Formation and early years (1993–2002) Pierre Bouvier takes to the air in Shawinigan-Sud, Quebec, 20 June 2009.
Simple Plan began in 1993 with the formation of a band named Reset by friends Pierre Bouvier, Charles-André "Chuck" Comeau, Philippe Jolicoeur, and Adrian White. Reset toured around Canada with bands such as MXPX, Ten Foot Pole, and Face to Face, but only managed to gain modest popularity. The debut album, No Worries, was released in 1997, and Comeau left soon after to go to college. Two years later he met with high school friends Jean-François "Jeff" Stinco and Sébastien Lefebvre who were in separate bands of their own, and combined to create Simple Plan. In late 1999, Comeau and Bouvier reacquainted at a Sugar Ray concert and Bouvier left Reset soon after to join Comeau. David Desrosiers replaced Bouvier in Reset, but he too left the band six months later to join Simple Plan. This allowed Bouvier, who had doubled as the band's front man and bassist, to concentrate on the singing. The origin of the band's name is obscure. Band members have given various comical responses on this point, including that the band was their simple plan to avoid obtaining a job at McDonald's, or similar fast food restaurant chains. However, most likely, the name is derived from the 1998 film and novel A Simple Plan. No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls (2002–2004)In 2002, Simple Plan released their first studio album, No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls which led to the subsequent singles: "I'm Just a Kid", "I'd Do Anything", "Addicted", and "Perfect". Simple Plan is noted as saying that they were aiming at a pure pop-punk record. The name of the CD echoes the popular tag line for the sport of rugby, "No pads, no helmets, just balls." The record was originally released in the United States with twelve tracks, ending with "Perfect". Enhanced and foreign editions came in several different versions with up to two additional tracks in addition to the original twelve. For example, the U.S. release contained the extra songs "Grow Up", and "My Christmas List", while the UK release contained the extra songs "One By One" and "American Jesus" (a live version of a cover of a Bad Religion song), as well as the two music videos, "I'd Do Anything" that took place at a concert scenario and "I'm Just a Kid" that took place in a school setting. The record also contained vocals from singers from two other pop-punk bands as "I'd Do Anything" included vocals by Mark Hoppus from Blink-182, and "You Don't Mean Anything" included vocals by Joel Madden from Good Charlotte. In support of the album in 2002, the year it was released, Simple Plan played more than 300 shows, topped the Alternative New Artist Chart, and played a sold out tour in Japan. In 2003, the band played as a headliner on the Vans Warped Tour — an appearance memorialized in the comedy slasher film, Punk Rock Holocaust, in which four of the five band members are killed. They would also play short stints on the Warped Tour in 2004 and 2005. Also in 2003, they opened for Avril Lavigne on her "Try To Shut Me Up" Tour. In addition to several headlining tours, they have also opened for Green Day and Good Charlotte. The album had sold one million copies in early 2003 then went on to sell over four million copies worldwide, making it the band's best selling album to date. Still Not Getting Any... (2004–2006)In 2004, Simple Plan released their second album, Still Not Getting Any... which was produced by Bob Rock and led to the subsequent singles, "Welcome to My Life", "Shut Up!", "Untitled (How Could This Happen to Me?)", "Crazy", and (in some markets) "Perfect World". As mentioned before, when writing "No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls", the members of Simple Plan were aiming at a pure pop-punk record. This time however, when writing "Still Not Getting Any...", the members of Simple Plan were noted as saying that they were not limiting themselves to the punk genre, but rather letting themselves write "good music". According to the bonus DVD of Still Not Getting Any..., while making the CD the members of Simple Plan thought of many names including "Get Rich or Die Trying" and "In The Zone". They decided on the name Still Not Getting Any... for a list of explained reasons. The most popular and most likely reason is that the members of Simple Plan thought that they weren't getting any good reviews, Bouvier once noting that they only had one recent good review in Alternative Press. Another reason may be because they were still not getting any respect. There are many more variations the band members have given. Comeau once described the name of the album as "versatile". "Still Not Getting Any..." was a musical departure from their