Simple Plan ‘Shut Up’ Naysayers, Work To Keep Longtime Fans

Canadian quintet stay dedicated, extend creativity to video-making process.

Save your sympathy. Despite the title of Simple Plan’s latest album, Still Not Getting Any …, the Canadian quintet is getting on just fine.

“Everything’s great,” singer Pierre Bouvier said emphatically. “Our record just came out a week ago, and it’s already doing great. We’re just excited to have some new material to play on the road” (see “Simple Plan Less Simple On Second Album” ).

Really, what can Simple Plan complain about? Their second album debuted on the Billboard albums chart at #3, and has sold more than 207,000 copies in its two weeks out. The first single, “Welcome to My Life,” is a top-20 hit on pop radio, and its video is a “TRL” fixture. After the short club tour they’re currently on comes to an end, Simple Plan will top the bills on a half-dozen radio-sponsored holiday shows in December.

While all this exposure is sure to expand the band’s audience, the fans who were hip to the Plan back when 2002’s No Pads, No Helmets … Just Balls was released are the ones the band is most concerned with impressing.

“We’re just stoked that people are actually requesting the songs and loving the record,” guitarist Jeff Stinco said. “Making sure people who were our fans are still our fans is what really matters to us.”

As a sign that Simple Plan have made the big time, their video, shot by director Phillip Atwell (Eminem, Xzibit), features the mark of any self-respecting superstar. A helicopter was hired to film Bouvier for the bridge scene, where he’s hundreds of feet in the air. And this was the band’s design.

“The coolest part is to be involved in the creative process and coming up with ideas,” drummer Chuck Comeau said. “We actually write all the treatments for our videos. It’s really fun to have a vision in your head, and then you go and shoot it. It’s so crazy how a little angle can make the difference between a great shot and a crappy one. It’s the closest thing to being in the movies.”

Comeau, the bandmember who most enjoys the video-making process, will soon turn his attention to crafting a treatment for “Shut Up,” the tune pegged as the album’s second single. A video shoot is scheduled for December, while the song won’t show up at radio until January.

“Shut Up” also bodes well as a mantra for Simple Plan, who credit hard work, an unrelenting schedule and boatloads of dedication for their current position as rock’s newest royalty.

“That song is about not listening to people telling you negative stuff about what you want to do with your own life,” Bouvier said. “When you have a dream, you want to follow it. A lot of people will try to bring you down and intimidate you. But you have to shut them out.”

“Keep doing what you do, and don’t give up” Comeau added.

In the new year, Simple Plan are planning to embark on a full-fledged North American headlining tour, complete with opening acts who haven’t yet been decided. By then, perhaps, their egos can better manage their recent rush of success.

“We don’t know [who will open],” Comeau said. “It’s got to be a great band, maybe two great bands. We’re thinking Jay-Z could open. Maybe Michael Jackson or Madonna, if they’re free,” he joked.