Nothing spices up a cheeky pop-punk act like a naughty double entendre. Avril Lavigne’s “Things I’ll Never Say” wouldn’t be quite as euphoric without the line, “I wanna blow you… away.” And who could forget Blink-182’s sort-of-dirty album title Take Off Your Pants and Jacket?
English may not be Simple Plan’s first language (French is their native tongue), but they’ve got a firm grasp on how to use it to craft bathroom humor. Their debut album is called No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls, and on their latest hit, “Addicted,” the group snuck a swear word past the censors before anyone realized what had happened: “I’m addic…, I’m addic… I’m addicted to you.”
“We just thought it was a funny line,” vocalist Pierre Bouvier said. “It’s really so subtle. It just sounds like I have a speech impediment, that’s all.”
“That was our favorite song when we wrote it,” drummer Chuck Comeau added (see “Simple Plan Did Anything [And Everything], And Now It’s Paying Off”). “So our attitude was always like, ‘Well, let’s see what happens. If they bleep it, they bleep it.’ But so far no one has. I guess America is opening up to di-s and jokes.”
“Addicted” has been so well received at radio that the band has delayed the release of its third single, “Perfect,” which will now hit this summer. One of the more poignant songs on the record, “Perfect” forsakes impish humor for earnest emotion expressed through melancholy melody, harmonized vocals and spare, aching instrumentation.
The song is about not meeting parents’ expectations, and while the lyrics may hit home for anyone who wasn’t a straight -A student, the words were specifically drawn from flack the bandmembers received for choosing a career in music.
“I remember sitting down with my parents and having those like really sucky arguments and big conversations and big discussions where they’d go, ‘You can’t do that. It’s not realistic. You’ll never make it,’ ” Comeau recalled. “They’d say, ‘It’s a hobby, its not a career.’ I remember after we had one of those conversations I called up Pierre and was like, ‘Dude, now we have to do this.’ “