After touring through some of the country’s largest arenas earlier this year, one of Canada’s most popular bands is dialing it back a bit in August.
Simple Plan is currently performing in a handful of smaller venues including here in Estevan when they take the stage at Spectra Place on Sunday. B.C. natives Faber Drive will serve as the opening act for the show that is scheduled to begin at 7 o’clock.
Drummer Chuck Comeau, who spoke to The Mercury Thursday from his home in Quebec, said the band is looking forward to coming to Saskatchewan after bypassing the province during their Get Your Heart On! tour earlier in 2012. Comeau added he and the band enjoy playing smaller locations where people appreciate the chance to see some live music.
“It’s not like Toronto or Montreal where every night almost they get a crazy big show,” Comeau said. “I think when you go to a small town, they don’t get as many shows so when they come to a concert they just go crazy. It’s always a blast, and we actually have some of our craziest shows in smaller towns and we really enjoy it. It’s going to be really fun, I’m excited.”
Along with the show in Estevan, the Saskatchewan leg of Simple Plan’s tour also includes stops Friday in Saskatoon and Saturday in Moose Jaw at Mosaic Place. Comeau said the smaller events provide a more intimate experience for the fans as well as the band.
“It kind of brings you back to when we first started out. There is nothing like a real rock show in a club or a smaller room where you can see everyone and kind of feel them and hear them. That is what I love about the band is being able to do the two styles — the big shows, the small shows and everything in between,” said Comeau.
Although Comeau was spending a few days home at the time of the interview, life has been somewhat of a whirlwind for the band, which also includes Pierre Bouvier, David Desrosiers, Sebastien Lefebvre and Jeff Stinco.
After the release of Get Your Heart On! in 2011, Simple Plan spent the following 15 months playing shows throughout North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and South America.
Comeau said the tour and album, which was their fourth release, has re-energized the band and their fan base.
“It’s kind of like a throwback to our old-school sound of the first and second albums. Then with (recent singles) Jetlag and Summer Paradise, lots of new fans are kind of discovering the band, which is pretty amazing that after four albums and 12 years there are still new people coming in that have never heard about the band.”
Along with bringing back their “old school sound”, Simple Plan also worked with a handful of different artists on Get Your Heart On!, something they hadn’t done since debuting with No Pads, No Helmets … Just Balls. Among the artists featured was Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer of Weezer and one of the band's heroes.
“It worked out amazing because every time I play the record and you hear Rivers’ voice come on, or you hear K’naan or Sean Paul come in one of our songs, it always feels special. It also feels fresh, and I think it’s cool for our fans. It takes them by surprise a little bit.”
Comeau, who writes the bulk of the music with Bouvier, said their willingness to mix things up and tour everywhere their fans might be are two major reasons Simple Plan has remained successful, unlike a lot of bands that have fallen to the wayside since they broke out in 2002.
“It’s important to see our fans everywhere, not just do a tour of Canada in five cities and that’s it. For us, we love playing shows and we love playing for our fans. It’s part of how we see ourselves.
“When we put out a new record, we spend about two years on the road every time. We go everywhere and you have to make some sacrifices to do that, but we are all still ready to make them, which I think is a reason why the band is still doing so great,” added Comeau who said Simple Plan rolled through 75 songs before deciding on the 12 that made Get Your Heart On!
When asked what fans can expect at Sunday’s show, Comeau said Simple Plan likes to have fun on stage and that transfers across to their fans.
“We want to make sure that everyone who comes to the show leaves with a big smile on their face,” he said. “That is the key for us; to just kind of jump around and go crazy and play as hard as we can. We still enjoy it, and when you see us you can tell that we still have a great time and that being on stage is the only place in the world that we want to be at that moment.”
Tickets for the show are still available and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.ca