Saturday, February 24, 2018

Tokyo Police Club forced to change with the times

November 12, 2014 by Megan Dunn, contributing writer

It’s been a four-year wait for the release of Tokyo Police Club’s ForceField, and during that time the band have gained some new perspectives on the music industry.

It was important to the band to take the time to produce an album that reflected their development and to push themselves, says keyboardist Graham Wright, and they made a decision to sacrifice expediency in producing the record in favour of a quality product.

“It was a process, and we were our own obstacle,” says Wright. “It just seemed really important to us at the time to go hard and make something that was really the next level, and push ourselves, take a big stepÉ not sure if that is how it turned out that way, but that is what we decided to do.”

The members of Tokyo Police Club have had to come to terms with some of the realities of the music business in 2014 (photo by Andrew Strapp).

The band did feel some pressure to have the record completed sooner, says Wright, but after a couple years with no record, they accepted that the process was going to take much longer.

“At first we felt pressure, but then we passed the point of no return, where it was too late. After a couple years with no record, we figured we were screwed, so we thought we would just keep going,” he says.

The members of the group have felt the change in the music industry since they started playing as a band eight years ago. There used to be a traditional model of success: start with an indie label, work really hard to get on a bigger indie label, get some radio play, and eventually land a major label deal over the course of a few years, says Wright.

“No new band is expecting to get signed to a major label six years down the line; either you do it right away or you blaze your own trail,” he says.

Tokyo Police Club envisioned this career arc when they first banded together, but they soon realized there was no trail to follow and came to believe it was simply a misconception.

The industry shift began after the band was already a few years into their career, and upon that discovery they knew they needed to start going in a different direction and reinvent the way they did business to stay relevant.

“It has been sort of a weird adaptation of a new paradigm for us,” says Wright.

Tokyo Police Club
7 pm Friday, November 14
Alix Goolden Hall

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