previous album. They still kept their style of downbeat lyrics matched to upbeat music, but managed to transcend from the standard pop-punk genre. Although many of the tracks on this CD still carry the feeling of teen angst that is probably most noticeable in the song "I'm Just a Kid" from the first album No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls, the general slant of this album tends toward slightly deeper and more mature lyrical themes, as well as a more mainstream sound that edges away from the pure pop-punk style of their last album. Some critics have pointed towards the inclusion of 'classic' or 'mainstream' rock elements, claiming the album 'de-emphasizes punk-pop hyperactivity in favor of straightforward, well-crafted modern rock'. Simple Plan (2006–2009) The band in concert in Trenton NJ, December 2007
After nearly a year and a half in support of Still Not Getting Any..., the band ended most touring in February 2006, playing only a few shows, taking some time off, and beginning work on their third studio album. As announced in Bouvier's official MySpace blog, Bouvier headed to Miami as on about 21 March 2007 to work with an unnamed producer, who later proved to be Dave Fortman. The band entered the studio for pre-production in Los Angeles on 29 June. On 15 July they returned to Montreal, to record at Studio Piccolo, the same studio at which they had recorded Still Not Getting Any.... They finished recording and headed back to Miami and LA to mix the album. The final part of making their record was done in New York and it was officially completed on 21 October, though they later re-entered the studio to re-record some of the lyrics to the song "Generation." "When I'm Gone", the first single from Simple Plan was released on 29 October when the band held a fan webcast. Simple Plan was produced by Dave Fortman (Evanescence, Mudvayne), Danjahandz (Timbaland, Justin Timberlake) and Max Martin known for his work with Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson. On 17 February 2008, Simple Plan achieved their highest charting single in the UK. After the first two albums just missed the UK top 40, "When I'm Gone" gave the band their best chart position in the UK, coming in at number 26. On 29 November 2007, the band announced that the CD release would be postponed from the originally-scheduled 29 January 2008 date to what proved to be the actual release date of 12 February 2008. The Japanese version, with two bonus tracks, was released on 6 February 2008. Simple Plan held an extensive tour schedule in support of their album. After completing an around-the-world promotional tour, Simple Plan played several December 2007 holiday shows. After continued promotional tours in January, Simple Plan played a triple bill in Camden Town, London on 27 January 2008, with the first show featuring songs from the band's first CD, the second from the second, and the third from the new release. The band played four U.S. shows in late February, and completed a European tour running until late April. The band played four Japan dates, followed by several European festivals and headlining dates. On 1 July 2008, the band gave a free concert on Quebec City's Plains of Abraham, attracting a crowd of 150,000 to the Canada Day show. After a return to the Far East in late July and early August, the band played a Cross Canada Tour with Faber Drive, Cute is What We Aim For and Metro Station. After dates in Germany, Mexico, and Australia, the band played its second full European tour of the year from 28 October to 29 November, playing Estonia and Poland for the first time. The band also played Tel Aviv and Dubai in early December—shows at which the band played as a four-piece, with Desrosiers absent due to a family emergency and Lefebvre on bass. The band played an eight-show South American tour in March, and are playing various festivals and individual shows in cities ranging from Calgary to Moscow. Get Your Heart On! (2009–present)The band's fourth album Get Your Heart On! was released on 21 June 2011. Fans who pre-ordered the album were given access to several other songs from the album prior to the actual release date. Three tracks were released for those who pre-ordered, including "You Suck at Love", "Loser of the Year" and "Freaking Me Out" (feat. Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low). The album marks Simple Plan's second time since their debut No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls—which featured Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte—to feature collaborations with other artists, including Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, Marie-Mai, Natasha Bedingfield, K'naan and Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low. On 30 March, the band launched a new official website to hold over until the "actual new website" was launched, with a new video talking about the first listen of their new song "Can't Keep My Hands Off You" (feat. Rivers Cuomo) which is available to stream on their website and to purchase on iTunes. On 20 April the band announced that "Jet Lag" would be the album's lead single. The song was released in English and French versions featuring singers Natasha Bedingfield and Marie-Mai respectively. To promote the song, a service called "JetLag Airlines" was set up on the website, releasing news, lyrics, tracklists and videos regarding the album. "Jet Lag" premiered on 25 April. On 6 May the band released the song "You Suck at Love" for free download for those who pre-ordered the album. The video for "Jet Lag", featuring Natasha Bedingfield, was released on 4 May, and the video featuring Marie-Mai was released on 16 May. Prior to the release of the album, the band started playing the song "You Suck at Love" live during the Bamboozle Roadshow Tour in June 2010, and on 11 February 2011 the band released a snippet preview of the studio version of the song on their website and YouTube channel. The song was speculated to be the first single of the album. The band was on the roster of Warped Tour 2011 for selected dates in June and July 2011. Simple Plan are headlining a U.S. tour in Fall 2011 and a February 2012 Canadian tour to promote their album, with supporting acts The Cab, Marianas Trench and Forever The Sickest Kids in the U.S. and All Time Low, Marianas Trench and These Kids Wear Crowns in Canada. During September/October 2011, Simple Plan performed 4 shows in Australia, on their "Get Your Heart On" tour, with supporting bands "Tonight Alive" and "New Empire". During the Australian tour, Jenna McDougall from Tonight Alive featured in Jet Lag. We The Kings will be supporting Simple Plan in Europe on their tour in spring 2012. Musical styleSimple Plan's style of music has been described as pop punk by the Calgary Herald,The Torontoist, Channel News Asia,Allmusic,NME,MTV,The Guardian, the BBC, RocklouderAbout.com,Entertainment Weekly and VH1;punk rockrevivalist by The New York Times, "Dude Rock" by Digital Spy; with Rolling Stone reviews describing No Helmets No Pads... Just Balls as "new-punk". Atlantic Records marketing material has described the band's style as having "classic punk energy and modern pop sonics". Simple Plan FoundationThe members of Simple Plan have helped nonprofit and advocacy groups by donating to many established organizations such as the MTV Asia Aid benefit, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), RADD (Recording Artists, Actors, and Athletes against Drunk Driving), and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. However, after being frustrated because the members did not know exactly where their money was going to, the Simple Plan members created the Simple Plan Foundation, a foundation that focuses on teen problems ranging from suicide to poverty to drug addiction. As of 9 December 2005, the Simple Plan Foundation had raised more than $100,000. The list of donors included venues on their November–December 2005 Canadian tour. In June 2008, Bouvier announced plans for the foundation to distribute $100,000 to organizations that aid children or families experiencing difficulties due to handicaps or illness. Selected organizations included Children's Wish Foundation, Kids Help Phone, and War Child Canada, as well as College Beaubois (the high school alma mater of all band members except Desrosiers). In addition, the members held a benefit for the Foundation in August. While the band's January show in Montreal had been to benefit the Foundation, this was described as the first fundraising event. It consisted of brunch and an acoustic performance. An additional fundraising event was held on September 2009 in Montreal. In October 2008, the band announced a special release, on iTunes, of the single "Save You", to benefit the Foundation, with a special composite video featuring cancer survivors. The song was inspired by the struggle with cancer of Bouvier's brother Jay. On 15 March 2011, as a result of Japan's 9.0 Richter scale earthquake, the Simple Plan Foundation stated it would be donating $10,000 to the Japan Red Cross Relief Efforts, and that fans could help donate by purchasing a "Simple Plan Help Japan" t-shirt for $20, making clear that all proceeds from sales of the t-shirts are going toward the fund. Band membersJeff Stinco – lead guitar (since 1999)Pierre Bouvier – lead vocals (since 1999), bass (1999–2000)Sébastien Lefebvre – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (since 1999)David Desrosiers – bass, backing vocals (since 2000)Chuck Comeau – drums, percussion (since 1999)