In 2005, in a basement in Toronto, Tokyo Police Club was formed by four high school students. The quintet included vocalist/bassist David Monks, keyboardist Graham Wright, drummer Greg Alsop, and guitarist Josh Hook. Their indie rock sound started taking off from the beginning and it wasn’t long before they were getting regular gigs in the Toronto area.
Since their humble beginnings, the four friends remain humble and are impressing the music scene with their catchy beats and contagious songs. To make sure their music is heard, they tour almost constantly and are a hard working band. They will be playing in our little town for the first time Tuesday, April 22 at the Belly Up.
Graham Wright looks at their rise to stardom very simply, “We wrote good songs and toured a lot,” is what he told astrangersfloor.tumblr.com late last year.
Because of the hard work and constant touring, TPC verges on burning out sometimes. As a whole however they try to stay positive and love making music and sharing that music, so it doesn’t seem like hard work.
“When you burn out touring, it’s usually around the time you’re done touring anyway,” says Wright. “And then you write songs, which is exciting and different. Then when you burn out writing songs, it’s time to tour again.”
While their upswing has been steady, TPC continues to grow their confidence as musicians. This is especially noticed in how they make songs. Their first two albums were basically just verses and choruses. On their third they started using bridges and breakdowns and sometimes they were overused. As they have gained knowledge of the procedure, they have also learned how to moderate themselves and design songs in a traditional way.
“Every song we’ve ever done, we try something we haven’t done before,” says Wright. “It’s probably too negligible for anyone to even notice. I’m pretty easily bored, so I try to change stuff up as much as I can. Then sometimes you change it up too much and you have to go reel it in-it’s part of the process.”
One thing that TPC has always tried to do is just stay normal. It sounds silly but it really is a thing popular musicians have to try to do. Being globally recognized rock stars at a young age has always been the narrative of this band. Some of them dropped out of college to pursue music completely, but they were lucky enough to never have to look back.
“I feel like if you’re crazy enough to try and be in a successful band, and pull punches and go balls out and do it, it’s actually pretty good odds,” says Wright. “Most people aren’t crazy enough to do that. Once you have to get beyond that cliff, and you’re still running in the air without looking down, the field narrows really quickly.”
After being together for almost a decade, Tokyo Police Club released their fourth album last month. Their show at the Belly Up will be one to remember with a lot of new material, slightly more guitar-oriented than usual, but upbeat and pop friendly as usual.
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