Post by Nicole Irvine
Some of the most poignant thoughts can come out of unexpected places. In the case of Tokyo Police Club, their newest release comes from a place of spontaneity. The Toronto indie rock band has followed the course of their lives and let that dictate how they proceed. The decision to make Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness a two-part EP rather than a full LP comes from exactly that.
“…it just immediately freed us up to kind of do something different. I think we also wanted to do something different.”
“We were all living in different places when we were making [the album], so the usual thing is to go and write a bunch of songs, go in the studio and record like 12 of them, make an album and off you go. It would’ve taken a long time to get that going,” explains keyboardist Graham Wright.
“Like we would’ve had to carve out time to rehearse everyday, someone would’ve had to stay in a hotel, and we would’ve had to get flights and all that boring stuff. So instead of that, we decided to write or record a song whenever we were together, and then as soon as it started on that foot, instead of ‘okay we’re making an album statement’ foot, it just immediately freed us up to kind of do something different. I think we also wanted to do something different.”
While the circumstances are ultimately what inspired the change for the Tokyo Police Club, it also inspires a look back on their growth and career since they began. In fact, 2016 marks the ten-year anniversary of their first EP, A Lesson in Crime. While it wasn’t a conscious intention to celebrate their earliest release, it does offer a random, yet great metaphor for Wright (much to his own surprise) to view the growth in the process of creation for the band.
“We started off like most bands do, sort of running around in the dark like hyper children, and whatever we banged into became songs. Then you turn on the lights and start to bang into things on purpose, and that takes time to try to do it in a way that works. That’s the process of growing as a writer – learning how to do what used to do by accident on purpose, and try to improve your craft and write more effective songs.”
The point that Melon Collie emphasizes is that Tokyo Police Club are not the same people that they used to be. Nobody can be, nor will be, after ten years pass by, and there is no use in trying to continue the same process, over and over, and achieving the same results.
“We started off like most bands do, sort of running around in the dark like hyper children, and whatever we banged into became songs. Then you turn on the lights and start to bang into things on purpose, and that takes time to try to do it in a way that works.”
“It’s tricky now as a band because your early shit is what people got really excited about, so for us we were the hype-y band when we had our first EP… The idea of doing something that wasn’t exactly that, of trying to mess around with it even a little bit – everybody was kind of excited by that at the same time.”
And that’s exactly what you can hear on the combination of Part I and II of Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness – a resurge of youthful passion and curiosity. Ultimately (and miraculously) leading right back into Wright’s original metaphor.
“We can turn off the lights again, run around with reckless abandon again, and have an innate sense of where everything is. We can have the energy that started everything.”
Tokyo Police Club will be playing with The Elwins at Centrepointe Theatre (101 Centrepointe Drive) on November 1st at 8pm. Tickets are $46.25, available online at www.centrepointetheatre.ca and at the venue one hour before showtime.