SPORTS x RON GALLO: “Can We Still Be Friends?” : a remix + interview

Sports are “a band of wizards from Tulsa, Oklahoma”. I found Sports via Chiara who put them on a lot over the past few years and every time I would ask “who is this?!” – the songs were super catchy and reminiscent of things that I love or times I get nostalgic of – like the quintessential 90’s pool party for example. But there is nothing derivative or revivalist about it, it’s its own world and it is now. It felt like I had heard it before but it was for the first time, a sign to me of incredible melody – timeless. Their first three records “Naked All the Time”, “People Can’t Stop Chillin'” and “Everybody’s Invited” and their latest EP “The Look. Pt.1 ” are full of straight up hits and to me – lined with a sense of humor so subtle that it’s hard to tell the line between what is real and what is not – which if you know me is a world I like to exist in myself. SO, anyway, when it came time to consider people to do “PEACEMEAL” remixes Sports was high up on the list and I am glad they were down for their first ever remix project because they transformed “Can We Still Be Friends?” into something completely different and I love it – something for the CLUB, maybe a lil 90’s dr. Dre in there, sped up, warped, I got a new voice, and I like it that way. Some day we will meet in person but until then listen to the remix and read my interview with Sports below:

RG: Cale, Christian, hey, how are you in this moment on this day that you are reading this?

Cale: I am feeling good. Just showered and it’s raining outside. A combo that I always love. 

Christian: I’m in Tornillo Tx at Sonic Ranch. It’s an unreal studio right on the border of Mexico. Working with Chad Copelin (our producer) on a rad project. Drinking a cup of coffee surrounded by pecan trees. 

RG: If there is a way to remember or go back and look – What were you up to on this day in 2019 and 2020?

Cale: My wife and I were strolling the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy in 2019 which makes me sick to my stomach.  and the only picture I have on this day in 2020 is my dog chewing on a cork in my apartment. haha. So probably nothing.

Christian: Around this time last year I remember the pandemic was starting to really sink in. Had absolutely no idea what we were in for.

RG: Can you talk about your inspiration, process behind the “Can We Still Be Friends?” Remix? And how was it similar/different from your approach to making Sports HITZ?

Cale: Obviously, starting with a song that’s already finished is a lot different than writing your own song. We just had to decide how we wanted to warp it, and we  immediately knew we wanted to speed it up. Your voice sounded so cool that way. It is just about building new sounds around it and re-harmonizing. It was super fun. 

Christian: First off, we were stoked that the opportunity came our way. It’s a different creative mindset working on another artist’s song. There’s a lot less pressure for some reason but at the same time you’re in the hot seat and the last thing you want to do is make something that does the song no good. – Hopefully we did the song good 😉 

First thing I remember wanting to do was to speed it up and make it a club hit. Once I sped up the track and the vocal pitched up and things just started moving. 

Had a general vibe going and sent it to Cale and we ended up working / finishing it together. Cale ripped the sick solo.

RG: Everyone is aware of the negatives of the past year, but what are some positive realizations you’ve had or things that have happened that maybe would not have happened otherwise?

Cale: Man, a lot of good things happened for me. A lot of change I didn’t expect though. I had no plans of ever leaving LA until about month 8 of the pandemic. My wife and I bought a house in Tulsa. We originally planned on flipping it and moving back to LA, but we just loved our house too much. And loved being close to family again. Tulsa feels like home. 

Christian:I’ve become more comfortable with having less rigid expectations for all aspects of my life. Which will be a constant battle but it has made me more mindful and appreciative of time spent with others. 

Which OG Mortal Kombat characters are you?

Cale: I’m not sure, but probably Johnny Cage? (I had to look up the characters. I only played this game at my friend’s house every once in a while)

RG: Do you think the universe is designed to destroy the human ego so we can evolve into more loving, empathetic beings? 

Cale: I would love for that to be true. But I think the universe is indifferent. But that’s the beauty of humanity to me. We strive for something better than nature. For better or for worse. 

RG: What is your most prized article of clothing acquired on tour? And where did you find it? (Share photo if ya want)

Cale: I found some high-waisted royal blue velvet corduroys. They fit really well at the waist, but were a little long. So I had them tailored to be shorter. Unfortunately, they’re a little shorter than I’d like. So I don’t wear them as much. One of my regrets in life. 

Christian: I wouldn’t say it’s my most prized article of clothing but it does have a funny story… 3 or 4 years ago at SXSW we played Sidewinder (rip) and after the show a fan came up to me and asked if we could switch shirts. I was wearing a sports merch shirt under our silver jackets we used to wear. I was like man I don’t think you want this is sweaty and gross. After a good bit of me trying to convince him with no luck, we traded. This shirt I ended up with is quality 😉 

RG: What is a musical artist that it seems like everyone loves that you just can’t get into? And also the reverse question – who does not get the credit they deserve?

Cale: If I answer this question, it could potentially be a shot in the foot for a support tour one day. Haha. But as far as the second question.. I think our friends BRONCHO deserve to be huge.. I’m always singing their praises but they’re my fav band, honestly. 

Christian: Frank Sinatra is overrated. Seconding Cale on BRONCHO

RG: So, “Get a Good Look Pt. 1” seems to have stemmed from the more distant past and what was a bit of a difficult time for you guys.  Maybe this resulted in a lot of good evolution and inner changes.  What were the rough moments and what did they put into perspective?

Cale: Lyrically, it’s more of a generalized crying out. Baby Baby, Never Know, and Tell You Something are like a trilogy of me being like “I don’t know what to say!” I’m definitely a peacemaker and emotionally bankrupt because of it. As a band, we’ve been through some pretty rough spots but that’s more so what Everyone’s Invited is about. Get A Good Look is us picking up the pieces again. 

RG: With Pt.2 coming (soon?) – what’s the mindset and what do you want people to take from it?

Cale: Like I said, I’m a peacemaker. I tend to make sure everyone else is happy even if it’s at the expense of my own happiness. And that’s largely the place I was in for Part 1. Part 2 is a rejection of that. A commonality among peacemakers is that we have a lot of built up rage. I think I’m letting my frustration and honesty out in Part 2. It’s exciting and therapeutic. 

RG : What are your frustrations with the music industry and how can it be changed?

Cale: I think it’s obviously record labels that are the problem most of the time. I’m sick of labels acting like fame is currency. Like selling a contract to you that makes you famous but takes most of your money and forces you to constantly be on the road. I think that’s starting to change, though. There are a lot of great labels out there that are artist-friendly and that are willing to look out for the artist. 

RG: What is your favorite kind of apple? (There is only one wrong answer)

Cale: honey crisp. 

Christian: Honeycrisp was the hot one for a bit but the other day I was at the grocery store and saw a display for a new one called Rockit. It’s basically a honeycrisp but small. My new fav. 

RG : You are designing a strip mall – you get to take 3 places from Oklahoma and 3 places from LA, what are they?

Christian

Lone Wolf Bahn Mi (Tulsa, OK) 

Cirque Coffee (Tulsa, OK)

Josey Records (Tulsa,OK) 

Clark Street Bakery (Echo Park) 

El Flamin Taco (LA) 

The Echo (LA) 

RG : What do you think of this #ART?

Cale: I love it and hate it. Maybe that’s what we look like to aliens when we’re doing our everyday tasks.

Follow Sports on instagram @sportsband and blast their latest EP “Get a Good Look Pt. 1” (all their records too):

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