Simple Plan's Chuck Comeau Opens Up About Success, Fatherhood
Simple Plan is a Canadian success story.
Pierre Bouvier, Jeff Stinco, Sébastien Lefebvre, David Desrosiers and Chuck Comeau are still touring the world nearly 18 years after they came together as a band. They’ve released five albums since 2002 that have spawned hit after hit.
Simple Plan will soon be back home in Canada for a tour that kicks off in London, Ont. on Nov. 17 and hits Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City and Halifax before wrapping up on Nov. 23 in the band’s hometown, Montreal.
“One of the most important things about this band is we’re all still good friends and we still all get along well,” Comeau said when asked about the key to Simple Plan’s longevity.
“It’s all the same band members. We’ve never had any line-up changes, we’ve never had anyone leaving the band or being fired, so I think that makes a big difference for us and for the fans.”
Comeau told iHeartRadio.ca he and his bandmates know how lucky they are.
“Most bands don’t make it past two albums, three albums, and we’re on our fifth one now and we’ve played in 65 countries. It’s been really awesome.”
The drummer said maintaining a close relationship with fans has also been key.
“We hang out by the bus every night and take photos, we talk to them on Twitter and Instagram,” said Comeau. “We share a lot of the touring life with them. That’s why they keep coming to the shows and supporting the band.”
Then, of course, there’s the music. Comeau said Simple Plan strives to make “honest and heartfelt music.”
And, he said, the group has also survived thanks to “maybe just a bit of luck.”
Comeau, who first played in a band called Reset with Bouvier in the early ‘90s, said he always had a pretty good idea what their future would look like.
“I don’t think we could truly envision exactly how things played out,” he said, “but I think our hope and our dream was that we could take our music around the world and play shows for a living and follow our hearts and our passion and do this for a long time and have some longevity as a band and have a real career.
“Did we have that exact vision? Kind of. In some ways we did. We were hoping for that but how things unfolded and how our career went — the way that life happened — that always surprises you in some ways.”
At one time, Comeau put his rock star dreams on hold to study law at McGill University. He said he doesn’t regret his decision not to pursue that kind of career.
“It kind of worked out perfectly. Dropping out of law school really bummed my parents out and my family, and it was a little scary,” he recalled. “It’s funny because I really had no doubt in my mind that this was going to work. Obviously you have a little bit of fear but that’s the beauty of being a young passionate person. You don’t even want to think about things not working out. You just go for it.
“I always sort of thought, if it doesn’t work out I can always go back to school. It will never be too late for that but this music thing, it has to happen now.”
Comeau said all five members of the band shared a sense of urgency about making Simple Plan work.
“Lucky enough, it turned out good for us,” he said. “You just have to believe and go for it. That’s what we did.”
Today, Comeau is married and a dad to 15-month-old son London. He admitted his new family life has resulted in some changes.
“I used to always be ready to go everywhere anytime and play more shows and tour,” he explained. “Now I still feel the same way but I’m more conflicted now. I still want to go on tour and play and I still love this so much but there’s times where it’s a little harder to pack a suitcase and get on the airplane because you have something that’s holding you back a little bit.”
Comeau is not alone, though. Three of his bandmates are also fathers.
“It has definitely changed our outlook on how we do things. The compromise that we found works for us has been to tour not as long. Instead of five, six, seven weeks like we used to, now it’s four or five weeks max and we come home and we have a little bit more time off and then we go back out.
“You try to make it work. You try to find ways to bring the family into the whole thing.”