia was the first place it came out and like you said, did super well for us.  Do you expect it to go that well?  You hope for it, and when it actually happens it’s an amazing feeling and now it’s out in the rest of the world, it’s out in Europe and it’s doing the same thing that it’s doing here all over the Continent and Canada it did the same thing, it just went Platinum yesterday in Canada so it’s a good feeling, like you try really hard, you sit down for a year, we sat down every day trying to write a song that has that magic to it you know?  When you actually do and it actually happens, it’s a gift you know, you’re just lucky and you go along with the ride and it feels like we have one right now, so it happens a few moments in your career when you have songs that really connect, like ‘Perfect’ that happened to us and ‘Welcome To My Life’ and ‘I’d Do Anything”…
Sébastien: No, it’s ‘Welcome To My Life’ *with very good Australian accent*
Chuck:  So when it happens, you just enjoy the ride I guess…

Do you think there will be another single from the album?
Sébastien: Yeah we might release something else, ‘Astronaut’ is out here right now, so I don’t know, because we’ll keep on touring, it’s always fun to just keep putting out stuff so the fans have a video to look at or something to listen to on the radio.
Chuck:  It’s not official, but there’s a song that’s really special to all the fans and special to us ‘This Song Saved My Life’ and there’s something about that song that’s kind of unique and a little magical for us, so I think we’re going to do something with that.
Sébastien:  That could be a good one, yeah.

You mentioned before about the book, The ‘Simple Plan’ project but what actually is going to be included in that, is it a photo book, is it the story behind the last ten years, is it the works?
Chuck:  It’s kind of a mix…
Sébastien:  Yeah, it’s a mix, definitely a lot of photos, because we’ve taken millions of photos since we started, but also there’s going to be some kind of narrative that just ties it all together.
Chuck:  We’ve been pretty obsessive about keeping everything in the archives, so we have stuff from our first, first band when we were fourteen and our first experience with music and there’s going to be interviews with the band members, like there’s the full story of Simple Plan, the full history from day one until now, archives and we saved so much artefacts and passes and stuff like that.  So it’s kinda like a mix of scrap book, photo book, biography, so it’s a cool hybrid kind of thing.
Sounds like it’ll be the size of a phone book ha ha
Sébastien: Ha ha this thick but with really small print, this thick…
Chuck:  Yeah it’ll be around 315 pages.  We didn’t want it to be just photos, we wanted a little more meat to it, so the photos obviously drive the whole thing but there’s so much cool stuff around it, it’s gonna be dope.

OK so we took to Twitter to get some questions from fans:
Sébastien:  That’s fun.

Kelly wants to know, what’s the best thing about being on tour? @GlamPowerFace
Sébastien:  What’s up Kelly?  Obviously the show is the most fun part of the day, but I think it’s just seeing new places, like the first time you go somewhere and discover new cultures and try new foods and you meet new people and stuff like that.
Chuck:  yeah we just got back from Vietnam for the first time…
Sébastien:  Country number 46 that we’ve played with the band.
Chuck:  Yeah so there’s something super cool about that when you get to go to a new place, its exciting because you don’t really know what the place is going to look like, you don’t really know what’s going to happen, like you don’t really know how the reaction of the fans is going to be, so it’s always a bit of a challenge and there’s always that new energy to a show because you want to prove something as it’s the first time people see you.  That’s exciting, what else?  I think for me it’s the reaction and hearing the kids sing every night, it kind of makes everything we do worthwhile, and it gives you a lot of cool emotions when you’re on the road for so long and you’re in the studio for so long and when you actually see the result in some ways.
Sébastien:  Especially when you’re on the other side of the planet, like literally here.  The furthest you could be from home and people know your band.
Chuck:  It’s rad to see the music travel so much.

Teddy wants to know, why is the connection with the fans so important to Simple Plan? @JetlagJoel
Sébastien:  It’s always been important for us.
Chuck:  I think now more than ever with Twitter and we’re a pretty hard touring band, we don’t stop, we actually get to connect with all those fans, we see that there’s this kind of army of fans around the world waiting for the new album, for the tours and all that, and you don’t want to let them down.  You want to keep on playing more shows, and there’s nothing worse than on Twitter, you get ‘Hi, I’m from this city, you’ve never been there before.’ And it’s like ‘Fuck, we’ve gotta go!’ We’ve never been there before.  You don’t want to bum people out. That’s what keeps us going a lot.

Chuck wanted to know, how do you stay so amazingly good looking year after year? @chuckcomeau
Chuck: ha ha
Sébastien:  You’re asking me that?  Well you know, I do work out… How do we stay so amazingly good looking?
Chuck:  It’s a mystery; I think it’s the shows?
Sébastien: It’s the fans, yeah it’s the work out and the fans and the shows and the sweating.
Chuck:  I made myself laugh.
Sébastien:  Really?  That’s actually you? *to Chuck* ha ha that’s so funny!

