Inherently playful yet sonically sombre, Tenniscoats are the Japanese indie pop duo that have captured the hearts of thousands through their mixture of avant-garde folk and delicate vocals. Comprised of Multi-Instrumentalists Takashi Ueno and Saya (vocals), Tenniscoats have a rich history spanning over a decade.
First appearing on the scene back in 2000 with the release of their E.P “The Theme of Tenniscoats” the band have steadily grown a loyal fan-base through their fearless experimentation and frequent collaboration. Having worked with critically acclaimed acts such as Swedish noisemakers Tape, Scottish rockers The Pastels and Deerhoof’s very own Satomi; the band have a truly staggering body of work that is as varied as is it extensive. 2012 brings a slew of new releases from the duo, most notably “Papa’s Ear”; their latest studio album. Tenniscoats were able to take a quick break from their busy schedule to talk with Japan Cinema.
Papa’s Ear is a very beautiful record; can you tell us a little about its production?
Ueno: (Back in 2008) we had worked with Tape during the making of Tan-Tan Therapy, it was such a nice experience to work with them we just had to do it again. It’s funny, everybody must be thinking “one more!?”
Saya: We’re really good friends with the band, it’s such a great experience. When we are with them, we’re just full of happy feeling, it’s almost like floating.
Over the past decade you have worked with many talented performers; do you have any favourite memories?
Ueno: Impossible to decide, I have so many nice memories, I’d be OK if I died tomorrow.
Saya: When we collaborate with friends, it is necessary that it always feels natural, it’s the only way to make sure that we have the best recording possible.
For our readers who don’t know, can you tell us about where you two met?
Ueno: I met Saya back in university
Saya: At a club called ‘Melody Maker’.
Can you tell us about some of your favourite musicians and how they have influenced you?
Saya: Influences are… too many, but since we’ve started collaborating in Japan it’s been so exciting!
What inspires you as songwriters?
Saya: Anything really; weather, demonstrations, fighting, coffee…
What are your plans for the rest of the year? will you be touring or working on new material?
Saya: We’ve just finished recording with Pastacas (Ramo Teder a musician from Finland). We’ve been working with him since last year.
Ueno: We also have plans to release a collection of 7 inch records on our label, Majikick.
Finally, Where did the name Tenniscoats come from?
Ueno: it’s hard to say really; we like Tenniscoats, We like raincoats, Headcoats and so on…
Want to keep tabs on all of Tenniscoats work? Follow their cookie crumb trail below:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/majikicker (Japanese)
La Blogotheque Entry: http://en.blogotheque.net/2010/04/20/tenniscoats-en/