[Interview] BALL PARK MUSIC

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Everyone’s favourite indie-rockin’ Brisbanites, BALL PARK MUSIC, may currently be in the middle of a national tour promoting their latest single, ‘Trippin’ the Light Fantastic’ but that’s not all they’ve been up to. AMELIA PARROTT interrupted guitarist DEAN HANSON, during a MarioKart session with brother, and Ball Park Music drummer, Dan, to hear Hanson open up about some new material the band has been working on for album number four.

“There’s only so much MarioKart you can play,” says Hanson. “We’ve kind of had a month off, or a month or two off, without any massive obligations after Splendour in the Grass and we’ve all just been going absolutely nuts trying to fill in time being bored [so] we’ve sort of started demoing for our future release, which will be God knows when.”

On previous Ball Park Music releases, frontman, Sam Cromack has handled the bulk of the heavy lifting when it comes to songwriting. But Hanson says a change in writing style has led to the band branching out and experimenting with their trademark sound.

“Normally, on the last three records, Sam has done 99 per cent of the writing with a bit of input from the rest of us, in terms the bare bones of the songs. But for this future release, so far we’ve all kind of brought ideas to the table and I think one of the first sort of demos we did the main bare bones of it was written by Dan and he’s never really had a major part in writing before.

“All of us have kind of worked with Sam and worked with one another and kind of came up with some ideas and written some melodies and some songs and stuff, which is something we’re really keen to explore more on this future release because it’s about time we all have a little bit more of a creative input, then we might come up with something that’s a bit genius – that perfect ingredient Ball Park Music’s been searching for for the last few years.

“Hopefully having larger elements from one or another band member, we’ll really make the sound a little more potent.”

Hanson says the band has taken cues from fellow Aussies like Silverchair and Powderfinger and are determined not to let fan expectations stifle creativity.

“I think every release you get to you want to take more risks. I was just reading an article about Silverchair and it mentioned how over the years their sound has evolved. Diorama or their most recent record [Young Modern], it’s crazy. The performing on them is awesome, like, I feel super inspired when I listen to Silverchair and Daniel Johns. It’s the same with Powderfinger. Powderfinger and Silverchair both started off super heavy, rocky, grungy and it gradually sort of, for Silverchair I guess, gets a little more experimental and crazy but at the same time a lot more poppy. Sometimes I think that bands are afraid to write the music they really want to write.”

“We understand the sound that we have at the moment and we love it and we think it’s really great but I don’t think as a band we’re entirely satisfied. We could easily sit back and do another record that has the same sound as the last few records but I think for the new release, or future release, we’re just looking to come up with that little bit more x-factor that excites us as well as being that trademark Ball Park Music sound.

“Some of the stuff we’ve worked on already, there’s some really mellow stuff there that’s super chill and minimal and there’s a song that we’ve been working on that’s just super funky and got just a ridiculous melody and some songs that have light-hearted lyrics and other that are heavy, which is kind of what we’ve been doing for a while now.

“I think it will be more defined in the actual production as opposed to the structuring of the songs. I think sonically we’ll explore a lot more and hopefully make it a bit more interesting, or a little bit more experimental than our previous stuff.”

Ball Park Music will be performing at The Forum, Melbourne, Saturday October 4; Karova Lounge, Ballarat, Wednesday October 8; Black Swan Hotel, Bendigo, Thursday October 9; The Westernport, San Remo, Friday October 10; The Wool Exchange, Geelong, Saturday October 11; The Tivoli, Brisbane, Saturday October 18; The Govenor Hindmarsh, Adelaide, Wednesday October 22; Astor Theatre, Perth, Friday October 24; Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, Saturday October 25; Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane, Sunday October 2.

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