Marly wants to know Chuck if you feel that drummers are the heartbeat of a band? @ThePiesEndure
Chuck: I think the heartbeat, the backbone, the heart, the structure as well.  I don’t know.  I think that everybody in the band has their role but…
Sébastien:  No it’s true, the heart beat… the one thing I can say about the drums and the singers is that people know if you fuck up ha ha ha
Chuck:  If you’re the bass player, I’m not pointing any fingers, you can kind of like let it slide a little more.  Drummers, if something happens every one kind of goes ‘What the fuck was that?’ you know?  Same thing with the singer or singers in general, if they miss a note or something or their voice cracks, it’s like ‘OK…’
They’ve got it easy, if they forget they just hold the mic out…
Sébastien:  Exactly, that’s true. You can’t stop playing and have the audience sing the drum part though…
Chuck:  I know…

Olivia wants to know what do you love about Kangaroos? @oliviaisapotato
Sébastien:  Is that Olivia Wilde?
No…
Sébastien:  Still, thank you for your question Olivia.  I think Kangaroos are really cool because you can only find them here.
Chuck:  Yeah it’s the whole mythical thing about Australia, there’s Koalas and Kangaroos…
Sébastien:  And snakes and spiders and crocs…
Chuck:  Its part of the cliché in a way but an amazing thing about coming here for us, it’s like, are you kidding me?  You can pet those things and feed them, it’s awesome.

Kalila who has the awesome Twitter name of pierre boobier wants to know, if you could have one animal characteristic what would it be? @pierreboobier
Sébastien:  Oh yeah I know her.  Bird, fly.  That’s pretty badass.
Chuck:  You know I’d like to go underwater and not have to hold my breath, like a fish or a dolphin.
Sébastien:  Yeah that’s pretty cool.

Astrid wants to know If you weren’t in the band what would you be doing? @azmosis
Sébastien:  I’d be a Ninja, obviously.  What about you?
Chuck: I don’t know.  I think I’d try and be involved in music in some way.  Maybe behind the scenes? Like putting on shows or working with bands or something.
Sébastien:  Video making for bands…
Chuck:  I’d love to be a film maker, like a video director that’d be sick, that’d be really cool.
Well if you need a Ninja…
Sébastien:  ha ha ha
Chuck:  Not as cool as that…

Also she wanted to know what’s your weirdest fan encounter?
Sébastien:  Well it’s funny, we wrote a song about it ‘Vacation’ before the band even got big, or even got signed, we were still making demos.  He actually had a stalker that would follow him home to his parents’ house.  It’s pretty messed up.
Chuck:  I used to take the train to my parents’ house and one morning we were leaving to go to school or something with the band and at 6am she was in front of the door knocking and then waiting a few times knocking on the door just sitting down in the driveway.  We hadn’t had a song released or anything, we’d only played three shows in our life.  That never happened again.
She mustn’t have liked the songs…
Sébastien:  I know right ha ha ha
Chuck:  But they were amazing.
What about recently? Do you get people that follow you around to shows?  Do people get tattoos?
Sébastien:  Tattoos are pretty intense. I hope we never suck, because they’re forever.
Chuck:  That’s one of our motivations to put out good records…
Sébastien:  What about all the kids with tattoos?
Chuck:  There’s a lot of those.  There’s a fan from the UK I think that has our faces tattooed all over her chest, like big, not small, like huge.  Then there was this girl that had a back tattoo with Pierre’s face.
Sébastien:  Yeah the face tattoos are always weird.
Chuck:  We felt bad for the boyfriend; well I guess he had something to aim for.
Sébastien: Ha ha ha

Chrisoula wants to know, what do you guys see your career to be like in 10 years from now? @chrisoula_sp
Chuck:  That’s a good question…
Sébastien:  Hopefully still going, maybe slow down a bit?  I wouldn’t mind travelling a little bit less, but still going, but at this point, four albums in, ten years later, there’s not point for us to stop I don’t think.
Chuck:  Yeah I hope it keeps going…
Sébastien:  Unless we fake break up, fake hiatus, and then we come back two years later and it’s like ‘Oh My God, they’ve been away for so long!’
Chuck:  Yeah that seems to be a good hot strategy right now.  I think we’re just going to keep going, do our thing and hopefully people will keep following us and keep sticking with us.

Check out our chat with Chuck from last year if you haven’t already here…


WIN:
  For something a little bit different and fun, we had Chuck and Sébastien sign some of our May The Rock Be With You postcards.  If you’d like one of four we have to give away, then simply send us an email to mtrbwy@maytherockbewithyou.com letting us know why you think we should send you one and you may win!

Remaining Tour Dates:

Jun 3, 2012
Panthers, Newcastle – All Ages
Jun 6, 2012
UniHall, Wollongong – All Ages
Jun 8, 2012
Southport RSL Club, Gold Coast – All Ages (u18s accompanied by a parent/guardian)
Jun 9, 2012
Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane – All Ages (u18s accompanied by a parent/guardian)
Jun 10, 2012
Caloundra RSL, Sunshine Coast – All Ages (u18s accompanied by a parent/guardian)
Jun 13, 2012
Mackay Convention Centre, Mackay
Jun 14, 2012
The Venue, Townsville
Jun 17 ,2012
Race and Rock Concert, Darwin

Essential Information

From: Montreal, Quebec

Band members: Pierre Bouvier – vocals, Chuck Comeau – drums, backing vocals, David Desrosiers – bass, backing vocals, Sébastien Lefebvre – guitar, backing vocals, Jeff Stinco – lead guitar

Website: http://www.simpleplan.com

Latest release: Get Your Heart On (Warner Music Australia)

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