Simple Plan says there's 'nothing trivial' about teen angst songs
It's not trivial or embarrassing to sing songs about teen angst, says Simple Plan lead guitarist Jeff Stinco
Songs about teen angst and growing pains should not be derided or scoffed at.
Take it from Jeff Stinco, the 37-year-old lead guitarist of French-Canadian pop punk group Simple Plan.
The five-piece Montreal-based band, who formed in 1999, have been slammed with derogatory terms - "juvenile, "embarrassing", "whiny" - ever since they entered the music scene with upbeat bubblegum tunes such as I'm Just A Kid, Perfect and I'd Do Anything.
"Some of our songs reference an important phase of life that happens during the transition to adulthood," Stinco said in an e-mail interview with M.
"There's nothing trivial about that.
"I meet people every day who tell me how much our music means to them. I feel good about what we do and I think we make people feel better about their lives.
"Besides, we do have other songs that discuss topics like love, loss, treason and society."
Simple Plan, which includes frontman Pierre Bouvier, 37, rhythm guitarist Sebastien Lefebvre and bassist David Desrosiers, both 35, and drummer Chuck Comeau, 36, will be in town next month as part of their Taking One For The Team tour.
Taking One For The Team is Simple Plan's fifth album, one that was almost five years in the making.
It is available on iTunes and was released in February.
PUNK IS BACK
This year is shaping up to be a fantastic one for the pop punk genre, with Simple Plan's contemporaries Blink-182, Good Charlotte and Sum 41 returning to the scene with new albums.
Blink-182 even topped the Billboard single and album chart last month.
Stinco said: "I'm very humble about Simple Plan's success. I don't understand how we are still successful today, but it's hard to argue with all our fans that still love us, buy our records and come to our shows.
"We've had some serious hits and some flops.
"Our fans are the judges. They decide what music makes it to the top and we have little influence over that.
"I'm proud to say that we have been the same five members since the beginning. A lot of bands have taken hiatuses or changed personnel. We didn't."
He added: "I'm happy to see pop punk bands coming back. I'm a huge fan of what Good Charlotte and Sum 41 are still doing.
"I believe there's a revival and I think, for some people, the pop punk style represents a very important part of their lives."
Stinco's daughters, Maya, nine, and Zoe, eight, are Simple Plan's "biggest supporters".
He said: "I never forced it upon them, but it was kind of hard not to expose them to what I do.
"Maya wears only Simple Plan T-shirts. It's very hard staying anonymous next to her."
He said that, musically, his children "are quite educated", from the sheer fact that they listen to music at home all the time.
"Besides Simple Plan, they also listen to Justin Bieber, Adele, Abba, Green Day, Blink-182 and The Lumineers."
Stinco is looking forward to playing in Singapore, a city he adores deeply from his previous trips.
Simple Plan last played here in January 2012 at Fort Canning Park.
"Singapore has so much energy and is so colourful," he said.
"You can enjoy any version of the best Asian food. I'm a big fan of chicken rice and I love all types of noodles.
"I remember visiting the aquarium, which was beautiful. The nightlife is great too, I talk about it to my friends all the time. Singapore is probably the city where I had the most fun in Asia."
WHAT: Simple Plan Taking One For The Team Tour Singapore 2016
WHERE: The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa
WHEN: Sept 5, 8pm
TICKETS: $138 from Sistic (6348-5555 or www.sistic.com.sg), $158 at the door