Origin: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genre: pop punk
Years active: 1999–present
No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls (2002)
Still Not Getting Any… (2004)
Simple Plan (2008)
Get Your Heart On! (2011)
Simple Plan is a Canadian rock band from Montréal, Québec. They have released four studio albums: No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls (2002), Still Not Getting Any… (2004), Simple Plan (2008), Get Your Heart On! (2011), and a fifth album to be released in 2015; There is also an EP intitulated Get Your Heart On – The Second Coming! (2013), as well as two widely marketed live albums: Live in Japan 2002 (2003) and MTV Hard Rock Live (2005).
They performed at the Vans Warped Tour every year from 1999 to 2005, in 2011, and in 2013. The band also performed at the 2010 Winter Olympics closing ceremony, along with The X Factor Australia. In December 2012, they performed at Mood Indigo, the college festival of IIT Bombay in Mumbai, India. In 2004, the band participated in the movie New York Minute, starring the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley.
Simple Plan is strongly connected to Scooby-Doo, having performed the theme song to What’s New, Scooby-Doo? (written by Rich Dickerson), and appeared as themselves in the episode “Simple Plan and the Invisible Madman”. Two of their songs appeared in chase scenes: “I’d Do Anything” in the episode “It’s Mean, It’s Green, It’s the Mystery Machine”, and “You Don’t Mean Anything” in “Simple Plan and the Invisible Madman”. Also, they have contributed to the Raja Gosnell-directed theatrical films (including an original song, “Don’t Wanna Think About You”, for Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed).
1999–2001: Formation and early years
Pierre Bouvier takes to the air in Shawinigan-Sud, Quebec, 20 June 2009.
In 1993, Lead vocalist Pierre Bouvier and drummer Chuck Comeau were in a band named Reset. In 1998, Comeau left soon after to go to college. In mid 1999, he met with high school friends guitarists Jeff Stinco and Sébastien Lefebvre who were in separate bands of their own, and combined to create Simple Plan. In late 1999, Bouvier and Comeau reacquainted at a Sugar Ray concert and Bouvier left Reset soon after to join Comeau. Bassist and backing vocalist David Desrosiers replaced Bouvier in Reset, but he too left the band six months later to join Simple Plan. This allowed Bouvier, who had doubled as the band’s lead vocalist and bassist, to concentrate on the singing and Stinco, who had doubled as the band’s lead guitarist and backing vocalist, to concentrate on the guitar.
The origin of the band’s name is obscure. Band members have given various responses, including that the band was their “simple plan to avoid working at McDonald’s”, or other fast food restaurant chains. However, the name may be derived from the 1998 film and novel of the same name.
2002–03: No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls
In 2002, Simple Plan released their debut studio album, No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls, which contained the singles “I’m Just a Kid”, “I’d Do Anything”, “Addicted”, and “Perfect”. They were aiming at a pure pop-punk record.
The record was originally released in the United States with twelve tracks, ending with “Perfect”. Enhanced and foreign editions came in several different versions with up to two additional tracks in addition to the original twelve. Two pop-punk singers contributed on vocals: “I’d Do Anything” included vocals by Mark Hoppus from Blink-182, and “You Don’t Mean Anything” included vocals by Joel Madden from Good Charlotte.
In 2003, the band played as a headliner on the Vans Warped Tour — an appearance memorialized in the comedy slasher film, Punk Rock Holocaust, in which four of the five band members are killed. They would also play short stints on the Warped Tour in 2004 and 2005. That same year (2003) they opened for Avril Lavigne on her “Try To Shut Me Up” Tour. In addition to several headlining tours, they have also opened for Green Day and Good Charlotte. The album had sold one million copies in early 2003 then went on to sell over four million copies worldwide, making it the band’s best selling album to date.
In 2004, Simple Plan released their second album, Still Not Getting Any… which was produced by Bob Rock.
2006–09: Simple Plan
The band in concert in Trenton, NJ, December 2007
After nearly a year and a half in support of Still Not Getting Any…, the band ended most touring in February 2006, playing only a few shows, taking some time off, and beginning work on their third studio album. Bouvier headed to Miami as on about 21 March 2007 to work with Dave Fortman. The band entered the studio for pre-production in Los Angeles on 29 June. On 15 July they returned to Montréal, to record at Studio Piccolo, the same studio at which they had recorded Still Not Getting Any…. They finished recording and headed back to Miami and LA to mix the album. The final part of making their record was done in New York and it was officially completed on 21 October.
