IAmA indie rock band from Toronto. We are Tokyo Police Club. AMA
Hey everyone, we're Tokyo Police Club. We've been making music together since 2005 and have put out a some EPs and albums you may have heard. We're going to start answering questions at 6pm EST and will go for as long as we can. All of us are getting in on the action so to see our answers look for GrahamWrightTPC, DaveMonksTPC, JoshHookTPC, and GregAlsopTPC. Sorry we if we answer your question twice!
As highschool students back in 2004, Tokyo seemed like most exotic place and an obvious must in the band name. Police was an appropriate non-sequitur and Club was Duh. Or maybe I got it off the internet.
I'm a big fan of TPC because I have a lower vocal range, so I can sing most of your songs with relative ease as opposed to say, The Kooks or Two Door Cinema Club, who have higher ranges that are hard for me to hit in my chest voice
Dave, how does having a low range affect the way you write songs? Or do you not consciously think about it? And lastly, what vocal exercises do you do before performing, if any?
Thanks again for the AMA, I'm a huge fan. If you're ever in Michigan again, I will definitely be there.
yeah i have a low voice and 90% of pop music is a struggle for me (detrimental to kareoke performances>>> like dude youre a pro singer get up there! and then i'm all you don't understand! range-wise blink 182 to me is like mariah carey to a normal person) singing low is tough when your writing in a practice space but songs like Bambi and Hands reversed got written on my laptop and I got comfortable with using that register. I'm always aware what range I'm singing in and always try moving keys around (much to the dismay of graham and josh, who must relearn and relearn)
Which band has been the most fun to tour with?
Touring with passion pit was pretty wild, we became the post-show party instigators. Setting up lawn chairs outside the bus with a visible cool full of beers right outside the venue exit. Then you just wait til you hear "Sleepyhead" and T-5 minutes til you can draft members of a passing crowd into your fun-zone.
Favourite place(s) in Toronto to hang out?
(PS, I fucking love you guys, haven't missed a Toronto show since 2008, that's devotion)
-Communist Daughter -Mother India -Sam James (all)
How about some Dave-otion?
What got you guys in to the music business?
Uh College blows, duh. So blind faith in the rockstar dream and understanding parents.
Hi TPC, I went to your concert in Munich in 2010 and there was this drunk guy who would always push other people around while dancing. It was really annoying to everyone in the club, so Dave gently asked him to dance a little less aggressive. He didn't listen and you guys got him kicked out. Thanks for that. That was awesome.
What did you do as a job before your band was successful enough?
What are your connections to Andre Anjos from RAC? He did a lot of TPC remixes and I think I read something about you touring together.
oh yeah i remember that guy! what a scheiße disturber... me greg and josh worked at value village, i worked at gap also for a second and graham worked at chapters. and greg worked in a call centre for a nanosecond. he's a friends of ours, i sing a song on his upcoming release featuring various artists. and he's someone who's musical sense we trust and have run ideas by in the past.
- Who influenced you growing up?
- What would you be doing if you weren't in tokyo police club?
- Favourite song to play live?
- When are you coming to the U.K?
- What can we expect from your next release?
- friends/parents/the strokes
- wondering what to point my degree at, winging it in Toronto.
- Argentina/bored of all the old ones
- Oh the U.K. Someday we will conquer your expensiveness.
- Springish 2013
Which songs were on your original demo? Did you really give out cupcakes?
our first demo was 3 songs we recorded in graham's parents' basement: nature of the experiment, cheer it on, and be good. i think theyre on the internet somewhere. we did them on garageband, hand wrote tracklists on 200 inserts (each with a witty illustration), and i made a cover using a school essay and a cut up beck photo (the one where he's holding a red and white umbrella). at early shows we vended pillows and pins, and yeah we did give out cupcakes at a number of poorly attended shows. so i've probably eaten more cupcakes in a single night than you have.
