Check out a live, in-studio interview we conducted with Patrick and Alina of Tennis right before their 40 Watt show with Wild Belle Oct. 10th in which we discuss their illegal music video activities, “We Bought a Zoo’ and the time they were mistaken for the airport shuttle.
WUOG- You guys have been touring extensively for almost two years now, with Cape Dory and now Young and Old, are you guys just tired of touring and flat out exhausted?
Alina – Yeah definitely, we’ve played so many shows but this is the last tour of the year, and after this we’re going to hunker down and do something writing after Austin City Limits.
WUOG- How do you guys keep the experience fresh with this constant schedule of touring on a fairly limited set of songs?
Alina- Well we tried out some new stuff, we have a new song we’re playing that we just recently wrote that is unrecorded and we’re playing a cover to keep it fun and we finally have enough material between two records that we can trade in and out songs if one needs a break.
Patrick- I know it sounds weird but I feel like this is the only tour where we’ve actually kind of mastered these songs. I feel like for the first two tours of this album we were still figuring out things and trying to get things dialed in. So this is the only tour that’s felt like we are doing these songs justice.
WUOG- Is that feeling of being an overnight sensation and all this popularity still new to you guys or have you finally gotten used to?
Alina- I guess anytime we experience something that approximates success we have no idea what to do with it and the rest of the time we’re just realizing how much more we really have left to achieve.
Patrick- I don’t think we actualize it, I think we just see it third person, so to speak, as if it’s happening to someone else. Maybe years down the road we’ll maybe start to understand what’s going on with our band and our personal lives.
Alina- And not to sound like we aren’t thankful for what we have, because we really are, but I’ve noticed that every time we achieve some great new thing like play a Late Show or play a huge festival, like Lollapalooza, all that does is that that opportunity opens up a myriad of other things that we haven’t yet obtained that other bands have, it just shows you that with every big thing that happens it just shows you how small we are.
WUOG- You guys are touring with Wild Belle, at least for a couple of dates, how did you guys end up with them?
Alina- We already did a tour with them earlier this year, a few weeks on the west coast and we really bonded, we love them, we love their music, they’re wonderful people and they’re going to be huge, they just signed to Columbia so we always joke that by next year we’ll be opening for them.
Patrick- Which will probably be the case.
Alina- Mark my words people, that will be happening. But they are wonderful and we’ve played like eight or nine shows so far and have a couple more left.
WUOG- On the cover of Cape Dory you are sporting that blue jumper, is that something you wear around all the time?
Alina- No, not at all, it’s not actually even mine. My friend works at American Appeal and she let me borrow it for the day.
WUOG- I thought that might be a thrift store special, it seems like a nice piece.
Patrick- I don’t think you could safely wear something like that from a thrift store.
Alina- No, not at all and it’s actually see through in real life and we have to Photoshop color underneath of it to make this something you could sell in stores.
Will- Who knew we’d be sponsoring American Apparel in the interview.
Alina- We’ll I guess that’s the inevitable conclusion of me having worked there for a couple of years in college.
Will- I’m sure you guys hate the tennis puns, but have any fans ever brought tennis racquets or tennis balls to a show before?
Patrick- I think my Mom has (laughing).
Alina- Yeah, I think she actually has done that. I think one time somebody brought us a tennis ball to sign, but it was actually really cute, it was really sweet. But most of the time, it’s a little tiring because kind of like Vampire Weekend our name is completely irrelevant. You just need a name, so there it is. I feel like a lot of people don’t understand that.
Patrick- It definitely is written in our rider that you can’t use any tennis imagery in our artwork.
Alina- One time we showed up to the show and the promoter made a poster and it was just a pile of tennis balls, that was the picture and it just said tennis.
Patrick- Or better yet we were doing a residency at this Vegas hotel and he used…
Alina- Just a picture of a lone tennis ball bouncing. And it looked like there was going to be a tennis tournament like the U.S. open and there was no way of knowing it was live music at all.
WUOG- Tell me a little about your music videos for Origins and Deep in the Woods.
Patrick- Origins was actually my idea, I wanted to make a James Bond-y, retro, ski-action music video, Macgyer, a lot of that stuff I grew up watching late at night.
Alina- That was exactly how he pitched it to me. And we had a good friend Richard Law who directed that video who is really good at making something with absolutely no plot come to life.
Patrick- But it really spawned from my parents, who had been storing my grandfather’s pistol and not telling me that our family had a gun. And our family would be the last people to own guns. When I saw the gun for the first time I knew we’d have to have a music video featuring it.
Alina- And the music video was illegal, because we were on a public ski resort.
Alina- And for Deep in the Woods, we just had a good friend, we just said do whatever you want and he surprised us.
Patrick- And he read the book too.
Alina- Yeah, it’s based on a book I read. We’ve Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.
WUOG- We’ll we have the authorities headed down to the station as we speak and they told me to stall you so I’ll go ahead and ask about your 60 Seconds Left Pitchfork feature reading “War Horse.” Any chance we can get a War Horse reading here?
Alina- Uh, no because that was actually a script I wrote based off what we imagined what War Horse would be like and wrote made-up lines. We actually wanted to do the real screen play.
Patrick- No we wanted to do the “We Bought A Zoo” movie but we couldn’t find anything online like a script but we found some more material on “War Horse.’
Alina- Yeah sorry, Matt Damon.
WUOG- And there was person who had a nose bleed and was Ed Droste in the video?
Patrick- (laughing) Who is that?
WUOG- The Grizzly Bear lead singer.
Alina- Oh no! (laughing) Everyone think that, that’s our drummer James. That’s funny because we were at a festival recently and someone came up to James and asked if he was the singer of Grizzly Bear since Grizzly Bear had played the night before.
Patrick- You’re like the fourth person to ask that (laughing).
Alina- And after that, we realized that whoa, he really looks does like Ed Droste
WUOG- And especially from that angle. I figured it probably wasn’t him but…
Patrick- We can tell people that, that will probably increase our credibility.
WUOG- I’m a follower on Twitter and noticed your tweet about someone who thought you were the airport shuttle and opened your van door. Did you give him a ride to the airport?
Patrick- He really did get in our van though.
Alina- Yeah he got in the front seat and Patrick was driving and we were laughing all day because we thought Patrick looked more like a shuttle driver and not a rock star.
Patrick- Thanks Alina.
Alina- Well I feel that is the fashion direction for most indie hipster boys.
WUOG- We’ll you’re looking pretty hip today Patrick, I don’t think anyone will make that mistake.
Alina- He’s way more dressed up today, airport driver the next.
WUOG- We’ll I’ll let you guys get going but thanks so much for coming in.
Alina- Thanks for having us, this was fun.
Interview conducted by Will Guerin