Sometimes it just seems as if things are meant to be. The planets align, Darva Conger on ‘Celebrity Boxing’, and your debut full length released by one of North America’s largest music corporations. Sebastian Lefebvre, guitarist and back up vocalist for Montreal’s Simple Plan couldn’t be happier with Atlantic releasing their CD ‘No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls’ to the world. It’s something that not every young band are blessed with, “It feels really good because it’s never good to have someone telling you that they really like your band but that they can’t find your record anywhere. With a major label, your record usually ends up in even the smallest cities everywhere. That feels really good,” states Lefebvre.

It’s not just their major label backing that’s propelled them into the mainstream. Their ultra catchy tunes, up-tempo live shows and optimistic outlook has turned Simple Plan into one of the industry’s brightest young stars. Fresh off a recent tour with label mates Sugar Ray, Lefebvre admits that there was only one downfall with touring with them, “They have been so cool with us and they give us a cool shout-out on stage every night. They are great. There’s always one thing that sucks though… Mark McGrath is so hot that he gets all the girls! We have no game compared to him.” No worries though, their first single ‘I’m Just a Kid’ has made rounds on the radio stations and appears on the soundtrack to the movie ‘The New Guy’.

Before they shared stages with some of today’s biggest music acts, the members of Simple Plan had more humble beginnings. Whether it was playing in local punk bands or going to shows, Lefebvre has not forgotten what got him to where he is today, “When I started playing music, I video taped a Green Day show on TV and learned the songs watching Billie Joe play them… I remember thinking he was the coolest! But of course all the punk rock bands on Fat Wreck Chords and Epitaph were a great influence, like Lagwagon, No Use for a Name, MxPx, NOFX, Bad Religion, Ten Foot Pole to name a few.”

It’s from these humble beginnings that Simple Plan were able to open doors for the future. Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 fame makes a cameo appearance on ‘No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls’ and Lefebvre credits their early encounters for such opportunities, “Pierre and Chuck’s old band played shows with them in Canada back when Blink-182 was touring their first record ‘Cheshire Cat’. Since then, Chuck kept contact with Mark and we (as Simple Plan) played a couple shows with them this summer on Edge Fest. When we were recording that song, Chuck gave him a call and asked him if he wanted to sing on the record. He said yes and we were honored to have him on our first record.”

With all the success they’ve experienced so far, it’s amazing to find that Simple Plan are just getting started. They recently appeared on Side One Dummy’s ‘Atticus – Dragging the Lake’ compilation and have been added to this summer’s pop punk mega tour ‘The Pop Disaster Tour’. An incredible opportunity for such a young band, touring with the likes of mainstream pop punk pioneers Green Day and teen favorites Blink-182. An opportunity that Lefebvre and company sees as a dream come true, “I know that I’m going to be so nervous for the first show with them. We met Blink-182 this summer and they were awesome guys. I can’t wait to see them again. I’ve never met Green Day but I admire them so much. I learned how to play guitar watching Billie Joe on TV.”

The band hasn’t let all this early success go to their heads, they’ve got shows all throughout the year and still take the time to read all their email, talk to fans and meet new people. Its one of the best benefits of touring, sights Lefebvre, “Being on tour is the best. You get to meet people every night, play shows, and travel a lot!”

It just seems that things are meant to be, but for those who believe there is no such thing as fate; sometimes all you need is a simple plan.

Interview by: Kamtin Mohager
Words by: Billy Ho

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