Monday, 2 August 2010


As I sit at work doing and pretending to do and hiding not doing office based activities, entrapped in a world of biscuits and paper clips, it really is the small pleasures that matter. Listening to 6music, my attention was grabbed, assaulted and kidnapped by Tennis, made up of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, the husband and wife duo located in Denver who make you want to throw caution to the wind and be weird and skip in a field of sunflowers like in the films. Alaina has the most enchanting voice that laps and swoons, bewitching and captivating, complemented by sweet,sweet soaring guitar from Patrick. This band are really something special and there’s something beautifully secretive about them, like we're getting half the story, there’s hidden depth (that could be a brilliant water based/sailing pun if you really think about it) to these songs and you can tell as they play they’re recalling the memories that made them.

As opposed to the generic 'being really bored, having a mediocre ability with a guitar and a friend who can 'kind of' sing', Tennis formed in the most delightfully contrasting and interesting way! I know in probably every interview, you have to answer this ha, but could you explain how Tennis came about?

When I met Patrick in college he had already been planning to go on a sailing trip for years. He was always reading something like Sailing Around The World Alone, or 20 Small Boats That Can Take You Anywhere. I was easily swayed by his sense of adventure and within a week of our graduation we had moved onto a small sailboat in Florida. We spent the next six months exploring the Bahamas and the eastern seaboard. Life on the boat was quiet and simple and we spent most of our time reading and writing. A routine like that I think would make anyone feel creative. I don't know exactly how writing music came into the picture. Everyday was inspiring, we really wanted to process our experiences and music presented itself as the perfect medium.

Can we expect any more life affirming sailing trips in the future?

We hope to spend a significant amount of time sailing every year. It gives us a valuable perspective on the lives we leave behind. Disconnecting from all the contingencies of the modern/digital world is really good for my soul.

You both reside in Denver, I'll be honest, I know nothing about Denver, what's the music scene like there?

I've been asked this question a lot and I never know what to say. We don't get the Denver scene at all. We aren't really a Denver band and Denver doesn't claim us anyway. Denver has been obsessing over the same handful of bands for the last several years, it's so resistant to change. It has had no influence on us at all.

Out of the songs you've written for the Tennis 7'', which one feels the most personal and special to you?

Marathon. I had all the lyrics written and an idea for the melody for months, but it took a while for Patrick to get a vision for the song. One night I begged him to work on it with me because I felt so attached to it, and the song just came out in minutes. We recorded it the next morning in our bedroom, it only took an hour, we were so sure of it. Our first overnight sail, the experience that Marathon is an account of, was one of the greatest challenges of my life. I was so scared to go to sea and I remember thinking, after this is over I will have a real story tell, something memorable, maybe even inspiring. Now it's a song that I am very happy with.

You begin touring in mid August; how you feeling about it and what date are you most looking forward to?

I'm nervous, I don't like performing. We never thought we would play live, but now it seems like an important next step for us. It will give us some street cred which we could use. I can't wait to play with Family Portrait in NY. They are amazing people and if it weren't for them I don't think we would be doing this.

And finally, in a year's time, what would you both have ideally liked to have achieved musically?

Our only real goal for Tennis is to record a full-length. We have the material for it and I think we just want it out of our heads and into the world. Based on the fact that we never intended to share our music with anyone, I think we've already surpassed our greatest aspirations musically.

A massive thanks to Alaina for her more than generous answers!

Even from a few questions, I extra, extra ,more, more than usual think this band deserve to be big and I have no qualms about it, I've just bought their 7'' here, and so should you. I’ve decided now, that if I ever somehow trap someone into marrying me, we’re absolutely 100% buying a boat, going on a voyage and getting matching will happen.

It seems fitting to feature Marathon, which is also the first song I heard from them.

Tennis-Marathon by lary lou

And for the hell of it, here's to another with a visual aid.

Tennis - Cape Dory (Underwater Peoples Records) from RichsLaw on Vimeo.

Get all the other info you could need on their myspace and enjoy!