Hey guys, I love you all. I'm giving a presentation about you guys tmrw in class. Hooray! Would you like to give a shout out?
do you love me most? hollah to your class who is about to learn the most valuable info that has ever been spoken to them.
Favourite part of playing live?
It's the only time I get to fart on Greg without him realizing. Also rainy outdoor shows when the crowd gets into getting soaked.
Hey so I heard you guys used to go to McGill and were in Gardner Hall, I was there last year and am wondering what your craziest story from Gardner is?
i used to live in gardner, floor 6! once we turned out all the power on the floor to watch the zepplin DVDs on the floor in the dark in the hall. and one my friend Zach walked in on a girl in the shower, obviously. co-ed bloopers.
First of all, I need to thank you guys for being freaking awesome and making incredible music that has pretty much become the soundtrack to my life. Your songs always put a smile on my face and I absolutely love everything that you do. :)
My question is for Dave, and I was wondering what inspires you to write songs. Is it personal experiences? Stuff you've read or seen? Or kind of both.
Also, just a mystery that's been bothering me for a while, but what do you guys shout at the beginning of Gone?
First of all, no problemo. Glad we have sucessfully transferred a grin to you. Some writing is something I'm always doing and never understanding. The more I try to analyze it and capture something deliberate the less it works. So when I decide I'm inspired and try to write about something it rarely works. But when my guard is down lots of stuff slips in. It's mostly life stuff: girls, breakups, drinking, being bummed/stoked, what's the rest of life suppose to be like etc.... It just gets in there. And then yeah books sometimes.... there's a Tom Robbins song on the go. Start of gone is Chris Zane shouting "DUNDAS!"
That's my favourite cover! I thought of trying reggae version on my bike heading to the studio and Greg's beat made it work. No plans for another cover album tho!
Is there any underlying theme to Champ? I've always tried to find hidden meaning within the songs and connect them, I think I'm onto something, but could just be crazy...
If there's an underlying theme to Champ it's just that all the words came from the same guy who was trying to figure out how being in your early 20's works. All the songs are trying to get across real feelings without worrying about whether or not they fit together. And then we piled them on top of eachother like the junk pile on the cover, that's just life yo!
Hey fellas. I was just out riding my bike, listening to Prince. What've you guys been listening to lately?
I LOOOOVE Prince. I saw him at the ACC last year and he played for 3 hours! 4 encores! Lately I've been listening to a lot of Beatles - I bought their remastered discography off iTunes last Christmas and have been slowly savouring it since. Also I love Luke Lalonde's solo record, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Bloc Party's first record and Killer Mike's album.
Oh i went the night after Greg, it was gold.
Do you feel pressured to change your sound in order to fit in with what similar bands are doing? Things like adding synth and playing overall "cleaner" sounding music? Or is that a natural progression?
We feel the musical zeitgeist (<<douchey) changing around us from garagey to chillwave to synth to the battle for Über-Pop to dark and lo-fi Kendrick Lamar and that can feel like pressure sometimes. Like our sound was relevant at a time but may not be now, but we're figuring that if we let ourselves grow naturally without trying to accomodate the keyboard-trend or the clean four-on-the-floor trend we end up with sometimes that's inevitably of the times and not a contrived attempt at matching the current whatever. Plus a good song is a good song and it doesn't matter how many keyboards or "oo-woah"s it has.
How much is the Suburbia album now worth? What are each of your favourite books?
-still $8, with mint condition insert as printed off by our highschool music teacher. -still life with woodpecker - tom robbins
What is the most interesting crazed-fan story you have? And do you have any fans that contact you consistently?
we have had over enthused fans in the past, people who show up too much and try to be part of the gang. it's awkward but it's just a weird phase for some people i think where hanging with the band seems cool. very few people are ACTUALLY creepy.
I love your work! Your song 'Be Good' is definitely my favourite, please tell me you guys will be doing a UK tour at some point??
be good is one of my faves.
Who created the name of the band? An why "Tokyo Police Club"?
View HistoryShare Link