Hey everybody, my name is Graham and for the past seven years I've been playing keyboard in a band called Tokyo Police Club. We've released three records, toured in a whole bunch of places, and done a lot of other pretty cool stuff. Right now we're writing new songs and we're about to go on tour with Foster The People (you know, the band that wrote that song you hear everywhere). I'll be hanging out until 6 or 7, so ask me stuff!


UPDATE: Wow, this was pretty cool. I have to split for now, but if you guys want to keep posting questions I'll definitely swing by a few times over the next couple of days and answer as many of them as I can. Thanks for all the questions and nice things you've said! Have a good night!

Comments: 922 • Responses: 74  • Date: 

guynumber11373 karma

Hey guys! if you remember, you guys played a show during the calgary stampede last summer (it started to pour rain. made the concert even better) anyway, me and two of my friends came to you guys after the show and gave you a massive stuffed Jamaican banana that we won playing at a game stand before the show. We wrote on it a bunch of your lyrics in black sharpie. Later that week you put up pictures of it on Facebook with you holding the banana in the airport! anyway, basically my question is, do you still have the banana??

GrahamWrightTPC467 karma

That banana is stapled to the wall directly above my keyboard in our rehearsal space.

guynumber11282 karma

this is like the highlight of our lives. Thank you guys your awesome!!!

GrahamWrightTPC295 karma

Thank YOU for the hilarious gift. Bagging that thing in the middle of a busy airport is one of my favourite memories.

Wexler271 karma

Hey Graham, long time stalker here (about 22+ years now). I was just wondering if you could explain to me why you are in this picture, at my old house in my old pool? http://imgur.com/aifcF

Seriously though, good to see you are doing this. My question for me is if you have had a chance to swing into any good bourbon joints since leaving our ever-so-gently warming country? Also I'll send you that list of good bourbons to check out for, and I'll pay you in both cold hard cash and cold hard friendship - the latter of which I know you prefer. And did you bring my novel manuscript with you? I guess I have more questions that I thought... oh well. Maybe I'll come back on here and bother you as the evening goes on. P.S. - I wonder when Eric will say something revealing...

P.P.S - To the fans: see if you can spot any other TPC members in that photo!

GrahamWrightTPC136 karma

How did this get down voted?! Attentive parties will notice that I've already begun developing my signature hip glasses style here, albeit with large blue goggles instead of the more svelte retro frames I sport now. These things take time! Thank you for this glimpse into Tokyo Police Club history.

XHolyMolarX122 karma

Hello, I just want to thank you for Elephant Shell. That CD didn't leave my rotation for half a year when it came out.

GrahamWrightTPC106 karma

That's great to hear. I've been kind of hating on that record recently so it's gratifying to hear people digging it.

floooo41 karma

Please don't hate it. It's one of my favourite records of all times.

Which reminds me of when I saw you play in Frankfurt, Germany a while back. Afterwards, I asked Dave why you didn't play "Juno", which is my favourite song. Not just out of your songs, but in general. He said, "Well, it's just not that much of a fun song to play". That totally bummed me out: The song I love the most out of all your songs is the one song you guys don't enjoy playing... On the other hand, being in a band myself, I can realte to not wanting to play certain songs anymore.

tl;dr: Just keep on with what you're doing!

GrahamWrightTPC88 karma

Junos a toughie - it's a very 'studio' song, which makes sense because we wrote it in there studio. Pretty much none of the sounds on the recorded version are easy/possible to recreate live, which means we have to try to come up with a new way to play it. We've come at Juno from a bunch of angles and never really felt comfortable about it. And in those scenarios it's generally best to not play the thing at all, rather than give a half baked rendition. Like, imagine if we'd played your favourite song Juno, but it just hadn't sounded right and didn't live up to your expectations. That's way worse to me than just missing out on it entirely... That said, I still love the song and I hope we can figure out a good way to do it someday!

cokevirgin68 karma

How did the band's name "Tokyo Police Club" come about?

What other names were considered?

GrahamWrightTPC89 karma

We knew we wanted something that ended in Club, and then somehow out of our grade 12 brains came Tokyo and Police.

Before that we were batting around The Tenants and then Call The Tenants, I think there are some old CD-Rs floating around with really old demos that still have those names on them. Can't remember if there was anything else, though I suspect there probably was a few.

OftGoAwry53 karma

Thank you for the AMA, first off.

Second, I just wanted to ask about Tokyo Police Club’s new album, and what the sound is going to be like, because you guys have had a really great evolution in sound over your two EPs and two LPs. I felt that Elephant Shell and A Lesson in Crime were both very driven by lead riffs, while Champ moved a little bit away from that, while still sounding awesome. So in other words, where has that evolution taken you from Champ up until now?

