Update: This article has been updated to reflect the cancellation of Tokyo Police Club’s Saturday show.
Now that summer is in full swing, we can all look forward to one of our favourite new music options at Neat Coffee Shop’s Shed Sessions. Born out of necessity during the pandemic, the outdoor concert series proved to be a hit with music lovers who could finally enjoy live shows while still maintaining a safe distance. Unfortunately, the schedule was still repeatedly shuffled as tours were postponed and restrictions changed. But some of these delayed shows are finally happening—case in point this weekend with Tokyo Police Club.
However, the timing promises to have worked out for both artist and fans alike, and the band should be ready to debut some fresh new songs on Friday. And given that the band hasn’t played together with all four members since last November, they are raring to go, none more so than guitarist Josh Hook. We caught up with him to chat about the new album and with the special connection he has with the area.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
APT613: Thanks for taking the time to chat. I know you guys are busy today with your first gig in a while.
Josh Hook: It’s nice to finally be getting back out again for the second to third time throughout these last few years, it’s been kind of a stop-and-start, trying to maintain the momentum, but it feels good to finally be doing it again.
What have you guys been up to? I know you all have different side projects so just how have you been spending the two years trying not to go crazy?
I think we all have gone stir-crazy, and then in addition to that as well, it was unfortunate because 2020 was the ten-year anniversary of our album Champ. We had all these plans to do this big tour, and so a lot of the time was spent bumping that whole tour around and trying to figure out if we could reschedule dates in Canada first and then the States with all the restrictions changing. And then we went down the rabbit hole of trying to do a virtual show for it because it didn’t look very promising. And then, right as we got all the logistics sorted out for that, entering the country changed. I’m currently in the States so it was going to be a two-week quarantine headache.
Then the other guys: Dave (Monks) recorded or has been recording a solo record, Greg (Alsop) has been producing out in PEI, and Graham (Wright) has been busy writing other material as well for his band Girlfriend Material. I’ve been keeping busy with some podcast editing and stuff like that.
Speaking of getting into the country to be able to record with the group, will you be able to make it to the Neat Coffee Shop shows?
I’m very much hoping to. I still have my fingers crossed, but just in case, we have a good friend of ours ready to fill in. But I really hope I can make it because my grandparents live ten minutes down the road from Burnstown in White Lake, so it’s an area that I’m very familiar with, and to be able to play a show there is special. After growing up and spending summers up there, it was kind of neat to see that venue exists. And then to also be putting on really good calibre shows there. I’m still hopeful.
Tokyo Police Club is playing Neat Coffee House tonight. Find tickets here.