Tennis are a husband & wife (and friend) band who formed while sailing around the Caribbean on a yacht they bought together, which is so much cooler than starting a band with a 40 year old dude you found on gumtree. Their debut 7″ comes out tomorrow and you should run out and buy it/itunes that shit, because they’re awesome – and they’re so new that I had to use a screen grab because they don’t have any press shots.
Sorry, Im sure you must have told it many times but could you tell me how you decided to start the band as it’s probably one of the best band formation stories I’ve heard.
We dreamed of being sailors long before we dreamed of writing music together. We saved for a long time, bought a small sailboat in Florida and lived on it for the better part of a year, acquiring the various skills associated with seamanship along the way. Daily life on a sailboat is incredibly conducive for creativity, you have so much free time! By the time the trip ended we were full of ideas. The isolation of our boat made music seem personal and innocent again. We felt like we were seeing the world in a new way and we needed a way to process it. Music presented itself as the perfect medium.
Where on your trip was most inspiring/where did you decide to start a band?
The band was conceived in Marathon, FL. We were hanging out at a local bar, celebrating the conclusion of our first overnight sail, and heard the song “Baby it’s You” by The Shirelles. We hadn’t been listening to music much lately and for some reason that song really struck us. Everything from the vocals to the instrumentation of the song felt perfectly suited to that particular moment. We decided right then that when we finished sailing we would attempt to write music that evoked that same feeling.
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Are your songs based on the places you visited? Any plans to do a sufjan stevens style album based on a specific place?
Our songs aren’t so much about specific places as they are about specific experiences. Because sailing, depends so much on a heightened awareness of your surroundings, we naturally associated certain experiences with a geographic location. Instead of cataloging our experiences temporally, we did so geographically; ‘April’ became synonymous with ‘sailing the Bahamas’ and ‘June’ with ‘exploring the waterways of the Carolinas.’
How is it being on Firetalk? It was started by the guys from Woodsman right?
Trevor from Woodsman started Firetalk and I recently have become a partner in the endeavor. I’ve known / been room mates with most of Woodsman for a long time. I actually grew up playing in a band with one of the guitarists, Mark, throughout middle school and high school. Firetalk is an attempt to showcase the bands we love in the most personal way possible. The artists decide everything from artwork, mastering, distribution, promotion, management, to how the stamps on the packaging will look. For the Tennis 7″, we are literally making all the packaging ourselves and stamping each and every 7″ with a design of some sort – It might look a little hand made. Because of things like that, it has created a nice family that will continue long after Tennis puts out it’s final album.
Are they friends from the Denver music scene? what’s the scene like there, welcoming of new bands?
Woodsman and Firetalk specifically have been are greatest source of local support. We don’t know what to make of the Denver music scene. It’s not impenetrable, but it is a little incestuous. It’s rare that a new, really good band establishes itself in the Denver scene. Denver seems to have it’s own thing going on and is slow to change. I don’t think we’ve ever felt truly a part of it or even representative of it. We’ve had an easier time booking a tour than getting good shows around Denver. At the same time, there seems to be a general feeling of well-wishes amongst local musicians. Despite differences in taste, I think Denver musicians all want to see Denver fulfill its potential.
How’s touring treating you? Any disaster stories?
Our first tour begins mid-August. We are really excited to evolve in this way as a band. We’ve spent so much time writing and recording, switching our focus to the live show is new for us. A challenge we’re anxious to meet!
Who plays what live and does someone else join you on stage?
Patrick plays guitar. I play keys and sing and our dear friend Reed is our live drummer.
What are the arm tattoos about?
We got matching sheep tattoos when we decided to get married. We didn’t want rings back then and our joke was, “diamonds aren’t forever, tattoos are.”
Where in the world would you most like to play?
Obviously we would love to tour Europe. Personally, my dream would be to only play house shows regardless of that houses’ location. That’s more my style.