SIMPLE PLAN checks in from Tokyo

Montreal’s Pop Punk band Simple Plan is releasing their new album on June 21 and enjoying continuing success on their fun, bouncing take on modern rock / pop punk. The new record features some interesting guests like Rivers Cuomo of Weezer and pop start Natasha Bedingfield. caught up with guitarist Sebastien Lefebvre from the band while they were on tour in Japan. The album is available for Pre-Order now. Tell us about the new album.

Sebastien Lefebvre:  There is much to tell about his new record. I feel like it’s everything simple plan is good at. Everything you love about all the records made it to this one. The style and youth of the first album, the energy of the second album, and the deepness and modern touch of the third one. So in a way, it feels like a come back to what we used to do, but i don’t think at all that this record could have come out 10 years ago for us. Every record has had it’s purpose. We all feel it’s our best record yet. If i had to stamp one word on it, it would be FUN. You have features with 2 big female stars Natasha Bedingfield and Quebec Star Marie-Mai.  How did those come about?


Sebastien Lefebvre:  We wrote that song as a duet in our quest to try new things. We loved the way it came out and we lived with a demo female vocal for almost a year… We then had a list of people we would love to work with and of course Natasha was on that list. We picked her because her voice is so powerful and she really delivered on the song. And she really liked the song when she heard it and wanted to be part of it. It seems like she could relate to the message. And as far as Marie-Mai is concerned, people around Quebec have been asking us for some time when would the first french SP song would come. For some reason, it felt right this time around. We didn’t want to force it before or do one just because. When we looked at this song and figured we could have a french female singer on it, we took the opportunity to make this one the french song. Marie Mai is beautiful and talented, and awesome person and working with her was fun, easy, and made for a really cool version of the song. Many of your lyrics are a reflection of what “today” is for your core fans.  How do the lyrics and themes of your songs generally come to life?

Sebastien Lefebvre:  All the songs are really honest. It would be weird for us to sing about something we know nothing about. We feel it would come out bad. So we sing about things that happen to us or people around us. Jet Lag is a really good example or exactly how we feel sometimes touring as much as we do. Astronaut is about feeling lonely and how hard it can be to find the right person in life… Everyone goes through that. And many more like that Tell us about the experience of writing with Rivers Cuomo of Weezer. How it came about, etc…

Sebastien Lefebvre:   We had heard that Rivers had started writing with people and being big fans of Weezer, we reached out to see if he wanted to write with us. We got together and wrote the song “Can’t keep my hands off you”. We thought it was a really cool fun song and wanted it to be on the record, so we asked him to sing on it and he said yes! It was a fun experience and the end result is the song you know. The Montreal scene is alive with talent on the music scene.  Can you compare the “Pop-Punk / Modern Rock” scene in Montreal with that of other bigger cities you have visited around the world?  (Namely New York, Tokyo, or pick a city you feel like answewring).

Sebastien Lefebvre:   Actually, i will pick no city. It seems like it matters less and less where you are from. With the internet, bands from all around the world are right there at the click of a button. Some of my favorite bands are from the USA, Australia, Sweden, the UK… In the past, there were phases where all the good bands came from the same place. But now, if it’s good, it does not matter where you are from. I believe the biggest crowd you played in front of was at the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City that attracted 150,000 people.  What are the sizes of your crowds these days in different areas of the world?  

Sebastien Lefebvre:   For us, it’s kind of all over the place and that’s how we like it. It’s fun that we get to play big arenas or festivals in Canada, Asia, Brazil, Australia… But we can still have some small sweaty club show in some places in Europe and USA sometimes… We get it all sort of, i feel lucky that we do. Every show is different and special. Is there a particular cause the SIMPLE PLAN Foundation is paying special attention to at the moment?

Sebastien Lefebvre:   The main focus of the foundation is youth. Weather it’s dealing with illness, social trouble or promoting music as a way to stay in school and off the streets, we help out a lot of organizations that help kids around the world, Canada, and Quebec. We feel blessed and proud that we have distributed over 500 000$ since the start of the foundation in 2005… And still more good things to come this year, and in the next few. To make a difference in people’s lives not only with music, but with a little more is an indescribable feeling. 

Thanks to Krista Hughes for hooking up this interview.