Update: This article has been updated to reflect the cancellation of the Tokyo Police Club Saturday show.
Now that summer is in full swing, we can all look forward to one of our favorite new musical options at Neat Coffee Shop’s Shed Sessions. Born out of necessity during the pandemic, the outdoor concert series proved to be a hit with music lovers who were finally able to enjoy live performances while maintaining a safe distance. Unfortunately, the schedule was again changed several times as tours were postponed and restrictions changed. But some of those delayed shows are finally happening, for example this weekend with the Tokyo Police Club.
However, the timing promises to have worked out for both artist and fans alike, and the group should be ready to debut some fresh new songs on Friday. And given that the band hasn’t played with all four members since last November, they’re eager to get going, and neither is guitarist Josh Hook. We caught up with him to discuss the new album and the special connection he has with the region.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
APT613: Thanks for taking the time to chat. I know you are busy today with your first gig in a while.
Josh Hook: Good to finally come out for the second or third time in the last few years, it’s been kind of a stop and start, trying to keep the momentum going, but it feels good to do it again finally.
What did you guys do? I know you all have different side projects, so how did you spend those two years trying not to go crazy?
I think we all went crazy, and then on top of that too, it was a shame because 2020 was the tenth anniversary of our album champion. We had all these plans to do this big tour, and so a lot of the time was spent hustling this whole tour and trying to figure out if we could reschedule dates in Canada first and then in the United States with all changing restrictions. And then we went down the rabbit hole trying to do a virtual show for it because it didn’t look very promising. And then, just when we sorted out all the logistics for it, the entry into the country changed. I’m currently in the US so it was going to be a two week quarantine headache.
Then the other guys: Dave (Monks) recorded or recorded a solo record, Greg (Alsop) produced in PEI and Graham (Wright) has been busy writing other material as well for his band Girlfriend Material. I’ve been involved in editing podcasts and stuff like that.
Speaking of going to the country so you can record with the band, will you be able to make it to the Neat Coffee Shop gigs?
I hope very much. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed, but just in case, we have a good friend of ours ready to fill in. But I really hope I can because my grandparents live ten minutes from Burnstown in White Lake, so that’s an area I know very well, and to be able to play a gig there is special. After growing up and spending summers there, it was pretty cool to see this place exist. And then also to organize shows of very good caliber there. I still have hope.
The Tokyo Police Club is playing at the Neat Coffee House tonight. Find tickets here.