INTERVIEW: BALL PARK MUSIC

Confetti, fruit fights and scotch fingers – a live set from Brisbane locals Ball Park Music is never categorised as ‘boring’. On the back of their new album, ‘Museum‘ – Bec Hennessy chatted to drummer Daniel Hanson about onstage antics, second album pressure and covering Marilyn Manson.

By Bec Hennessy

Can you tell me how the band came together?
The band formed when we met each other whilst studying Music at University. We started working together in one class, got an unexpected gig, and the rest is history.

You recently released your new record ‘Museum‘, the follow-up to 2011’s ‘Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs’ –  can you tell us a bit about the album and how you approached writing and recording it?
In terms of writing, Sam is our primary songwriter and he is constantly writing new material. He sometimes writes autobiographically and sometimes he writes from another persons perspective. He’s a very versatile young bloke.

He will bring us some song skeletons and we will work as a group to arrange and flesh them out. That process didn’t change very much, but for Museum we didn’t spend as much time arranging the songs outside of the studio. We went in to this one a little more open to experimentation and creativity, and built the bulk of the sounds in the studio. We also tracked the new record in only 15 days so it was a nice little challenge.

The new album is 12 tracks long and features songs of a variety of different tempos.

You have been touring quite extensively recently including some big festivals like Groovin the Moo, Splendour In the Grass and BigSound. How have those experiences been?
They have been amazing. The crowds have really been turning out to see us play, and it obviously makes the experience very, very exciting. We work really hard on our live show and it is all worth it when you can share it with a lot of excited punters.

“Quirky”  “shiny”  and “joyous” are some of the terms bandied about in description of your sound.  How would you describe it?
I find it really hard to pick any particular adjectives to describe our “sound”. We never try to sound like anything or anyone in particular. I suppose quirky is a suitable fit, but I’ll leave it to everyone with an opinion to answer this one.

Your music is certainly delightedly infectious. Do you ever consider throwing everyone for a loop and busting out a dark ballad? I’ve heard you do Miserlou ala Pulp Fiction at your gigs.  Maybe mix it up with a bit of “Girl, You’ll be a Woman Soon“?
Our past singles and a few songs of the first record are upbeat and infectious, but we do have some darker music to play, especially on the new record. A few tours ago we covered “The Beautiful People” by Marilyn Manson, I think that threw everyone out of the loop.

Who are your influences? Did you influences change/differ when you were working on ‘Museum‘?
We, like any other 5 piece band, have way too many influences to list here. When we write/record there are never any strict influences we want to cite. When we made ‘Museum’ we were listening to anything from Blur to The Roots and in between.

By all accounts your live show can be pretty whimsical – confetti, fruit fights and scotch fingers. What inspired these onstage ‘theatrics’?
Fruit fights and scotch fingers were spur of the moment, that shit just happens. We will be backstage and have surplus fruit so it gets used in the show. The confetti on the other hand was a very measured and strategic move to really turn our stage show up to 11.

You’ve got a bucket-load of shows locked in for the remainder of 2012 – are there any places that you are looking forward to getting to most?
Everywhere is great! All the crowds in different cities have their own unique characteristics and it’s awesome to see every one of them. I personally am looking forward to heading South – because it is bullshit hot in Brisbane at the moment.

Finally, what do you hope your fans take away from ‘Museum‘ and the subsequent tour?
I hope they are moved in some way by the new record. I hope it challenges our existing fans just a little, and inspires them to grow and change with the band, while grabbing the attention of a few new listeners along the way. I also hope that our fans realise they will never get anything less than 150% from Ball Park Music on a live stage – any time, any place, anywhere.

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Many thanks to Daniel for taking the time to chat to us. You can check out all the upcoming tour dates at: http://www.facebook.com/ballparkmusic

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