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We all know the name Tokyo Police Club. The band is a group effort and has been killing it as one of the biggest indie rock bands for years. The singer of that rock band, Dave Monks, is trying something a little different or as he called it, ‘a foray out of the inner workings of my brain’. He just released his first solo EP a few weeks ago with “All Signs Point To Yes”. It is a little gem of a record and something he says he sees as an outlet. That outlet is bringing him on the road with him performing in Boston tonight at TT The Bear’s with Fort Lean. He told me that Tokyo Police Club is still very much a thing but this is also very much a thing. It’s a really different style of music but that’s what side projects should be. Side projects should be where they can let out their thoughts/personal taste unfiltered by a full band effort. Read on for our interview and catch Dave again in Cambridge tonight!

So maybe just a soft one to start. Obviously you’re going out on a short run starting next week but maybe the three things you must have with you while on tour to survive?

Okay, give me a sec. Okay, I definitely need a KIND bar of the almond and coconut variety or possibly several of those. I need my large headphones. I usually overpack so I need an outfit for every possible type of weather. So I’ll have like heavy jacket, light jacket, shorts, everything.

Perfect and then you’re about to head out on I believe your first solo tour is that right?

Yes this is my first solo shows.

Perfect, with Fort Lean. So maybe what are you most looking forward to kind of with this run? Maybe even considering you haven’t been on the road at least in the US for a while.

I’m most looking forward to just playing because it’s so new. I think each show will be a learning experience for me. To see what it feels like to play with different people on stage and what changes when the focus is on me and we’re in a smaller room. I don’t know, I’m excited. I feel like I’m going to be chatty.

Little chatty cathy?

Yeah, could be!

Perfect and then your first release, it comes out Tuesday. “All Signs Point To Yes”. Maybe how long has that EP kind of been in the making? Has it been done for a while?

Well I moved to New York in the summer of 2013. I pretty much started writing it then and a whole bunch of songs came out. Yeah, I was writing over that year and then I recorded it last summer then it was done in the fall. Then Dine Alone Records got on board. So it’s been like maybe a year and a bit in the making.

Then how did you go about the writing for the EP? I know obviously you’ve been writing music for a long time but do you think it maybe even differs from when you’re writing with that full band feel in your mind?

Well we had just finished “Forcefield” which was monumental and just a really laborious process for that record. I just kept writing because I’m always writing. All these songs just came out and I guess the process of the EP was just fast and easy. Taking the band out of the equation meant that I could make it without having to consult or include anyone else. Well you know I worked with some other people but it was fast and it was fun. It was very low stress.

Perfect and then “Gasoline” is the first single off the new record. Maybe can you tell me a little bit of the story behind that song or maybe why you chose that as the single?

I think “Gasoline” was the one song I knew wouldn’t work with Tokyo. The other ones, I kind of debated for a little bit. I kind of thought maybe I should do these ones with the guys. It was a pretty cool song. Then “Gasoline” felt like the music I wanted this to be.

And then for you, the first CD or first cassette you can remember getting as a kid? Then maybe the first concert you can remember going to?

The first CD I bought was Savage Garden. The “Truly, Madly, Deeply” one and the first cassette I bought was Weird Al’s “Bad Hair Day” because my friend’s mom had it in her car and I was like ‘Your mom listens to awesome music’. It was hilarious. I was like ‘I’m getting that’. I don’t know how old I was then but yeah it was just paradise from there on out. First concert I went to was Incubus with my friend from high school in Hamilton and Phantom Planet opened up which was pretty cool.

Perfect and then I wanted to ask you, like you said you live in New York and you don’t live in Canada anymore but maybe Tokyo Police Club was one of those bands that did make a name for themselves in both countries. Maybe advice to bands to keep on coming back to the US as a Canadian band?

Something really cool happened with Tokyo Police Club when we first came out. We got really lucky with the attention that our first EP received and our first couple records. I don’t know how to replicate that. Like I don’t know. A lot of bands focus on Canada but not the US or maybe it’s the internet. Whatever, it doesn’t matter where you’re from. All I have to say is it’s a crazy thing.

Perfect and then to end it off, obviously great things are happening. Your album comes out Tuesday and you’re going on this first solo tour with it but kind of what’s coming up in the rest of 2015? Are you going to try and do a little more touring? Are you going to be staying local in New York? Kind of what’s the game plan?

I would like to do more shows on this record. Some Tokyo stuff in the works which is exciting. I’m really stoked to get new Tokyo stuff out as well. I’m not quite sure. Just a whole bunch of stuff.

So you’re still doing both actively. Kind of just like balancing the two.

Yeah, exactly. They kind of counter balance each other. I’ve learned that. It kind of makes Tokyo easier.


Yeah because you know I have an outlet. I don’t have to get the guys to do the “Gasoline” thing or do the EP thing. I can have that and then when it comes to the band, I can be more collaborative. That’s a little foray out of the inner workings of my brain.

I like it, I like it!

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