The Reverb Interview: Alaina Moore of Tennis

So, everyone in Denver officially hates Tennis right now.

At least that’s what Facebook, Twitter and a few other rumblings around the local Internet would lead you to believe.

In case you missed it, Alaina Moore, Patrick Riley and James Barone recently filmed a video interview with some west coast website that sounds hilariously similar to this one (verb/re/verb).


Around the 0:37 mark, Moore unknowingly digs her own grave in mumbling the phrase, “We don’t have good record stores in Denver, I’ll be the first to admit.”

It was her Dylan-going-electric moment. Only, instead of disillusioned fans, the backlash came from people who already asserted themselves as non-fans of this troubled local buzz band.

So, was Moore right? Nah, there’s definitely great record stores here. I moved to Denver at the end of August and have probably dropped well over $500 bucks between Twist and Wax Trax in that time. But is she deserving of the social media wrath akin to that whole Sarah-Palin-blood-libel thing?

There remains palpable irony in writing off Tennis as nothing but a blog-buzz-no-good-for-nothin’-hype-band, then losing your shit over something the lead singer says…on a blog. If Tennis, as a band, should not be taken seriously, why take Moore’s words as gospel?

Reverb caught up with Moore during the band’s east coast travels as they prepare to head to South By Southwest next week.

What have you guys been up to these last three months? How does it feel to finally have the record out?

The last few months have been spent touring almost constantly. Having the album out has been really amazing. Our live shows are more meaningful now that we have something tangible to point to.

What are you most and least looking forward to about South By?

This will be our first time as a band at SXSW so we are all really excited. We can’t wait to play with Yuck, we haven’t seen them before but we really love their album. Overall, I think we are looking forward to seeing the bands we love, while dreading the infamous chaos of SXSW.

What’s the best city you’ve played so far on this tour? The worst?

It’s tough to say, we have had a lot of great shows in the past few months. We finally feel like we’re at that point where people come to our shows because they know and like our music, rather than out of curiosity. Whenever we have a bad show it’s always because of us; one of us is sick or misses home, it’s never because of the city.

You’re playing Lollapalooza and Primavera this summer. What do you have planned besides that?

We are probably going to throw up on stage at those shows. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like sharing a stage with some of my favorite artists. To answer your question though, we plan on spending most of the summer in Denver to spend time with our friends and family.

Denver seems stormier than usual these days (wink). Does it still feel like home?

There does seem to be more contention regarding our band in Denver than elsewhere. I’m sure it stems from the fact that we have been given the chance to represent an underrepresented city. One thing we have realized is how difficult it is to portray yourself and your music when your only medium is a truncated interview pieced together by someone who doesn’t know you. Regardless, we have an amazing support group of friends and fans here who have done so much for us in the short period of time we have been a band. Perhaps we have been remiss by thinking of Denver simply as home rather than a city we need to win over. But having both grown up here, it is the place we go to be ourselves rather than “Tennis.”

Where will you be come Fall?

We will be in Denver. We hope to be busy writing and recording new material this Fall. But it seems like everyday something comes up and changes our plans. We try to stay flexible with our plans but not with our goals. New music lies somewhere in our future.

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John Hendrickson is the Managing Editor of Reverb and a multimedia journalist for The Denver Post.