Photo: F Scott
After Bowling For Soup toured the UK last year we thought things couldn't get any better in the spiky world of punk pop. Guess What? In 2003 the guys came back over with the new kids on the block Simple Plan supporting them in the first great rock line up of the year. Simple Plan hail for Montreal and buck the trend Bryan Adams and Celine Dion created for blatantly sh*te musical exports from Canada. They're the type of guys who are cute enough for Avril Lavigne to write "I Love Simple Plan" on her ruck sack, while angsty enough for the hoards of teenage boys to sing along to "I'm Just A Kid" or "God Must Hate Me". Designer Magazine caught up with Chuck Corneau to find out how they've been rocking the UK.
Q: It's Simple Plan's first UK Tour. I guess you guys and Bowling for Soup are the perfect pairing. Is it rock & roll debauchery all the way?
A: The kids have been incredible. Were playing to people have never heard of us before and after the first song the whole crowd jumping up and down. It's a real beautiful thing you guys have got going here. We met Bowling For Soup last December and they were really nice to us. The thing is one guy in that band can out drink the whole of the Simple Plan crew, it's crazy. They party hard!!!
Q: You grew up in Montreal, Canada. Not the most rock & roll country in the world following the shameful exporting of Bryan Adams and Celine Dion. Is there much of a rock scene over there?
A: Montreal, where we from has been the mecca of Punk rock for the past 10 years along with California. Bands would travel just to play Montreal and bands like Ten Foot Pole who would play to 200 kids anywhere else would play to 2000 kids in Montreal.
Q: I guess you guys and Bowling For Soup and then the older wave such as Sum 41 and Blink 182 are coming from the same direction influence wise. It's very easy to label these bands together - for you what's different about Simple Plan than the rest of the crop?
A: Well to start off don't have a number in our name, were 5 guys and we all speak french so that makes us different. Were proud to be part of the scene and most of those bands we know and hang out with, but I think more important and what makes us different is when you really love that kind of music you can tell right away what's different with every band. It's kind of like hip-hop - if you're not really familiar with hip-hop you think it all sounds the same, but as soon as you start to be interested you will know what the difference is between Busta Rhymes and Black Eyed Peas.
A kid who knows the scene will know that The Used, Something Corporate and Simple Plan are different. I think at least for us we try to write the most honestly real songs possible and that makes a different because were all unique. We grew up with a lot of the same influences, but we also tried to brink in a lot of the old school pop from the 80s like Elvis Costello and Cheap Trick. We try to make it even more catchy and poppy with more harmonies and we can do it all live because we've got three really good singers.
Q: Are you finding that when you're out here in the UK playing to the kids they're really relating to the lyrics?
A: I know there's a lot of kids out there who have been writing to us telling us how much they relate to the songs and that's amazing. Our goal was to just write something that was real for and real for other people and it seems to be working out. When something sad happens that's when we want to write about something and it's more important then because if everything happy and the sun is shining outside you don't want to writing a song.
I think it's great that there are lots of young kids at our concerts because it means that the scene is still alive and still growing. If the crowd was all 25 years we'd be worrying because in two years they'd all have careers and they'll move on. For the kids it's fresh to them and it's all new - they're not jaded and they bring so much youthful intensity to the show.
Q: Is there a Simple Plan motto that you all live by?
A: For us the name came from having a Simple plan to have a good time and not have a crappy job. Basically to do what ever we felt like and to do the things we love every day.
"No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls!!!" is out now
The band will be returning to the UK later in the year
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