Lastly, do you by chance remember the fan who asked you guys to sign his face when you played that acoustic show with Two Door Cinema Club at Criminal Records in Atlanta last year? Because that was me.

GrahamWrightTPC60 karma

Oh man, I was just thinking about that! Sorry we didn't sign your face, but sometimes people ask you to do stuff that no normal person would ever encounter in every day life and I guess we just decided to draw the line there. You seemed really mad about that but hopefully we can still be friends.

I agree with you re riffs and our records - I think we've gotten more into song craft over time, working harder on chords and melodies and structures, and letting them stand on their own without feeling like we need a new catchy riff to come in every four bars to liven things up. So I guess we're more secure in our songwriting?

Madisons_Han_Solo35 karma

Do you sign tits or is that only in movies?

GrahamWrightTPC168 karma

You know, not one person has ever asked. This life is a lie.

GrahamWrightTPC50 karma

Wow, this was pretty cool. I have to split for now, but if you guys want to keep posting questions I'll definitely swing by a few times over the next couple of days and answer as many of them as I can. Thanks for all the questions and nice things you've said! Have a good night!

dumlucks49 karma

Graham -

Just wanted to let you know that for the two years when I'd drive my son to preschool he'd request the A Lesson in Crime album every morning. We'd rock out together on the way to school and we never got tired of it. Great memory with my son, thought you guys would get a kick out of it.

Keep the great music coming!

GrahamWrightTPC49 karma

That's awesome!! Hearing that kids like our stuff is the coolest. Thanks for spreading the love to a new generation!

TheAlaskanPipeline48 karma

I just want to say that you are absolutely my favourite band. I love everything you guys put out and I want to say thank you! You guys are great!

For a question, what is the craziest (best or worst) fan experience that you've had over the past few years?

GrahamWrightTPC122 karma

Thanks so much!

People ask that a lot, and I never have a good answer. Our fans are by and large pretty chill and normal. Once a guy snuck into our van by holding merch boxes in front of his face and we didn't notice for a good ten minutes. Then he asked us to drive him home, which was 30 minutes away. We dropped him off at a pizza place.

shafatarbazalam47 karma

I saw you guys with Two Door Cinema Club and SSLYBY last year, and I'll be seeing you guys again Sunday night in Brooklyn. Gotta say that your show was one of the most exciting ones I've ever been to, and I remember you specifically have an awesome stage presence that just made me wanna dance. You guys are my favorite! I should also mention that Elephant Shell has been sitting in my cars CD player since I got it 3 years ago.

tell me, what's your favorite color?

GrahamWrightTPC187 karma

So glad you enjoyed it - that whole tour was insane. Although just FYI on Sunday we're in Manhattan, at Bowery. And I don't have a favourite colour... Make sure you spell it with a 'u' though, Tokyo Police Club only accepts Canadian spelling.

thwump6435 karma

After being in the band for so long, what's your relationship with the other members of the band like?

GrahamWrightTPC57 karma

Really good and I suspect really unique. We were friends for a long time before we even started the band anyway, so at this point we're probably closer than anyone. It's not so different from a relationship, except we also all own a business together. We've always been a really functional band which is fortunate, we solve our arguments really easily.

cononor28 karma

I have a few questions

  1. What's your favourite song you've ever made?

  2. Why are there so many good bands from Canada? (Arcade Fire, Alexisonfire and you for examples)

  3. When are you touring the U.K?

  4. If you weren't doing music what would you be doing?

p.s Thanks for making good music

GrahamWrightTPC44 karma

  1. Some of the new ones. Which is always how it is, novelty rocks. But for sheer longevity I still think Be Good (from our first EP) is a killer jam.
  2. It's a big country! Also, our government gives out a lot of money to support the arts, so bands have a way better chance of getting on their feet and getting their music to people's ears, which is hugely important. It's really expensive to start a band!

whales200525 karma

Favourite band(s) you've ever toured with?

Personally I LOVED the Christmas concerts with Born Ruffians and Said the Whale!

GrahamWrightTPC43 karma

Those Christmas shows are for sure in my top 5 things I've ever done in my life. We've toured with a ton of amazing bands and I hate even singling any out, but I have to say that Arkells were insanely inspiring every night, we learned a lot about live performance from those guys (and also ripped off a ton of their banter ideas).

[deleted]25 karma

Who are some of your favourite Indie bands/regular bands out there today?

