Pop-punk band Simple Plan are celebrating the new and the old by bringing their “Blame Canada Tour” to the Factory this weekend with Sum 41.
The Canadian group supports their latest album, “Harder Than It Looks”, and marks the 20th anniversary of their debut album, “No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls”.
Getting back on the road “it feels good”, says leader/bassist Pierre Bouvier. “We just started touring, and the challenge of going back on tour after you’ve been gone is remembering who you were on stage.”
He had spent the last two years of the pandemic at home as husband and father.
“When you do it again, it’s like, ‘Do you remember who I was? Is my alter ego gone or is it still there? I was nervous the first two shows. But then it was like riding a bike. The stress is gone. We’ve broken the ice. We’re even more excited than before.
The band is looking forward to touring with the new album, he said. With the music, Simple Plan looked at what the band is and what people expect. In the past, the group had been more experimental.
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“I’ve been in a band for a long time,” he says. “You can doubt what you are doing. You want to change and evolve. You want to show people that you can do more than you have.
But those days have passed.
“Now I’m in a different, older, more mature place,” Bouvier says. “Let’s just give people what they want. What do they want from a new record? They want a record that sounds like Simple Plan.
That was the clear goal of “Harder Than It Looks,” the band’s back-to-basics effort with a slight twist.
“We scratched the itch to make a great punk record where we weren’t reinventing the sound,” he says. “If you’re a fan of the first two albums, chances are you’ll like this one.”
The new album features songs and lyrics that will hopefully resonate with listeners.
“We’ve heard (that) a lot of our fans and people who appreciate pop-punk and emo need music to help them feel better,” he says. “It’s something we worked on when creating the album – to let people know they’re not alone.”
Bouvier was more involved in the production of this album, “although I’ve always been doing a lot of that since the second album, being a producer in the background. I requested a production credit on this one. We recorded part of it at my house.
In 2020, bassist David Desrosiers left the band after allegations of sexual misconduct.
“It was definitely a bit of an adjustment, but we can still go on,” says Bouvier. Before that, Desrosiers had taken a long break after feeling exhausted, and the group was doing well.
“We went on without him for a year and a half, so we knew what it would be like,” says Bouvier, also a bassist. “I’m always ready to step in.”
“No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls” will be graced with a segment on the show, mostly relying on singles such as “I’m Just a Kid”, “Addicted” and “Perfect”.
“We definitely tap into that nostalgia,” says Bouvier.
The debut album evokes memories of “sleeping in the studio and waking up in the morning to the smell of five guys. It was just awful,” he says. “There was a lot of work putting this record together. We worked our asses.
What Single Plan, Sum 41 • When 7 p.m. May 21 • Or The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard • How much $43.75 – $53.75 • More information ticketmaster.com