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If I remember correctly, probably the last time we got any of the band members blogging about something, that was way back when MySpace was the biggest thing around. Fastforward to 2012, after only microblogging through Twitter for the past few years, Chuck has teamed up with Le Huffington Post and just released his first blog entry there about his band’s recent tour in Asia.
For my first blog on Huff Post Quebec, I thought I would bring you with us on our journey through Asia and give you a glimpse of the life on tour. So what’s ahead are three intensive weeks of shows, airports, life behind the scenes and memorable moments.
January 4th, 2012
After a brief break for the holidays, we are already back on the plane and en route to Beijing. The flight to China will last about 15 hours. So I stocked up a ton of magazines, loaded my laptop, and All Aboard! The whole group travels together and, until the last second, everybody sends text messages and emails before the aircraft takes off. We became the masters of hiding and using our cell phones without the knowledge of the flight attendants … We have more than 15 performances for our fans in Asia and we are stoked!
We arrive in Beijing and I tell you: The terminal of Beijing Capital airport is so huge it looks like we could bring ten football fields in! Upon inspection, it is the second largest terminal in the world. That’s pretty impressive! Almost as impressive as the airline, which has managed to “misplace” the 15 suitcases of the band and of the technical team. Well … we are used to that they will be found tomorrow … just a few minutes before the show.
On arrival we are greeted by very “pimp” sedans with a Simple Plan logo as a bonus. The cars drive us straight to a press conference where we announce the launch of Jet Lag in Mandarin, a new Chinese version of the first extract of our new album Get Your Heart On! A light snow falls on the Chinese capital and, at 2 am, I sink into a deep sleep.
The shows in Beijing and Shanghai are perfect and we leave “Mainland China” to Taiwan! No time to visit and play a tourist today, we must go directly from the airport to the venue for a soundcheck and prepare for the concert. Over 2000 fans are lining up outside with lots of enthusiasm and help us to overcome the painful effects of the jet lag that is felt so powerfully that evening. The crowd goes wild and we really enjoy playing for them. After the concert, the fans await us in the back of a parking lot and we take the time to sign autographs for them before returning to the hotel. Feeling a little more energy, I decided to take a short evening walk, to have at least seen some of Taipei. The last time we were there, I climbed to the top of Taipei 101, one of the tallest towers in the world. This time, it is the memory of hundreds of small mopeds wandering the streets of the hotel that I will keep as a souvenir … A real tidal wave of two wheels crisscrossing the city.
January 9th, 2012
Next morning, we go to the lobby at 9:30am for another trip to the airport. This time, towards Hong Kong, one of my favorite destinations in Asia. We arrive late afternoon and have a free evening to visit the city. From the window of the Grand Hyatt, the harbor view is breathtaking.
We have dinner together with our “crew” and the local promoter. Then, I want to see the skyline of HK – absolutely amazing. The absurd number of buildings, all built on top of each other, perfectly straight, is breathtaking. No camera can really do justice to this show of force and even urban eyes do not seem to be able to get the big show. For an amateur like me architecture is a true delight. The next day I’ll get a closer look at the HSBC Tower “IFC Tower,” which is known around as the “Batman” since its spectacular role in the film The Dark Knight, and the beautiful bridges and hundreds of giant cranes around the small peninsula. Jeff, Pierre and David for their benefit are seeing “Sam the Tailor” and are getting a custom tux, Hong Kong being one of the best places in the world for such a purchase. Through all these adventures, we find the time to do a show and the Hong Kong fans show us again how Asia is a place so special and amazing for our band.
January 12th, 2012
We land in the Philippines and the contrast with Hong Kong is quite radical. This is a completely different world. Here, economic inequality and poverty are hitting and we can see that several Filippinos live in extremely difficult conditions. Despite that people are very friendly here and smile a lot. It’s amazing how everyone seems to be happy to meet us. We sign autographs for customs, flight attendants, hotel staff, taxi drivers … I honestly am not sure if they know all our music, but it does not matter, we feel quite welcomed! The show takes place tonight at the Araneta Coliseum, the arena where the legendary “Thrilla in Manila” fight between Ali Muhamed and Joe Frasier took place. We are sold out tonight and it’s 5000 Filipinos who are there to have fun with us. During “Perfect”, the last song of the show, I take pictures to keep a memory of this extraordinary crowd.
January 14th, 2012
We are now in Kuala Lumpur and a few hours before the show, the promoter suggests that we have dinner at a restaurant that claims to offer “the best view of the world.” Let’s say we’re all a little skeptical, but still we decide to give the rider a chance … What a good choice it was! The place is surely one of the most “hip” in the city, with a pool in the middle of the dining room (really cool), but especially for a RIDICULOUS view on one of the most beautiful buildings in the world – the Petronas Towers! We spend the entire dinner taking dozens and dozens of photos before finally playing for our fans in Malaysia. An unforgettable evening.
January 15th, 2012
Today we are in Singapore, a micro country of a breathtaking beauty. Everything is green, manicured and so clean you’d think the whole city is a private golf club or a Ritz Carlton resort. Speaking of the Ritz, this is where we landed today and everyone has a big smile during our arrival at the hotel. The temperature is approaching 32 degrees and it is very wet, but even if the show is out tonight, nobody dares to complain about the heat. After the show we went to an after-party at the new Marina Bay Sands, built at an astronomical cost of $ 6 billion, the second most expensive casino in the world. We take drinks on the roof, next to the longest “infinity pool” that is, watching the city from above. It’s amazing and it’s worth clicking the link to see the photos.
