For most, okay some okay maybe just the people I know the transition from late 90’s boy bands to “rock” consisted of TRL rock from the likes of everyone from Limp Bizkit to Good Charlotte. And somewhere in there were Canadian boys who stole a lot of hearts but claimed to not be getting any. Looking back in time you can find me and my lovely with a lens, Cindy in “Role Model” tees singing along to every song Simple Plan created. And while you can still find us doing that, we’ve since then ditched the Hot Topic attire…but that doesn’t mean we still freaked at the idea of them doing Warped, and then laughed a bit.
I didn’t know what to expect with the Simple Plan crowd. I mean you have to watch even if you’re not a fan because like them or not, you know their hits. And I was right. One of the biggest crowds I’d seen of the day, Simple Plan played to an array of Warped goers; young and old, punk and not so punk. My inner 15 year old squealed while the 24 year old realist just stared in amazement that after all these years, “Shut Up” would still get a crowd going. For those who only came to hear the “jams” were quickly turned around as Simple Plan played a couple off their latest Get Your Heart On! All I can say is All Time Low fans have been successfully converted and may never go back to the Barakat.
I only got to be a super fan of Simple Plan onstage, while Cindy got to fulfill her middle school fantasy, G-rated of course…I hope, when she stepped on Simple Plan’s tour bus and chatted up leading man, Pierre Bouvier about their fans, staying relevant and jet lag.
Cindy: I’ve been a fan of you guys since I was 12, and I know you haven’t toured in America for as long as I can remember, how does it feel to be playing something like Warped Tour
Pierre: It’s great. It’s fun to be back. We definitely had a couple of years where we didn’t do too much touring around here, but we’ve always been thinking about you. But we’re back. We’re doing a lot more touring in the US over the next probably year and a half. The Warped Tour is great. It allows us to do a lot of dates in a short period of time and covers everything; it’s awesome.
Cindy: In comparison to the fans from Brazil and Europe compare to say the crowd at Warped Tour, what difference do you see?
Pierre: It’s pretty universal. People react to music in a similar way. The crowds are pretty similar. It’s always about having a good time. The response from our fans has always been great. We have the best fans in the world. No matter where we go, we have a warm welcome.
Cindy: My friend believes making an impression in the world is an important factor, when all is said and done, when this is over, if you could leave one impression on the world what would it be?
Pierre: If we could be someone’s favorite band. I think if you are someone’s favorite band you are making an impact on a life because they love your music or you’ve been there during hard times. I think being someone’s favorite band is a real big responsibility, and if I could be that for someone that would be great.
Cindy: Comparing Get Your Heart On! to No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls, how have you made the progression through all these years?
Pierre: I think we’ve all evolved in a band in every way. Early on we found our sound. We found what we were good at. Maybe because we played in bands before, when we started this band we knew what we wanted to sound like and we kind of developed that song very quick…And we kept that sound throughout these last four albums. But within that sound we have been able to evolve and mature musically and allow ourselves to grow and expand in different styles and sounds but at the same time remain Simple Plan. We kind of evolve but at the same time we’ve kept building on the same sound and style we craved out for ourselves.
Cindy: How do you stay relevant in a scene that’s changing as fast as the pop punk scene?
Pierre: I think the way to stay relevant is to make good music. No matter how many fans you have, if you come out with a bad record those fans will be gone. That’s why we take a lot of time to make albums; we take over a year to make them because we want it to be good. We want people who consider us to be their favorite band for that record to be great for them, so we try hard by touring and keep in touch with our fans and try to be cool with them. It’s really about the music, if it’s isn’t good no one is really going to care anymore.
Cindy: For the newer generation of fans, how do you grab their attention, try to reach out to them when there are so much new music being introduced left and right?
Pierre: Once again I think it is about the music, you can’t go out there because you want to be all over the Twitter and Facebook. If people do not respond to what you are playing, you might as well not be doing it because it will not work. The way is just to make good music and keep doing what we’ve done. We’ve always been proactive in reaching out to our friends through the social media. We just keep doing that.
Cindy: Following Warped Tour what are some upcoming plans for Simple Plan?
Pierre: Lots of touring. The album just came out last week; we will be doing some promos for the next few months. Then we will be doing our own tour with other bands for the next year and a half all over the world.
Cindy: I’m a huge fan of the first album, loved it the moment I heard, and thoroughly enjoy the new album, how did you guys decide what songs would make the cut?
Pierre: We wrote over 70 songs to pick 11. For us, it was a matter of what are the best songs. Which are the ones that you listen to and that we feel the most proud of; that are special. When you write songs, you have to pay attention to the moments where magic happens. And you really can’t explain it, why, but some songs are better than others you just pick those.
Cindy: If you had to make a mixtape with 5 songs for us following a 13 hour flight from Europe, what songs would you put?
Pierre: I would put “Jet Lag” from our band because it is so appropriate to flying. I would put Tom Petty “Here Comes My Girl” because I love that song; great song. Probably, a song by Lagwagon called “Whipping Boy,” it’s really good. I really like, “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry. It’s like one of my guilty pleasures. And one more, I would say Thrice “Artist in the Ambulance.”
Originally published on July 9, 2011