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Chuck: “Music is a way for young people to define themselves.”
Later today, Chuck Comeau from Simple Plan is expected to take part in the C2MTL conference and talk about the business side of music at “The Beat Goes On” panel. In preparations for this appearance, Chuck has been interviewed by La Presse on his thoughts on brands and their affects on the music industry.
You can either read the full article in French on LaPresse.com or read Chuck’s translated quotes below:
“I always thought that one day, the big brands like Coca-Cola would become the suppliers of music, that they would sign the artists themselves. It will be a war of content, and then – these brands still need to be cool, to be on the edge. When we started 12 years ago, it was like a crime to make a product placement in your music video. Today, it is common, it is even weird not to have them. Is it possible to go even further? I always said that one day we would have an album presented by Coke.”[Chuck on brands]
“The music industry is a good example of resilience. When it produces great changes, as it was the case in recent years, you have no choice but to be creative. People in the industry have complained for several years, but now they roll up their sleeves and find new ideas to stay relevant. Nevertheless, the music has never been so present in people’s lives. Music is more than ever a way for young people to define themselves.”[Chuck on the music industry and music in general]
“Could Facebook start signing bands and their music to the billions of people on their site? Why not! All these brands need music, movies, TV series, content for broadcast for their distribution channels that are extremely powerful and lose their purpose if they do not have the content to distribute.”[Chuck on the possible next level of the collaboration between music and social media]
“While others find that the marketing side and management is a burden, I always found it really interesting. There is no one who will be as concerned about your career as yourself.”[Chuck on his interest in the business side of music]
“Sometimes people offer you good amounts of money [for product placement], but if it does not work with our own brand and who we are as a band, it’s not cool for our fans. We must define what Simple Plan is and at the same time learn to reinvent ourselves and do new things.”[Chuck on staying true to the band's identity]
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Journal de Montreal reveals interesting new info about Simple Plan songs
In the latest article on Simple Plan on Journal de Montreal (thanks Charbel for letting me know), the website took a little more in depth look on the history of Simple Plan and also revealed a couple information about the band that were unknown before.
For example the very first song that the guys wrote directly for Simple Plan was also the track that ended up being the first on their debut album – “I’d Do Anything”. Another info from the No Pads era revealed in the article is the fact that “I’m Just A Kid” was written before the band signed a record contract and Chuck and Pierre even recorded a demo for it, knowing that it would be an important song in their career.
Moving forwards to Get Your Heart On! era, another unknown fact is that there is a French version of the song “Jet Lag” that features the singer Coeur De Pirate (real name: Beatrice Martin), who even co-wrote the song. But in the end, the band decided to release the version with Marie-Mai for the French market.
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New information about Simple Plan exhibition in Montreal
As it was previously announced, from November till March, the Montreal Science Center is holding an exhibition about the influence that music can have on people called Musik, which will be featuring a special exhibit on Simple Plan, as a part of the celebrations regarding their 10th anniversary since the release of their debut album.
The Metro newspaper published a very interesting article about this exhibit today and reveals more information about the actual Simple Plan exhibit.
Here you can read an English translation of an excerpt from the article that Sab sent to me (and you can check out the full version of it in the gallery):
[...] Simple Plan fans of all ages will be able to enjoy the adventure. During the whole exhibition, all the members of the popular band from Quebec are staring at you from video-recorded sequences. In one on them, Jeff Stinco, the guitar player, encourages the on-lookers to try and play the guitar with him. “It takes practice, but you can do it too!” he says before he shows us the chords to play “I’m Just a Kid” or “Welcome To My Life”. We can actually practice with him thanks to an instrument set in front of the screen.
Furthermore, the fans of Pierre, Chuck, David and Sébastien will certainly be in heaven when the enter the last room of the journey, where they can view some of the artefacts donated by the band. They can discover handmade posters made by the guys back when the band was still called Reset, notebooks filled with ideas for the “Perfect” music video or letters from fans who thank the band for having helped them through tough moments. Such as Laura from France, 14 years old, who writes: “Alala Chuck! You rock the drums, I admire you!”
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Kathleen Lavoie talks first encounters of SP members and first show
Another article on La Presse talks more about Kathleen Lavoie’s involvement with the Simple Plan book (thanks Charbel for letting me know).
In the article, Kathleen (who is a jopurnalist) says that three years ago she approached the guys from Simple Plan for the first time about turning their story into a book, but at that time they thought it was too early in their career to have a biography out. Yet she persisted and last year at the soundcheck for their concert for Best Buy in Quebec, they finally told her they were willing to do it.
Kathleen is very familiar with Simple Plan ever since their first album came out in 2002. She even accompanied the musicians on the road in 2005, during a series of concerts in Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Chicoutimi and Rimouski.
Yet she still managed to discover some surprising things – for example how exactly have Pierre and Chuck become friends: apparently the friendship started when the boys were 12 years old and all because of a t-shirt of a rock band that one of them was wearing at school during PE, which was the only time it was allowed at their high school.
To complete the story, Kathleen needed to be very precise about all the information. For example it took her a while to figure out the date of the first concert of the band, when they still included only four members (David was still in Reset), but were already called Simple Plan. Turns out the first Simple Plan show (without David) was on January 22nd 2000.
“There were no printed tickets for that show. The band opened for Bald Vultures to shoot a video they would show the agents. Finding the right date took us two weeks!”
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La Presse reveals two images from the Simple Plan book
The publisher of the Simple Plan book – La Presse – posted quite an interesting article about the book and sums up the history of the band. In the article, Chuck also mentions the fight between him and Pierre that broke them off for a while in the times of Reset (way before Simple Plan has been formed).
“We are still pretty uncomfortable talking about it, because it was a big fight that lasted a year and a half or two years. We could have decided not to speak, but I would say that for me, personally, this may be an incident that taught me the most. I often think about it, because it taught me that because of your ego, excessive pride, anger and badly-chosen words, it is possible to lose precious things in our lives and destroy something fantastic.“
In a very interesting new article posted by Le Journal de Montreal that also posted this awesome picture of Simple Plan from a 2011 photoshoot that can be seen on the left (and in its original size in the gallery), Sebastien discusses the band’s current success with their latest single “Summer Paradise” and also talks more about a couple other topics.
For instance, it is mentioned in the interview that the band may release their fifth album either in late 2013 or early 2014. But let’s be more realistic, it will most probably be in late 2014. As Sebastien mentioned in the interview, the band doesn’t want to be pressured by any deadlines: “There is no deadline. We will write during all 2013. We would like to release it as soon as possible, but we need time to write it. The band also might like to take some time to rest before working on the new record. And I think we will need that, believe me!”
Another very interesting topic that has been mentioned in the article was the way Simple Plan choose where to play next. The band already knows that by the end of this year (counting new places in South America and probably also Europe), it will reach 50 countries that they have visited in their career. Yet the band is still aware of some limitations they have when it comes to countries they can visit: mostly it always depends on how their records sell in that particular country and/or how well their songs are doing on the local radios. For example Greece is mentioned in the article as a country that prefers techno over pop-rock, making it hard for a band like Simple Plan to go play a show there, because naturally the tickets would not sell. “There are places where we never sold a single record, where we just do not sell at all. There are countries that we visited for the first time and we do not know if we’ll ever come back,” admits Sebastien.
So here is a clue for all of you: if you want Simple Plan to come to your country, make sure to call the radio stations, get the records, make other people listen to it too and just spread the word. That’s how you can help the most.
SimplePlan.cz is a Simple Plan fansite that is run by Dominika. The website started as a blog in 2005 and since 2007 continues as a proper website. The current layout has been created by Dominika and coded by David.