“Nowadays I mostly channel my creative energy into songs about being a dad and enjoying still being able to rock. Yep, literally dad rock.”
We had a super interview with Sinnet two years ago around the holidays, so we figured we would make it a tradition. We’ll at least keep it going for as long as the band makes unique claims like their recent announcement that Island Town, their new album, is “the sound of Aaron Spransy embracing his dad-rock vibe” with an indie-rock formula fusing “bits of bossanova, tropicalia, soul and synth-pop.”
We spoke with Spransy about Island Town, which was recorded between his home lab and “various remote spaces.”
Last time we spoke, you explained the background of your band name, which is backwards for the word “Tennis.” In the time since, have you all got into any beef with the band that is actually called Tennis?
Haha, no, no beef with Tennis. I used to email them just about every time they came into town: Let us open for you! We’d love to play with them, could make for an amusing flyer too I’d imagine.
And before we get to the music, we have to ask, all things considered—how do you feel about pickleball? The sport now sweeping the country?
Admittedly, I didn’t even know what pickleball was until last summer. I was confused by the “tiny tennis courts” we saw on the Cape. Also, I noticed them on the plans for the park renovations near our house. I mean, it’s not tennis but it looks pretty fun.
Collaborators for the new project include Dan Didier of the Promise Ring, Maritime, Andrew Neesley, and Dave Brophy. How did that work? Friends and fellow players who were around? Did you reach out to some people to fill specific needs?
The new record grew pretty organically. I started out by asking my old friend and awesome trumpet player Andy Neesley if he would add some horns to a track. It turned out so well that I just kept doing it. Dan and Dave are both amazing drummers that happen to play with friends of mine.
The Promise Ring was a seminal band for me growing up in Milwaukee, they played the first basement show I ever went to and I went to just about every show they played in town. Dan played on a song called “9,999 Maniacs” (the title is the punchline to a bad dad joke of mine). It was such a treat having one of my favorite drummers play on one of my songs.
I connected with Dave Brophy through my good friend Matt Girard. Matt mixed this and many other Sinnet releases. Dave is so talented and easy to work with. He did the drums on a Harry Nilsson cover. The recording has two different drum tracks panned to each side. The drum fills go from one ear to the other. It’s a pretty sweet effect that Dave pulled off effortlessly.
Tell me all about Dad-rock dominance
Not sure if I’m dominating anything, probably more like dad-rock acceptance?
The new record Island Town starts with my journey from city apartment living to home ownership in the suburbs. It focuses on being a new dad and all the stresses and joys of the process. At first it was stuff like, Goddamnit, why are these squirrels digging holes in the yard I just mowed? Then later on realizing I love my son so much that I’m really not that upset when he literally shits on me.
Over the last few years I think I found my way of being a dad while retaining my inner creative life. For me, playing music has always been about creative catharsis and writing from my own experience. Nowadays I mostly channel my creative energy into songs about being a dad and enjoying still being able to rock. Yep, literally dad rock.
How if at all did y’all keep your performance chops sharp during the lockdown?
We did a couple remote shows but, basically I just worked on the new record all through the pandemic. It was a big part of keeping my sanity and having something to look forward to. I’ve always recorded elaborate demos at home. This record is me challenging myself to take that as far as I can. I bought some nice mics and even recorded some of the drums myself. Glyn Johns method! Matt Girard mixed all of it and made it sound like a real record.
Anything you’d like to share about this release party?
It’s gonna be the poo! I have some new folks playing with me in the band, my buddy Colin on keys and Craig Stanton on guitar. Craig plays in a great local punk band called Rebuilder. The new lineup is super solid!
Also, this will be our first time playing with a horn section! The new record has horns on it, so we’re bringing it to the stage. Life goal: unlocked.
The show is at the beautiful new Crystal Ballroom in Davis square. Our buds and kings of Allston indie rock Beeef will be opening the show along with Divine Sweaters. Sick bill? Yes!
Sinnet ‘Island Town’ Release Party. 12.9 @ Crystal Ballroom w/ Divine Sweater and Beeef. 6:30pm/All Ages/$15-$20/crystalballroomboston.com.