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Simple Plan

Simple Plan emerged out of Montreal in the front half of the 2000s to become one of Canada's most successful pop-punk acts with a devoted international following who helped turn hook-laden anthems like "I'd Do Anything" off and "Welcome to My Life" into significant hits. The latter track garnered widespread attention, helping 2004's Still Not Getting Any... reach number two in Canada and number three on the Billboard 200. A perennial staple of the Vans Warped Tour, Simple Plan have made major appearances ranging from the 2004 Live 8 benefit and the 2010 Winter Olympics to the MTV Music Awards. Over the years, the band's sound has shifted somewhat from its pop-punk origin toward a more alt-rock and power pop-driven approach. Still, they have remained chart favorites, especially in Canada, where all of their albums, including 2008's Simple Plan, 2011's Get Your Heart On!, and 2016's Taking One for the Team, have hit the Top Five. In 2022, Simple Plan returned to a more back-to-basics punk-pop sound with their sixth album, Harder Than It Looks. Although the band -- whose lineup is comprised of former high school friends Pierre Bouvier (vocals), Jeff Stinco (guitar), David Desrosiers (bass), Sebastien Lefebvre (guitar), and Chuck Comeau (drums) -- came together in 1999, their roots stretch back to 1993 when Comeau and Bouvier founded a band called Reset at age 13. Reset ultimately proved to be a modestly successful band in Canada, touring the country with other punk groups like MxPx, Ten Foot Pole, and Face to Face. A debut album followed in 1997, after which Comeau bowed out quietly to attend college. Two years later, he pushed his studies to the back burner and returned to music, this time working with Stinco and Lefebvre to put a new group together. Meanwhile, Bouvier was still in charge of Reset, but he'd grown tired of being both a frontman and a guitarist. After he and Comeau reconnected at a Sugar Ray show in late 1999, Bouvier agreed to join Comeau's new project. Desrosiers, who briefly replaced Bouvier in Reset, was also asked to join the group, and Simple Plan was born. The band quickly hit the road and joined the annual Vans Warped Tour in 2001. By this point, Simple Plan had carved out a spunky, energetic punk sound, textured like Cheap Trick but raw like Pennywise. The following year, Simple Plan headed into the studio to capture the sound on tape. Good Charlotte's Joel Madden and Mark Hoppus of blink-182 joined Simple Plan during those sessions, and the end result was the fiery, fun No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls, which was released in early 2003 on Lava Records. The group took home a 2003 MuchMusic Video Award for People's Choice Favorite Canadian Group in June, and the album became a genuine success, selling over four million copies worldwide while going double-platinum in Canada and America. The Bob Rock-produced second album, Still Not Getting Any..., appeared the next year and also did quite well, scoring hits like "Crazy" and "Welcome to My Life." Simple Plan continued touring in support of both releases, and released the concert album Live from the Hard Rock in 2005. The band scaled back their touring schedule in 2006, looking to concentrate on writing new material instead. Simple Plan entered the studio in June 2007 to begin work on their third studio album, the self-titled Simple Plan, which appeared in February 2008. Although not an international best-seller like its two predecessors, the album still went platinum in Canada, where demand for their music remained strong. A year after making an appearance at the closing ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the band issued their fourth album, Get Your Heart On!, which featured cameos from Rivers Cuomo, Natasha Bedingfield, and All Time Low's Alex Gaskarth. Its sequel, the EP Get Your Heart On!: The Second Coming!, was released in 2013 in conjunction with a for-the-fans live recording, which was released as an online stream. In 2015, Simple Plan began to release singles to garner buzz for their fifth album (and first full-length in as many years), starting with the catchy '80s-vibed "Saturday." Although that song would not make it to the album, "Boom," "I Don't Wanna Be Sad," and "I Don't Wanna Go to Bed," which featured rapper Nelly, would all be included on Taking One for the Team (Atlantic), which was released in February 2016. In keeping with their brand of catchy pop-punk, the release also featured appearances by New Found Glory singer Jordan Pundik, R. City, and Juliet Simms. The group spent much of 2017 celebrating the 15th anniversary of their debut album, No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls, with a special deluxe reissue of the album and a corresponding tour. Over the next two years, bassist Desrosiers went on a personal hiatus with touring member Chady Awad filling in. Although Desrosiers would officially rejoin the band in June 2019, his tenure lasted only a month before allegations of sexual misconduct caused him to part ways with Simple Plan. In an ironic twist, his replacement, Awad, was similarly accused, and the band cut ties with him just one week later. Following a cover of "What's New Scooby Do?," which arrived online in July 2021, the group returned to original work with the scrappy "The Antidote," the first single from their sixth LP. With frontman Bouvier now also serving as bassist, 2022's Harder Than It Looks, found Simple Plan embracing the more stripped-down pop-punk sound of their early work.
© MacKenzie Wilson /TiVo
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