Simple Plan drummer Chuck Comeau wants everyone to know that his band is anything but the bunch of slackers the press has painted them to be.
"When I started reading that, it really bummed me out, 'cause we're workaholics," Comeau sighed. "We took a month off after touring for almost a year, and that was our first time off in almost seven years. And since April, we've been writing songs. We've written almost every single day."
Gee, we have no idea where that whole slacker myth might've started (see "Simple Plan: The Laziest Road Warriors In The Business"), but Comeau and company are obviously working hard to disprove it, having written something in the neighborhood of 70-80 "pieces" of songs over the past six months in their Montreal hometown and San Diego. They'll continue work in Barbados next week.
Now, according to Comeau, the big challenge is going to be putting all those pieces together.
"We have all these riffs and melodies and slow and fast parts — it's like a puzzle. Now we're turning all those parts into full songs and figuring out what the record is going to sound like," he said. "This is our third record, and it's a big deal. It's the record where bands usually fall apart. It's going to define where we're going to go for the next two years, and also where the next record is going to go. It's a turning point for our band, and we want to get it right."
The process has been slow, but Simple Plan currently have 10-11 completed songs, including a stomper called "Take My Hand" (which Comeau described as "AFI meets the Killers meets Simple Plan"), "Never Should've Let You Go," which kicks off with an intro reminiscent of Third Eye Blind and a piano-driven tune tentatively called "Forever."
"We know right away if something is going to be good or not," Comeau laughed. "After you put together the choruses and the verses, you know if you've got something special. We don't want to put any throwaways on the new record. We're sort of like our own A&R guys."
The plan is for SP to continue writing new material until Christmas, then head down to Brazil for a pair of massive outdoor concerts before finally hitting the studio in late January. Comeau said the band hasn't decided who'll produce the new album, but it's leaning towards working once again with Bob Rock, who helmed the sessions for 2004's Still Not Getting Any ...). He also named a few, um, less-than-traditional choices.
"We'd love to get in the studio with someone like Will.I.Am or Wyclef Jean, a couple of guys who aren't just great beat makers, they're very talented musicians. But we haven't reached out to them," he said. "We also really want to work with a female singer, someone with a really strong voice like Kelly Clarkson and Gwen Stefani. We've met them, and they're both super nice. So put that in your article, and maybe something will happen."
You never know, dude. In the meantime, Comeau said Simple Plan will continue writing, and they hope to have their third album in stores by April or May. And though he recognizes that's still a long ways off, he hopes fans know that the band's new songs are most definitely worth the wait.
"The songs we have right now, I'm very excited about," he said. "We might never have the buzz we had after our first record, but we can become a band that's a staple and that's important. And hopefully our fans have the faith and confidence in us to know that's what we're trying to do now."