Making The Album: 2014-2015
On July 30th, Simple Plan decided to formally announce the beginning of their 5th album with a video! They mention that they're halfway done, and have written over 30 songs, but say that they will continue writing as they go into the studio and start recording them. They want to make an album even better than their last:
Writing A Lot and Collaborating On New Songs
On August 12th, Pierre shared the first picture from the studio writing sessions:
On August 29th, Chuck shared another studio photo:
In early September, Pierre and Chuck had already started writing songs. Apparently Jeff was very excited by one in particular:
— Jeff Stinco (@jeffstinco) September 4, 2014
On September 12th, Chuck shared a new picture from the studio:
Just wrapping up 2 awesome weeks of songwriting. This record is starting to come together and I'm so excited about it! Little break this weekend and then back at it monday! #spalbum5 #PretendingToWriteLyricsWhilePierreTakesAPicture
On September 17, 2014, Pierre took to Instagram to announce that he and Chuck were writing songs with Mark Hoppus from Blink-182 and Alex Gaskarth from All Time Low. Both these bands and Simple Plan were huge forces in pop punk in the early 2000s - perhaps Simple Plan is trying to get back to their punk roots for the new album?
On October 1st, Chuck confirmed that he and Pierre were writing new songs with Josh Ramsay from the Canadian band, Mariana's Trench.
Pierre also shared a picture from the studio that day:
Fun to be in a real studio again!!! #spalbum5
October 16th, Chuck shared a photo of Pierre in the studio:
On October 24th, Pierre showed a picture of his home studio:
I had this studio built in my backyard last year. We've written some bomb ass songs in here. @elmakias
5th Album Progress
On November 3, 2014, Chuck was interviewed by Mitch Lafon for the One On One podcast. The whole interview was interesting, with Chuck talking about the upcoming Simple Plan Foundation benefit concert (which took place on November 23rd) and writing meaningful songs. In regards to the new album, he revealed that he and Pierre had already written 50 songs. They planned to have 60 done before going into the studio to record the best 11 or so for the album. They were still aiming for a spring or summer 2015 release.
The interview starts about 5 minutes in:
On November 4th, Jeff Stinco gave an interview to Brendan Kelly from Montreal Gazette. In addition to talking about his own side projects - his restaurant, brewery, and new wine bar - he also talked about Simple Plan's new music.
We’re slow writers. A lot of people in the music industry have a crew of writers writing when they’re on the road so when they get back home, they record an album and get back on the road. We have to stop because we’re not really good at focusing at two things at the same time.
He confirms that the band plan to be in the studio in January 2015 to start recording the new songs Pierre and Chuck have been writing.
You can see a portion of Jeff's interview in the video below:
On November 10th, Pierre posted on Instagram:
Finishing up this track so we can start a fresh one tomorrow! Really starting to feel good! #spalbum5
On November 12th, Pierre and Chuck were in the studio with songwriters John Feldmann and Simon Wilcox. They have worked with everyone from Panic! At The Disco and Avicii to Josh Groban and and Three Days Grace.
On November 14th, the duo worked with John Feldmann again, along with RAS (Nicholas Furlong).
The 5th Album's Sound
On November 12th, Seymour Duncan interviewed Sebastien Lefebvre about the upcoming Simple Plan record, as well as the gear he uses both live and in the studio. Here's what Sebastien had to say about Simple Plan's 5th album:
What has the band has been up to since “Get Your Heart On” was released, and how soon can fans expect new music from Simple Plan?
Well, first we toured for almost two years with that album. We are extremely lucky and get to go to a lot of places and play in front of a lot of different people, but that takes time. And we love to take the time and travel and meet our fans. But since we got off the road, we only took a few months off before getting back into writing for the next album. I believe we are finally at a point where we think we have some great material, so we’ll keep writing until Christmas and then early next year, start recording. I think it’s safe to say that there will be new Simple Plan music in 2015.
What can fans expect from the types of sounds, textures, and themes you decided to go with for this upcoming studio album? Can we expect a “Simple Plan” sound or have you decided to explore some other styles?
I think that something cool about this band is that, even when we explore different sounds, it will somehow end up sounding like Simple Plan. “Summer Paradise” was the first time we tried writing an acoustic reggae type song, and it doesn’t stand out as very different for us; it still has our flavour. The things we are experimenting with the most on the next album is different grooves. We can have some oldies throwbacks next to some fast punk rock songs, and somehow it all works.
You can read more from the interview at Seymour Duncan.
On November 21st, after accepting the YMCA Peace medal for their charitable work with the Simple Plan Foundation, Salut, Bonjour! interviewed the members of Simple Plan. The interview is in French (you can see a video of it on their website), but here are some highlights of what they said about the new album (thanks to Sab at SimplePlan.cz) -
- Pierre confirms that they’ve been writing songs for about one year now. They have 40-50 of them and says that “3 of them aren’t that bad.”
- They say that the writing process is as painful as it is fun. However, Pierre adds that it’s thanks to “break-through” moments that they end up with the best songs.
- He explains that they are kind of slow to release their albums because they do everything. They don’t have anyone to write the songs for them or anything like some other bands who only have to pick the songs they like. Simple Plan writes the lyrics, the music, and then they choose the best ones.
- Chuck said that “The waiting is worth it, it comes from us, it’s our ideas, our lives.”
On Sunday, November 23rd, Simple Plan held their annual Simple Plan Foundation benefit event at the Corona Theatre in Montreal. During the event, Simple Plan played an acoustic concert. In addition to playing hits like “Jet Lag” and “Perfect,” they also surprised fans with a brand new tune! They played a song called “Boom,” and it’s expected to appear on their upcoming 5th studio album. Listen to the acoustic performance below:
“Boom” is a great, upbeat love song, and we can’t wait to hear a studio version in the future. “Boom” is the first new song title we’ve heard so far, and hopefully it will be on the upcoming record.
Writing New Music In The New Year
Once the holidays came and went, Simple Plan was ready to get back to work. They continued writing new songs throughout January and February 2015, sharing social media updates along the way:
At the end of February, Simple Plan was excited to announce that Howard Benson would be producing their new album!
View this post on Instagram
Who's ready for a new SP album??? We're thrilled to announce our producer for the new album, the legendary Howard Benson! He's made some amazing records: My Chemical Romance, All-American Rejects, P.O.D., Papa Roach, Less Than Jake, Hoobastank, Zebrahead, Kelly Clarkson and so many more. We're stoked to work with him and I think we will make a fantastic album together for all of you. The next 3 months will be hard work but tons of fun. Can't wait to get started! #SPalbum5
Recording Album #5: Studio Updates (March 1 - 17)
First week in the studio: drums on all tracks, guitars and bass on 5 songs. We are on a roll! #sp5
— Jeff Stinco (@jeffstinco) March 8, 2015
— Jeff Stinco (@jeffstinco) March 9, 2015
Finishing a new song that is going to mixing in a few hours. Very exciting to hear new Simple Plan music.
— Jeff Stinco (@jeffstinco) March 12, 2015
On March 12th, Simple Plan shared their first vlog!
Just received the first mixed song of our recording session #westvalleystudiosessions
— Jeff Stinco (@jeffstinco) March 15, 2015
Jeff Stinco revealed a new song title on March 15th: "Everything Sux"!
— Jeff Stinco (@jeffstinco) March 16, 2015
— Jeff Stinco (@jeffstinco) March 16, 2015
On March 17th, vlog #2 was posted. Pierre talks about the unique way of recording this album, and how it's coming along much faster than normal. At the end he sings part of "Boom."
First Listen of "Everything Sux" and "Boom" Demoes!
On March 17th, an in-studio interview video was released by Accès Illimité. Though the interview is in French, Simple Plan did play some demos of the new songs. You can hear quite a bit of "Everything Sux" and "Boom" below:
Recording Album #5: Studio Updates (March 18 - 31)
— Jeff Stinco (@jeffstinco) March 19, 2015
March 20th brought the 4th vlog from the studio. David narrates Simple Plan's fun gang vocals recording - check it out!
View this post on Instagram
As I get older, I try to listen more and talk less, especially when it comes to music, writing songs and making albums. It's not always easy for me, but you learn a lot more that way and hopefully, you become better. Here's a pic of @pierrebouvier and I listening to our producer @howardbenson commenting on the progress of the record. 📷 @goodguychady #SPalbum5
On March 27th, Simple Plan shared their 5th vlog, this time featuring percussionist Lenny Castro. As Pierre and Chuck say, he's bringing the groove to their new album - check it out!
Recording Album #5: Studio Updates (April 1 - 14)
On April 6th, Simple Plan shared vlog #8, with Pierre and Chuck sharing their update in a unique way. Chuck spoke the news, but Pierre gave it a melodic twist.
Album 5 -- Simple Plan. Crooked progress Board pic.twitter.com/7QvI1dBgNX
— Jeff Stinco (@jeffstinco) April 8, 2015
Great day in the studio today: recorded a few really nice guitar parts. Sounds like we're getting closer to finishing songs one at a time.
— Jeff Stinco (@jeffstinco) April 9, 2015
Recording Album #5: Studio Updates (April 15 - 30)
View this post on Instagram
Meet the all-star team helping us make our album: legendary producer @howardbenson , his amazing engineer @mikeplotnikoff , technical and gear guru Hatch and young programming prodigies @lennymfl and @jklitten It takes a village to make us sound decent. Thanks for all the hard work. We're so excited to hear the final result and grateful for your help. #SPalbum5
Recording Album #5: Studio Updates (May 1 - 14)
On May 12th, Simple Plan posted their hilarious 9th studio vlog - this time about what was causing them to take so long to finish. Poor Pierre!
Recording Album #5: Studio Updates (May 15 - 31)
Heading home. I can say with confidence that 95% of the record is done. Don't quote me but I think that we'll have a new song out soon!
— Jeff Stinco (@jeffstinco) May 20, 2015
I need your advice. What if we recorded the best song of our career but it was really different for Simple Plan. Should we not release it?
— Jeff Stinco (@jeffstinco) June 1, 2015