Tennis System, “Such A Drag”

Sjimon Gompers

Walking the railways with Tennis System analysts. (press photo, courtesy of the band)

Recently heard with the blare and glare of “Technicolor Blind“, Tennis System sends a slow burning drive into the sonic allure of lethargy in the premiere of “Such a Drag”. Layering together a heart tethered love note to travel across both lake and land; Los Angeleans Matty Taylor makes music for passing notes gilded with Christopher Norman's guitars and Misha Bullock's percussion and Marcus Russell Price's bass toned sentimental sea of sound. Long distance romance is relayed like heartfelt wishes and texts sent over telephone wires and digital cell phone tower signals steeped in the barely awake, crusty-eyed, lovesick bedroom rock. “All I want to do is lay in bed all day long, and kiss like crazy, but you're so far away, it's such a drag”.

The motions between loneliness, longing, memory and missing are expressed in equal terms of sensory from the hi-diving guitar work to the lyrical bemoaning of a couple's remote individual geographic points. “Something in the air tonight that makes me think of you, I don't care what I have to do I'll make it home to you, but oh my god, you're so far away, it such a drag, all I can do is sing…” followed by the endless harmonized chorus of “woot woot woos”. Matty, Christopher, Misha and Marcus accomplish their own sound system of sport with a bed-head-dazed type of “I'll Be Home For Christmas”-'absence makes the heart grow fonder' ode you can play all Summer long, and for any season all year round.

Frontman Matty Taylor talked to us about his 30 takes of rhythm guitar work, highlights and drags of their recent tour and sheds further light on Tennis System's ethereal construction of the new single.

Tell us about the joys of recording “Such a Drag”.

We actually recorded 'Such A Drag' on my birthday last year. I remember waking up and being so stoked to work on this song, as it's one of my favorites of ours. All of the drums were recorded first, so we would come back to each song individually and built on it. We did this in sections. I would record all my guitar, then Christopher would lay down his, then we'd do bass and vocals. I spent several hours tracking my guitar. I must have done 30 takes of the rhythm guitar, each one with a different set-up to create multiple tones. This gave a nice basket of sounds to choose from. The solo was my favorite part. I was listening to a lot of Cocteau Twins then and i really wanted to get that tone. I like to think I did, haha.

What was a highlight from the recent tour?

There were several good ones. For me, getting to stop at my parents back on the east coast is always a highlight. I think I speak for all of us on this one because this usually is our rejuvenation station for tour. My mom cooks us tons of amazing food, we get to shower, do laundry, my parents send us off with food and drink, and we get to all hang with my family.

Attendance was another highlight of this tour. Having done a US tour before, we struggled to fill rooms. It's a bit discouraging, but 2 or 200 we're gonna bring it. This tour attendance was always great and we made some amazing new friends in every city!

What was were some of the drags about the recent tour?

Ha ha ha, brace yourself. I lost my voice just before our set in San Francisco. After our show, in SF, our radiator died and we had to spend the next day in Berkeley getting it fixed. We got rear-ended in Denver and some of our gear was damaged. We got stuck in a gnarly wind storm driving from Denver to Kansas and our driver's side door was nearly ripped off by the wind. Driving from Kansas to St. Louis we got stuck in a blizzard. Our water-pump died so we spent the second leg of tour stopping every twenty minutes to add water to the radiator to keep the engine from over heating. As a result of our accident in Denver, our rear wheel seal broke so I had to add oil to that every time we stopped for gas before we finally made enough money to get that fixed.

In DC, the venue didn't have a PA, and the vocals went through the house stereo system so I had to scream-sing. Ha ha, we had way more complications, 'Drags', this tour, but we'd do it all over again to be back on the road!

What insights can you spill about this summer's forthcoming full-length?

We have done for our genre what Kanye is doing for hip-hop.

Catch Tennis System playing July 28 in Los Angeles at The Echo with Surf Club and Weekend presented by Part Time Punks.

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