By Jessica Ford
Arts & Life Editor
As we tell stories of our summer adventures, Tokyo Police Club drummer and former Ryerson student Greg Aslop, 22, tells us about his summer and what he misses about going back to school.
The Eyeopener: How did you spend your summer?
Greg Aslop: I spent it mostly on the road. The summer is not quiet over yet. Not officially until the 22nd.
E: For people in school it’s over.
G: I kind of miss that. Last summer was the first summer that I didn’t have to go back to school in September. It’s a weird feeling seeing everyone go out to Grand & Toy, getting binders and pens. I guess I’ll never do that again. I miss that. I’m a bit nostalgic when I look back.
E: You just need to go out and buy new drum sticks or drum heads.
G: We should do our own back to school when September starts. Get ready for a new tour. Everyone gets a new outfit to practice in on our first day back.
E: How was the tour this summer?
G: The tour went really well. We went to the United Kingdom a couple of times. We toured a bit in Europe in the beginning of June and all those shows went well. We did a lot of festivals over there. Then we did our very first headlining tour in July and August. That went great. We had a lot of incredible crowds. We actually saw more of the Midwest than we ever thought we would get to see. We spent some time in California but we didn’t go to the beach this time. It’s kind of sad because that’s been a tradition when we’ve been in a coastal town. It didn’t allow us much time off with a really hectic schedule. We had a couple of problems technically. Our van broke down a few times and was laid to rest in Tennessee when we were on our way to Lollapalooza. A lot of stuff didn’t go as planned but we motored on and got through it.
E: How does touring compare to being in school?
G: You spend your free time in different ways. My program (Radio and Television Arts) wasn’t that intensive as far as reading and essays went. It mostly had me slacking off until the last minute. I was really good at procrastinating and pulling things off at the last second and having them go decently; decent enough that I would not fail. Now you can’t really put things off like that because there is a lot more at stake than getting a bad grade. If someone doesn’t do an interview or doesn’t go buy a new van or get something repaired then you’re entire business and livelihood could go down the drain. If you don’t write new songs in a certain amount of time then people will forget about you and there’s no real way to get that back. There’s a lot more responsibility now. Being on the road you spend a lot of time with the same people. I lived with people in my program in first and second year; first in res and in Neil Wycik across from res so we did see a lot of each other but you were still able to go off and kind of have your own time in your room to unwind and do your own thing when you needed to. You don’t really have that escape when you’re touring because you’re all stuck in a van within feet of each other. You really take advantage of the few moments you have to yourself.
E: How have things changed for you since Tokyo Police Club played at The Ram in the Ram during Frosh Week last year?
G: That is almost exactly a year ago. More people seem to know who we are. We still aren’t making any more money than we were before. That show was kind of momentous because I actually quit my job that day, working at Value Village. I haven’t worked a real day job since then but I also haven’t had a lot of money since then. It’s still a constant struggle of getting cash wherever you can and borrowing from your parents and trying to make ends meet. Hopefully soon we’ll see some money from this. I’ve got a rent to pay now and my own mouth to feed.
E: Do you spend a lot of time in Toronto?
G: I really wish I could a bit more. We’re going to have our first real vacation in November and December. We made sure we had those months off to just unwind after a year and ready ourselves for our next album to be released in February. We want to have the downtime before it all starts up again. I’m looking forward to actually spending sometime in my house with my room mate. We all got to spend some time in Toronto at the beginning of the summer around May and for a couple of weeks in June I was subletting a place down here. It was really nice. We all love the city. There’s nowhere we’d rather be but here when we’re not touring. We all look forward to have the time to explore the city and revisit a lot of old friends.