Ming City Rockers originate from the industrial town of Immingham, on the east coast of northern England. The band have just…
Simple Plan - Sebastien Lefebvre
- November 23rd, 2003
- Red's - Edmonton, Alberta
Bobby: Ok, starting with the basics can you please state your name and what you do in Simple Plan?
Seb: My name is Sebastien and I play guitar and I sing back vocals in Simple Plan. That’s my job!
Bobby: It’s been a while since “No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls” was released. When do you think we’ll see a new album from you guys?
Seb: We took a little bit of time off right now, so we’ve been writing songs; you know, getting the record ready. We’re just doing a bunch of shows before Christmas, then going back on one more tour in February and then we’re gonna hit the studio and hopefully we’ll have it ready by June and it’s gonna come out in June.
Bobby: What can we expect from it?
Seb: I don’t know… Like we’ve just been writing, we didn’t get everybody together to put the songs together. So, it’s gonna sound like Simple Plan. Hopefully it’s gonna be good. It’s gonna be good; we’ll work hard to make it good.
Bobby: All right, why did you decide to release four singles from your first CD?
Seb: Well it’s ready funny how that happened. Like we did “I’m Just A Kid” here first and that did absolutely zero in the States. Like no one played it, no one saw it, like totally unknown and it just started picking up when we did the “I’d Do Anything” one. So here we did four you know, but like over there we did three. But I don’t know, it just felt natural. We wanted those songs to be videos, we wanted people to hear those songs and having “Perfect” as well was very important to us because it’s good lyrics. It really really talks about what we went through and stuff. Lots of kids can relate to it, so it was really important to us to get that one out as well.
Bobby: How do you decide which ones to make singles and which ones not?
Seb: I don’t know, you just feel it. You’re just like “Ya, you know, that would be a good song”. Or just playing shows, you see how people react. “Ohhh, the kids really like this one and we like it too, it could be a good single,” and stuff.
Bobby: On your second single, “I’d Do Anything”, you collaborated with Mark Hoppus of Blink-182, how did that happen?
Seb: Well Mark’s been a friend of us for quite a while actually. Pierre and Chuck had another band before and they played some shows with them like 10 years ago, well like 8 years ago. And they just kept contact ever since. And when we were doing demos with this band, we were sending them to him and he really liked that song “I’d Do Anything”. So when we were doing the record we just called him up and was like “Would you like to sing on it?” and he’s like “Ya, totally”. So just went down to San Diego, recorded his part; and that was it.
Bobby: How do you normally write all your songs?
Seb: Usually it’s like one or two guys normally come up with an idea, you know? And we’ll get together and fix it and put it into a Simple Plan song. Usually it’s like Pierre and Chuck get together and they write all their lyrics and start up the song, like musically. And then we get together and figure out what everybody’s gonna play and just make it a Simple Plan song.
Bobby: Your DVD, “A Big Package For You”, comes out in two days. What’s on it?
Seb: A lot of dumb shit is on that DVD. Basically the past three years of our lives, all the best moments, all the funny stuff, cramped up into 2 hours and a half of absolutely random stupid shit. It’s good though! There’s live stuff, there’s backstage stuff, fun stuff. And nakedness! You can see us naked, I think, at one point. Ya, that’s the thing…
Bobby: OK, you guys get a lot of kids calling you sellouts. Why do you think that is? Do you think you are sellouts?
Seb: I don’t think we are sellouts at all. I think someone that’s doing something they don’t like just to get money, that’s selling out. We’re just doing what we want to. We want to get out music out to as many people as possible. So I don’t think we’re sellouts at all. I think that sometimes people don’t understand how it is in the music industry or what it’s like to be a band. Like it’s so good to play shows and stuff, why would I want only ten people to be there? You know, I want millions of people to come to our shows. And if we can help kids with our songs we’ve made, why not try to reach out to as many people as possible?
Bobby: Good answer. Do you guys consider yourselves to be punk?
Seb: In one way, I guess we do. Because being punk is kind of not caring what anybody else has to say and just doing what you want to do and not listening to what anybody else says; and that’s what we’re doing, you know? We write the songs we want to hear, we talk about what we want to talk about and we just do what we want, that’s what we do. Like we’re in complete control of what we do. Our label, they listen to us, it’s not the other way around you know? We just do what we want, and that’s how it is.
Bobby: You often spend a lot of time at your merch booth signing autographs and meeting fans; why do you do all that?
Seb: Because I think it’s really important; and it’s really fun to do! You’ve just come to a show and you’ve played a show and there’s a lot of kids just screaming and singing along. After the show, what do I want to do? I want to go and meet those kids. Just hang out, talk, sign stuff, and have a good time.
Bobby: Being from Montreal and having English as a second language, do you ever find it strange to be singing in English? Or like when you play in Montreal, someone told me that you would sing in English and speak in French; does that ever feel weird?