GrahamWrightTPC66 karma

I've been listening to a ton of Coldplay, that band is just incredible. They catch a lot of shit but I love their sincerity and their seemingly insatiable drive to connect with every single listener on the planet. Plus the songs slay.

On an indier note, check out Zammuto. One of my favourite records of the year. http://zammutosound.com/home.cfm

juniorwho24 karma

This is a AMA, so... My friends and I always debate if you're gay or not. Don't get me (us) wrong, it's just that... that relationship with The Fabulous Yawn is a little weird. By the way, are you single? Please don't hate me.

GrahamWrightTPC45 karma

Spencer and I refer to each other as heteosexual life mates. He's my roommate and my dear friend, but no we are not lovers and in fact are both straight. I'm single at the moment but I'm working on changing that up...

meyyth20 karma

I love you.

Also, what inspired you to do The Lakes of Alberta? Amazing album. Why don't you sing more in TPC?

GrahamWrightTPC83 karma


GrahamWrightTPC19 karma

Lakes of Alberta, in retrospect, I think came out of me being unhappy in this relationship I was in. I didn't think that at the time but now it seems obvious.

I think it's important for bands to have a strong songwriting voice. Dave has a really unique style, and having me pop up every now and again would dilute that. I'm happy singing away on my own stuff anyhow.

liferemixed20 karma

Massive fan from Ontario, here! What is the worst thing that has happened to TPC while on tour?

GrahamWrightTPC28 karma

Once our van broke down in line for the US border, that was a good one. We got to push it through the border where a bunch of US Government mechanics fixed it astonishingly quickly.

That same van broke down on our way to play at Lollapalooza, which at that point was our biggest show ever. We signed the deed over to a tow truck driver and rented two SUVs to drive the rest of the way, making it in time to sleep for four hours before our set. Which was awesome, so no harm no foul I guess...

Portgas20 karma

Do you have a brother named Phoenix?

GrahamWrightTPC15 karma

Unless my brother has changed his name recently, then no.

Frajer20 karma

How exactly did Ten Songs, Ten Years, Ten Days come about?

GrahamWrightTPC25 karma

It was the label's idea, as I recall. Basically we're always getting ideas thrown at us about gimmicky stuff we can do to keep the name out there. Most of them are kind of shitty, but that one we thought was great. The original idea was to do like 16 covers in 16 days (coincidentally the only 16 days we had off between two tours, which is a good example of how labels think) but we wrestled it down to a more manageable 10.

derpderpin20 karma

Are you the dude who did a post back on something awful years ago?

GrahamWrightTPC23 karma

I am indeed. This is my triumphant return to answering questions on the internet.

BrutusHFX18 karma

I ask this to all band members, but...

Where is the best place to get a burger?

GrahamWrightTPC28 karma

Corner Bistro in NYC, it's a band tradition.

jpndrds13 karma

How good is the new Japandroids album?

GrahamWrightTPC10 karma

Haven't heard it yet, I'm terrible at checking out new music. But I want to!

Ctcher9 karma

Nothing too crazy, Im a big fan. But I have a friend who's a fan of your work specifically and TPC is her favourite band. It's her birthday tomorrow. Could you give her a shout out? Her names Carissa.

Toronto ftw

GrahamWrightTPC11 karma

Happy Early Birthday, Carissa!

stealshark9 karma

How does alcohol factor into your process... or not?

GrahamWrightTPC37 karma

Into our process? Not at all. Into our lifestyle? A fair amount. Bands like to drink...

Mrcubman569 karma

How do you feel about Pitchfork and the entire music blogging atmosphere? How does that influence how you do your job and make music?

Also, I saw you guys play with Two Door Cinema Club and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, and it was one of the best shows I have ever been too, so much fun!

GrahamWrightTPC16 karma

It's a necessary evil, I guess? I don't know, I'm down with music press and I love to read good music writing, but now there's so many websites and so many writers that I think the overall quality of music writing is hopelessly diluted. I guess the good stuff still rises to the top, but it's depressing how many interviews I've done with "journalists" with shitty blogs that have no business anywhere near a keyboard. But whatever, gotta chase that press, gotta sell dem records, gotta pay dem bills!

peabz8 karma

Big fan of Tokyo Police Club, what are your favorite bands, and what bands have had an influence on your music?

Also, does having "Club" at the end of the band name automatically make you guys awesome? I mean, look at Two Door Cinema Club, and Bombay Bicycle Club, another two awesome bands.

GrahamWrightTPC13 karma

You forgot Culture Club.

We've been influenced by tons of stuff over the years, but these days it's a lot of pop stuff - Coldplay, Katy Perry, The Weeknd, Drake, and many more have all been played and studied ad naseum to see what makes them work so well.

