If you’re a newer Simple Plan fan, there is a chance you won’t remember this community that was the very first official Simple Plan street team – the Invasion Crew. This fan community formed on Fanscape (fanscape.com/simpleplan) in February 2002 included information about the band, pictures and most importantly a forum which gave the Simple Plan fans an opportunity to share their SP stories and questions with other fans.
Video published by Simple Plan for the Invasion Crew in 2002
The original Invasion Crew on Fanscape lasted until about 2008 when the band decided to relaunch the street team on a different platform – on Ning.com (simpleplan.ning.com). This website allowed the fans to use a better forum system and even create their own profiles, share pictures etc. The second version of Invasion Crew lasted until 2011 when the new version of SimplePlan.com offered interactive sections – most notably an interactive forum. The registration to Invasion Crew (both the original one and the second one) has always been free – becoming a counterpart to the official (paid-for) fanclub SP Crew.
However even though the SimplePlan.com forums/community sections from 2011 offer very similar actions for fans as the Ning community did, the name “Invasion Crew” has not been used to refer to any community since Ning.
The original Invasion Crew at Fanscape networks: 2002-2008 (on left) and Invasion Crew on Ning.com: 2008-2011 (on right)
With the arrival of the 3rd studio album, Simple Plan wanted to start their own official fanclub. In late 2007 a competition to name the new fanclub has been announced and in January 2008 “SP Crew” was born (spcrewofficial.com). The name “SP Crew”, chosen by a few fans, was set in order to keep the “Crew” from the old “Invasion Crew” name.
By its nature – as to join it, one must pay $25 + shipping (per 1-year membership) – the fanclub has become a more of a secluded space that offers exclusive content (such as videomessages from the band, contests, soundcheck parties etc.) as well as online forums.
While the above-mentioned communities have always had a platform to realize their potential, Astronauts never had this advantage – but they get by quite well with regular social networks. The name “Astronauts” came up from an open online discussion among the fans (in search for a name fitting for the fans of Simple Plan – just like Lady Gaga has her “Monsters”), which showed that many of them can relate to this name that is derived from the self-titled song from Get Your Heart On!.
In the song, astronaut is a metaphor for an outcast – a person, who feels lonely and who’s desperately searching for someone who’d understand him. For years now, the listeners of Simple Plan have agreed that one of the things that make Simple Plan so special to them is that they write songs that are very relatable – to people who struggle in everyday life with being misunderstood and just generally feeling like they don’t belong. That’s one of the reasons why the name “Astronauts” has stuck with the Simple Plan fandom and even the band members have acknowledged it as a name for their fans in general.