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Doctor Sung and Commander Meouch are relaxing in the top room of the Sung’s apartment in west Toronto where they sometimes record, kicking back with a couple bottles of beer. They’re preparing for the release of their second EP as well as a performance slot on a TV news show. Sung, a galactic scientist, is wearing his standard conical black helmet, and Meouch is clad in regular space pirate garb: a Han Solo-esque vest, complete with arbitrary, cool-looking fake pockets. The band, “hand-picked” by Sung from deep pockets of the “Multiverse,” is rounded out by Havve Hogan and Lord Phobos, and have been here long enough that they’ve settled in to their lives on Earth for the time being quite comfortably. “For immortal beings such as ourselves, it really doesn't seem that long,” Sung says. “But in a human perception of time, we've been here for about seven years.”
Sung explains that they’re currently on a “tour of time and space,” and that Earth is just one stop on that tour. The stop has been long enough to produce two EPs now, the latest of which, titled 2nite and being released on January 23 at the Horseshoe Tavern, is an insanely high-energy electro-funk and disco roller coaster, featuring LA-based musical comedy duo Ninja Sex Party and Skratch Bastid (“He’s probably the best at what he does on this planet, in this current timeline,” says Meouch) singing and spinning, respectively, on some guest spots. It’s inspired by acts like Daft Punk, Zapp & Roger, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and Justice. Tupper Ware Remix Party are just as intense on stage as they are on record, with shows frequently transforming from dance parties to mosh pits with danger-levels and flying elbows not often, or maybe never seen at synth-rock shows.
The band has most famously been featured on Canada’s Got Talent, where they managed to turn Martin Short’s vote from a no to a yes by flattering him with praise for his work in “that documentary, Mars Attacks.” Unsurprisingly, they had loads of time to sit down and talk about the future of music, Earth girls, and bringing dance parties to the street corners of downtown Toronto.
Noisey: Do you ever miss the Multiverse?
Doctor Sung: Yeah, we go back for Christmas every once in a while. Probably once a year, actually. It's very cold.
How do you cope with it?
Sung: Skype, a lot of Skype. We've got a lot of different homes now. Honestly, Toronto and Earth in general seem like home to us now.
How'd you get hooked on disco, funk, and electronic music?
Commander Meouch: Really it was the pinnacle of humanities foray into music. It's the high point. And you know, since we've been in the past and the future, we know it really doesn't get any better than it was. We're trying to bring that back a little bit.
Sung: Yeah, we're trying to bring what we loved about the music of the 80s to the present.
Meouch: The future of music is pretty bleak. There's Trumpet Rock…
Sung: It's rife with Adult Techno. A lot of Scrandiddly bands, some of which are great. A lot came from Upper Canada, which was one of our reasons for choosing Toronto.
Meouch: You'll see in about 20 years, the Scrandiddly movement of Upper Canada.
Sung: Yeah, you've got your greats like Flender Dipsmouth, Pioneers, Bobby Dunsworth.
Meouch: They're legends. Just wait, you'll see.
Sung: Oh, maybe we just fucked it up by mentioning it. Butterfly effect.
What’s your relationship with your instruments like?
Meouch: A deeply sexual one.
Sung: Very passionate, yes. Playing keytars was a choice I made a long time ago. Sitting down is not for me. Again, it's another thing from the 80s we fell in love with that we think has a home in the present as well as all times. It's the instrument of the future, and the past.
Tell us about the Mobile Fun Unit.
Sung: Occasionally we've been known to take to the streets in guerrilla warfare against boredom. We like to bring the fun to the people of Toronto. We have a completely battery-powered, dumbed-down version of our set-up that we just throw down on street corners and have dance parties.
Meouch: Impromptu dance parties are really the best kind. Until the cops show up.
Have you ever had problems with the cops?
Meouch: Honestly all the interactions have been pretty reasonable and positive. If they've ever shut us down it's because they've been getting multiple complaints and it's stupid o'clock in the morning and they'll be like, "all right guys, time to shut 'er down." Very friendly though.
Sung: We do tend to push the envelope a little bit, by starting at midnight on a Tuesday or that kind of thing.
Meouch: That's when it's needed the most, though. And the funny part is that it's never the music or our derpy set-up that causes the noise, it's crowds of people like, shouting and yelling.
Sung: The Mobile Fun Unit has been a total asset for us, especially in Toronto, because when we first arrived on Earth we started off in Halifax, and about three years ago we moved our HQ up to Toronto and that was a big thing for us, you know, breaking into Upper Canada. It's the key to the rest of Canada.
What's the future like?
Sung: It's bleak. That's one of the reasons we came back, really, to alter the course of human history. To try to steer humanity away from Trumpet Rock.
Meouch: And Adult Techno, and all the terrible things that happen. It's really a Back To The Future kind of situation.
Sung: Nickelback owns Alberta, which is its own country in the future, and they ONLY listen to Trumpet Rock.
Meouch: It's like Biff's timeline from Back To The Future 2.
Are Earth girls really easy?
Meouch: Yes. It's the ones from Mars you gotta watch out for. Greeeasy, b'y.
Sung: We respect the women of Earth.
Meouch: Of course we do, we love them, all of them.
Sung: Sometimes, too much. Girls are most of our subject matter.
Meouch: About 90% of our lyrical content.
So what are you mostly singing about on the new EP?
Sung: A very wide array of subjects. We've got songs about space. We've got songs about girls. We've got songs about dancing. We've got songs about girls dancing in space. And a song about Starcraft ("Prismatic Core"). It's inspired by the void ray from Starcraft 2. The original Starcraft was part of many of your generation's childhoods, but Starcraft 2 was on point.
What are some of the things they do differently where you're from that earthlings could learn from?
Sung: We give superior high-fives.
Meouch: Lack of pants. Not a lot of pants being worn where we're from. Too many trousers on this planet I think.
Sung: Humans are really fucking up this planet right now, so get your Tesla car on the go. Embrace the Tesla.
Meouch: Fuck GMO, keep your bees, you know. Important things like that. You're gonna be hurtin' without them bees in a couple years. For sure.
What did you think of Interstellar?
Sung: As far as documentaries go, very excellent. Honestly one of my favourite movies of all time. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Anything that has the seal of approval from Neil deGrasse Tyson is good in my books.
Meouch: Also, Matty McConaughey? So hot right now. Steaming' hot.
Sung: It's very interesting the way they portray time travel because we're experts. It was cute, you know? What I was most excited about with the movie was how it was so accessible to so many people, as a blockbuster, but also a thinking movie, because you have to wrap your brain around it. It also had a lot of thematic content that is very, very real. Like I mentioned before about what we're doing to the planet and the tipping point theme. It's cool to have the mainstream thinking about that. Great documentary.
Matt Williams is a human being. He’s on Twitter @MattGeeWilliams