The timing couldn’t have been worse.
When Vancouver’s Japandroids released their long-awaited debut album, Post-Nothing, back on April 28, everything was going right for members Brian King (guitar) and Dave Prowse (drums). Highly influential music publication Pitchfork gave the album a glowing review and Exclaim! Magazine put the band on the cover.
But then later that same day came the announcement that King was rushed to a Calgary hospital for emergency surgery on a perforated ulcer, thus forcing the band to cancel a North American tour they’d waited almost three years for.
“Brian ended up being in the hospital for almost two weeks,” Prowse explains. “He didn’t pick up a guitar for another six weeks after that. In fact he couldn’t do much of anything for another few weeks.”
As the band remained stagnant, though, strong buzz helped their profile grow significantly. “It’s funny, as disappointing as it was to have to cancel our first big tour, it was comforting to be getting all that good news during such a low point,” says Prowse.
News for the band has just kept getting better and better since then. Set to tour into next spring, their album was recently included on the Polaris Music Prize long list and will soon see a worldwide release through respected indie label Polyvinyl on Aug. 4 — perfect timing for such a perfect summer record.
With their hook-stuffed anthems, dual shout-out vocals and break-neck bustle, these industrious noise-pop mongers have found a cure to any summertime blues. Admits Prowse, “I think it’s a great road trip record since it’s so high energy. Plus half the songs are about leaving your town for bigger and better things.”
Japandroids have left Vancouver and are finally back on the road for their first ever North American tour — of course, against doctor’s advice. “I tried to get Brian to tone his end of the performance down a bit, but he won’t listen,” Prowse says. “He’s probably the most stubborn person I know. It’s still the same old show — a sweaty, crazy party.”
But timing couldn’t be better now for the duo, as they’re just at the same stage they were when Post-Nothing was first released by Unfamiliar Records two-and-a-half months ago. Prowse says he and King are grateful for a second opportunity.
“We’re really lucky to get another chance to go on a great tour like this. We had been counting down to this for quite a while, and it’s really exciting for it to be really happening. It’s been so much fun so far.”
• Toronto: Thursday at the El Mocambo.
- PHOTOS: Filipino devotees nailed to crosses to re-enact crucifixion4 Pictures
- PHOTOS: Memorial spotlights the man behind Nipsey Hussle rap persona14 Pictures