Paper Bag Records is set to release Tokyo Police Club’s A Lesson In Crime/Smith EP 10th Anniversary Edition as part of Black Friday/Record Store Day on November 25. The Newmarket quartet’s breakthrough 2006 debut will be available on silver vinyl and limited to 750 copies.
A Lesson in Crime has been out of print on vinyl since 2006, and this Friday’s release marks the first time the Smith EP has been pressed to vinyl.
The band sent us a list of songs they were listening to back in the mid-2000s when they were writing and recording their first EP. Here’s a look at some of the inspiration for the critically acclaimed record.
Moving Units – “Between Us and Them”
The Thermals – “How We Know”
The Kills – “Fried My Little Brains”
Les Savy Fav – “The Sweat Descends”
The Stills – “Let’s Roll”
Meligrove Band – “Our Love Will Make the World Go Round”
Doves – “Black and White Town”
The Rapture – “Echoes”
The Raveonettes – “Beat City”
We’re Marching On – “The 1800s”
Tokyo Police Club drummer Greg Alsop spoke to Indie88 about influences, the industry, and the creative process.
Indie88: Having had a chance to listen to a selection of songs you guys were into when A Lesson In Crime was coming out, those influences are so apparent. How many of those bands do you feel still inspire you guys to make music?
Greg Alsop: I think it’s impossible to separate yourself from your first influences. They’re so formative. I learned to play drums from jamming along to [Yeah Yeah Yeahs] Fever to Tell and [Les Savy Fav] Inches, so those initial movements and ideas of “what exciting music can sound like” aren’t ever going to leave.
You can grow and find countless other influences, but it’s all still based around and on that same foundation.
Indie88: Can we expect any of the aforementioned songs to be incorporated into your live shows someday?
GA: I would love to play a Bloc Party cover someday. “Like Eating Glass” would make my life.
Indie88: Reflecting on the 10 years or so since the first EP was released is there any feeling among the band that there was a greater sense of ownership over that material than everything that came after?
GA: No — I wouldn’t say so. I don’t think we’ve ever been in a version of the music industry where we felt compelled to do anything outside of what we wanted.
We’ve never been in an A&R meeting where some coked up titan of the biz told us “you’re working with this person and writing this type of song and we’re going to market you this way!” Everything has always come from our own ideas and intentions, so we’ve always felt 100 per cent in control.
Indie88: What are the biggest differences in the music industry you can identify with today compared to 2006?
GA: MySpace — RIP.
Indie88: How has the creative process changed for Tokyo Police Club over the last decade?
GA: It honestly hasn’t changed that much. We come up with the songs, then go into the studio, then put out the album. I think we’ve gotten better at trusting our first instincts when making music.
In some ways, I think quieting that “self-critic” is a return to how we used to to create when writing ALIC. There was less at stake then, and we knew less so we were less likely to feel we were doing it “wrong.” After that, there was a time when it felt like we knew too much – and everything we did could come into question. At that point, it’s very difficult to move forward with any sort of creative confidence.
I think we’re finally at a state where we know just the right amount about what we’re doing — and it’s a good place to be.