Morning Parade talks football, Olympics

Football. Not soccer. That's what they call it over in England, where the alternative/indie rock band Morning Parade formed (near London) and where frontman Steve Sparrow gained his love for the beautiful game. One team in particular, actually. But we'll get to that later.

Because we couldn't help but ask Sparrow about the final match day of the Barclays Premier League season, when Manchester City snatched the title from Manchester United in the final minutes.

And the band ... missed it?! That's what happens when you have to work ...

"We were flying when the games were on," said Sparrow, who did get the scores via text from his manager upon arrival in the States (they're currently traveling around the Northeast, before their big tour in June to support their new self-titled album, out June 19).

"So when we got back [to our hotel], we watched the games on our laptops at night. What an amazing way for the Premiership to end, eh?"

Indeed. Especially because Sparrow's club, Arsenal, crucially clinched a spot in the Champions League that same Sunday.

Sparrow also talked a bit more about The Gunners, the Olympics, American sport and more:

How long have you been a Gunner?

Since I was a kid, really, since I was about 5 or 6. My best friend in school was an Arsenal fan, and his dad took us up to [Arsenal] Stadium [aka Highbury] one day ... and that was it.

And your family wasn't really into Arsenal, if I'm not mistaken.

Oh yeah. My dad is a West Ham supporter and my stepdad is a Tottenham supporter. So I don't know quite how that worked out. And the boys in the band -- I'm the only Arsenal supporter. [Bassist] Phil [Titus] is a Chelsea supporter, and so is our manager. And our keyboard player Ben [Giddings] is a part-time Spurs fan. [He only likes them] when they're winning. He's asleep right now, or else he would punch me.

You were on ESPN UK for the 2011 FA Cup final [Manchester City vs. Stoke]. How was that?

It was amazing. We got to the stadium at like 6 o'clock in the morning and had the whole place to ourselves. ... The passes they gave us got us in anywhere, and I managed to get in the players' tunnel about 10 minutes before kickoff, and I stood next to Mario Balotelli.

What did you think about this year for Arsenal?

It was always going to be a hard season. It was always going to be tough with [Samir] Nasri and [Cesc] Fabregas going off last summer ... and losing Jack Wilshere was a massive blow as well. But you've got to give [manager Arsene Wenger] credit. ... He's done all right this season. It was kind of a slow start, but I'm glad we pulled it off in the end. I just hope [it goes well] this summer.

When you're over here, are you into any American sport? [This is their second trip to the States.]

We don't get good coverage of it in the U.K. England is just football-crazy. ... This year was the first year we watched the Super Bowl all the way through ... and spent most of the game being very confused, asking people around us what the hell was going on. But I think it's one of those things where the more you understand it, the more you enjoy it.

[Also we were] introduced to a little ice hockey the other night. ... We're learning the rules as we go along, but the more time we spend in this country the more we'll get into the sports.

Anything else coming up, after the June tour [starting June 4 in Los Angeles]?

We're quite involved in the Olympics this year, in London. We've been selected by Coca-Cola to [take part in] their torch relay. So we're playing a bunch of shows around the U.K. ... We're very excited about that. After we finish our tour here, at the end of June, we're going straight back to the U.K. It's kind of our sporting contribution this year. Unfortunately, we won't be taking part in the actual events themselves. Just playing music every now and then.