[deleted]8 karma

GRAHAM MUTHAFUCKEN WRIGHT! I'm a fan. Also, I was a friend of yours (and Dave and Josh - though you were certainly the best of the group) in high school but my identity remains anonymous:

1) Tokyo Police Club, Will Currie and the Country French... two good young indie bands... Were there creative differences in Suburbia that resulted in the breakup? Why do you think Suburbia didn't work while Tokyo Police Club did?

2) Have you had sex with old friends from high school who wanted to whore themselves out to your fame? If so, I would like names...

3) You are all exceedingly smart (and funny) guys. Of the band members, who do you think is smartest? Who do you think is funniest? Do you keep up with intellectual interests or is music all-consuming?

4) Suppose I had embarrassing yearbook photos and signatures, how much money could i extort from you?

Keep up the good work...

GrahamWrightTPC4 karma


1) Yeah, Suburbia was your typical high school band where everyone started pulling in different directions and it just sort of ended. Amicably, I might add. Basically Will wanted to write Brian Wilson/Rufus Wainwright songs, I wanted to write Decemberists songs (don't ask me why, I was 17), and the other guys wanted to write Rapture songs. So we did that.

2) No comment.

3) I couldn't even pick, we're all smart and funny like a unit, I don't know what the guys are like individually. Suffice to say they're probably the three smartest funniest dudes I know. Josh and Greg like non-fiction, Dave and I like novels. That's one difference.

4) Scan 'em and put 'em up, I have nothing to hide. I think.

pl4yswithsquirrels7 karma

First off, you guys played in Jacksonville, FL on my birthday last year and I want to thank you for the kick-ass birthday present.

When is the new album expected to come out and how do you think it compares to your older albums in terms of sound, songwriting, etc?

GrahamWrightTPC20 karma

That was a great show, and I'm glad you enjoyed it for your birthday. Consider this a retroactive dedication of the full set to you.

New album was supposed to have come out by now, so we could pimp it on the Foster tour, but sadly we work really slowly so it's still in the writing phase. I think we're hoping to hit the studio in August and then go from there, so feasibly the record could be out anywhere from late fall this year to some time next tear.

pl4yswithsquirrels4 karma

Appreciate it! It was possibly my favorite show I've been to- the energy was amazing!

Do you guys ever feel pressure to continually put out albums in a reasonable time to maintain relevancy in the age of the internet where you can find new music everywhere?

Also, are there any bands in particular that you look to that force you guys to want to make better music and hone your craft? (i.e. Bands looking to The Beatles in their hay day)

GrahamWrightTPC7 karma

We totally feel the pressure, but at the end of the day you just kind of have to write songs until you're happy with the songs. I wish our process was faster, but c'est la vie.

The bands that make us really challenge ourselves are just successful bands. Like, I think our band is so great and then I watch a band like Foster The People blow up and I wonder how we can get to that level, how we can reach that many people. So that keeps us on our toes.

AndyHenry7 karma

First off, I love your music. I saw you guys in Pittsburgh 3 years ago and it was one of the best shows I've been too. What challenges have you faced with writing new music? Elephant Shell was really great and had a lot of hype around it, but Champ doesn't seem to have the same feel. Hope to see you guys perform again sometime soon!

Edit: The Line "This is skin, you can wrap all of your arms and legs in" has been on my wall for years.

GrahamWrightTPC14 karma

Thanks! Mr. Smalls?

I think the main challenge for us with writing new music is just that we have really high standards. So there's a lot of tearing things apart and rewriting and reworking. It frustrates the hell out of me sometimes, but then I look at the end product - which is always miles better - and I can't complain. Until we decide to tear THAT up and start from scratch. And on and on it goes...

borachio6 karma

Hey Graham! Just wanted to thank you guys for your wonderful music. Anytime I'm feeling like shit, I know I can count on your sweet jams. So for my silly question: In the Wait Up Video, who came up with the awesome idea to use fluffy doggies?

Can't wait to see you this weekend at The Bowery!

GrahamWrightTPC5 karma

All credit for that video goes to Mr. Mike Juneau. He came up with the whole thing and he did all the work, we just showed up one day and mimed along with our song a few times. He's a talented dude, check out http://heisthefuture.com/ to see more of his shit.

cstir156 karma

Big fan! Can't wait to see you guys on Sunday night. I saw you all for the first time ages ago when you opened for bloc party and there were about 30 people there. It's cool to see how far you've come. What is the guitar/keyboard effect on "Bambi"? I love that song. It sounds like a tremolo. Also, can you please play cut cut paste on Sunday? It would make me oh so very happy. Thanks!!

