Hi Graham. Congratulations on a great new album, How the devil are you today?
Very well, thank you.
What are your plans for the summer? Band / solo shows.. any UK or European gigs planned?
My summer is going to be very relaxed. I think the band is going to play a couple of shows, and I might do some or I might not, we'll see. I'm mostly hoping I get to play some baseball.
I noticed that TPC were at the Sasquatch Music festival last weekend, how does that compare to say the Glastonbury festival over here?
My only experience at Glasto was unfortunately brief, as we had to drive our bus to Norway pretty much right after we finished playing. I also made the mistake of wearing wellies on stage (they're heavy!) and a camera operator kept stepping on my plugs and turning off my keyboards. So, compared to that version of Glastonbury, Sasquatch was heaven. But reliable sources inform me that Glastonbury is actually a lot of fun, so I hope to return one day soon and experience it properly. Maybe if you know someone on the board of directors you could put in a good word for me?
When you play you play festivals do you get the chance to hang out and see other bands or is it always an in/out rush?
We try to stick around when it makes sense schedule-wise. It's often our best chance to see all the bands we missed while we were on tour, and to catch up with our band friends who we never see because we're all on tour. Plus I love to eat catered food and drink free backstage beer, so a few extra days of that never hurt.
Dean Marino and Jay Sadlowski played and produced on the album Do they have
their own bands? Plus how did Mika Posen of Timber Timbre come to be on the album?
Indeed they do. Dean's band is called Papermaps, and their self-titled new record is getting lots of play in the Canada region. It is a very good record. He also plays in a band called Tin Star Orphans. Jay goes under the name Jay Sad, and I believe he's making a new record as I type this.
I know Mika from a Toronto band called Forest City Lovers. She's the the best (and only) violinist I know, so when I needed someone to play strings on the record she seemed the logical choice. I'd recommend her to anyone who might need a similar service, because she's incredible, but I think she's awfully busy these days,
The album was recorded in Toronto; do you think the vibe of the location you record in comes across on the record?
Probably. Since I live in Toronto and I did the record there, I was able to pop into the studio whenever I had some free time, and not worry too much about deadlines or schedules. The vibe of recording was thus very free and spontaneous, which I think and hope comes through in the finished product.
How did you pick music as a career and, when you think of yourself being in a band, does that bring a big smile to your face or, is it more the office job?
I never really thought of doing anything besides music. It was always what I loved to do, and it still is. Does it sometimes feel a bit like a job? Sure. But theres still nothing else I'd rather be doing. And most of it is fun. And sometimes I get summers off to play baseball.
What was the main driver to get a solo album out there and is there anything in the
pipeline from Tokyo Police Club?
I've always intended to make a solo record, but I was just really busy touring and recording with Tokyo. We eventually had a little break, which I used to make my record. As for the future, I wouldn't say anything is even near the pipeline yet, but we're definitely thinking about getting together to work on new stuff. So hopefully soonish?
For other musicians; have you discovered any new instruments or recording techniques that are new to you lately? (Unless that gives away trade secrets)
It's not an instrument, per se, but I just got a copy of Logic and I've been enjoying making music in a computer centric environment. Shirts vs Skins was written and recorded in a deliberately organic manner, which was a blast at the time, but now it's fun to cut up sounds and make songs out of that kind of stuff. It's also a lot easier to do while on tour, provided you have a very small MIDI keyboard, like I do. Minds out of the gutter, now.
How important do you think social networking is to promote the band or your solo
work, MySpace, facebook, twitter etc?
Very very important? I don't think there’s much more discussion to be had about this these days. I'm becoming more and more convinced that a band could manage to build a successful career without bothering to write songs or make records, provided they spent a lot of time updating Twitter and Facebook.
Thanks go to Graham for his time, and if any Festival organisers what to invite Graham or the band to their festival, you had better get in touch!
The album is released on the ‘File Under Music’ on 28 June