With their previous album, Still Not Getting Any …, Montreal band Simple Plan had a rather simple plan in creating it, not straying too far from the power-punk formula found on their debut, No Pads, No Helmets … Just Balls.
But the band’s plan concerning its self-titled third effort, now out in stores, was anything but simple.
Three new producers were brought into the mix, resulting in an album that keeps things fresh for the group and a bit more adventurous for the listener.
“I think the longer you take to make something, the prouder you are of it when it’s finally over,” drummer Chuck Comeau says, alongside guitarist Jeff Stinco, during a Toronto promotional stop. “There are a lot of experiments and trial and error but I think that now when I listen to it overall, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
“With this record we decided that we wanted to step away a little bit from the first two records, we wanted to modernize our sound,” Stinco adds. “That came with a lot of work and it demanded a lot of time. Collaborating with a lot of different producers helped.”
Although the album hasn’t exactly been unanimously praised in some early reviews, it certainly is a collage of influences ranging from electronic to hip-hop and even R&B. Stinco says producer Nate (Danja) Hills helped Simple Plan get out from its musical comfort zone.
“He brought in elements that I don’t think we were naturally inclined to make on our own,” Stinco says. “So he brought in these elements on three songs and kind of shaped our openness to other genres and kind of shaping our other music. That set a tone for the rest of the record.”
The risks include a rather interesting blend of styles for Generation and Holding On, the latter resembling the band Angels & Airwaves. But there is also punk pop fodder during Time To Say Goodbye and The End.
Despite all these different influences, Comeau says they weren’t taking their fan base for granted with this new record.
“In making this album you want them to love it and you don’t want to let them down and disappoint them,” he says. “But I think at the same time we’re lucky in a sense because we pretty much have the pulse of our fans, we’re on the same page. We’ve never made a record for the sake of trying to bring over lots of fans.
“Obviously, there are moments where you go, ‘Damn, this is a little different, they might think we’re crazy for doing this.’ But we’re excited about trying something different.”
Trying something different can bring out the tendency to complicate or think too much, something Simple Plan battled with on Simple Plan.
“What we tried to do with this record was that we thought about it a lot and had this vision but at the same time we were thinking we should just do it if it felt right,” Comeau says.
“In the studio everyone was very passionate and disciplined about it,” Stinco adds. “You can just let go when you’re recording and put as much intensity into it as you can. When you’re not putting in as much intensity as you should, the other guys will let you know.”
Although having played a special contest-winners show in Toronto earlier last week, Simple Plan won’t be touring Canada until later this summer after a U.S. and European trek.