ABCD Exclusive // An Interview with Tennis
Husband/wife duo TENNIS consisting of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, recently released their second LP titled Young & Old on Valentine’s Day, and launched a 2012 tour with dates in the U.S. and abroad. While on tour Alaina linked up with ABCD for an interview and gave us the scoop on the new album, tour, thoughts on being in a band with your significant other, and what the couple did for VDay while on the road.
What can we expect from the upcoming new album Young & Old? I know Cape Dory was a project based on your experiences on a sailing expedition, any special concept or inspiration for the songs on the new record?
We actually enjoyed the freedom of having no specific concept for this record. I didn’t want the songs to be entirely disjointed, but we didn’t want the burden of sticking so closely to a theme or aesthetic. Many of the lyrics, including the album title –are loosely based on my reading of Yeats’ poem “A Woman Young and Old.” I read it during a time when I couldn’t write a word, and it resonated with me. It was the turning point in my writing and a source of inspiration.
Young & Old was produced by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, how did that collaboration come to be?
We sought him out. To us he was the ideal candidate. We respected his career as a musician, producer, and engineer, and believed he would respect our musical autonomy. Working with him was a rewarding experience, I think we needed him to help coax us out of certain musical habits–things we didn’t even notice about our own song writing. It allowed us to make what felt like a seamless transition into album two.
I know you have a massive 2012 tour planned, that began in Paris on 2/9/12 and ends in Phoenix on 5/5/12, which are some of your favorite cities to perform in? Tell us one experience while being on the road present or past that you will never forget?
I actually really enjoy playing small shows in the midwest. People are sincere music listeners. I don’t like to feel like I’m putting on a show, and in the midwest I never do. I feel like I’m just sharing something I made with someone who cares. Our favorite tour memory at the moment is from our recent west coast tour with our friend Devon Williams. During one of the shows he started heckling the audience–he has an amazing sense of humor and can somehow cross lines without upsetting anyone. We were dying laughing. He has a stage presence that I can only dream of imitating.
It’s a very strange relationship. Working together is very different from living together, and we have to remember to separate the two. Patrick’s quit the band about twenty times in the last two months, and I rehire him. I’m kidding, but really, it’s tough. But we love what we do and we are committed to each other so it works.
What kind of music are you both into?
Patrick’s into some really weird shit that I don’t think I should get into. I like really good music though. Only the best. Amy Grant, Stevie Nicks, Todd Rundgren.
Lastly, Young & Old was released on Valentine’s Day, did the two of you indulge in any special plans?
We were actually performing in London on Valentine’s day, but there was a couple in the front row making out during the set–it was amazing. Later we bought a bottle of wine from a gas station. That’s as romantic as it gets for us while we’re on the road.