OK Tokyo Joins the Circus, Employs Oompa Loompas and Sees the World Differently Than You Do
By Megan Morgan
The British rock band OK Tokyo not only has unusual promoting and producing
methods, but their music “will help save humanity and take us all onto a new plain of living,” according to singer and guitarist Sammy Tokyo.
These self-proclaimed saviors of humanity, also known as Sammy Tokyo, bassist Jonny Tokyo, and drummer Matty Tokyo, began their musical escapades when the threesome were members of The Great Dantons Circus.
“We all became professionally involved in music at the same point having all independently joined up to ‘The Great Dantons Circus,’” Sammy said. “Me, Jonny and Matty were all selected for the singing group ‘The Whistlestop Peanuts’ and our music careers were launched at that point. When the Circus got shut down in 2006 (due to a member of the audience getting accidentally killed by an exploding rat) we decided to keep the music alive by forming a band.”
Thus, OK Tokyo was formed from the remains of a rat. In the fall of that same eventful year, the band wrote the song “Sums.”
The trio decided to release the infectious “Sums,” along with the rest of their songs, on the Internet before ever playing a live show together as a band. Their rock-disco-dance grooves became so popular over the wonderful World Wide Web that they sold out the very first show they ever played as a band.
With this extremely promising start, OK Tokyo soon made another musically unconventional move. For the band’s first-ever CD release, they went with a two-song EP with a press run of 99 copies. The two lucky tracks included are the aforementioned “Sums” and the slinky “Electro Metro.”
“Each CD has a unique issue number delicately interwoven onto the cover by
a team of highly skilled Oompa Lumpas, specifically designed to create a
WONKA bar effect,” OK Tokyo’s press release said.
When asked why only 99 copies were made, Sammy Tokyo said there are two versions of the story.
“Version one: We wanted to create 99 CDs, each one with its own unique issue number to reward fans that pre-ordered early,” Sammy said. “Somebody out there is going to get issue number one of our first release. Personally, I would like issue number 34, because I believe that number has very delicate hidden powers. Version two: We were all eating ’99’ Ice Creams at the time, so it seemed to make sense.”
But whether OK Tokyo wanted to show their fans appreciation, or whether they simply strove to incorporate intense dairy consumption into the release, the CDs sold very quickly. In fact, Sammy said that the fans “gobbled them up like ravenous dogs.”
Sammy Tokyo said that he is excited about the release.
“Actually, I feel nazzly,” Sammy said. “It’s a mixture of natty and snazzy and it’s the only word right now that sums up how I’m feeling about our debut CD. It’s the first one and you can expect a lot more from us.”
But just what can one expect from a band as unpredictable and ambitious as OK Tokyo? The band will continue to play their “sleazy indie, filthy disco, and 70s excess rock,” as Sammy describes it, and the group hopes to release an album next year and play at festivals. But other unusual projects are also in OK Tokyo’s plans.
“We’re also pursuing a collaboration with Eminem and Michael Jackson,” Sammy said, “but it seems to be quite difficult getting through to their lawyers.”
This last idea may only remain a dream for OK Tokyo, but in the meantime, the band made more CDs available, due to the demand. They can be pre-ordered at www.oktokyo.co.uk. It may just take us all onto a new plain of living.