Simple Plan Takes One for The Team

Simple Plan has long held a spotlight in the pop-punk world. Now they’re finding one in the sports world as well. From performing at the 2010 closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics to turning “O Canada” into a punk ballad at this year’s NHL Winter Classic, they’re getting some love in the sports world.

With their latest release, Taking One For the Team, the French Canadian pop-punk outfit is showing that love right back.

ESPN Music checked in with the Simple Plan frontman, Pierre Bouvier, to talk about the role sports played in their latest release and how their new album is a slight departure from their signature sound.

Released this past February, Taking One For the Team features artwork of the five members popping champagne in a locker room in a post-game celebration.

ESPN Music asked him about the driving force behind the sports themed album art.

“We wanted to illustrate the fact that being in a band is like being part of a team,” Bouvier said. “You gotta do a lot of things for the greater good if you want to succeed for more than a hot minute. You can't go around being selfish thinking only of yourself and turning into an egocentric rockstar. That pretty much guarantees a break-up.”

If you’re a March Madness maniac, then you probably heard Simple Plan’s single “Boom!” all over College Basketball programming this year. The excitement of hearing his band’s music on television isn’t lost on Bouvier.

“One of my friends heard it, recorded it and sent it to me when it first aired. I was so excited. I couldn't believe it,” he said. “I don't think I could ever get jaded enough to not be excited when I hear my songs on TV or the radio. I always crank it up and sing along.”

With surprising guest features taken from the reggae and hip hop world, and a vocal appearance from New Found Glory frontman, Jordan Pundik, Taking One For the Team strikes a balance between a departure towards a more pop sound and the quintessential pop-punk pleaser.

“Taking One For The Team is probably our heaviest record to date,” Bouvier said. “There are a few curve balls on the record that venture into the pop world, but overall, this record is super high energy and packs serious punch.”

Among those curve balls, is the new reggae pop-esque single “Singing in the Rain,” and country-inspired “I Don’t Wanna Go to Bed,” which features rap giant Nelly.

Bouvier explained how the band got the St. Louis rapper to sign on:

“We tossed around the idea of having a track featuring Nelly, never really thinking he would be interested, but he said ‘Yes!’" Bouvier said. “Nelly is such a character with a larger than life personality. We had a blast meeting and collaborating with him. He's a really nice guy and he really worked hard at making his part great. He didn't just phone it in. He is the real deal. He wanted to make sure that we loved it and he really crushed it.”

As for Bouvier’s favorite sports teams? The Canadian native doesn’t move too far from home plate.

“I'm from Montreal so I think legally, I have to say the Montreal Canadians hockey team,” he said. “It's such a huge part of the culture. Everyone watches hockey there and the crowd at the games is so intense.”

But a little relocation, Bouvier says, can change that.

“I live in San Diego now, so I gotta support the Chargers and the Padres. I'm embracing my new home teams,” he said.

With Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, following him on Twitter, he just might want to keep that sentiment quiet for now.

To check out behind the scene's clips from the band’s latest photo shoot, click here. To keep up with all things Simple Plan, follow the band on Twitter.