Having the opportunity to perform as a part of Metro Moncton’s 125 Birthday Celebrations suits Simple Plan drummer Chuck Comeau just fine.
For the last two months, Comeau and his Simple Plan bandmates – Pierre Bouvier, Jeff Stinco, Sebastien Lefebvre and David Desrosiers – have been cooped up in the recording studio, dutifully working away on the group’s still-untitled fifth record with producer Howard Benson (Three Days Grace, The All-American Rejects).
Their performance tonight will give the band the opportunity to return to the stage, somewhere they truly feel at home.
“The album is coming along nicely,” Comeau says. “There is still a lot of important work to be done on the record, but we are all rather excited about the new material so far.”
Asked if their new material has steered the group in any radical, new directions, Comeau feels their new music offers a mix of the sound that fans have come to love about the group while also heading into somewhat unfamiliar territory.
“Some of the new songs have that classic, Simple Plan energetic kind of feel to them, but other songs have a bit of a retro thing happening. We brought in new influences and instruments, like having a horn section, that we haven’t touched upon before,” Comeau says.
“We are trying to spread our wings a little bit while also staying true to what fans have come to expect from us.”
Thanks to songs like “Welcome To My Life,” “Your Love Is A Lie,” “Perfect,” and “I’m Just A Kid,” Simple Plan has sold more than half a million records in Canada. It is not just here at home that the Montreal group has succeeded, however:
Internationally, the group has sold more than 7.5 million records, including almost four million in the United States alone.
Given the success that Simple Plan has seen over the course of their first four records, one couldn’t necessarily blame them if they wanted to stay the course. Comeau insists that merely churning out the same record over and over wouldn’t be interesting for the band, or their fiercely dedicated fans.
“We have never wanted to be complacent in terms of the music we make. If you look at our past work, I think there have always been little oddities that could catch fans off-guard.
“One of the biggest songs from our last album [2011’s Get Your Heart On] was ‘Summer Paradise,’ which was this Jack Johnson-type of song, and very different for us. It was an out of the box song for us, something completely different, but our fans loved it and we loved it. It’s important for us to try new things, but we also don’t want to alienate those people who made us what we are. Everyone in the band still loves catchy pop-punk music; it’s in our DNA. I think we have found a good balance on our new songs.”
In addition to their music, one of Simple Plan’s most recognizable attributes is the fact that the group’s lineup has remained consistent since the release of their 2002 debut effort No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls.
The friendship between the quintet dates back to high school. They have grown up together and formed a bond that is undeniably strong.
If you take the time to look back at the groups who rose to fame alongside Simple Plan, a quick review shows they are one of only a handful of bands still standing.
“I think the fact that our lineup has remained consistent since the beginning of the group says a lot about the friendship between us,” Comeau says. “The history of the band means more to us, both collectively and individually, as the years pass by.
“So many bands fight, break up, or stop being friends altogether. We’ve been so fortunate to avoid any of those traps with this band. It has been the band’s goal to stay relevant, and, thanks to our fans, we have been able to enjoy success beyond what we could have anticipated.”
Comeau admits the dynamic amongst band members is vastly different now than it was when they first started touring the world 14 years ago. While they have grown up a band together, wives and children now also figure into the picture.
“Looking back upon our career, we started really touring the world around the time we were 21 years old,” Comeau says. “Back then, the band was all we had. We couldn’t wait to go on tour because it was going to be an adventure.
“Nowadays, the dynamic has changed, but we’ve been able to successfully adapt to having wives and children added to the mix because we never stopped being good friends. I don’t know a lot of groups that have been together for 15 years that could live together for a couple of months in the same house while making a record.”
What: Simple Plan with Andee, Caroline Savoie, Chris Colepaugh and Izzy & The Prohibition
When: Friday Apr. 24, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Riverfront Park, Downtown Moncton
Admission is free