INTERVIEW: Simple Plan’s Chuck Comeau Talks Staying Relevant And Playing The Hits

This September, pop punk luminaires Simple Plan will be returning to Australia for their first run of headline shows since 2013. In that time, they’ve written, record and released their fifth studio album Taking One For The Team.

The record would debut at the pointy end of the charts in five countries – Australia included – strongly suggesting the world still needs Simple Plan. Now as they gradually make their way Down Under, Music Feeds checked-in with drummer Chuck Comeau, currently in Hawaii.

Music Feeds: So is this some well earned down time, or is this a business trip to Hawaii?

Chuck Comeau: Actually, it’s a little vacation! We’ve been travelling nonstop and we’ve had five days off. It’s my son’s 1st birthday so we’ve gone to Hawaii. It’s a pleasure to be here.

MF: Simple Plan started the year by releasing a new album, and it seems like it’s been firing on all cylinders ever since. It feels like the band is going particularly hard in 2016, is that fair to say?

The record came out this February, and it’s exciting for us to have a chance to have five albums. I think that we all realise how lucky we are, how privileged we are. We wanna go see all the fans. We wanna go play everywhere. We’ve been all over Europe, Japan, Canada, we’ve done a bunch of tours and now we’ve announced South East Asia and Australia. It’s a lot of shows but I’m just excited to be here.

WATCH: Simple Plan featuring Nelly – I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed

MF: So bands that rose in the 2001 – 2005 pop punk wave have added their bones to the pile. Many who haven’t, arguably should. But Simple Plan are still releasing albums and touring to critical acclaim. What’s been the secret?

I think we’ve always had a really special connection with our fans. Always, since day one we’ve taken a lot of pride by being close with them, and hanging out with them as much as possible. I think that makes the difference.

We know how hard it is to get there, we know how hard it is to be a band; you have to keep people interested. When we go writing a new album, you know, we don’t just go with the first songs we write, we spend a year and half making a special album. We make sure to push ourselves. I think that you need to understand this isn’t something that’s owed to you; it’s something you have to earn. We also haven’t had any line up changes; we haven’t had any one leave. We’re the same guys we were 17 years ago and I think the fans like that.

We never forgot what it’s like to be on the other side. We all grew up being fans and going to lots of shows…You see these people who wait for hours, sometimes three hours after shows to just say hey. I kind of feel like the least we can do is to be grateful and to give them our time. We don’t feel like we have to, like it’s an obligation, we just feel like we should….I think it’s cool to give back.

You’re debut album No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls (2002) is now approaching its second decade which is an amazing feat. What’s it like performing some of these songs you wrote all those years ago, is it a bit of a head trip to get into the mindset?

You know what, not really to be honest. The hardest thing for us is to pick a setlist. Now that we have five albums it’s really hard to know what to play. We try to make the fans happy but for us, we’ve always been a band that’s excited to play what the fans what to hear. We live to play the hits; we love to play the stuff people enjoy.

We play a lot of early stuff but also lots of new songs. Which is fun because a lot of the fans now are asking for more new songs. They love the last two records! So the hardest part for us is to find a balance.

MF: That would have to be the biggest compliment from your fan base ever!

It feels good man, it feels like the band’s still relevant. Our biggest sellers may be our first and second records, which is fine, I’m very proud of that, but it’s also really cool and a compliment when you have people asking to do the new songs.

MF: You’ll soon be in Australia for a run of headline shows, and you’ve chosen some pretty up-close-and-personal venues, big places but fans will be able to shout out to you sort of thing, is that where Simple Plan is most at home?

What I love about the band is we can do all sorts of different venues. We can do the big festivals, then we can come back around and play a small club and that makes it fun. I think it’s cool to offer the fans different vibes. We always love to go back to where we started and play in a smaller venue. I like the ones when you can hear the fans and see them smiling.

Taking One For The Team Tour Dates

Presented by Music Feeds

Exclusive pre-sale for Frontier Touring members runs from 12pm Monday, 18th July – 12pm Tuesday, 19th July.

Tickets on sale to the general public from 10am Wednesday, 20th July.

Saturday, 10th September

Enmore Theatre, Sydney (All Ages)

Tickets: Ticketek

Sunday, 11th September

The Triffid, Brisbane QLD (18+)

Tickets: Oztix

Tuesday, 13th September

Prince Bandroom, Melbourne VIC (18+)

Tickets: Oztix

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