Simple Plan Frontman Pierre Bouvier Reflects on Band's Iconic Debut Album Amid TikTok Resurgence (Exclusive)
Simple Plan recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of their debut album — No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls — and frontman Pierre Bouvier recently sat down with PopCulture.com to reflect on the iconic record. Notably, a couple of the songs from the album, "I'm Just a Kid" and "Perfect," recently found a big resurgence in popularity due to TikTok. Speaking about the classic pop-punk album, Bouvier says he is "grateful" that it came together and that new fans are discovering it.
"At the time, Chuck [Comeau, drummer] and I had been in a band for seven years prior to that. We'd been like a skate punk band that was called Reset. Then we started Simple Plan and we're like, 'We want to make songs that are more pop-punk, more like Blink 182 style,'" the singer recalled. "Of course, as artists, as songwriters, we have our own identity. We have our own way that we doing things, that's kind of like part of our DNA. We came up with this sound that I think with the help of Arnold, our producer, that was kind of its own little thing. It was a little more pop, a little more polished, but had that angsty sort of vibe that we all wanted to sort of channel."
Bouvier continued, "There are some things when I look back that I don't like. For the longest time, I didn't like the way the album sounded. There were some things about how I was singing that I was like, 'I sound too whiny.' But over the years I've come to appreciate them as a songwriter. And as a producer myself, how that connected with an audience in a huge way. I'm thinking of a song like, 'Perfect,' which to this day is a song that people come up to me and say, 'You don't understand, my relationship with my dad was so bad and we've connected on this song."
He then went on to recall a heartfelt instance of a fan connecting very deeply with one of the songs. "There's even one story that a girl was saying, 'My dad and I had a horrible relationship.' And her dad had a terminal disease. I think it was cancer and he was about to die. And she went to the hospital and played him this song and it allowed him to have this beautiful moment before he passed away. And I was like, 'Holy...'"
"I never set off to make music and have such an impact on people," Bouvier added. "The fact that we did in so many ways, I look back now as an older man and I've just so much gratitude that we were able to do those things. And I can appreciate what that record meant to some people. We've evolved a lot as a band over the years, but those songs have stuck around. 'I'm Just A Kid' became a recent viral hit on TikTok and I'm like, 'This is crazy.' Obviously, we were onto something before we even knew what we were doing. So it's really... I love looking back on that record."
In addition to reflecting on No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls, Bouvier also revealed the story of how the album came to get it's a tongue-in-cheek name. "There was a large debate about what the order of it should be. And we were a bunch of French Canadian kids and our record label, which was really, they were awesome people at the label back in the day and a lot of records. And they were like, 'No trust us guys. It's no pads, no helmets, just balls. It reads better.' And we're like, 'You're sure not, no helmets, no pads, just balls?' 'No, no, no, no.' And it was a big joke because our A&R guy was like, 'Trust me, I've been to funny school.'"
Simple Plan will be hitting the road this summer, when they team up with fellow Canadian rockers Sum 41 for the "Blame Canada" tour. Joining the bands are Set it Off and Magnolia Park. Fans can get a full list of dates, as well as access to tickets, by clicking here.0comments