A chat with Graham Wright of Tokyo Police Club - INTERVIEW
blog by Kathryn Przybyla • June 15, 2012 @ 8:05am
They’re back for more.
Calling Newmarket, Ontario home, the band formed in 2005 and released their first album “Elephant Shells” in 2008. According to their website,
Critical response to the full length was even more enthusiastic and diverse, with the likes of GQ (“Strokes-caliber catchiness”), Elle (“a smart, furiously played sugar-rush debut”), Rolling Stone (“poised to become the biggest Canadian export since Molson”) and more giving thumbs up.
Tokyo Police Club is a great band to see live. Having played in the Queen City on a number of occasions, they have cemented a solid fan base in Buffalo. You can catch the band at 6:30 p.m. on June 27 for a free show at Artpark. This is an all ages show and you can check out the full list of allowed items to bring in to the grounds here. Blankets are a go, coolers are a no.
We chatted with Graham Wright from the group about his upcoming trip back to Buffalo. Can you guess what scale he tends to sing in the shower or how hot he likes his wings? Find out below.
Tell us a little bit about how you got started in music.
Graham Wright: It goes pretty far back. My parents were music teachers and we started out by forming what you would call “a band” in the suburbs. Just a bunch of kids that played music.
Then in 8th grade through high school we formed more of a “high school band” and members left or were added one by one. Then we were left with Tokyo Police Club as we have it now.
That “10x10x10” project you guys did last year was pretty cool.
GW: We were just saying how crazy it is that it’s been about a full year. Basically, our label had the idea. We were on tour for a while and they wanted us to do something, get in the press and start a buzz. This idea was amazing. It really had us going out and broadening our horizons.
We started to think out of the box and wanted the largest possible scope on things. We’d worked on covers before and new what angles we wanted to take. I feel like after doing that, we came at writing from a new place.
What is it like living the rockstar lifestyle as a pianist?
GW: Well, it takes longer to set up. You can’t really bring it to parties. I’m actually not a trained pianist and have no idea why they asked me to play. [laughs] I never saw myself as a keyboardist , but it’s interesting having to fly with the stands at airports.
My entire approach of being in a rock band has consisted of learning how to really rock out from behind a piano. I have been getting better at guitar though too.
Are you looking forward to play in Buffalo at Artpark?
GW: Buffalo is real cool. You guys get Toronto radio stations and they play some of our songs. It’s fun going to places and playing where they have actually heard of you before on the radio. It’s tough when they don’t.
Last time we played a free show outside, down by the water and it was pretty sweet. We’re also close to home when we play in Buffalo too which is awesome.
Any funny stories from being on the road?
GW: That’s really one of the number one questions I get. Funny stuff does happen on the road, but sometimes it’s not funny out of context. Sometimes I can’t even remember the good stories.
I should put together an awesome anecdote and have it ready for the next time I get asked about it. I’ll let you know when I get that together.
How do you take your chicken wings?
GW: Isn’t that the constant struggle in life. I do like them hot. But I have no interest in handling those “armageddon wings” or whatever. I like the taste and the whole flavor. I want to be able to taste the chicken and not just burn up my mouth.
What are your favorite songs to sing in the shower?
GW: That’s a real good question. [laughs] On the road I don’t sing too much in the shower. But mostly now I’m singing Tokyo Police Club songs. My brain is constantly permeated with the ones we’re working on. The other thing I’ll do is make stuff up. I’ll come up with lyrics in the shower and the words eventually come out.
A new discovery I found is that my voice always falls into A major when I’m singing in the shower. It like regulates my voice to A major. There must be some science behind that because it just sounds good.
Photo courtesy of Facebook.