When your debut album takes eight months to make a dent in the Billboard 200 albums chart, things aren't going exactly according to plan ... no matter how simple it may be.
It's not like Simple Plan have been idling while they let their record company do all the grunt work of promotion. These guys have been on the road so long, they see more toll booth collectors than they see members of their own families.
"We've been working hard trying to get ourselves out there and basically been touring since the day the record came out," said frontman Pierre Bouvier. "We only had five days off for Christmas, and we've had about a total of two weeks off the whole year."
The uncomplicated plan of spreading the good word through relentless touring has finally come together for the Montreal pop-punk quartet. Following an early December inroad into the Billboard chart at #183, No Pads, No Helmets ... Just Balls has been steadily increasing its weekly take, from 10,000 copies a week to more than 30,000 copies before the year was through. On the latest chart, the album rose to #59, and no one is more grateful to see the fruits of their labor ripen than Bouvier.
"It's fun now to see that it's actually been working out," the singer said. "People are starting to know us. We go places now and people know us even more. We worked for it, so it feels really good."
Much of the band's success can be attributed to "I'd Do Anything," the second single from the album, and its video. Just because that song is doing well, though, it doesn't mean the band is without a simple plan B (or C, as it were) — in the form of the next single, "Addicted." (Click for photos from the video.)
"It's about being in love with a girl who isn't in love with you," Bouvier said. "It's happened to a lot of guys out there. It's happened to us, so we wrote a song about it."
A mostly performance-based video for the song was shot in November with directors Smith n' Borin, who also shot the clip for "I'd Do Anything," and like most things band-related, the Simple Plan members had a hand it its creation.
"We do [almost] everything," Bouvier said, "from our record cover, to our songs, to our lyrics, to all the videos that we made."
The "Addicted" clip is expected to surface next month, according to a Lava Records spokesperson
As Simple Plan continue to ride high on their debut, they're not above thinking ahead. Some tour dates are expected to be announced shortly, and the band hopes to hit the studio before returning to the Warped Tour stage. Unlike last year, this time they're along for the whole ride (see "Used, Simple Plan, Rancid, Distillers On Warped Tour '03").
"We'll be there all summer. Last year we did two weeks — two and a half — on it, and this year we'll do the whole thing. Really rad. It's a good tour to be on, it's like so many bands that we love. It's cool."