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Q&A with Tokyo Police Club

Tokyo Police Club. Photo credit: Chrissy Piper.

This Canadian indie band has received worldwide success over the past few years, performing at the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest, opening for The Flaming Lips, and appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman. In advance of their concert in Ottawa on April 8, Where Ottawa editor Misa Kobayashi caught up with Tokyo Police Club‘s drummer Greg Alsop to talk favourite road activities, Ottawa audiences, and their appearance on Desperate Housewives.

You’re often on the road touring. What two or three items do you consider your “travel essentials”?
If I’m allowed two items: A toothbrush and toothpaste. If I can bring three items though, then it’s coffee, pure granulated sugar, and dentures. The allowance of that one extra item really lets me let go of oral hygiene. Lucky for me and my teeth, we as a band have a two item limit.

What’s your favourite activity to do on the road?
Long drives are where I get most of my reading done nowadays, so that’s my favourite road activity.

What was the inspiration behind the new album [2010’s Champ]?
I think we wanted to make an album that you could put on at a party, or you could listen to alone on headphones, or play while driving to work, or maybe even at work (depending on where you work, of course).

What’s going through your head right before you go on stage?
I’m wearing pants? I’m wearing pants. Here you go.

What’s the best thing about touring?
The best thing about touring is that I get to play music every night in a different town with my friends. The fact that that is a job at all is the best part of touring and life.

You guys have played quite a few shows in Ottawa. How would you describe an Ottawa audience?
Missing the Prime Minister. We put him down on the guest list every time…

When you come to Ottawa, what’s the one place you have to eat at when you’re here?
The Brig Pub in the ByWard Market. The soup of the day there is always the best part of any day.

If you were going to write a song about Ottawa, what do you think it would be called? And what would it sound like?
“Ottawa, you gotta wok!” It’d be about the city’s best Asian cuisine…

Where do you make a point of visiting when you’re in Ottawa, any shops, tourist attractions, or other places?
We love the ByWard Market. Fresh fruits and vegetables are rare commodities on the road, so whenever you can stop and load up on produce for the next couple days, you really learn to appreciate it.

You made an appearance on Desperate Housewives as a group competing in a Battle of the Bands competition, what was that like?
Playing on Desperate Housewives was a great experience. Our friend, John Paul Bullock, is a writer on the show so he pitched us for the episode and the creator agreed to have us on. They even gave us lines, which was ridiculous. Watching us “act” really confirms that music was the right art choice for us.

Tokyo Police Club will be taking the stage at Live Lounge Main Stage (Capital Music Hall) on April 8. Tickets $30.04, to buy click here.

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