After Simple Plan finish their 2004 headlining tour, the French Canadian pop punkers will hit the studio to work on their second record. And they won't be starting from scratch.
They've already written the skeletons for 10 to 15 new songs, not including the new track "Crash and Burn," which was on a bonus three-song audio CD included with their recent "A Big Package for You: 1999-2003" DVD. The song, which balances an insistent punk beat and buzzing guitars with harmonized vocals, is about the difficulties of returning home after being on the road.
"Being away from our families and friends can be hard," admitted singer Pierre Bouvier. "But when you're touring you meet people every day and you get to see all kinds of behaviors. And that's pretty cool."
The intensity of "Crash and Burn" offers a glimpse of where Simple Plan want to take their music. Unlike many pop-punk bands, which start out heavy and become more commercial as they progress, the Plan plan to toughen up a bit for the next album, due in the summer.
"It's not going to be a different world, I just think that the songs that we wrote for the last record had been written three or four years ago, and we've changed a little bit," Bouvier said. "So some of the new songs are going to be a little more powerful, but I want to keep the same variety we had last time with a good balance of slow and fast songs so it's not too monotonous."
Bouvier still really likes the band's 2002 debut, No Pads, No Helmets ... Just Balls, but he doesn't want to paint the same picture twice. In addition, he wants to use what he learned recording that album to make Simple Plan's next offering more mature.
"I think the record was a good way of finding ourselves and getting to know what we like to do," he said. "Maybe some of it is a little too polished, but I don't see that as a mistake. I think if we made the record really, really heavy, we'd probably feel the opposite way. We just always want to try different stuff."
Simple Plan will road test some of their new tunes when they launch their tour with MXPX, Motion City Soundtrack and Sugarcult on January 26 in Kansas City, Missouri. Dates are scheduled through February 28 in Seattle.