When you’re a teenager and you’re feeling lonely and left out, it’s good to have a band around like Simple Plan, who have already survived adolescent alienation and funneled memories of their frustrations into infectious pop-punk.
“Maybe when the night is dead I’ll crawl into my bed, staring at these four walls again/ I’ll try to think about the last time I had a good time,” Pierre Bouvier sings on the band’s hook-filled single “I’m Just a Kid,” which is starting to heat up at radio and should continue to sizzle while the band is on tour this spring, first with Sugar Ray and then on the Vans Warped Tour.
“[Drummer] Chuck [Comeau] and I wrote the song,” Bouvier said recently from his home in Montreal. “It’s just about how we felt when we were in high school, and how when you’re having problems you just feel like it’s the end of the world even though you always realize later that those problems weren’t as important as you thought.”
“I’m Just a Kid” will be the lead song for the upcoming film “The New Guy,” which hits theaters May 10 and stars DJ Qualls (“Road Trip”) and Eliza Dushku (“Bring It On”). Simple Plan’s debut album, No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls, is due March 26. The title demonstrates that the bandmembers may have been traumatized by their youths, but they’ve retained their sense of humor. The same can be said for the video, which was directed by Smith N’ Borin (Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Uncle Kracker) and co-stars Qualls and Dushku.
“In the video, Eliza and DJ are going out together because in the movie they hook up,” explained Bouvier. “So we’re all trying to steal [Eliza], and every time we try to impress her, we all fail and hurt ourselves. [Bassist] David [Desrosiers] breaks his back doing a skateboard stunt, Chuck gets electrocuted and smashes his fingers under the hood of a car, [guitarist] Jeff [Stinco] tries to beat up some big wrestler and gets body-slammed, [guitarist] Sebastian [Lefebvre] gets run over by a bus, and I’m screwing around in front of a security camera and I get hit by a door. In the end, DJ gets the girl and we all get shafted.”
Simple Plan formed two and a half years ago in Montreal, drawing on influences ranging from Green Day, Blink-182, the Clash and the Ramones to vintage pop artists like the Beatles, Elvis Costello and the Beach Boys, which may explain the band’s knack for blending melody and aggression. Initially, Bouvier played bass and sang, but eventually he decided he wanted to be free to roam the stage, so the band recruited Desrosiers, who also sings backup vocals.
Since their inception, Simple Plan have toured with Sum 41, Blink-182, New Found Glory and Good Charlotte. “We totally love playing live,” said Bouvier, who explained that the band’s name comes from the film of the same title. “We think doing what we do is just a simple plan to have a good time and meet a bunch of people and play great shows.”
He paused and concluded, “I know that in the movie the simple plan didn’t turn out so simple. Hopefully things will work out better for us.”