Tennis is hitting up Shaky Knees Festival this weekend along with bands like Manchester Orchestra, James Blake, Kaiser Chiefs, The Mountain Goats, and Mac DeMarco. The band is currently on tour to promote the re-release of its third LP, Ritual In Repeat, via Communion on May 12.
I spoke to vocalist and keyboardist Alaina Moore on the way to a sold-out show at the Troubadour on the tour, the re-release, and Shaky Knees.
Vinyl Mag: I read earlier that your Troubadour show was sold out; is that correct?
Alaina Moore: Yeah! It sold out the day tickets went on sale. It’s really amazing, and it’s not a feeling we’ve ever had before.
VM: You’ve only been on tour for about a week so far. What have those shows been like?
AM: It’s been a week, but there have only been three shows. The West Coast is full of extremely long drives, so we’ve mostly been driving. That’s not the best part, but the shows have been great so far. We love the band that we’re touring with – our friends, The Shilohs – they’re amazing people and super talented. I feel so spoiled for having a really good time.
VM: Now, this tour is to promote the re-release of 2014’s Ritual In Repeat…what was the inspiration for choosing to put this record back out there with extra content?
AM: I think it’s something that’s becoming common now. I won’t lie, a lot of it comes from the pressure from the way people consume music now. With streaming and online distribution, there’s an insatiable desire to bring new music that far outpaces an artist’s ability to actually make it. We’re finding people’s attention span for albums is over in one month for something that took a year to write. On our first tour, I had people ask if we were touring for another new record, and I was completely taken aback.
VM: Going backwards now, when you released Young & Old in 2012, it was critically acclaimed and got a lot of attention towards the band. When you release music now, do you ever feel pressure to relive the hype from the previous effort?
AM: No, I don’t. The kind of attention we got with our first record is a different kind of attention. It was all about us being new. There’s something even better than being new; it’s being established and having a trusting relationship with your fans. I would way rather have that than be the newest thing. We’ve had great achievements, but I think some of that can’t be duplicated, so I feel no pressure.
VM: The band will be stopping by Atlanta for a set at Shaky Knees this weekend; have you been in Atlanta before?
AM: My family lives in Atlanta, so I go multiple times a year.
VM: That’s awesome! What’s your favorite thing to do in the city?
AM: I do nothing; I just go home to my parents and play with their Corgi, Baxter.
VM: Somewhat related to that, what other bands are you looking forward to seeing at Shaky Knees?
AM: I have no idea who else is playing! I haven’t even looked. I’m sure it’s a bunch of amazing musicians I’d love to see, but at festivals I usually don’t see anyone. We get there and barely have time to load in and find where we’re going to play. Then we load out, and by then, the festival’s over. The nice thing is that, although I don’t get to watch anyone play, I get to meet people that I really respect. It’s an honor to be there.
VM: Well, the good news is that headliners of the day you’re performing are The Strokes, Pixies, and the Mountain Goats.
AM: Their headliners are amazing, and I probably won’t see them, but I’m very excited that they’re there. I’ve seen the Pixies before, but I’ve never seen the Strokes. I’m thrilled to be on the lineup alongside them; it’s very humbling.
VM: Is there anything else you’d like to say?
AM: We look forward to seeing everyone there!
Be sure to catch Tennis on tour:
05/05 Austin, TX @ The Parish
05/06 New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
05/08 Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees Festival
05/09 Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
05/10 Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle
05/12 Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
05/13 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
05/15 Philadelphia, PA @ Milkboy
05/16 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
05/17 Allston, MA @ Great Scott
05/19 Toronto, ON @ Virgin Mobile Mod Club
05/20 Ferndale, MI @ The Loving Touch
05/21 Indianapolis, IN @ Radio Radio
05/22 Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar