Simple Plan

On one hand, you have one of the hardest working bands in punk music with a platinum album and a recent release that’s on its way to the same status.

Simple Plan, one of the more popular bands of its kind, has as much appeal in Asia as it does in the U.S. and recently returned from a promotional tour of Malaysia and Japan. Meanwhile, the band is touring non-stop after headlining the Warped Tour. Its Still Not Getting Any… is one of the first albums in DualDisc format, with one side of the disc actually a DVD.

On the other hand, you’ve got one of the more “controversial” bands in the genre. Skate punks are in a constant online debate about the band’s “integrity,” centering around what is commercial versus punk rock.

Not too many promoters seem to care.

One thing promoters should be happy about is the band’s rider, which is about as simple as it gets, trail mix being one of the more exotic items.

“Nobody ever eats the trail mix but we always have trail mix on our rider,” Simple Plan singer Pierre Bouvier told Pollstar. “It’s the stupidest thing ever. We really have to redo the rider and we haven’t done it in, like, a year. The one thing we actually do use is the beer and the vodka. I think we’ve got two cases of beer, a bottle of vodka, two boxes of cereal, peanut butter, bread, cold cuts, vegetables, trail mix and some candy, maybe.”

Apparently, that’s too much – except for the booze, of course.

“Yeah, that’s all I really care about. That and the cold cuts and the bread because it’s always good to have a sandwich.”

Bouvier added that he couldn’t remember the last day he had off. The band has been playing six nights a week or flying around the globe for promotional tours. Then, on Sundays, Bouvier flies solo to New York City where he is hosting an upcoming MTV show. Details were on the Q.T. and very hush-hush.

“I’ve heard before that we’re one of the hardest working bands out there right now. I don’t know about that, but I know we definitely bust our balls,” he said.

Simple Plan

“This band works so hard,” manager Eric Lawrence told Pollstar. “In all my years in the business, I’ve not known a band to work as hard at their own careers.”

Lawrence and his staff at Coalition Entertainment have been working out of their Ontario office for about a decade, managing Our Lady Peace, Finger Eleven and others. About four years ago, the company’s Julian Gruhl and Devi Ekanand convinced Lawrence to take a look at an unsigned band from Montreal. Lawrence’s partner, Robert Lanni, had seen the band in and also suggested management.

“We paid for the guys to come from Montreal in this rickety, old lime-green ambulance they used as a tour bus, and we had them set up in a recording studio,” Lawrence said.

“We brought our whole office staff and watched them. Their performance that day was pretty much what you see onstage now. They were these shy, young kids; they set up their gear, started playing and were suddenly jumping up and down. They were fantastic.”

Coalition Entertainment helped Simple Plan get signed to Lava and set the band up with its agencies.

The band’s drummer, Chuck Comeau, spends much of his time helping out with the business side of things. He is more in tune with what’s happening behind the scenes and his bandmates say he runs himself ragged. It was Comeau who originally got in touch with Coalition.

“When [Comeau] was calling here, he didn’t think he was getting any respect as a band guy, so he started saying he was a manager,” Lawrence said. “He’s not, but he’s definitely the guy in the band with the most business sense and understanding of where the band’s going.

“I can sit with him and say, ‘Look, we need to go to Kuala Lumpur but not Singapore because of the market size, the radio share and this and that, and he’ll get it and help explain it to the rest of the band.”

Bouvier admitted he isn’t as involved with the behind-the-scenes stuff, but certainly can recognize when there’s industry types in the audience.

“The New York crowd is always filled with record label invites and people who are not necessarily the biggest fans ever, so it wasn’t the most exciting show for us but it turned out fine,” he said. “The crowd usually goes a little crazier in a town where the guest list isn’t so full.”

The band is preparing the video to its next single, “Shut Up,” and is expected to tour overseas with Green Day early next year before another headlining tour.