David Desrosiers, Sébastien Lefebvre, Chuck Corneau, Pierre Bouvier, and Jeff Stinco.
We've always been a fan of Simple Plan . These five punk rockers from Quebec have songs that track the segments of life from breakups to makeups and everything in between. And when we sat down with them back stage to talk about their Simple Plan Foundation , we were blown away by how much they want to give back to the fans that mean everything to them.
CGG: So tell us about your foundation.
Jeff: We started a foundation a few years ago, actually two years ago, called the Simple Plan Foundation, and it came from getting a lot e-mails, a lot of mail from our fans who were in pretty desperate situations, they just didn’t know where to go, who to talk to, and truthfully as a band you don’t really know what to do with those letters. You’re like well how can I help? There are so many people in need, so many people that have issues. And so we decided, let’s focus on issues with teenagers that have problems, problems with addiction, problems with health, problems with their families, and they don’t necessarily know who to talk to.
And we decided, let’s gather money, let’s call rich friends, I mean obviously we use a lot of companies, we deal with a lot of companies that can actually help out with our foundation and that’s exactly what we did. And we contribute also by using the camera time that we have. We talk about the issues we care about. And this year we’re doing a benefit, this lunch kind of thing to gather more, and we’re going to give some away in July. And right now it’s a national foundation, we’re concentrating mostly on Canada, and it’s very teenage oriented. Hopefully we can take it elsewhere down the line, it’s something that we’re very eager to do, and in the future who knows, this foundation may be international. That’s the plan. So it’s kind of our way to respond.
Jeff Stinco CGG
Pierre:We’re trying to raise some money for the foundation, basically helping out kids that are in need, that are in... we call them delinquent centers, to help people in need and young kids that are sick. Our three main goals are to take care of kids that have drug problems or problems at home… troubled youth. And sick kids especially with cancer, and trying to help out and raise some money and help out schools that want to have more in their musical program because I think music is really important.
CGG: What made you start the foundation? Did you just wake up one day and have the idea?
Chuck: I think it was just the idea of trying to do something more. A lot of kids told us that our songs were really helpful and meant something to them, and it’s like trying to take it to the next level, the next step, and try to have a real action and be involved. I think at some point as you get older and you have success you realize that you have some kind of power, you can make a difference, but also you want your life has a purpose and you want something deeper, and you try to go a step beyond. I think that for us it was the right way and it was cool for us to have complete control over the whole operation and to control who was going to get the money and basically to be involved. That was the whole idea.
Chuck Corneau CGG
Sébastien: It’s actually really hard to put together, it took us a long time because we’re always traveling, but now we have some people at home who are involved and trying to make it very structured, and they all do it for free so there’s no overhead.
Where any of you in these situations that you’re trying to help?
Jeff: You know, our families have been, without naming anybody, but some of our family members had to deal with some pretty serious problems that had to do with drugs or were related to delinquency. And health is something that, you know cancer seems to touch people from all ages, and it touches us. Pierre’s brother had to deal with cancer.
Pierre: My brother’s 31 and he had a 2 year battle with lymphoma cancer and pretty much had a 50 % chance of making it and now he’s ok. It’s great.
It’s a big deal for us.
Jeff: It had everything to do with people investing in research, and just making sure that the hospitals are prepared to receive those kinds of patients and we want to help and push further. And right now we’re trying to bring the money back to the families of those people who have to deal with really hard moments in life, you know when you have someone that’s dealing with cancer at a young age it’s very costing on a family. And with this foundation I’m sure we’re going to be able to help out a little bit.
Have you seen the actual results yet?
Pierre: Well it’s still a very new foundation, but this year we’ve raised close to $200,000, so we’re going to be spreading that money out to different causes and charities and things that we care about, and we’ll be doing that in August, so we should be seeing results next year for the first time. The foundation started about a year ago
and it’s going to be nice to be able to actually give back and to finally do something about it and do more than just raise money, but to actually see the impact.
David: And hopefully when people see the results and see what it does maybe it will push them to make more donations and help out.