“When I’m Gone”, the first single from Simple Plan, was released on 29 October. The album was produced by Dave Fortman and Max Martin. On 17 February 2008, Simple Plan achieved their highest charting single in the UK. After the first two albums just missed the UK top 40, “When I’m Gone” gave the band their best chart position in the UK, coming in at number 26.
Simple Plan held an extensive tour schedule in support of their album. After completing an around-the-world promotional tour, Simple Plan played several December 2007 holiday shows. After continued promotional tours in January, Simple Plan played a triple bill in Camden Town, London on 27 January 2008, with the first show featuring songs from the band’s first CD, the second from the second, and the third from the new release. The band played four U.S. shows in late February, and completed a European tour running until late April. The band played four Japan dates, followed by several European festivals and headlining dates. On 1 July 2008, the band gave a free concert on Québec City’s Plains of Abraham, attracting a crowd of 150,000 to the Canada Day show. After a return to the Far East in late July and early August, the band played a Cross Canada Tour with Faber Drive, Cute is What We Aim For and Metro Station. After dates in Germany, Mexico, and Australia, the band played its second full European tour of the year from 28 October to 29 November, playing Estonia and Poland for the first time. The band also played Tel Aviv and Dubai in early December—shows at which the band played as a four-piece, with Desrosiers absent due to a family emergency and Lefebvre on bass.
2010–12: Get Your Heart On!
The band’s fourth album Get Your Heart On! was released on 21 June 2011. The album marks Simple Plan’s second time since their debut No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls to feature collaborations with other artists, including Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, Marie-Mai, Natasha Bedingfield, K’naan and Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low. In April “Jet Lag” was released in English and French versions featuring singers Natasha Bedingfield and Marie-Mai respectively. The band was on the roster of Warped Tour 2011 for selected dates in June and July 2011.
In September and October 2011, Simple Plan performed four shows in Australia, on their “Get Your Heart On” tour, with supporting bands Tonight Alive and New Empire. During the Australian tour, Jenna McDougall from Tonight Alive featured in Jet Lag. We The Kings supported Simple Plan in Europe on their tour in spring 2012.
2013–present: Fifth studio album
In a 2013 interview with Musichel, lead vocalist Pierre Bouvier announced that the band was writing their next studio album and that they were working on a DVD. In November, the band announced that their new EP is titled Get Your Heart On – The Second Coming! which was released on 3 December 2013. Consequently, Simple Plan uploaded their DVD to the official Simple Plan YouTube channel, in high quality for free as a gift to the fans.
In March 2014, the band members started recording the first demos for the album, it was announced through 3OH!3 member Sean Foreman’s Instagram that 3OH!3 are working with Simple Plan on their next album. This information was later confirmed by Comeau; they estimate to release the album on the second half of 2015, plus they discussed the band’s future projects. On 30 July 2014, the band formally stated that they were writing music for their next album. In December 2014, Simple Plan started to choose which songs would be included on the album. The first single for the album, Saturday, was released on June 21, 2015.
In April 2015, Simple Plan performed with up-and-coming Canadian singer Andee at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy Tour at MUCH in Toronto.
Simple Plan is currently touring on the 2015 Vans Warped Tour, and has a total of five shows scheduled.
Simple Plan’s style of music has been described as pop punk by the Calgary Herald, The Torontoist, Channel News Asia, AllMusic, NME, MTV, The Guardian, the BBC, Rocklouder About.com, Entertainment Weekly and VH1; punk rock revivalist by The New York Times, “Dude Rock” by Digital Spy; with Rolling Stone reviews describing No Helmets No Pads… Just Balls as “new-punk”. Atlantic Records marketing material has described the band’s style as having “classic punk energy and modern pop sonics”. They have also been described as emo.
Simple Plan Foundation
The members of Simple Plan created the Simple Plan Foundation, which focuses on teen problems ranging from suicide to poverty to drug addiction. As of 9 December 2005, the Simple Plan Foundation had raised more than $100,000.
A fundraising event was held on September 2009 in Montréal. In October 2008, the band announced a special release, on iTunes, of the single “Save You”, to benefit the Foundation, with a special composite video featuring cancer survivors. The song was inspired by the struggle with cancer of Bouvier’s brother Jay.
On 15 March 2011, the Foundation stated it would donate $10,000 in aid after the 2011 earthquake that hit Japan.
In 2012, to mark the band’s tenth anniversary, the book Simple Plan: The Official Story was released, which was used as a fundraiser for the Simple Plan Foundation.