“Five Minutes With” Local Synth-Rock Band TWRP

The sound of the future as imagined in the 1980s. The nostalgic theme song to your favourite childhood cartoon that may have never existed. The hopefulness of someone from the future describing the utopia of tomorrow. Like a paradox of time travel, TWRP is all of these things and yet none of them.

This optimistic fascination with the future, grounded in the nostalgia of the past, is what has shaped TWRP. They are the product of many eclectic styles and eras, crafted into something simultaneously playful, heartfelt, and tongue-in-cheek, all delivered with self-aware bombast and an uncommon musical precision. Old funk, modern electronic, and classic rock converge in their science fiction universe, as if Earth, Wind & Fire, Justice, and Yes provided the soundtrack to a Dune movie that was actually good.

From humble beginnings on Canada’s east coast, to multiple transplants leading to years living in Toronto and Los Angeles, the broadly-defined synth-rock quartet has been quietly and steadily gaining a devoted and sizable cult following over the past 13 years. In recent years TWRP has experienced a golden era, growing rapidly from ongoing work with collaborators such as Colonel Chris Hadfield and Andrew Huang, as well as from major commercial successes as the band behind Billboard-topping comedy music stars Ninja Sex Party and Starbomb. With the power of an internet-gained fandom at their backs, TWRP has toured the US and Canada extensively for years, performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2018, and in 2019 broadened their reach internationally with tours in the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

TWRP’s new album, Over The Top, is just that – another entry in their discography that delivers an exaggerated rendering of their wide-ranging influences, while not taking itself too seriously. Rich vintage synthesizers, shred guitar, and driving disco rhythms all find their place in the music – and despite an air of levity and irony in it’s delivery, real themes of change, perseverance, and gratitude permeate the album. With an attitude of playfulness and honesty in the music, Over The Top seems to say that now more than ever it’s important to find the humour and enjoyment through life’s challenges.

TWRP Photo Credit Tucker Prescott
Photo Credit: Tucker Prescott

Name: TWRP featuring Doctor Sung (frontman/synthesist), Lord Phobos (guitarist), Commander Meouch (bassist), Havve Hogan (drummer)

Genre: Synth-rock/Funk/Disco

Founded: Technically in 2006

# of Albums: 3 full length albums, 5 EPs

Latest Release: Over The Top

Latest Single:On This Rock

Latest Video: Not from this album, but:


Favourite local Restaurant:

Sugo On Bloor (DS)

Favourite band as a teenager:

Refused (DS)

Favourite band now:

Video Age (DS)

Guilty Pleasure Song:

We don’t believe in guilty pleasures. Own it, cowards! (HH)

Live Show Ritual:

Something important breaking 15 seconds before we have to start our set. (HH)

Favourite local artist:

You can’t just make us pick one! Let’s see: Harrison, Lydia Persaud, Metz, Holy Fuck, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet… there are honestly too many. (HH)

Sneaky Dees nachos, pasta from Terroni or a superfood salad from Fresh?

Sneaky Dees nachos, because it’s one of the first places we ate at when we first came to Toronto. Also, we used to busk across the street in front of Scotiabank after last call (yes, we’re that band). (CM)

Queen or College St?

Probably giving this one to College. (CM)

Trinity Bellwoods, High Park, Riverdale, Kew Gardens, or other?

Bellwoods, but not until the vaccine is out, because people are dummies. (CM)

EP or LP?

Both! (CM)

Early bird or night owl?

Early bird. (LP)

Road or studio?

A healthy balance is key for us. (LP)

Swiss Chalet or Roti?

Roti for sure. (LP)

Where can we follow you?

@TWRPband across the board.

Any shows or albums coming up?

We have a brand new album out called “Over The Top”! You can stream on all the platforms, and you can buy it on iTunes… or even better: Bandcamp.