OK Tokyo Says Hello
Fearsome threesome OK Tokyo have been around a while, but you’ve never seen them live. It’s impossible – the outfit has never played a show, despite releasing astonishingly clever and complex tracks on their website. The raw passion of garage rock funneled into the precision of an indie-rock band outfitted with the shimmy and shake of a dancehall begins to describe their kinetic sound, but it’s really impossible to capture in text. Such is the nature of their guitarist Sammy, as well – we attempted to hold him down to some questions to some extremely humorous results.
IC: How did the band form, and how long ago did it form?
Sammy Tokyo, Vocals and Guitar: We’ve all been playing around with the musical-ness since we were wee lads. I distinctly remember mastering the oboe from the age of about 3 / 3 and a half. The outfit known as OK Tokyo has been around since we got together and wrote ‘Sums’ – which was the summer of 2006. We listened to that song and thought THAT IS NATTY. So we carried on. Before recording that, we all stood in a field in the English Countryside and had one of those “Rocky Balboa” moments…. We all wanted to do something where we could sit back and say “regardless of what ANYONE else thinks, that music reflects what is going on in our heads”…. If we did that, then I’d die a happy man. And so far, it’s exactly what we’ve done……
IC: Ok, no more beating around the bush. How did you guys get to be highly blogged darlings without even playing a show? Did you plan it this way or what?
ST: I like the word darling. I like it a lot. Just rolls of the tongue doesn’t it? Darrrrling.
Well, we recorded the songs and put them on the innernet. I don’t know what happened but it struck a nerve somewhere…. I could waffle on about the way that the internet has changed the music industry but for me it’s the same as its always been. Listener hears song. You then either like it or you don’t. Simple really. Bands should spend more time writing songs and less time trying to run a business. We went into the studio knowing exactly what we wanted out of it…. Big dirty disco metal indie rock glam noise. We were lucky enough to record in Earth Terminal Studio in a little place called Odiham…. The manager there, Lewis, is one of those guys you could talk to about anything and DANG, does he know his music. I’m sure that he’s got an I-Tunes plug in for his brain…..brilliant bloke.
IC: Have you recorded an album, or are you releasing tracks as you finish them?
ST: Nopety nope, no album as yet….. but we have written a mountain of stuff…. We recorded until the money ran out… we do have a few nuggets of genuine Inca gold up our sleeves though……
IC: Do you plan on compiling all your tracks into an album?
ST: Yes, albums do interest us. So do sea voyages (in particular, discovering what is at the bottom of the ocean – WE DON’T EVEN KNOW). I also like lash up meals and fine ales, so we will see. Our drummer likes milk.
IC: How exciting was it to be on top of the Pulserated chart?
ST: Ah, to be top of anything is good. When I was at school I came 2nd in a 1500 metres race. When pulserated announced the chart, it was like my inner demon had been set free. ‘Away with you’, I said. And it was gone.
IC: Why have you not played shows until now?
The only strategy we’ve ever had as a band is the following. Write songs, record songs, gig songs… To be fair, we only came out the studio at Christmas…. Plus, nothing wrong with the very first show being a sell out 😉
IC: Are you excited, nervous or other for your upcoming shows?
ST: You haven’t known the true feeling of nervousness, until you’ve looked into the eyes of a T-Rex and held its gaze. We cannot wait for live. It’s what it’s all about. Stage me. Immediately. I like the fact that you guys say ‘show’. It used to irritate me, but now I reckon that’s a better word for it. ‘Gig’ doesn’t quite do it, you know?
IC: How much material do you have to play live?
ST: Enough to slay a monster and rescue the girl
IC: What are some of the bands that made you want to start a band?
ST: Great music made me wanna start this band. Regardless of genre, a great song is a great song. It’s too hard to just list bands, but I’ll try…… Led Zep, Elvis, Hendrix, QOTSA, RATM, Johnny Cash, but then I love brilliant pop songs…. Argh I dunno, it’s too difficult, next question!
IC: Where do you see the band in one year? 3 years?
ST: World domination and a drumming concept album in the works
IC: Any piece of advice you’d like to pass on to bands just starting up?
ST: Posers and fair weather musicians need not apply. To the rest of you ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the circus.
-Interview conducted by Stephen Carradini in January 2007.