Interview: Simple Plan

Simple Plan
Recently we had the chance to have, a really short but concise, e-mail conversation with  Jeff Stinco, the lead guitarist from Montreal based punk-pop quintet [tag]Simple Plan[/tag]. We pondered Jeff with a few questions, about the band’s new album, sound, new video and their upcoming 2008 tour and he was gracious enough to give some interesting answers.

ZME Music: So you guys have finished recordings for you third, still untitled (update: it’s a self-titled), album. On your debut you  said you wanted to make a pure pop-punk rock album, on your sophomore release you said you just wanted to make “good music,” what about this third one? What were your intentions with it ?

Jeff: With this third record, we felt that to keep things exciting and challenging we needed to change things up a bit. It took us some time to figure out what exactly to do to make this evolution happen but with a lot of experimentation we found something we all felt very good about. When we started mixing up different genres of music with what we were doing before, a lot of doors started opening. The quality of the songs also got better the more we were doing it and that was also something that we were hoping to achieve on this record.

ZME Music: Your first single from this upcoming release, titled “When I’m Gone,” just premired a few weeks ago. I’ll have to admit I like it a lot, but it’s really diferrent from anything you guys have put out before, it’s like more techno then punk. Is that how the rest of record sounds like ?

Jeff: I wouldn’t call our sound on “when I’m gone” techno but it does have some electronic elements to it that enhances our sound. The big anthemic chorus, very melodic verses and the big guitars are still there but there’s also a loop in the song that modernizes our sound. As a band, I don’t think you can stay at the same place you were at with the last record, it’s just not fun and challenging enough. The rest of the record has some very daring songs that will challenge some listeners but there’s also songs that are in the vain of what we were doing before just better. The record is very diverse and very dense. I think it’s a strong record that’s worth taking the time to listen to.

ZME Music: Last week you flew to LA to shoot the music video for “When I’m Gone,” that features a cameo from Perez Hilton. Care to share how Perez fits in the video? What about the overall video, can you describe it a bit ?

Jeff: The video is not a literal transcript of what the song is about. It’s more of a different take on the title alone. It’s about this girl who broke up with Pierre, our singer, and who sees him everywhere she goes. She’s totally obsessed by him even after the breakup. The video also features a performance section from the band that is very slick and futuristic. The obsessed girl of the video sees Perez Hilton in a cafe and confuses him for Pierre and gets angry at him for playing with her head. Perez reacts…that’s his part in the vid.

ZME Music: Your last tour was aproximatively 1 year ago, now in the forthcoming month of December, you guys are set to embark on a short promotion tour. Are you nervous about being on the road again? Also can you give as a little hint on where Simple Plan is gonna tour ? (Canada, USA, Europe etc)

Jeff: I had butterflies in my belly for the first time in a long time before going on stage when we started playing shows again. It felt great to feel that nervosity. I loved the sensation. I was nervous to see people’s reaction to the new song. I was also nervous because I wanted to be good and I hadn’t been on stage for a while. It went really well and my fears were unjustified but at least it felt really new again and that is pretty amazing.
In 2008, we will start touring again starting with Europe and then we’ll go to Asia and America. We’re gonna be all around the world working real hard to get the music to our fans. We’ll see you at a show soon!

ZME Music: Well that’s about a wrap. Thanks a lot of taking the time to answer our short quetions. All the best with your new album and tour !  
Simple Plan Cover
The cover art for Simple Plan’s self titled third album, out February 12, 2008 via Atlantic Records.

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