GrahamWrightTPC13 karma

Bambi works like so: Dave made a little instrumental guitar thing in GarageBand years ago, and then he cut it up at random and just fucked with it until it became something. So it's a bunch of effected guitars cut up. Live, I just trigger it with a sampler. In the video, I pretend like I'm playing it on keys because I like to take credit for/confuse people, but in reality I had nothing to do with it.

jmccee6 karma

Thanks for the AMA! Has TPC allowed you a pretty decent living, financially? I always wonder how hard it is for Canadian bands to be full-time musicians. How much do you make annnually?

GrahamWrightTPC17 karma

Yeah, TPC has been my full time job since 2007. At first that was because I got fired for taking so much time off to tour, but by now I'm living pretty comfortably. I'm not going to throw out an exact figure but right now I'd say I'm firmly in the bottom bit of the upper middle class. The problem of course is that that money could dry up at any time if people stop liking us/the music industry collapses/both.

uptownpasta6 karma

Ughhhh, I would just like to say that your music is embedded into my soul pretty hard, and just listening to it dregs up the shadows of good times. My question for you is what is the best experience TPC has had together as a group? e.g. Snorkeling or riding tandem bikes duct taped together, or something equally awesome

GrahamWrightTPC10 karma

That is SO HARD to answer. Seriously, we've had so many wicked times. One that just popped into my brain was playing bumper cars in a mall in Indonesia. You have no idea how you got there or how any of it makes sense, and every time you try to drink it in Dave rams you with his car and then you're off again. Incredible.

tehconx0r6 karma

Hey Graham,

Big fan of Tokyo Police Club and your solo stuff.

Couple questions: Are there going to be more handclaps in your next record? I miss those.

I really enjoyed Shirts and Skins, but I loved the Lakes of Alberta ep. Could you see yourself putting together a more conceptual album as a solo artist?

Are you more comfortable behind keys or a guitar?

Where - for you - has been the greatest place Tokyo Police Club has taken?

Thanks for doing this. I also wanted to say you guys played my frosh at Carleton U, and that coincidence was the best possible way to have opened my university experience, so thanks for that too!

GrahamWrightTPC5 karma

I think we sort of purposefully left the handclaps behind, BUT I was just listening to one of our new demos and it does indeed have handclaps on it. It was a blast from the past, gathering around a mic to track handclaps again just like we did in my parents' basement in 2005.

I'm slowly working on a mammoth sci-fi post apocalyptic concept record. I have no idea if it'll ever actually happen, but it is definitely very dorky and pretty sweet!

I'm most comfortable finger picking an acoustic, my skills at both keys and electric guitar leave much to be desired. But I'm practicing!

Probably the coolest place we've been is Jakarta, that was a trip.

iluvlucy25 karma

Top picks for NXNE? Also top picks for Alex Trebek's replacement?

GrahamWrightTPC7 karma

I won't be in town for NXNE this year, which I'm bummed about because all my friends will be. Consequently I have no idea about any shows. I produced an EP for my friends' band Stella Ella Ola, and they have a show. Go to that! http://www.facebook.com/events/314433385297891/

IndeedIndeedSir5 karma

Hey Graham, Just curious. How long did it take you to find a sound that you like? I'm working on some of my own music right now, and I find myself jumping along the range of sounds. Was the sound of Tokyo Police Club sort of instantaneously formed, or is it really a constantly evolving project? Also. I'll be at the show in Detroit. Do you guys come out after your set? I'd love to chat or get a picture or have a sleepover or something.

GrahamWrightTPC10 karma

It was and is constantly evolving, but especially at the beginning it was pretty natural. We had a good idea what we were going for and what bands we wanted to rip off, so it came together pretty naturally. Once, someone commented that we sounded like "wide eyed pop music" and we decided to adopt that as our mantra for a while and stop playing all the songs we felt didn't fit into that. Actually, after all this time, I still think that's a pretty perfect description of what we're about.

Julbcl5 karma

My best friend Agathe has been obsessed with Dave ever since I brought her to your show in Paris two years ago. She never got over his beautiful animals shirt, he left her in a poor state. Do you know why he cut his hair? Also I'm pretty sure you're her second favorite in the band.

a real question now: don't you think that FTP should open for you and not the over way around? you've released more stuff and your music is approximately 1000 times better than theirs, it just doesn't seem fair.

GrahamWrightTPC12 karma

Dave cut his hair because it was summer and it was hot, and also because he decided to do it and then chickened out and then decided it would be a good life move to NOT chicken out and just jump in. I personally think he looks more handsome than ever.

