TENNIS

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TENNIS



Written by Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by Charlotte Zoller
20 Monday 20th February 2012

main image: L - R: Patrick Riley, Alaina Moore, James Barone

It All Feels The Same by tennisinc

So the new album. When and where were you recording it?

Patrick: We started writing it just off the heels of our big US tour, where we were gone for five and a half weeks and played about 38 shows all in a row! So we were kinda exhausted, had played that material a lot and started to realise what we wanted our new songs to sound like. We wrote it back in Denver in our apartment, just the two of us.

With James Barone (on drums) more involved on this record, do you still consider yourselves to be a duo or a three-piece now?

Alaina: I guess we go back and forth. I feel like Patrick and I will always be the foundation of our band but we couldn’t really exist without our other members now, especially James. The weird thing is it feels like we’re a duo when we’re just writing in our room but as soon as we leave we become a full band.

P: They all add something to the band, and James really added to the new album in terms of rhythms and percussion. Alaina and I had a lot of ideas for drum parts but James came in and took control on some parts which was cool.

How did Patrick Carney’s production role come about?

P: Deep down we’re not really ‘producer-friendly’ [Alaina giggles] because sometimes it seems like bands who bring in producers can end up sounding different in a way that’s a little scary. But with that said, Patrick Carney was our first choice (and kind of our only choice!); we wanted someone with that experience of working in a really DIY band.

A: We also really liked that he came from a two-piece, so he understood preferring minimalism in your line-up but getting this maximising the sound out of two people on stage. He definitely has a less-is-more mentality and I felt like his style translated very well.

P: So we wrote him an email out of the blue, and he glowingly accepted – when he called us back, we started hashing out the project with him on that very first call.

I heard you recorded in just three weeks?

A: We recorded in eight days, actually [she laughs]. That was because the songs were all basically written when we got there.

P: Yeah, when we take in a demo we’ve got a very firm understanding of how we want the mix to sound, especially after mastering Cape Dory ourselves. So with Patrick we just put in fourteen-hour days every day and got it done!

A: It was different to Dory, where we were watching R Kelly’s “Trapped In The Closet” between takes, and only doing ten-hour days. We almost ended up putting in that water-drop sound that he uses in that whole series.

I can hear more of a soul and r’n’b sound on your vocals this time round, Alaina. Where’s that coming from?

A: I have the problem where my taste outmatches my ability and I had so much fun writing those parts; I got into a lot of diva-style singing that I love. Beyoncé’s my hero basically, Whitney too and I got to put some of that into this album. We made a rule that we could channel any influence we wanted and ended up with more soulful stuff.

So what’s next?

A: We’re heading back to Denver for our album launch show when we leave London.

P: We’re feeling pretty excited about it; we’re incorporating a lot of the Denver music scene, which we’ve never done before [he laughs]. These girls from a band called Paper Bird, of a totally different genre, are performing with us –

A: And they’re going to sing backing vocals for me. I love all the harmonies on the new record but obviously live, can’t do them on my own. I’m going to have these super-talented girls for one show, which I’m excited about.

 

Young & Old is out now on ATP Recordings, and available to buy on the band’s website.

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