Dave Monks gives solo performance

Tokyo Police Club frontman plays his second solo show at The Grad Club

Dave Monks performing at The Grad Club on Aug. 22.
Dave Monks performing at The Grad Club on Aug. 22.

Dave Monks, frontman of Tokyo Police Club, confidently performed the second solo show of his career in Kingston.  

On Aug. 22, the indie rock artist from Newmarket, Ontario performed an intimate acoustic set on The Grad Club’s small stage. The audience grouped close to the stage throughout his performance, singing along to almost every song. 

Monks played two encore songs and chatted with audience members after the show, even signing a few of his albums. He released his first solo EP, All Signs Point to Yes, earlier this summer. 

In an interview with The Journal, Monks said recording alone lets him make artistic decisions without needing anyone else’s approval. 

“I just hired the best drummer and bass player I know and did it,” Monks said. 

His favourite part of performing as a solo artist is the intimacy with the crowd. But when working with Tokyo Police Club, he says he appreciates eccentric performances. 

“I like the looseness of playing by myself and that you just talk [to the crowd] and it flows with the songs,” Monks said. “With the band it’s really dynamic; the lights go on and it’s very dramatic. It’s a different type of performing.” 

Monks said his experience moving to New York City and living away from his band inspired him to write the album.

“I was, and am, really in love with a new person,” Monks said. “All of these songs just started happening and turned into the album.” 

Although Monks has been recording his own music, he says he likes recording with Tokyo Police Club because they have an established sound and style. 

“There’s a pillar there already, which really matters,” Monks said. “But it’s also exciting to go out and explore your own sound.”

For Monks, recording the Tokyo Police Club’s latest album Forcefield was a “bizarre” process.

“We were like kids before we recorded Forcefield and when we recorded it we were adults and we had so much to figure out,” Monks said. “It just took a long ass time.” 

Monks has been working on several projects, including new music with Tokyo Police Club. 

“We just recorded a whole bunch of songs,” Monk said. “Doing the solo work and coming back to [Tokyo Police Club] has been a great refresher.” 

The band formed in 2005 when they began playing together in a basement in Newmarket, Ontario. After 10 years of playing together, Tokyo Police Club has accumulated many stories. 

One of the band’s most memorable experiences came when their van broke down on the way to the Lollapalooza music festival. They were forced to swerve off of the highway and sell the van at a garage in Tennessee, Monks said.

Monks says they rented SUVs instead and barely made their set on time.

“I’m amazed that we survived. We had to get off of the highway quickly and there were sparks,” Monks said. “My bike was in the van … it didn’t fit in the SUV so I was just in Tennessee, on the highway, trying to give away my bike.”

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