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Sports [Interview]

Sports, the dream-pop duo of two musical wizards from Tulsa, Oklahoma, are out with their newest release, Get A Good Look Pt. 1. Cale Chronister and Christian Theriot are two long-time friends conjuring up music that transcends time, space, and the sonic boundaries of their South Central homeland.

Their 2015-debut, Naked All The Time, set them up to headline for groups like Miike Snow and Tycho, and even at one point had them playing at a local Chili Cook-Off. Their distinct sound, oozing of glamour, has developed with their subsequent releases; the more lo-fi People Can’t Stop Chillin (2016), and the Western-feeling Everyone’s Invited (2018), which added a little bit of Country twang. Their new project is an album split in two halves; Get A Good Look Pt.1 out now, with Pt. 2 still in the works.

“If we put the whole record out, we wouldn’t be able to go promote it and tour it,” said Chronister. “It’s basically two EP’s, however you want to look at it. Once Pt. 2 is out we’ll package it up on vinyl, and it’ll be one album.”

The project is produced by long-time collaborator Chad Copelin, who has worked with the group since their first album. The artwork is designed by San Diego-based creative agency, Mortis.

“It’s almost like Pt. 2 is still alive, it’s living and we can change it based on how the songs are doing, or what we’re inspired by,” said Theriot. “It’s pretty interesting. I don’t think we’ve ever been able to do something like that.”

Like many bands nowadays, they’ve taken a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, without being able to tour, and connect with their fans on a personal basis. By the looks of it, the group thrives off of their connections to their fanbase, and they hope to reconnect with them once the pandemic is over. “It’ll be strange once the record is out and we won’t have to go on tour,” said Chronister. “When we started touring, we started to see the actual impact our music had on people.”

The music of Sports is fluid and ever changing, drawing inspiration from whatever they have on hand. According to Theriot, he’s currently “obsessed with that Avalanches record,” (We Will Always Love You). Chronister said he’s going through a phase of listening to Pretenders. “I think the best answer for what inspires us musically is it’s mostly subliminal,” said Chronister. “Anything that stimulates us in our world goes into the music…. We don’t know what it’s going to sound like until it’s done”

According to Chronister, a lot of his lyrics on this album focus around “checking yourself, and checking in on yourself.” But apart from that, he mostly enjoys when the listeners are able to take their own interpretation and meaning from the music. “It’s a lot cooler to me if someone interprets it differently than how I meant lyrically,” said Chronister. “I’m simply saying what’s on my mind, and my life experience, and thinking that that alone is enough for people to maybe relate to it or feel something just because I’m a human. My experiences are probably not unique.”

“I feel like whatever I say, if I feel compelled to say anything, someone will relate to it, and someone will think I’m saying something completely different, and relate to it in a completely unique way,” said Chronister. I don’t wanna fuck that up by telling people what to think about it.” They’ve been working on the album since before receiving the masters for their previous album, over three years ago.

“To just put it out is exciting," he said. "The only drawback is not being able to tour it. There’s something about playing a show, the energy of the people, and talking to them. It’s just that whole other side of it that is going to be missed dearly.”

Get A Good Look Pt.1 is out now, with Pt.2 on the way, hopefully later this year. You can catch Sports on tour, whenever bands are allowed to tour again.

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