FTP is crushingly and overwhelmingly popular, therefore they sell more tickets, therefore they headline. I'm just glad we get to ride on their coattails for a while. And hopefully this time next year it'll be us jamming with the Beach Boys at the Grammys.

electrolemon5 karma

In February of 2011 I walked 17 blocks in the freezing cold from my dorm on the UT campus to see you guys play at La Zona Rosa in downtown Austin. I tweeted about doing so. Someone in the band told the merch dudes and he gave me a cup of tea, and a half-off discount on the vinyl of Elephant Shell. Dave signed it with like a full paragraph and a boat.

I don't really have a question, just an anecdote. That show was awesome. So thanks for that. Your covers project with Polaroid was also totally rad. All My Friends and Under Control are two of my favorite songs by LCD Soundsystem and The Strokes, respectively, so hearing you guys absolutely rock those was great. If you guys pass through Austin, I WILL see you again.

GrahamWrightTPC4 karma

Thanks so much for coming out to that! That was a disappointing day, we usually do really well in Austin and the show was on its way to selling out, and then the worst cold front ever hit Texas and like half the people stayed home. I remember it being a fun one anyway, though.

winslowwinslow4 karma

Graham! Are you planning on doing any more solo stuff any time soon? The Lakes of Alberta is a gem, I (and others) would love to hear anything else you've done. I love Monks' voice, but yours is just awesome.

Also, thank you for NOVELS -- being a huge fan of you guys and Born Ruffians, that project was awesome. I've given it some airplay on college radio at UCLA and it always goes well, plus the backstory is sweet. What was that process like? Was it really just one night? Stressful? Awesome? Worth it?

GrahamWrightTPC3 karma

Novels was probably the best day of my life and most fun thing I've ever done. It wasn't stressful at all, just a 16 hour burst of pure creativity and collaboration. Don't know if you've checked out this other thing I did called GSJF, but it's a similar concept except with different people and in my apartment! http://gsjf.bandcamp.com/

[deleted]4 karma

Tokyo Police Club is one of my favorite bands, I have seen you guys play live 4 times and each one was better than the last. (Toronto Twice, Guelph University Campus, and Starlight in Waterloo ON). Keep it up!

My Question is this: Even though you play an instrument that rests on the ground, you are extremely active on stage, always moving and bouncing to the music. Have you ever accidentally wiped out? Come close? Would you ever add a strap to your keyboard and rock out 80's style?

GrahamWrightTPC5 karma

I've never wiped out at a Tokyo show that I can remember, though I've had some pretty close calls. I tripped over an amp at a solo show once, which was pretty spectacular.

A couple of years ago I thought it would be awesome to do a keytar moment in the set, but cooler heads prevailed. I just really want to do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21vyxmsXDzM

digitalmediamaster4 karma

What was your first "big Break" and how did it happen?

GrahamWrightTPC8 karma

There really is no such thing as a big break, but the catalyst for us getting serious was when this Toronto label called Paperbag Records offered to release an EP if we made one. That was enough for us to jump in with both feet, so I guess it counts.

[deleted]4 karma


GrahamWrightTPC10 karma

We were all big Bright Eyes and Rilo Kiley fans, though I don't know how much direct influence that had on Tokyo stuff. But everything you like gets filtered into your music somehow...

xrush10x4 karma

Being that you guys are both from Canada, would you guys ever go on tour with Born Ruffians?

GrahamWrightTPC3 karma

They're good friends of ours, and we've toured with them a few times before. If it ever made sense to do it again, we would in a heartbeat. One of my favourite bands for sure, their new record is going to be killer.

TheCleverestUsername3 karma

No question, I just want to say thanks for playing an awesome show with Passion Pit in Detroit and for defining my summers since Lesson in Crime EP came out.

GrahamWrightTPC7 karma

Defining summers is what rock and roll is all about, and I couldn't be more honoured to hear that we've defined yours. Thanks!!

DiddyCity3 karma

Hey guys, ive been a huge fan ever since I heard A Lesson In Crime back in like 2007. Can you guys play some older songs in Philly on thursday? That would be amazing!

Also what's the very first record you owned?

GrahamWrightTPC16 karma

We'll definitely have some oldies in the set in Philly.

First record I owned was Contact 2, a compilation of songs related to hockey, I got it for Christmas. First record I ever bought was Clumsy by Our Lady Peace.

juniorwho3 karma

What movie can't you just wait to see? TDKR? Spidey? Prometheus? Hobbit?

GrahamWrightTPC9 karma

All of the above and more. But TDKR above all. And then The Master and Django Unchained in December. Oh and Skyfall, whenever that comes out. I love movies.


