Ontario’s own Tokyo Police Club has alternately had a very drama-free existence since its Lesson in Crime EP came out in 2006. The group didn’t get in huge drunken fights, get dropped by labels, or engage in intense legal wranglings over songwriting royalties, no. Instead, the only real drama the group had to deal with was a bit of blogosphere backlash following the heralding of that aforementioned EP, some saying that the band’s 2008 full-length Elephant Shell was the sound of the group selling out, with just as many trumpeting it as the logical extension of the group’s poppy, guitar-driven aesthetic. During all of this, though, the band seemed to not really care, instead touring like hell and having a good time with its legions of fans.
Now, with the release of the group’s lean, muscular new album Champ, few people seem to be snickering, as the band has fully come into its own, with angular guitars mixing with spritely keyboard patterns and an ever-shifting set of dynamics, like on the storming “Favourite Colour”, which uses stop-start guitar spurts to ask a very simple question to a possible love interest, adding high drama to an everyday sentiment. Indie rock don’t swagger like this.
Taking some time out of his busy touring schedule, Tokyo Police Club’s drummer Greg Alsop answers PopMatters 20 Questions, here revealing how The Velveteen Rabbit “cauterized my tear ducts”, how he positively thrives on human interaction, and why lightsabers trump phasers each and every time.