‘Nice Young Men’, an interview with Tokyo Police Club on Caledon Day

June 20, 2019   ·   0 Comments


Caledon Day drew the crowds (even with the rain) this year with headliners Tokyo Police Club. The Juno-nominated band of international acclaim from Newmarket made the time to come and perform for our town simply “because they invited us,” says keyboardist Graham Wright. This is an indication of exactly the sort of guys that make up this band – down to earth small-town Ontario boys whose teachers and grandmothers would describe them as “nice young men.”

“We’re great with grandmothers,” adds Wright. “Punk rockers, not so much.”

In fact, it wasn’t until the band left the confines of Newmarket and started playing gigs in Toronto that they grew to acclaim. The “alternative indie rock” group was out of place in Newmarket, which at that time (the early-mid 2000s) was a heavy scene for ska, punk rock, and alternative hardcore bands. 

“They were…not welcoming to non-punks,” drummer Greg Alsop adds.

“Early on,” continues Wright, “we had to create our own style. Our influences were from Toronto or even farther out, like Arcade Fire and Radiohead. We’d just be in our parents’ basements and experiment.”

It wasn’t until much later in the band’s career, after playing venues in Toronto such as the Silver Dollar and Sneaky Dees, and being drafted by the Paper Bag Records after playing the Pop Montreal Festival, that TPC even went back to perform in their hometown for the first time. 

“We had a lot of luck early on,” says Alsop. “It all really stemmed from [the Pop Montreal Festival]. If that hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t have left school.” At the time, Alsop was a Ryerson student.

When asked if the band ever regrets its collective decision to leave university, Alsop responds with, “we’ve been able to make a thirteen-year career together and make music. No, I don’t regret it at all.”

“Everything else on top of that was kind of the snowball effect from that first burst of energy,” concludes Wright.

Now the band has their choice of venues and invitations to choose from. “There’s a lot of places around Toronto,” says Wright. “We can drive 40 minutes from the city and play to a whole bunch of new people who might otherwise not get the chance to see us.”

With Caledon specifically, Alsop adds, it’s a town that while not exactly familiar with, he was at least aware of because his mother lives in Guelph. 

The band is visiting Caledon for the first time, and when asked about their impressions, Alsop elaborates, “it’s a town I always drove through. I was aware of the main street, things like that. But it’s a lovely time. I took a walk out on the trail…it seems like a nice place to live. It’s a really charming little place.”

After two and a half years of working on their latest (and fourth) studio album, TPC, and touring to promote it, the band is looking to stay close to home and mostly play local shows before taking a “90% vacation” in the fall. 

When asked if they’re considering their next move, Wright responds, “We’ll start to think about starting at some point…everyone has their own projects right now [and] we need to recharge.”

As for Caledon, the band encourages everyone to check out the music. “Check out new bands and artists, there are so many out there in the last decade, but it’s worth checking out.”

Asked specifically how they define themselves, Wright says, “I think we’re a rock band, like garage band. I don’t know if that’s true or a thing, but that’s how I feel.”

“It’s the perfect soundtrack for a place like this,” concludes Alsop.



Readers Comments (0)

Sorry, comments are closed on this post.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support
Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support