Simple Plan played The Vic last night and it was an amazing show. When you see a group perform they way they did-you appreciate the music and commerce. The group has been together for over a decade and continues to crank out songs to it's adoring fans-this sight to be seen in the frenzied audience in attendance. It's no easy feat to do what they do and they have made it their Simple Plan.
I had the opportunity to speak with lead guitarist-Jeff Stinco-while he was on location in Brazil. We discussed their new album and tour "Get Your Heart On" and this is what he had to say…
Jeff, you're 8 days in on the Get Your Heart On Tour. What's it been like so far?
It's been really fun. We've had some great dates. And actually, to me the best part of the tour has been the line-up-we have The Cab, Marianas Trench and Forever The Sickest Kids-they are good people and our fans are really happy. We hadn't been in the US very much for the 3rd record and it's great to be back(for the 4th).
Right now we're in Brazil and we're playing some crazy shows here-right now we're in Porto Allegre and then we're off to play Sao Paulo.
That sounds like a lot of fun…right?
Oh, it is…it is. The shows are insane. Like dude, I'm trying to explain to my friends how crazy the Brazilians are and you can't really explain it unless you send pictures. It's crazy…people wait for us at the airport and the hotels…it's rather intense.
What sort of audience reaction do you get when playing live in Brazil or the U.S.?
It's something very particular in Brazil. I don't want to push it too much but it's really intense, really crazy. The fans there are pretty fanatical.
In the US when we did a lot of touring with the Warp Tour and the reception was great. A lot of our fans knew songs from the first 2 records and we were afraid that people hadn't heard the 4th record yet-but that record which was released on the 21st of June-and it was amazing to see people singing songs from it like "Jet Lag" and "Astronaut." All those new songs that people are looking forward to hearing-they already know the lyrics and respond very strong to them and this is very exciting to us. We understand our fans have been waiting a long time for us to come back and this is very exciting.
How many tracks are on the new album "Get Your Heart On" and who have you collaborated with to make it?
We recorded 11 tracks for this album out of about 70 that we wrote. So there is a lot of material off this record that we worked on. 4 out of the 11 tracks feature collaborations and this includes Natasha Beddingfield, Weezer, K'naan and Alex Gaskarth. We've got a French version of "Jet Lag" featuring our hometown girl Marie Mai-and it's pretty popular in France. "Jet Lag" is a very interesting record-it's a throwback in the spirit of the first two records-with a lot of energy, strong melodies and very positive. But it also pushes the boundaries of what Simple Plan is.
As lead guitarist for the group-what do you enjoy most about being a part of Simple Plan?
I think we are very fortunate to be doing a lot of things. When I'm in the studio-I miss being on the road. When I'm on the road-I miss being in the studio. I enjoy it all.
And it's really great to be making records that are so relevant. (After a decade) the band is still relevant and the music matters to our fans so that's an awesome opportunity-and the shows are insane.
Whose idea was it to start the group?
The band started with Chuck, Pierre and I-we had many bands over high school. I went my own way for a while and studied classical music and they had a band called Reset-and Reset toured for awhile. During that time there was a little fight between that band and Chuck left. And then-I basically partnered with Chuck to start Simple Plan, then Pierre joined us. After about two years David joined us and we've been together for about 10 years.
It's been the same line-up since we started-no one has changed and we get along really well. It's really fortunate to be a part of a family like this-it's pretty cool.
How did you come-up with the name-Simple Plan?
We stole it from the movie "A Simple Plan". The name wasn't supposed to stick. It was supposed to be one of those temporary names used for a promotion poster for one of our shows coming up(at that time). But the name stuck-we just took the "A" out and stayed with "Simple Plan".
You been together for quite awhile-is it possible for you to be together forever and who were your musical influences?
You know what I don't know. That's an interesting question. I don't think none of us expected to be together for that long(12 years). We've been doing this successfully for a long time and I'm very grateful for that.
Initially, the influences for this band were Green Day, The Offspring and Third Eye Blind. Then it became so many things-including the Beatles. We blended everything together to make our sound. We look up to bands that manage to stay together. We are a band of friends that manage to stay together-throughout the records.
Our plan is to keep doing this as long as our fans want to hear us.
And from the look of things going on in the audience last night-Simple Plan will be doing this for a long time to come.