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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Tenderlions on Signing Boobs, Misspelling Their Original Name, and DJing Vs. Performing

Posted By on Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 8:58 AM

The Tenderlions
  • The Tenderlions
When someone pictures a tender lion, they probably imagine a cuddly creature licking its paw, or even Simba from the Lion King, with his huge doe eyes and innocent face. Well, we can attest that S.F. duo Tenderlions have pretty much the same characteristics, except they know how to produce and pound out some of the hottest, most bangin' electro-house tracks around the nation. John and Evan met a couple years ago at a party, and were soon making a "Going Back to Cali" remix in the bedroom on tiny computer speakers. Catch them play Blow Up this Friday at DNA Lounge with Midnight Conspiracy and Jeffrey Paradise.

You're the Tenderlions. Do people often mistake it for "Tenderloin"?

Yeah, but not as much as people used to. Maybe a year or so ago we'd be introduced as The Tenderloins and someone from the crowd would yell "It's TENDERLIONS." What's funny is that we were supposed to be "Tenderloins," but we misspelled it when making our MySpace profile. It was a good mistake to make. Tenderlions is much more fitting for us.

Name your favorite quality in each other. What keeps you guys together?

Evan: John's enthusiasm for this group really keeps things going. Sometimes I'll say stupid things like "I don't want to play that show," and John sets me straight. We'll play the show and I'll regret ever saying anything in the first place.

John: I really respect his attention to detail with shows and music he is very committed to making everything just right.

You guys have opened up for some huge names, such as Simian Mobile Disco. What's the most important part of opening for bigger artists?

Every show we do, we try and put as much energy into it as possible, and for big shows like SMD, it's not any different. We know that headliners like SMD are going to put on a massive show, so we have to live up to that by being massive ourselves.

You guys also do DJ sets. What's your favorite part about DJing versus performing?

First and foremost, we love playing live. It's all our own material and we just get to have fun getting creative on stage. Just seeing the crowd react to something that´s ours gives us so much energy. DJing is more of a break for us when we've been doing too many back-to-back shows, or [when] the venue that wants us isn't really set up for a live act. It's still really fun. We still jump around on stage, yell at the crowd, and make fools of ourselves. It's also fun to show people what music we're influenced by.

Share with us some jams you've been putting into your DJ sets, or what's been sparking your personal music palate?

Evan: It's hard to say specifically what I've been throwing into the DJ sets. I know it can be frowned upon to play a bunch of tracks by the same artist in a single set, but I have to do my best not to play Dada Life's whole catalog. Their tracks make everyone go nuts. In terms of what I listen to, I've always been into the '80s boogie sound; lots of synthy stuff. Basically anything off

John: I am open to all types of music with DJing, but lately I have been listening to a lot of Yeasayer, Drop Out Orchestra, The Kills, Blonde Redhead, and the list goes on.

You guys are playing Blow Up on Friday. What do you think makes this party so successful?

The energy never stops. Most people hit the dance floor at 10:00 and don't stop 'till 2:00. Jeffrey Paradise and Ava Berlin put a lot into making Blow Up what it is and has been for years. Also, there aren't too many 18+ parties in the city; those kids get wild.

And onto the over-excited fan stories.

I've signed some tits once, but who hasn't. Other than that, our fans are pretty down to Earth and nice. The craziest thing they do is take a picture then buy us a drink.

What can we expect from you this year?

A music video for "Loose Strings" off our In 3D EP is in the works with director Colin Arlen from Macaframa. Also, we just released some remixes for Zero Cash and Maral Salmassi on the German based label Television Rocks, so now we´re working on some more original tracks and, as always, gearing up for some big shows.

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Christina Li @ChrisxtinaLi, and like us at

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