Ball Park Music

Ball Park Music – Out of the Ball Park

Sam Cromack may be a musician, but it was the numerical phrase ball park figure which stuck in his head from an early age.  “I used to have My Space account back in high school with that log in, and it just stayed in my head”.

Sam’s parents bought him an acoustic guitar at the age of 10, and he was tutored by his uncle.  His parents introduced him to music with The Beatles, his favourite band, but with staples such as Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC in there for good measure. Whilst Cromack was in year 12 the path of his destiny was set, he released a bio which talks about the newly named Ball Park Music and had already mapped out his solo project “My Own Pet Radio”

“My Own Pet Radio has been quiet for the past 2 years; I’ve never really put it to bed.  I did a couple of gigs a few weeks ago. It’s always there.  It’s different and liberating from Ball Park Music.  Its more underground and I can go into it without giving a shit on its direction.”

Meeting up with fellow bandmates at uni whilst studying music, the band jumped into the studio to record their first EP:  “Rolling on the floor, laughing ourselves to sleep”.  “It was done in earnest, we weren’t at all thinking about the future.  It was more of a fun project to record the song for friends and family and to get more gigs. It was a lot of fun”

A lot of the band press reads that Richard Kingsmill from Triple J fame, was a champion for the band from go, but that wasn’t actually the case.  Whilst Triple J are champions for Ball Park Music, Kingsmill wasn’t sold in the early days.  “We had to earn his praise.  He wasn’t convinced of our music and I knew we had to get him to see us live.  It wasn’t until 2010 that he actually came to one of our shows, and really started believing.”

The Triple J accolade has opened up a few doors for the band, including working with Dave McCormack from Custard.  When asked about this, Sam got a bit giggly! “We were given the opportunity as part of Triple J Ausmusic month.  We had been playing the Custard song “Apartment” for a long time, so our manager approached Dave and asked if we could play it with him at the gig in Brisbane.  Dave was really keen.  We rehearsed it for ages to get it right.  On the night I was so nervous, my heart was racing, but he was really nice.  After the song, Dave’s reaction was ‘holy shit you guys are amazing’.  We felt really good as there were all these industry heavyweights there that night and we nailed it.”

The band has been fortunate enough to feature on the bill for some of the country’s biggest festivals. “It’s an awesome experience, and one all musicians look forward to.  It’s a different crowd and you play to reach a different range of people. Splendour would be the obvious stand out for us,” Cromack reflects.

Puddinghead is the new album for Ball Park Music it makes a return to the foundation pop rock style that the band set on their first album.  I asked Sam whether the darker shift that was made when recording the band’s second album Museum was a conscious move.  “Museum was a definite shift from the first album.  I was left with a real sour taste, and I wanted to retaliate against that.”  I pointed out that I had a laugh at the iTunes listing where every track is listed as explicit compared to the other albums.  “Yeah, he laughs, it was definitely a darker place for us!  Puddinghead is more straight up definitely” Cromack also designed the cover-art for the album “It’s a collage I put together at some stage, I had the owl and I built it from there.  It’s not symbolic just a coincidence”

Ball park music is fortunate to have 2 singers with very distinct sounds.  I asked Cromack whether Jen (Jennifer Boyce), would ever take up full lead vocals at any time?  “We explored it and it just ended up feeling confused.  I like the band to have clearly defined roles.  That said I’d love to produce her in a solo aspect one day if the opportunity arises.”

Self-production is something that a lot of artists aspire to do, but it’s something that Sam Cromack has taken on board already, I asked him how it evolved. “It’s great it’s something that I had already done playing around in the studio, nothing formal.  Magoo was involved and I liked doing it.  It does add to the pressure and making sure everything is right for the mix“. Did it make him fall out of love with the songs a bit by being that much involved; or did it add to the creativity?  “A bit of both really.  It was inspiring working with the songs and dissecting them, but I did get sick of them and it was hard to keep perspective at times and you can get to creative dead ends”.

“There is more pressure which is different.  I’m writing music now and I have a team of people to support and that depend on me.  It’s great and a privilege to be able to do something like this.  To hear the audience sing your songs, and smile and make music that people will dance to, it’s fun”

Cairns is a special place to Sam Cromack, he has family here, and has early memories of growing up and Christmas’ in the tropics.  But what can the audience expect from a return of Ball Park music?  “Well our lighting tech has been working on a 3D light show.  We kinda had this idea of presenting to the audience all in 3D and we took it to him and he’s been working on it.  It’s a bit of a surprise both to us as a band and to the audience as we really don’t know much about it yet.  I have visions of the audience all in 3D glasses, so we’ll have to see how that works

Ball Park Music NQ tour dates:-

The Venue Townsville – Fri 19th Sept – Tickets via Ticketek

The Tanks Arts Centre in Cairns – Sat 20th Sept – Tickets available through Ticketlink

© Copyright 2024 | NQ Music Press