interview with Janick Thibault (Amasic)

Janick Thibault is a 19-year-old singer from Canada, who started making music on his own, even released a number of solo covers of popular pop-punk songs – including many by Simple Plan (check out: TSSML) – which have all been received very well by the public. Later on, Janick formed a band – Amasic – which currently consists of four members: Janick (vocals), Matt (bass), Jessy (lead guitar) and Mehdi (drums).

The band has been getting more and more popular in the province of Quebec, as well as internationally (thanks to YouTube and other online platforms). Janick’s covers of Simple Plan songs caught the eye of the band itself and since then Amasic had the chance to not only perform as their opening band at the Accélération de camion festival in August 2013, but eventually also to co-write with Pierre and Chuck from Simple Plan later that year.

Amasic will be releasing their first EP (produced by Luc Tellier, who has previously also worked with Simple Plan) – “The Things We Say” – on March 18th, but you can already listen to it in its entirety here – and check out the song “If I Had One Dollar”, which was co-written by Pierre and Chuck.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to ask Janick (who turns out is a fan of himself – thanks!) a few questions about this interesting collaboration with Simple Plan – and you can read the full interview with him below:

How exactly did the collaboration between Amasic and Simple Plan come about?

Janick: It’s a long story, but I’ll try to make it short. It first started when I posted a cover of ‘This Song Saved My Life’ on YouTube. I told everyone to tweet the guys on twitter and Chuck saw the video and retweeted it, started following me and sent me a personal message saying that he really liked my cover and asking about my music ect. We met for the 1st time in 2012 after a show at the Bell Center in Montreal and we started talking about my future plans and other stuff. Since that day, we’ve been in touch and started talking more and more which led to this songwriting session with him and Pierre last year as well as opening a show for them. It’s pretty amazing.

Could you tell us what a co-writing session with Simple Plan looks like? Did you bring any of your own ideas to the session or did the ideas just arrive as you went along during the co-writing process with the guys? How much of an input did they have?

Janick: It was awesome, but stressful at the same time. I mean, they’re professionals and they’re really good at what they do. It was just me, Matt (bass), Pierre and Chuck and to be honest, me and Matt were so excited and stressed that almost no ideas came out of heads. To me it really felt that they know a lot more about songwriting than we do and I didn’t want to bring any crappy ideas and look like a bad musician. But it was fun and we learned A LOT from that session, we’re so thankful to them.

How many songs in total did you manage to co-write with the guys? Did they all end up on the upcoming EP “The Things We Say” or are there still some left-over Pierre/Chuck co-written songs that you have kept for some possible future projects?

Janick: We co-wrote ‘History’ with them but it’s not on the EP. The one that’s on the EP is ‘If I Had One Dollar’ which is one of the songs that we enjoy the most playing live because of the reaction of the crowd.

Have the guys from Simple Plan been your first “co-writing experience”? If not, what’s the biggest difference between co-writing with them and somebody else?

Janick: The weird and amazing thing about writing a song with Simple Plan is that everything goes so fast and it’s kinda hard to know what’s happening. Usually when we write a song with someone else, we start with the music and then we go to the lyrics but with them it’s different, they just do everything at the same time and throw a bunch of ideas really fast. And it’s always good. It’s awesome.

There is a picture of you and Pierre from the co-writing session. Has the session been documented in any other way – a video/vlog perhaps?

Janick: That picture was actually took by Matt and I didn’t even know he had that pic. It was the 1st time we were doing this and we didn’t really know if it was supposed to be a secret or if it would’ve bothered them if we took pictures…but Matt is such a paparazzi.

Do you think that Simple Plan have affected the way you make music, write lyrics or how you act on stage?

Janick: Absolutely. I’ve been a fan since I was 10 and they’ve always been a huge inspiration to me. Their music is awesome and their lyrics mean a lot. They are the band that made me realize that lyrics are important and since then, I do my best to try to write the best lyrics as I can. And their shows are just amazing, they’re a really good band live.

You have released quite a few videos covering Simple Plan songs in the past, all of which have gained hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Did you ever have the guys from SP comment on your renditions of their songs when you met?

Janick: I think they really enjoyed my cover of ‘Summer Paradise’, I don’t know why but I think they like it. Also, not a long time after I posted my cover of TSSML, they started including this sort diaporama with people holding signs while they were playing the song live, I always thought it was because of my cover haha… but I’ve never asked.

And finally, do you have any interesting stories of meeting Simple Plan (e.g. from the co-writing session, opening for them, Matt performing with them on stage etc.)?

Janick: When we opened for them last year we had the same sort of backstage place, which was a church (weird I know). It felt so special to share the same rooms, food (it was so good), drinks and everything else with the band, it was a privilege for us. We didn’t want to eat all their food though. Jeff is also an amazing classical guitar player.

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