Waddup Graham! I was at one your Christmas shows in Toronto and you guys and all the other bands that played kicked ass!

What was the worst show you guys ever played (in any sense of the term)? Is there one performance over the years that stands out as being the worst in your opinion?

GrahamWrightTPC8 karma

We've definitely played some doozies. The one I remember hating the most was at a place called Beauty Bar in Las Vegas. It was hot as hell, and we were on these in ear monitors (basically you hear yourself on headphones instead of speakers at your feet) which are wireless, and the transmitter was all effed up and most of the show was just static and sweat and me being pissed off. Fuck that show.

feeleyfilms3 karma

You're by far my favorite band. I just wanted to say thank you for Elephant Shell and as for a question do you have a personal favorite song you guys have released? Also what are your favorite bands?

GrahamWrightTPC14 karma

That we've released, maybe Bambi? That song is a banger.

jmccee2 karma

duh.duh.duh d-d clap-clap-clap

GrahamWrightTPC8 karma

We started making a video at one point of all our friends doing their impression of the riff from Bambi, it was pretty hilarious.

Julbcl3 karma

hey graham! first off, thanks for being awesome, TPC has been one of my favorite bands since high school and you've never disappointed me. Also your youtube channel kicks ass, your vids always make me smile.

since A Lesson In Crime was probably my most-played record when I was around 14/15, I would like to know who was your favorite band (or album) when you were that age?

GrahamWrightTPC6 karma

When I was 14/15 I was still in the grips of a massive Radiohead obsession. I think that's about when Hail To The Thief came out so I was probably listening to that all the time. I got more into 'indie rock' a year or so later when I started dating this girl who made me a ton of mix CDs.

brokensocialscene3 karma

I've seen you guys three times at the Black Cat in DC, all absolutely amazing shows.

What are your favorite cities to play? and who are some of your favorite bands to tour with?

GrahamWrightTPC3 karma

I love the Black Cat, playing there is always a blast.

See above for fav cities and fav bands!

Jeeonta3 karma

Did you guys enjoy playing at Osheaga last year ?

And what's the overall reputation of Montréal within the music industry ?

GrahamWrightTPC12 karma

Osheaga rules. Montreal's reputation for a long time was that you would get your gear stolen there, but that's improved recently. Our band has a special affinity for Montreal - we got our first record deal as a result of a Pop Montreal show. Dave was living there at the time, going to McGill, and we all slept in his dorm room and jammed in his friend's dorm room. Good times. Plus, Schwartz's.

doctor_jeff2 karma

Thanks for doing this! How have you seen the band's earning potential change as we've moved into the age of easy digital distribution? And, as someone who grew up in the 70s and was way into stereo gear, do you think the new generation of fans is missing out on what music really sounds like? I mean, so much 128k music out there, listened to via cheap earbuds!

GrahamWrightTPC8 karma

Basically, nowadays it's easier to make some money but harder to make a lot of money. And you really have to work for it, because most of your money comes from touring, there's no more sitting back and getting cheques in the mail from all your crazy record sales.

I'm no audiophile, so I can't really speak to how the quality of music has changed, but I suspect you're probably right. I got some nice headphones and I can't imagine listening to my old iPod earbuds anymore.

specialk212 karma

Hey, just wanted to say you guys are awesome, I'm from Toronto but have a good friend who went to Newmarket H.S. (he had Josh's dad as a teacher). I'm wondering what kind of music/bands you listen to in your spare time?

GrahamWrightTPC6 karma

These days I'm listening to The Beatles a lot, which I do every few months. Newer music wise, I've been digging the Jack White record and this band called Zammuto which is the new project from one of the guys from The Books (also awesome). And then I've been digging into some classic rock, a few weeks ago I was listening to No Jacket Required like twice a day.

MississippiQueen2 karma

Hey, I was wondering what's your favourite thing about touring? Also what city has been your favourite to perform in? Any advice for people looking to have their music heard?

GrahamWrightTPC4 karma

My favourite part is just the hanging out. The shows are great, of course, but I kind of just love sitting around with the band and the crew, drinking beers and bullshitting.

As far as advice, just try to hold yourself to a really high standard and work really hard, and hope for the best. It worked out okay for us...

andrewdreams2 karma

Hey graham big fan. I've always wondered, what was the song "Tessellate" about?

GrahamWrightTPC4 karma

I have no idea! Possibly nothing. I should have Dave here to answer these questions...

MgIaCyAcH2 karma

Have you guys ever fought seriously on tour? Also, what was your moment when you thought: "wow this is really happening"?

