Simple Plan at the Warped Tour – Interview/Live Review

Simple Plan was one of the bigger bands on The Warped Tour this year…at least that we were familiar with. They took the stage at 5:45 and brought the house down. I’m not going to lie, at just over 30 years of age, I felt a little out of place at the entire show…lots of young people. At one point during Simple Plans set front man Pierre Bouvier asked anybody in the crowd to raise their hands if this was their first Simple Plan show and at least half of the crowd hand their hands up (myself included).

At Warped Tour the sets are really short, especially for a band the caliber of Simple Plan, but they made the most of their time with a high energy, tight set that in many ways stole the show for many fans. They played new songs as well as some of their older hits, it was a great mix for a band with a catalogue like Simple Plan.



With such reasonable ticket prices, if you just wanted to catch one band, it’d be worth it to watch them play, head over to their merch tent, meet the band and then go home and not catch any other bands. This was definitely happening through out the day, but outside of the very end of the day, the most people I saw leave at one time was after Simple Plans set…Simple Plan was one of the main reasons to check out this years Warped Tour. Check out our sit down with front man Pierre Bouvier.

Zoiks! How did you get involved with The Warped Tour?

Pierre Bouvier: We’ve been playing The Warped Tour, well the first time I played it was with my other band in 1995 I think, so I’ve been involved in the Warped Tour for sixteen years, so it’s been pretty amazing. We played with Simple Plan about six times and it’s been a great place to connect with our fans. It’s very laid back, we get to play a short set, meet with our fans, do signings. I think if you come to Warped Tour you can almost expect to meet the band you want to meet.”

Z!: How do you prepare for the Warped Tour show compared to a Simple Plan headlining show?

PB: You prepare for like dirty hot, lots of sunscreen…we brought dirt bikes this time around. Its kind of fun…like you’re going to summer camp. You’ve got to dress lightly. Everyone here is wearing tank tops and shorts and it’s very laid back. Yeah prepare to get dirty, hot and sweaty.

Z!: How has Simple Plan’s music evolved and grown since you guys first started?

PB: I think we’ve always kept our sound true to what we’ve started with, but I think we’ve evolved just naturally over the years and each record has a little more different sound to it. If anything I think our last album (“Simple Plan”) was the one that we really stretched out and really kind of did stuff that was out of the ordinary for us. We ventured out with different producers, sounds and instruments we hadn’t used before. This one (“Get Your Heart On!”) we wanted to take it back to the roots, real fast, energetic, upbeat music, kind of throw back to our first few records, but being that this is our fourth record, I think there is stuff that we did on this album that we couldn’t have written, 8 to 10 years ago. Songwriting, I think we just got better at it. I think it’s an evolution, but a throw back at the same time.

Z!: Are any of the songs off the new album making the set list?

PB: Yeah, we’re playing two new songs. We’re playing “You Suck at Love” which we started playing last year. It’s the first song on the record, it gives a good tone as to what’s on the record and a song called “Can’t Keep Our Hands Off You” which we did a video for recently. It features Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, obviously he’s not here on tour with us…we sing his part (laughs). Yeah, two songs.

Z!: How are they translating live?

PB: Great, the record just come out two weeks ago, but a lot of our fans have been loyal and got the record and already know the songs. It’s been great, of course people always want to hear the old classics and we won’t disappoint in that area.




Z!: Being veterans of The Warped Tour, how do you keep things fresh and different each time?

PB: I think it just stays fresh naturally. We have new songs that we’re playing. Even though we’ve been around for a long time we still have new fans that haven’t seen us yet. Every show we ask our fans during our show to raise their hands if it’s their first Simple Plan concert and a lot of people always raise their hands. It’s funny because a lot of these kids…last time we played in the US was a fair amount of time ago, except for Bamboozle last summer, maybe some of these kids were too young to come to a concert, maybe they were 11 or 12, now they’re 16 and they’re all into concerts now. It stays fresh in that way, but for us I think there is something about the new album that as reenergized the band and got us excited about playing again, not that we weren’t before, but there is something about this album that is really fresh and it’s going really well already, people have been digging it, the reviews have been awesome, so I think just naturally because of all of that we feel revived.

Z!: What is the bands song writing process, do you write as a band, or have a designated song writer?

PB: I’m the singer; Chuck and me the drummer have always been the main songwriters. We sort of start everything up, build the main skeleton of the songs together, then the band chips in and adds their parts and then we work on it from there. It’s definitely a group effort, but to start it off it’s me and Chuck. We always write the lyrics together and its worked well for us.

Z!: What are some of the bands you’re excited about seeing this year on the tour?

PB: There are a lot of screaming bands on this tour, which I’m not crazy about all screaming, I need a little bit of melody. A Day to Remember has screaming, but it also has a lot of melody parts. There is a new band called Shut Up and Deal that are pretty cool. I saw this band that’s not on tour any more, but they’re called Freshman 15. They were on the tour for the first week. They’re a young band, really cool, kind of reminded me of Blink 182. Who else is good on tour…Unwritten Law, an old classic, Less Than Jake have always been amazing. I haven’t really gotten into A Devil Wears Prada yet, I know they scream a lot, which I find it a little difficult to enjoy for a long period of time, but I’d like to check them out for sure.


BYLINE:

Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.

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