We just had a great show last sat may 9 with a ripping live set from CAGED HEAT and great interview and live set from BERTAND LAURANCE With great blues guitar work check out up coming guest on the show starting with may 16 THE BLACK CHEERS……MAY 23 NICHOLE ORANGE’S band SPEARMINT SEA ….MAY 30 The return for the band THE FORZ.. and their great retro rock….june 13 BROKEN STEREO….JUNE 20 BOSTON’S LONG TIME RAVES’S DREAM CHILD……JULY 11 FIVE OF EYES….AUG 1 and portland’s own all female band TIGER BOMB….ALOT MORE COMING ON “A CRASH COURSE FOR THE RAVERS’ show ! please check out and join our facebook page
yes the Brigands who been rocking boston for the last 30 years will be at the “Tavern at the end of the world” charlestown on friday may 22 with “The Black Souls” that’s kim and cam Arkland’s new band [formerly port charles quintet/prime movers/voodoo dolls ]
Last month, I had the pleasure of speaking with Alaina Moore, of the indie-pop band Tennis. She, her husband Patrick Riley, and drummer James Barone released their third full-length album in September.
“Ritual In Repeat” is available now, and Tennis will be performing on May 17th at the Great Scott in Allston, MA.
WMFO: How has your process changed now that you’re onto your third full-length album?
Alaina Moore: Weirdly as we wrote our second record, we didn’t experience any kind of sophomore slump—it came super naturally. It was a fantastic experience, we had no problem. People asked about the sophomore slump afterwards and then it was in my head…
When we wrote our third record I had the sophomore slump, once I knew it existed. Anyway, I had basically the worst time ever writing Ritual in Repeat, nothing sounded right, nothing sounded like me, it felt forced. It was such a weird experience, but finally I came across (through the recommendation of a friend) a book called Daily Rituals which delineates the day to day routine of life, and explains the processes of best writers, artists, actors, philosophers…
How did that help you?
Well, everyone suffers self-doubt and lack of inspiration—grinding it out through the routine is what numbed our minds to get the work done. We had a really strict daily writing routine that changed a lot—read for an hour, write for an hour, play guitar for an hour, play piano for an hour, write some more… All of a sudden all of the songs just started being finished, after 8 months of getting nothing done.
The album is called Ritual in Repeat because that’s what we found, sort of discovering an artist’s daily ritual, repeating it, making the process feel comforting—it began to have a sort of spiritual significance.
Can you tell me a little bit about where you draw your inspiration?
It changes all the time—it’s never the same. Sometimes it’s a book I’ve read, sometimes a new or old album. Sometimes when we’re on tour I start to realize that I want to write a different sort of song, something more rewarding—then we go home and do that. It always evolves, as we do as human beings.
I don’t want to keep writing the way that we were on our first record. What has stayed consistent is newness and change, we go sailing again, and tour is a constant change, it’s helped us keep working.
It’s really wonderful how you describe everything as “we.” How do you and Patrick like to work together? What’s it like working together as husband and wife?
It’s’ a very different sort of “we.” It’s interesting because we feel completely connected, I don’t’ even notice when we say we, we’ve been doing this since the day we met. We do work really hard to maintain autonomy in our writing—we write separately and then once we have our personal ideas on our own we come together and finish it. We are both still pursuing personal things—our tastes have a lot of overlap but also have a lot of disconnect so we work a lot to keep our own ideas. Like any band or any relationship there’s a lot of compromise. We respect that part of each other.
I’m a huge Black Keys fan, so I know that your second album was produced by Patrick Carney, as was Ritual In Repeat. Can you tell me what it was like to work with him?
The first time was an incredible learning curve. I felt bad for him actually, he had to teach us all of these things and there were all of these draining lessons. The second time around we had this report and this trust, we all feel like “Young and Old” is such a great record, so we had that to build off of.
You need so much trust when a producer wants you to do something that is out of your comfort zone, you don’t want to do it. But we have this history that we’re really proud of so we were able to push ourselves with him.
He just knows what it’s like to be a self-made working band, though I don’t want to enshroud that with romanticism… We share that, we aren’t from a cool place, we’re from Colorado and they’re [The Black Keys] from Ohio, we’re not from Brooklyn or something, our families weren’t in bands or anything… We know what it’s like to be poor and confused and mistrusting of major labels and big contracts. This shared history is one of the things that makes things work in the studio. We go to him a lot just for advice or just to complain.
Its funny how it started, we were so ignorant… We just emailed him, we were pretty naïve, just being like, “Hey dude, want to work on our album?” At the same time I’m like, now I would have been way too scared to reach out. It was kind of great how ignorant we were, we weren’t afraid to just ask.
Best advice I could give to anyone: If you want something, just ask. The worst thing that can happen is if they say no. So many wonderful things wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t been so ignorant and just asked anyway.
I am coming from a radio station; we play an enormous range of different stuff. I’m always looking for new music to play! What bands do you guys listen to?
We work really hard to listen to very obscure music, the word obscure is super relative, but we try to listen to off the beaten path stuff, just because what you listen to it influences your music so much. Sometimes I’ll be writing something and think it’s so genius and then Patrick will come in and be like, “This is a Katy Perry song.”
If you’re trying to write something original or new you have to dig really deep—you can’t make something out of nothing, art and music is a conversation. We try to listen to really niche things because we want to bring things that are less explored territory, to bring new stuff to the forefront.
After all of this work and change, where do you see your music going?
I think that for our next album I think we’re starting to realize how really important and integral the live element of being a band is to being successful these days—you have to tour a lot more than you used to in order to succeed, to keep afloat. Normally, I would write thinking of me in my room writing a song to record, but now it is to writing to play it all over the world. I have to write something that’s more engaging, more of a narrative, and more performative.
The next thing is a really long sailing trip—after writing this next record it’s time to recalibrate and go back to that really reflective place. We want to re-center and find that place again and see what we have after that.
We’re going to go away for awhile, go back to sea, ready for the next stage of our career.
Fans that came to see Rx Bandits on Wednesday, April 8th at the Sinclair in Cambridge were treated to an excellent performance from beginning to end as we saw a strong showing from every act.
Cayetana was the first opener, and they brought an easygoing stage presence with them. The frontwoman commented that the first show that she had ever attended was to see “The Pharmaceutical Bandits” (Rx Bandits’ former moniker). The three-piece, all-female outfit from Philadelphia played straightforward hard rock with lots of energy, the perfect first opener and excellent beginning to the show.
The next band was A Great Big Pile of Leaves, and the crowd reception to the indie rock group was so positive that one got the impression that many concertgoers were there to see them instead of the headliner. This made for a very strong set from the Brooklyn band. A lot of their set consisted of their most recent release from Topshelf Records, “You’re Always On My Mind.” The crowd was screaming the words along with the band for their last few tracks, which only set the scene for a killer set from Rx Bandits.
The indie-prog reggae-rockers (along every genre in between) opened with “Ruby Cumulous”, the first full-length track off their most recent album “Gemini, Her Majesty”. They played a few songs from this album, getting the 500-strong crowd moving and dancing all the way. There were some moshers in the front, but the mostly young, low-30s crowd danced harmoniously, enjoying the music.
The highlights of the night from Rx Bandits included excellent renditions of “Apparition” (reggae chops combined with a hooky chorus), “Wide Open” (hard-hitting), and “…And The Battle Begun” (fast-paced and complicated). The real treat of the set was when frontman Matt Embree slowed it down and played a cover of Bill Withers’ famous track, “Ain’t No Sunshine” in his own style.
Overall, the show was worth the price of admission and all three bands come recommended.