Today Montreal’s Simple Plan releases their fourth long awaited release entitled Get Your Heart On! The band preformed their new song Jet Lag during the MMVA’s in Toronto this past weekend putting on a phenomenal performance as they always do. I had a chance to catch up with Sebastien Lefebvre to talk about and the making of the new record.
How excited is the band to finally be releasing a new record since 2008?
It’s good to have new music and it’s good to be going back on tour. We know we took our time again with this one but we are so proud of this record and we wrote a lot of songs to be able to pick the best songs.
Hailing from Montreal Canada, what Canadian music did the guys in the band grow up listening to? Any Major influences?
Growing up, because of our Canadian music channels on tv, it was easy to get into good canadian bands like Our Lady Peace… I had a Finger Eleven phase and I Mother Earth when all that was going on. But one of my favourite bands growing up from Canada was Propaghandi. They had so much anger and so much energy. But there’s a lot more newer canadian bands that are great. We are a really good nation for music.
Simple Plan’s new song “Can’t Keep My Hands Off You” (which was recently posted on youtube) features Weezer’s “Rivers Cuomo.” What was the bands experience working with Rivers & how did the idea come up?
It was really good. We just reached out to see if he was interested in writing and got together to come up with this song. It’s a super fun song and we are very happy that it’s on the record cuz if it wasn’t, it might have ended up on the Weezer record.
The band has been touring quite a bit within the past 10 years. You’ve played venues all around the world with artists such as Green Day, Good Charlotte & countless festivals. Is there one memorable show or venue the band will never forget?
We are pretty lucky. We tend to have a good time when we are on the road. Something we will never forget is the first time we sold out the big arena in our home time, the Bell Centre. It’s always been a dream to play there and the moment we stepped on stage is a feeling i’ll never forget. The crowd was so loud and they went all the way up to the last balcony. We all chocked up for the first few songs. It was epic.
What was Simple Plan’s experience working in the studio with producer “Brian Howes” (Puddle of Mudd, Hinder) & did the band take any different approaches this time around in regards to songwriting or production for the new record?
It was good! Brian is the kind of producer that wants to make sure every single part of every song is the best it can be. So we have that in common, and the album is that much better because of that. We took our time writing the songs and we wrote more then ever before. So we picked the best ones and we are very proud of this album. After doing the basics for every song, we would then work on finishing the songs one by one. That a way of working we’d never used before, but for sure will keep on using in the future.
One of the things Simple Plan is known for is their live shows. How would you describe a typical SP live show to a fan who has yet to see one and when can we expect a tour in support of the new record?
Of course there will be touring! We cannot wait to go around the world again and see everyone and have a good time on stage. I guess our live show is a big party with Simple Plan music. There’s probably a few orgasms in there… You’ll have to come to understand… it’s kind of hard to describe.
Another impressive fact about Simple Plan is the band has had no line up changes since its inception in 1999. How have you guys managed to get along through all the common obstacles artists go though in the music industry?
Marriage counselling once a week.
You guys have also created a charity program called “The Simple Plan Foundation” a funding agency that focuses on teen problems ranging from suicide to poverty to drug addiction. The band recently donated $10,000.00 to the Japan Red Cross Relief Efforts and stated fans could help donate by purchasing a “Simple Plan Help Japan T-shirt. How did the idea for the foundation about and why is it important to the band?
It started off as something we felt like doing, and now it’s definitely part of the band. It’s something we feel is very important. We are lucky enough to have been blessed in life that we want to give back to the kind of people that have given us so much. Every year, we donate money to different organization that fit the mission of the foundation. We have a lot of fantastic people around us that help with everything related to this project and are grateful to have a meaningful way to give back. www.simpleplanfoundation.com
How would you compare the bands new record to the previous ones what can we expect to hear on June 21st?
It’s a mix of everything we’ve ever done. Brand new simple plan with the fun of the first record, the energy of the 2nd one and the evolution of the 3rd one. We wanted to have fun with this one and we did! The songs you’ve heard so far represent the album really well. We are at a point in our life were we just wanted to have more fun songs and faster songs, so the record is full of that, and more. I guess we have a hard time not sounding like SP, maybe it’s Pierre’s voice, maybe it’s the way we write melodies… It’s kind of like a greatest hit, with all new songs.
Last but not least, what personal advice would you give to young aspiring Canadian bands trying to get to the next level in the music industry?
It’s a hard game. But it all comes down to the songs. If you write great songs, they will get heard. It’s a lot of hard work so don’t give up. I think something that saved us is the fact that we were friends and that we were willing to put in the work. There’s no way you can make it, with the amount of time that you spend together working, if you don’t get along. That would be the most important thing actually: Be in a band with your friends.
For concert listings and more on Simple Plan visit www.simpleplan.com