In January 2017, Tokyo Police Club embarked on a triumphant tour to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their acclaimed debut EP, A Lesson In Crime. It was the cherry on top of a decade that saw the Toronto quartet drive three vans into the ground while touring with the likes of Weezer and Foster The People, gracing the stage of virtually every major festival in North America and Europe, and playing countless, ecstatically received sets, in venues of every size and description. They were also on an episode of Desperate Housewives one time - it's a long story.
The tour ended with a sweat-soaked and joyous encore, with the band joined onstage by support act Charly Bliss, who actually met at a Tokyo Police Club concert years before. "If you were making a movie about us for some reason, you couldn't come up with a better climactic scene," says keyboardist Graham Wright. "It felt like the perfect ending." Except that instead of fading satisfyingly to black, the band got in a van and drove home, their next steps suddenly uncertain.
"We always felt like we were on some specific mission, working towards one specific goal", says frontman David Monks. "Then I got home and looked around and realized that for the first time I wasn't sure what the goal was supposed to be. And I didn't know if that was terrifying or actually kind of exhilarating."
"At various times I think all of us were just about ready to pack it in", adds Wright. "It really felt like maybe that was it. It was a nice round number, ten years, so the idea of making some kind of graceful exit was really attractive. And for me at least, making peace with the idea of this being The End turned out to be incredibly freeing."
Without a specific plan, the band convened at a converted church in rural Ontario, far from the busy cities where they'd written and recorded all of their previous work. Isolated from everything beside their instruments, they spent their days cooking together and playing cards in between jamming on the expansive new songs that Monks was turning out a fevered pace - among others. "One time we learned a bunch of Strokes songs. Another time we just played every song we could remember from our high school band," says drummer Greg Alsop. "More than anything else, it was fun."
The freewheeling sessions lasted the length of 2017 and at the beginning of 2018 the band decamped to Los Angeles to record with Rob Schnapf, who produced the band's acclaimed 2010 LP, Champ. The resulting album will be released later this year, and the band are united in their eager anticipation. "It's fucking corny to talk about fresh beginnings or whatever", says Monks. "So I'll just say that it finally feels like we're not trying to follow somebody else's map or reach for a specific brass ring. And it's an amazing feeling." Guitarist Josh Hook sums it up best when he says, "you do anything for long enough and it starts to feel hard to get excited. But I think we're more excited now than we've ever been."