January 17th, 2012
Today we are in Jakarta, Indonesia, and tomorrow is a show in Surabaya. The morning of the show in Jakarta, Jeff and I get up very early for touring musicians (7am!!) To participate in a TV show on the largest network in the country. It was one of the craziest media experiences I’ve ever had! A real freak show impossible to describe where I am asked to be married to Dany Turcotte from the Philippines (I said yes!) and where Jeff attempts to play the guitar that has not been paid for at least 10 years. Enough rock and roll as an alarm clock! But this is not the end of the world … we saw quite a few others. We take our forces just before the show at the tennis stadium in the capital. Indonesia is one of the best places for the band in Asia and the show is crazy! There are 7000 fans singing, shouting and jumping along with us … A perfect way to end our tour of the Southeast Asia! Tomorrow we leave for Japan for 11 days. I’ll keep my impressions of this absolutely incredible country for the next blog.
It looks like before we even get our hands on the 4th Simple Plan studio album, we might have some new tunes from Sebastien Lefebvre’s solo project. Sebastien said so in the lasted post on his official website, in which he talks about his new demos that he has already recorded:
New music… Maybe… Soon???
As you all know, i’ve been writing. My first EP came out in October of ‘09 and just a few months ago I released a few song with my friend @KatieRoxMusic. I feel like it’s time for some new Seb stuff before the SP machine starts going 2875246524 Km/h. If you agree, message me!
Sebastien posted a new blog on his official website, in which he talks about how he’s currently getting ready for playing all the new Simple Plan songs live. Make sure to check out this quite interesting blog right here:
Pierre once said that there’s nothing to talk about really when everyday seems the same. Well, let me tell you what that is, for me at least.
We were writing and then recording for such a while, that i’ve never really played the new songs all the way through that many times. So, these days, i’ve been listening to the songs a lot, and trying to figure out how i’m gonna play my parts live. So basically, i turn on the stereo real loud, and jam in front of it with my guitar. It’s actually kind of funny to watch, but i do enjoy this.
I want to get to a point where they all become automatic, like every single other SP song because we’ve played them so many times.
We’ll get all together very soon, actually as soon as everyone has done the same thing. Chuck is also rehearsing real hard. He recorded drums first, so it’s been even longer for him without playing the songs.
That is all! Hope you are as excited as i am to see us out there!
Sebastien has decided that 140 character is not enough for him to express himself, so he decided it would be worth a try to start blogging again – this time around on his official website SebastienLefebvre.ca. Here is his today’s post, in which he wishes you all all the best in the upcoming year :)
The passing of this year into next
Well, here we are again. The time of year when we decide what’s gonna happen next year. Next year, i’ll be more this way, and try to think about bla bla bla… I want to think about all the awesome things that happened this year instead.
Wrote songs, recorded them, released them, have some fun on the radio, planned the next SP record, done with that… To name a few.
2010 was the best year i’ve had in a really long time. And even if i don’t know all of you, i’m glad you guys were there to share it with me. And i’m glad that, through the magic of the internet, i got a change to share some of the thing you guys did this year.
Still, i hope all yall had a great year, and i hope that next year will be even better!
Few months ago, Sebastien’s and Patrick’s radio show – Man Of The Hour has moved from Idobi Radio, where it had spent many years, to Virgin Radio Montreal. Ever since the show has started there, lots has changed – the show wasn’t like it used to be – it aired only once a week (with no re-runs) – and most importantly, there were no podcasts of the aired episodes available on iTunes (apparently because of unsuccessful negotiations with managements of those artists, who’s songs were played in the episodes, so that they would be available in a free-downloadable podcast).
Today, Sebastien announced via his MySpace that Man Of The Hour Hour is leaving Virgin Radio Montreal:
Sorry to say that Pat and I have left Virgin Radio in Montreal.
We’ll keep you posted on the future of the show very soon kids! In the mean time, how about you let them know if you enjoyed the show while it was on. I’m sure they’d like to hear it.
Even though MySpace is not the most used social network anymore, for band members it’s still useful, when they need to express themselves in more than 140 characters (the limit for one message on Twitter). Sebastien decided to write something longer today, so he went to the good old MySpace, where he left us a new blog. Check it out:
A few days away
I had a longer rant to write… Sometimes 140 characters is just not enough.
We are just a few days away from bed tracks tracking. Chuck got done with his drums and we will start the rest next Monday, after the show in Levis QC. I’m not gonna lie to you, we’ve been writing for a little while now and we felt like the studio was gonna be next month, 6 months ago. But it’s here, we’ve started, and Jeff, David, Pierre and I are up next. Chuck killed it in Vancouver. That where the producer is from and he really wanted to do drums at his studio.
Anyhoo, i can tell you that now that we will all be together, there will be a lot more Vlog filmed by Seb and edited by Pierre. I have this nifty little camera… Not DVD quality, but pretty awesome. Remember that China Vlog? Yeah!
So, take care and keep on checking Twitter for fun facts.
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.