Reviews

Elephant Shell

Author: Jolie Lash
03/28/2008 | Spinner.com | www.spinner.com | Feature
It was a hot, sweaty scene earlier this week as Newmarket, Ontario's Tokyo Police Club continued through the Los Angeles Troubadour on what started out as quite possibly a never-ending tour.

"Well, I have a bigger suitcase this time," lanky, shaggy-haired frontman Dave Monks tells Spinner of the Canadian four-piece's latest jaunt, which won't wrap up until June. "We're used to it. That's kind of what the last two years of our life have been like, and it's what you have to be ready to do if you want to make any headway in terms of being an independent band."

Touring may help them make headway, but it certainly didn't allow them the time to focus on making a debut album. Thanks to all the trekking across the globe, the band had less than an easy time putting together their April 22, Saddle Creek-due album, 'Elephant Shell.'

"The problem was writing the record and getting the time to just get together and play our instruments, not during sound check," Monks explains of the process. "We had it half-written and then we went to the studio in September [2007]. We ended up just writing in the studio and we were like, 'Woah! This is all fine, but we're not really making a record here. We're just writing because we haven't had time to write yet.'"

After telling everyone behind Tokyo Police Club that they needed to go home to write, the band did just that and finally got down to work. "I think when we got in a space then -- there was no humming and ha-ing," he said. "Everyone knew exactly what to do and we just clicked again."

And once they did hit a studio -- Chemical Sounds in Toronto -- final polishing of older cuts like 'Tessellate,' came easier. "We'd been hacking away at that, trying to figure out how to do it properly for so long," Monks recalls. "We pretty much had it nailed in November, except that the verses had these really off kilter drum beats and it wasn't off kilter in a good way."

Monks says the band told drummer Greg Alsop to "smack the drums on every single beat ... and it would be the most mindless drum beat." But Alsop took the live favorite in his own direction. "He totally made it awesome, but it was one of those things that was unsure, right up until the minute it went to tape," he says. "Then we just did it in a different way, and it was awesome."
Elephant Shell

Elephant Shell

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