Simple Plan Has ... A Simple Plan
Excerpted from the magazine for Billboard.com.It used to be that rock bands lived for the present and didn't worry about the future.
Not so for Simple Plan. The Montreal-based act made its U.S. debut just two years ago. But with the Oct. 26 release of its sophomore set for Lava Records, "Still Not Getting Any ...," the pop/punk act is thinking long term.
"If you're just partying and drunk the whole time, you're going to miss out on so much and you're going to wake up and go, 'Why the hell are we here?'" drummer Chuck Comeau says. "We only have one band and if we go and f*** it up, than we're gone and that's it."
Since its 2002 debut, "No Pads, No Helmets ... Just Balls," the group has been involved in every aspect of its ascent up the charts, from selection of venues to album cover art.
The attention to detail has worked well for the quintet -- which includes vocalist Pierre Bouvier, bassist David Desrosiers and guitarists Sebastien Lefebvre and Jeff Stinco.
"Just Balls" didn't enter The Billboard 200 (at No. 183) until two months after its release, but a frenzied tour schedule overseas and the support of MTV in the United States landed the group hit singles and pushed the album to a peak at No. 35 on The Billboard 200. The set has sold 1.8 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"To take a band that was nothing four or five years ago -- my parents knew who we were and that's about it -- and rolling it to the point where we can play in Thailand and Australia and people show up and want to see us, every decision has to matter," Comeau says.
The group enlisted Metallica/Motley Crue producer Bob Rock, and headed home to record the 11-track set, which was written by Bouvier and Comeau while still touring for "Just Balls."
The label will release "Still Not Getting Any ..." as a DualDisc. The two-sided CD will feature the full album on one side and the full album in DVD-Audio on the other side, which also contains video footage and a photo gallery.
The band shows its sense of humor with two limited-edition covers, released alongside the original album art, featuring the group in makeup as they would look as 90-year-olds.
The group recently finished a European tour with Avril Lavigne. Verizon Wireless is sponsoring a month-long headlining jaunt that starts Oct. 30 at the Ogden Theater in Denver. Verizon will record ringtones at some of the dates that will be offered exclusively on the band's Web site.
At retail, exclusive ringtones will also be available at Target through an AT&T mobile mix card. The store will also carry an exclusive version of the album with additional DVD footage.
Amid the writing, recording and touring, Comeau, Bouvier and childhood friend Patrick Langlois also run their own clothing line, Role Model Clothing. The clothes are available online and at select retail stores.
"Even before our first record came out, we had the idea that instead of wearing other people's labels and doing promotion for them, why not do it ourselves?" Comeau says.
Fans can buy the same style of clothes that the band members wear in videos and on album covers through the online store. The group attended the Magic Fashion Trade Show in August in Las Vegas, meeting with buyers and promoting the clothing. It plans to debut its new line in 2005.
"We want to take this band from where we are now to so much higher, and we're going to work our asses off and slay every show and do every interview and just get there. This is our shot," Comeau says.
Excerpted from the Oct. 30, 2004, issue of Billboard. The full original text is available to Billboard.com subscribers.
For information about ordering a copy of the issue, click here.