Canadian rockers Simple Plan have defended their heavy use of sponsors for their gigs as an effective means of reducing ticket prices.

The group sparked controversy when they accepted sponsorship from mobile phone company Nokia for their recent MTV show.

But they're disgusted by criticisms of their sponsorship, insisting they need the money to fund tours.

Frontman PIERRE BOUVIER says, "We don't give a cr*p. I think that attitude is starting to go away now, firstly because the internet and piracy means there's a lot less money going to artists. We've sold six million albums and we're not stinking rich, so we have to find other ways to support the tour. It's not like we've got a cigarette company sponsoring our tour."

Guitarist CHUCK COMEAU adds, "If you have a sponsor, it's a great way to keep ticket prices down. Instead of charging the kids, you're charging it to some big company."

04/07/2005 09:20