Tokyo Police Club Explain the More Hook-Minded Approach of 'Forcefield'

Tokyo Police Club Explain the More Hook-Minded Approach of 'Forcefield'
Though Tokyo Police Club enjoyed increased exposure across North America following the release of 2010's Champ, the band say they feel they didn't reach their potential in the American market. So for new album Forcefield, the group have refocused their attack on choruses, inspired by classics like Tom Petty and Tears for Fears, as well as the Strokes, Blink-182, Born Ruffians and the drum sound on Katy Perry's 2010 single "California Gurls."

"All the songs are kind of bangers," frontman Dave Monks tells Exclaim! "They're all doing the chorus and that's just the way the songwriting was going, and that was where we felt like we could grow the most. That's always been my favourite part of music. I always just love the track two on every album. They're always my favourite tracks. I love the bangers.

"I feel like it's a world where just one song matters. An album is great, and an album keeps fans, but if you don't have a song that people are going to gravitate towards, then it's not gonna take your career beyond your current fan base. And yeah, we definitely want to reach more people so I feel like these songs will stand up."

Given this newfound focus, it's a bit of a surprise that Forcefield opens with eight-and-a-half-minute-long epic, "Argentina."

"I had written the first part of it and then I came in the next day with this idea like 'yeah, let's have this other middle part and then there's a key change and it can go into this thing," says Monks. "I'm always coming up with theories about how we could theoretically make a cool thing. It doesn't always pan out, but this one just worked... There were so many parts to get right and than at first, it wasn't going on the record, but it came out really great, so we decided to put it first.

"I think we're still using our same elements, and I was really proud of that," says Monks. "I feel like I didn't want to do — and I don't know if 'sell-out' is still a relevant term — but I didn't want to lose the heart of the band."

Forcefield is out now via Dine Alone Records, and the band will be taking the album out on a European and U.S. tour, whose dates you can see here. Tokyo Police Club also play BC's Squamish Music Festival on August 8 to 10.