Seb: No, it’s not weird at all. We’ve always been listening to English music. We’ve never really got into French music; so singing in English is the natural thing to do. Singing in French would be weird and phony and not really us. And French music is not that good…. that’s the thing.
Bobby: Ya, we had to listen to songs last year in French, and it was bad.
Seb: Ya, I’m not really into that.
Bobby: Ok, if you could pick one person or band, dead or alive, to tour with, who would you pick to tour with and why?
Seb: I’ve always wonder what it would be like to tour with The Beatles. That would be something really, really, really special I think. They were so huge and such good songs, you know? I would never get tired of watching that show, that’s for sure.
Bobby: How has being in a band changed your life?
Seb: Well, I’m never home anymore and I lost all my friends. Because I don’t talk to them anymore because I’m not there. But this is what I’ve always wanted to do, so it’s changed my life for the better actually.
Bobby: If the band as a whole, could change one decision they’ve made in the past; what would they change and why?
Seb: Umm…. Nothing. I’m really happy with how things have went for us. We just started playing shows and more people started to come and more people; it just went really gradually, you know? It’s not like we’re playing the first song and selling a million records right there. Then you don’t know if people really like you or if they just really like that one song. I think we’re just really happy with how things went. And the kids who come to our shows and real kids, so, I wouldn’t change anything.
Bobby: How do you like being on Atlantic Records?
Seb: It’s really good. Actually, we are on Lava Records, which is a really small part. And it’s good because it’s a really small label; there’s not even 20 artists on there. That’s good because when they are working for us, it’s not like “if that doesn’t work, there’s another record coming out next week that we’re gonna have to work on.” It’s like “Ok, we have to make this work, because if we don’t, there’s nothing else to do.” You know? It’s a really good label to be on.
Bobby: How did you end up meeting them?
Seb: We harassed this one guy called Andy Karp, We just harassed him, it’s funny. Like we sent him our first demo and he’s like “Ya, whatever, it’s ok. Send me more.” So we sent him another one and he’s like “Ya, whatever.” You know? And then we heard that he was coming to Montreal to see this other band. So we booked that same night with a different name and we organized all this… It was a really bad thing to do, but hey, we did it anyway. And after that show he drove down to see us and we kind of stole him from the other band. Then he liked us, but he turned us down a bunch of times before signing us.
Bobby: What was the other band he was going to go see?
Seb: It was “Rubber Band”. I don’t know if you know them. I’m not sure if I was supposed to say that, but hey, I said it! They were a good band, they were a good band. I guess he liked us a bit more.
Bobby: All right, I’ll check them out sometime. Now a days you can find MP3s all over the internet, Kazaa, Morpheus, things like that. How do you feel about that? Good, bad?
Seb: I think it’s really cool. It’s a really neat way to discover new bands. But I think people need to understand that if they like a band, they have to go buy their records to support them. I think that’s the most important part. But I think the internet’s cool. I go and discover bands on there. I’ve discovered like The Jealous Sound, The Postal Service, Brand New and all those things; and then I go and buy the record of course. You have to.
Bobby: I recently read an article in Alternative Press, and one of the main themes was “Through Music, You Can Live Forever”. What do you think about that quote?
Seb: I think that’s pretty good. Who said that? It was Tim Armstrong right?
Seb: Ya, ya, ya. I think it’s true because he’s talking about all the bands that has influenced him and now it’s going through his music as well. So like all those other bands can be remembered because he’s doing what he’s doing because of them and then the next band is going to be influenced by him. So it’s like one big chain. I think it’s a really good quote.
Bobby: Why did you decide to become a musician?
Seb: I don’t know. You know what? I just liked it. I saw a Green Day show on TV and was like “Holy Crap, that’s really cool!” So I just picked up a guitar and started playing like that. And then it just all happened.
Bobby: Do you have any tips for any young musicians who are just starting out?
Seb: Yes, don’t give up and don’t let anybody bring you down because everybody’s gonna tell you you suck, everybody’s gonna tell you your songs are bad and that you’re not gonna make it. But keep going at it and it’s gonna happen.
Bobby: Okay, if you could have one thing at this moment, anything at all, what would you have and why?
Seb: My guitars. Air Canada lost my guitars this morning and now I’m playing with someone else’s guitar. And that’s the one thing I would like to have right now is my own guitars; they lost them this morning at the plane.
Bobby: That sucks, do you think you’ll be getting them back anytime soon?
Seb: Well, I know they found them now it’s just a matter of getting them to where we’re gonna be, you know? Maybe we’ll get it tonight really late, maybe we’ll have it tomorrow, I don’t know. I miss my guitars. *laughs*
Bobby: I guess that’s about it, thanks a lot for doing it. Do you have any shoutouts before we end?
Seb: Ya sure, to everybody that’s gonna read this, go to our website: SimplePlan.com. That’s all the info about us on there, pictures, videos, stupid shit. And buy our DVD, it’s coming out on Tuesday, it’s good stuff.
Bobby: All right, thanks a lot for doing it.
Seb: Thank you very much.