Rejoice, fellow puckheads, hockey is back! To help celebrate the Montreal Canadiens' return to the ice (and of Hockey Night in Canada), beloved hometown rockers Simple Plan will play a free outdoor concert on Saturday, Jan. 19.
CBC Music spoke with drummer Chuck Comeau about his love of the game and the mutual admiration between bands and hockey players.
Watch Simple Plan's HNIC performance:
Are you excited that hockey’s back?
Yeah, I’m a big hockey fan, so obviously it was difficult to deal with that, especially coming off such an exciting and very successful season, both on the ice and business-wise for the league. That was a little hard to watch as a fan. It’s just great now that we’re finally playing. Very exciting. A lot of big moves during the off-season, so it’s just great we’re playing this awesome game again. I thought it was very interesting to follow the lockout and the talks and the back-and-forth negotiation. I have an interest in that stuff, but it’s much better when we’re playing.
Does it remind you of music industry negotiations?
I think so. It’s really interesting, because obviously people have a perception of the league, of the players, it kind of resembles [in] some ways bands, record labels and publishers. There’s kind of a similar structure. But obviously, the reason we’re interested is because we love the game in the first place, so when it’s coming back, it’s a great feeling. It’s going to be a crazy season; we don’t know what’s going to happen, so I think it’s going to be fun to watch.
What does it mean to you to be playing on Saturday night?
It’s really cool. It’s our hometown, there’s something special, like hockey was really missed here, so to have a chance to be part of the whole celebration of hockey coming back — you know the team is such a huge part of the city here, so to have a chance to be associated in any way with hockey in Montreal and the team, it’s always a huge honour. It makes us proud to be from Montreal. And if we have a chance to play for our fans for free in our hometown, we always jump at it. It’s a great gift for them; they’ve been so supportive of the band. They’ve been following us for 12 years now.
What are the best songs to play at hockey games?
It’s funny, but I like all the goal songs people play. Some are pretty cheesy, like dance and everything, but there’s something so rad when your favourite team scores and the song kicks in and it makes you love the song. But if there’s one that everybody loves and sets the tone right before the game starts, I’d have to say “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses. That just puts you in the mood to want to scream your head off and get really excited for the game and I think it does the same for the players, it’s an anthem. And it has a cool message, too.
Do you have a favourite NHL moment?
On a personal level, I’m good friends with Panthers goaltender José Théodore, he’s like one of my super good friends. So for them to make the playoffs after they’d been written off, like, ahh, they got no chance at all, they’ll never go anywhere and his career’s over. People have been saying that for five or six years now and he’s still proving everybody wrong, so that was a really big moment for me. That was really cool.
That would be amazing to have that close connection to someone on the ice.
It definitely changes the way you watch the games. The band’s had some nice chances to meet some of our hockey heroes. And it’s funny, because every hockey player wants to be in a rock band and every rock band from Canada wants to be a hockey player.
Puck rock playlist
Hockey day in Canada with Dave Bidini and more
on Jan 18, 2013