Simple Plan takes break from touring to debut new music at APMAs


Photo courtesy of Simple Plan

Jenna Kuczkowski

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of stories about the Alternative Press Music Awards, which will be held July 22 in Cleveland. To read the first article about Alternative Press magazine, click here. To read the second article about band Sum 41, click here.

Canadian rock band Simple Plan will take a break from touring and producing its new album to perform at the Alternative Press Music Awards on Wednesday in Cleveland.

Drummer Chuck Comeau said that after the band’s last record, Get Your Heart On!, came out in 2011, the band toured for two years.

Afterward, the band headed into the studio to work on its newest unnamed album; the members recently finished recording and are about to start mixing. The first single off the album, “Saturday,” was released last month.

Comeau said the band is looking forward to performing and taking a break from studio work.

“Last year, we just watched (the APMAs) to check it out, and I was really impressed that our scene that we’ve been a part of for a long time finally had its own kind of special evening,” Comeau said. “After the show, we talked to the people at (Alternative Press magazine) and said, ‘Hey, we really want to be a part of this next year,’ and we started working together.”

Comeau said he read Alternative Press growing up and always dreamed of being on the cover, a dream that became a reality in 2003. He said that exposure, along with a gig with traveling music festival Warped Tour that year, solidified the still up-and-coming band’s place in the pop punk scene.

“It was a huge accomplishment, and that was one of those milestones that we were able to hit and can look back on in our career,” Comeau said.“Throughout the years and every record, AP always supported us. They always gave us that exposure, and they’ve just been a vital part of the scene and helped a lot of bands.”

The band released its debut studio album, No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls, in 2002, which was classified as pure pop punk by the band. The second album, Still Not Getting Any…, was released in 2004. Self-titled Simple Plan came out in 2008, and the band released Get Your Heart On! in 2011.

Simple Plan started recording its new album in March and plan to release it later this year. Comeau said records are never easy for the members to make since they always want to push themselves to make sure they come up with the best songs possible. He said putting out more records makes it increasingly difficult to keep things fresh, interesting and fun for the band.

“We want to find the right sound between a mix of where fans are going to be really excited for it because they hear sounds that are classic to our band, while at the same time pushing forward and making sure that we’re excited ourselves,” he said.

Comeau said the hardest thing the band had to do for this record was figure out what they wanted to say, what their vision was and how to express them through recording, making the songs sound like they hear them in their heads, something Comeau said is trickier than people realize.

Simple Plan will be performing some songs off the new album at the APMAs, although the members haven’t decided which songs they will play. Comeau said the band is looking forward to playing new music for fans, as well as listening to other bands who haven’t performed in a while, such as Sum 41, and seeing what this year’s hosts, Jack and Alex of All Time Low, have in store.

“We want to do a kind of special, once-in-a-lifetime performance maybe with some other bands or other artists, and make it something that people will talk about even after the show,” Comeau said.

The band is also nominated for the “Artist Philanthropic” award, which is for artists who have dedicated their time and energy to giving back and creating foundations to support different causes, according to Alternative Press.

Simple Plan started the Simple Plan Foundation in 2005 to support kids as they transition from childhood to adulthood, as well as children with life-threatening diseases. The foundation aims to use music to support these children to keep them in school and out of trouble with the law.

Comeau said the band realized how important it was for them to give back to their fans after they received numerous letters from children saying the band’s music helped them through hard times.

“It’s been something that’s been very close to our hearts and is a core part to what this band is all about,” Comeau said. “We wanted to do something for them that was beyond writing songs and was more direct and had a direct influence on their lives.”

The foundation has raised $1.5 million for children in need.

“We’re really proud of that,” Comeau said. “It has gotten a lot bigger than we ever expected it to, and it’s been really gratifying and really cool to see the impact you can have as a band when you try to be positive.”

After performing at the APMAs, Simple Plan will be playing this year’s Warped Tour, as well as touring in Europe during August for shows like Leeds Festival and Reading Festival and continuing to prepare for new album.

Contact Jenna Kuczkowski at [email protected].