Tennis Talks Overcoming Insecurities In Public Before They Rock FYF
Husband-and-wife duo, Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore make killer retro pop under their moniker Tennis. And Alaina has awesome hair. The pair grew up in Denver and met in college, but never planned on making music together until they did. Patrick introduced Alaina to Animal Collective, and they’ve been in love and musical disagreement ever since. Known for mediating their opposing tastes to a point of perfection, they do agree on one thing—”I love the way Patrick dresses,” Alaina told me on the phone, while their tour bus made their way towards Washington D.C. The band performs at Los Angeles’ annual FYF Festival; catch them your last chance to play some summer Tennis.
Galore: I’m really interested in what it’s like to be in a band with your husband.
AM: It’s intense! We’re together literally all the time, but we’re also constantly making an effort to give each other the space we need, whether we’re on tour or in the process of writing together.
Did you know that you guys would be good at spending so much time together before you were Tennis?
AM: Yeah, because a bit after we started dating, we went on an 8 month long boating trip alone together, and actually came out of it feeling like our relationship was strengthened. So it was like okay, if we can do this, then I think we can be in this band together.
“I feel like I have a responsibility to young girls to work out my insecurities in the public eye.”
And it also must be important for you guys to have that separate space so that you can maintain your own taste—when people are together all the time, it’s easy to just kind of feel the same way about everything, I think.
AM: For sure. When we get off tour, we make an effort to spend time alone. We’ll go visit our families, and just spend a week apart. Then it feels kind of novel to miss each other. And also I’ve had to think a lot about the way I compartmentalize our different relationships…you know, we’re business partners, creative partners, sexual partners…
And so what’s your process of writing songs together?
AM: I call it the venn diagram process—we start at either end of the circles that overlap each other, and then we bring each other what we have and we get closer and closer to the center of the diagram. The final product is where we meet in the middle.
You know, I really love your hair. It’s so beautiful.
AM: Thank you so much! I definitely struggled a lot with accepting my hair growing up. I was the only girl in my family with curls, and I grew up in the ’90s, when stick straight hair was really the thing, so it was hard to feel okay with it. But actually, I recently got a short hair cut, like a proper mom haircut, so I’m forcing myself to actually deal with my hair. I can’t straighten it, I can’t tie it up, I can’t do anything. I’ve realized that I feel like it’s my responsibility to work out my insecurities in the public eye. That’s something important for me right now, to try and confront my insecurities like that.
That’s very brave. I got a short haircut a few years ago and was surprised by how traumatizing it was, and that was…not in the public eye.
AM: A girl’s relationship to her hair is a whole other relationship! Not to mention, you’ve got to change the way you dress as well.
For sure. Your whole vibe changes. What are you guys listening to on your tour bus?
AM: Tobias Jesso Jr.’s album is amazing. Have you heard it?
Not the entire thing. Did you know Tobias Jesso Jr. is an insanely tall person? There’s a billboard in my neighborhood that reads, “You can’t miss Tobias Jesso Jr., he’s six foot seven.” It really caught my eye, so I looked it up, and it’s true! He’s just a huge person.
AM: Oh, I’ve actually seen that as well! It really does grab your attention. It’s funny because I was looking through some old magazines recently, and all advertisements used to be like that, in that format.
It’s very effective, I think about that ad all the time. What else are you guys listening to?
AM: We’re also listening to Melody’s Echo Chamber, which is a project produced by Kevin Parker. It’s pretty psychedelic, and just very beautiful and cool. I’m loving that right now.
Don’t miss your last chance to purchase FYF tickets here.
Special thanks to Communion Records.