Interview Tennis: Feelings, Festivals & The Future

“We won’t need to go on any sort of grandiose adventure in order to make another album.”

Husband-and-wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley have given us a great selection of singles and a dreamy debut album via their Tennis moniker. Francesca Dunn catches up with them ahead of the release of their new single ‘Take Me Somewhere’ to talk feelings, festivals, and the future.

How are you feeling about your new album now that it’s had a while to settle?
It’s actually been six months since it was released. We have had a lot of time to reflect on it, and I think we feel a strange mixture of pride, with a desire to grow and do even better next time.

You once referred to the band as more of a ‘hobby’ than a career. Do you still feel the same way now that things have become a bit more serious? How will you seek to assimilate touring and other labour-intensive parts of the job into your lives?
We have adjusted by throwing ourselves into touring and writing. We demand a lot from ourselves, and expect constant growth. It certainly started as a hobby, but it has grown into something extremely special, that we take seriously.

Your latest single ‘Take Me Somewhere’ will be released later this month. What does the song mean to you?
‘Take Me Somewhere’ was one of the very first songs we wrote. It has taken many forms, but has consistently remained a song we love.

You recently recorded a Brenda Lee cover. Are cover versions something we can expect to see more of in the future? If so, what tracks have you got your eye on?
We won’t do covers often. If we have the time to record a song, we would rather it be original. But covers are a lot of fun, and give you a chance to learn something from an artist you admire.

You wrote, recorded and even mixed your first album completely by yourselves; will you take the same approach when producing your next album?
We wanted to define our sound, and our own intentions with ‘Cape Dory’ by remaining independent in the studio. Now that we have had that experience we would really enjoy the chance to work with and learn from other more experienced individuals.

Your debut album centred around a boat trip. Will you be engaging on another sabbatical for the next record or will you take a different writing approach?
We will always take time to sail together, but the concept behind ‘Cape Dory’ will never be repeated. We won’t need to go on any sort of grandiose adventure in order to make another album.

With ‘Cape Dory’ you had a very specific list of instruments you wanted to include, will you be working in the same way in the future? If so, will the list of instruments you use stay the same or will you opt for something completely different and why?
We are planning on varying our instrumentation slightly. That change alone will aid in the evolution of our sound. We want to challenge ourselves musically in future recordings and are striving to write parts that are just a little bit too hard for us.

You showcased at SXSW back in March. What other festivals do you have lined up this year?
We played Primavera Sound this year and had an amazing time. We are also playing a few festivals in Europe as well as Lollapalooza and Bumbershoot in the states. We are new to the festival experience, but so far really enjoy it.

Michael Eavis (Glastonbury founder and organiser) spoke out recently about the fact that the festival might only run for another few years, mostly due to the economy. Have you been to Glastonbury before? What are your thoughts on this?
We have never been to Glastonbury, but it is legendary. I think it would be a shame for it to be cancelled, and we have a lot of friends who would feel the same.

Tennis’ new single ‘Take Me Somewhere’ is out now.

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