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Simple Plan has...a cunning plan

This pop/punk quartet wants to be more than an MTV band
/ Source: Billboard

It used to be that rock bands lived for the present and didn’t worry about the future.

Not so for Simple Plan. The Montreal-based act made its U.S. debut just two years ago. But with the Oct. 26 release of its sophomore set for Lava Records, “Still Not Getting Any...,” the pop/punk act is thinking long term.

“If you’re just partying and drunk the whole time, you’re going to miss out on so much and you’re going to wake up and go, ‘Why the hell are we here?”’ drummer Chuck Comeau says.

“We want to take this band from where we are now to so much higher, and we’re going to work our asses off and slay every show and do every interview and just get there. This is our shot,” Comeau says.

Since its 2002 debut, “No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls,” the group has been involved in every aspect of its ascent up the charts, from selection of venues to album cover art.

The attention to detail has worked well for the quintet — which includes vocalist Pierre Bouvier, bassist David Desrosiers and guitarists Sebastien Lefebvre and Jeff Stinco.

“Just Balls” didn’t enter The Billboard 200 (at No. 183) until two months after its release, but a frenzied tour schedule overseas and the support of MTV in the United States landed the group three singles in the top 20 of the mainstream top 40 radio chart and a peak at No. 35 on The Billboard 200. The set has sold 1.8 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

“To take a band that was nothing four or five years ago — my parents knew who we were and that’s about it — and rolling it to the point where we can play in Thailand and Australia and people show up and want to see us, every decision has to matter,” Comeau says.

The group enlisted Metallica/Motley Crue producer Bob Rock, and headed home to record the 11-track set, which was written by Bouvier and Comeau while still touring for “Just Balls.”

Though the first single, “Welcome to My Life,” is following the same upward path at mainstream top 40 as previous hits “I’d Do Anything,” “Addicted” and “Perfect,” Lava senior VP of marketing Lee Trink thinks the new album will alter the perception of Simple Plan as simply an MTV band.

“The songwriting they’ve done on this record shows the band will be here for a long time,” Trink says. “We’re going to change a lot of attitudes that think they have a younger demo.”

The label will release “Still Not Getting Any...” as a DualDisc. The two-sided CD will feature the full album on one side and the full album in DVD-Audio on the other side, which also contains video footage and a photo gallery.

Limited-edition spoofsThe band shows its sense of humor with two limited-edition covers, released alongside the original album art, featuring the group in makeup as they would look as 90-year-olds.

Going along with the theme, AOL Fanscape created a mock Web site ( through which fans can sign up for the street team while playing bingo, scoping the week’s “Early Bird Specials” and checking out profiles of each group member as their 90-year-old selves.

On street date, the group will perform on MTV’s “Total Request Live” and give an in-store performance at a Virgin Megastore in New York. Appearances on Fuse, Nickelodeon, “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and “The Late Late Show” are also set.

The group recently finished a European tour with Avril Lavigne, and will begin a monthlong headlining jaunt on Oct. 30 at the Ogden Theater in Denver.

Amid the writing, recording and touring, Comeau, Bouvier and childhood friend Patrick Langlois also run their own clothing line, Role Model Clothing. The clothes are available online and at select retail stores.

“Even before our first record came out, we had the idea that instead of wearing other people’s labels and doing promotion for them, why not do it ourselves?” Comeau says.

Fans can buy the same style of clothes that the band members wear in videos and on album covers through the online store.