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Alex Rice of Sports Team talks about keeping busy while social distancing

by Sylvia Jennings

March 26, 2020

Sports Team are a six-piece post-punk band from London. Originally scheduled to play at The Current + eventbrite Music Day Party at SXSW, their plans were cancelled, similarly to those of many musicians all over the world. The band travelled out of London to a city in rural England to write and record new music while they wait out this period of social distancing.

Frontman Alex Rice hopped on the phone with Morning Show host Jill Riley to talk about how the band are staying busy and how social distancing is impacting the music industry.

Jill Riley: Alex, how are things going?

Alex Rice: It's okay. We're sad not to be coming to the U.S., obviously. We had SXSW cancelled in the calendar, and a wider tour with Bombay Bicycle Club that I'm not sure will go ahead. We're alright. We're in Cordwell at the moment, shacked up in very rural England. We're trying to make the best of it. We're trying to record new tracks and basically start on album two, which is a very strange thing to be doing having not released the first one yet.

While things are on pause in the music industry, are you feeling inspired? Is it hard to feel creative with everything going on around you?

I think we are. I think it's quite nice to have this period of time. The last album we'd recorded in between touring periods. I think we did something like 150 dates last year. Now there's this huge gap in our schedule that we've now got. I mean it's nice to be here in Caldwell to actually take some time to get ahead. We're quite lucky as well because this is a way we can engage with our fans. It's very social media based. They're going to be sitting at home looking for things to watch and things like that. Tonight we're going to host a talent show on our Instagram. We're going to get our fans to go live with us, and invite people on in various rounds.

So many musicians and bands are taking to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to at least perform some songs or have interaction with fans. That's probably the most creative one I've heard so far.

We're kind of as bored as anyone else, shacked up and kept inside. I think it's quite a two way relationship. All the stuff we're seeing from our fans is keeping us going as well.

It's really had such an impact on the music industry. 

Yeah, it's been huge. You really feel for all the people who are involved in festivals and our touring staff. Even just our U.S. tour...that's the sound guy, the driver, the manager, all these people that haven't got work for the next three months because of it. I think it can be really tough, and hopefully the government takes some pretty serious measures. They're talking about matching income or wages up to about 80% here, which I hope they'll do.

I'm glad to hear that you're able to stay busy, tie up some loose ends, and get to recording some music that you want to record. We appreciate you checking in and please stay well, stay healthy, and we hope that you can come back to the U.S.

We hope so too. I loved meeting you guys the last time we were in Minneapolis briefly at the little gig we did. The best station in the world.

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This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.