GrahamWrightTPC10 karma

We only ever have had two serious fights on tour. One was, I believe, in Atlanta and it was about money. The second was in New Orleans and it was about the appropriate exchange rate of hand jobs to blow jobs. It seriously lasted for hours and everyone was really pissed. That is what happens when you tour.

Julbcl2 karma

Who writes the lyrics in the band? Do you guys have a thing for prehistoric men? (asking this because of La Ferrassie & Listen To The Math)

GrahamWrightTPC4 karma

Yeah, Dave was taking a anthropology course at school when he wrote those. The nerd.

Sabojik2 karma


GrahamWrightTPC6 karma

Musically I'd say we've changed a ton, and we'll change even more in the future. But I think the key is that at heart we've always been a pop band and most of our progression musically has just been about embracing that more and more.

danbronson2 karma

Would you rather play big festivals (Sasquatch, Coachella, etc.) or a smaller headlining tour city to city? Why?

GrahamWrightTPC3 karma

Both, changing it up every few months. They're both awesome in really different ways (sunshine, free food, lots of bands vs. lots of set up time, your own fans, more money, pride) and they're both a welcome change when you've been doing the other one for a while.

[deleted]2 karma

My friend Bryan met you guys once and recommended that you check out the movie "Tokyo Gore Police", you guys ever check out that movie? if so, what did you think?

GrahamWrightTPC2 karma

No shit!! I never saw the movie, but for a long time it would pop up every time I googled us (which I used to do often) so it really sticks in my memory. I'll definitely have to check it out some time.

monkberry2 karma

Love you guys! Not to make this not about you but I saw you perform with Phoenix in Toronto a few years back and it was a killer show all around. Are they as awesomely chill as they seem?

GrahamWrightTPC5 karma

We only played two shows with Phoenix and sadly I didn't get to speak to any of them. Awesome shows, though!

jercohen2 karma

Saw you in Toronto on the first Christmas concert, you actually were my phone bg for awhile. Anyways, what happened to your side project? You released one album, any future plans? Also, what goals do you have for the new album sound-wise?

GrahamWrightTPC3 karma

Yeah, I'm always working away on solo stuff when I have spare time. I just don't have very much spare time these days. I have a huge backlog of songs that I need to do something with, so hopefully I can get to that soon, but for now all my time and creative energy is taken up with Tokyo stuff.

New album, I just want it to sound bigger. I'm really into pop music these days and I just love the idea of directness and bigness. If I had my way TPC would be playing arenas and I always want the music to reflect that. But, like, still cool and stuff. If it was ever cool...

whales20052 karma

What have you done that you are the most proud of? Thanks for the great music!

GrahamWrightTPC7 karma

We've done a few things I'm hugely proud of. A big one for me was doing a cover of Friends Of P by The Rentals. It's a song I've loved for ages, and Matt Sharp apparently specifically requested we cover it for a Rentals tribute collection. The collection never saw the light of day, but we released Friends Of P at some point. And once Matt came and played it with us in LA, which was huge. I loved that.

[deleted]2 karma

What are your thoughts on festivals and smaller venues? A lot of Canadian artists seem to like visiting things like Bluesfest in Ottawa. Do you like these events more than larger concerts or are you the other way around?

GrahamWrightTPC2 karma

They're both great in their own way. Festivals are just a blast because you get to hang out (hopefully) in the sun and watch a bunch of bands play, plus usually you have some friends hanging out there as well. And the catering is generally great, which is the most important thing. But then there's something irreplaceable about playing your own show and knowing that everyone is there to see you. Plus at festivals you have to set up all your stuff really fast, which I hate.

juniorwho2 karma

Speaking of movies, did you like The Avengers?

GrahamWrightTPC5 karma

I loved The Avengers, I thought it was pure movie magic. I can't remember the last time I had that much fun at a movie, I just sat there the whole time with a giddy grin on my face.

stephmouche2 karma

I'm not able to come to your Montreal show :(, are you guys going to do another Canadian tour anytime soon? Also, what if your favourite place to play?

GrahamWrightTPC3 karma

We probably won't tour again until the record is out, or at least finished, so I have no idea. But I'm sure we'll play in Montreal multiple times over the next two years.

I can't even pick the best place to play. It's always a blast playing at home in Toronto of course, and LA and NY are great because we have lots of friends there. But then every tour the best show always seems to be somewhere random that we never expect.

jmccee2 karma

10X10X10 - which cover do you think turned out best?

GrahamWrightTPC16 karma

Oh and I love the LCD Soundsystem one.

GrahamWrightTPC12 karma

Party In The USA and Little Sister probably...