Ball Park Music are a promising young band from Brisbane who have just released their debut album, Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs. They’re about to kick off a national tour so we gave lead singer Sam Cromack a call…
You’re getting a lot of airplay on Triple J at the moment, do you find it weird hearing yourself on the radio?
Yeah sort of, like when it first happened, the first time, it was about a year or so, ago and it was just really exhilarating. But like all things, you just sort of become accustomed to it. Mind you, we have Triple J on at my work, I work in a cafÃ©, and it comes on sometimes when I’m serving customers and I don’t think they know but it’s sort of a weird moment with myself. And every now and then my boss gets excited and tells everyone, and that is kind of awkward.
You guys performed in Singapore recently and I heard you had to change some of your lyrics?
We did yeah. We had to give the government in Singapore and Vietnam, a copy of the lyrics of all of our songs and they had to check to see if anything was going to be offensive. Because they have lots of funny laws over there to do with modesty. So we kind of had to sit down and make them all a bit family friendly. We did some shitty things, for the song “I Fucking Love You” we wrote ” I rubber glove you” and then for another song that says “I only have sex with myself”, I changed to “I only play chess with myself.” We quickly learnt that no one actually gives a shit, or speaks English so we could kind of do what we wanted.
While you were in Vietnam did you eat any interesting food?
We did, we ate a goat’s dick. I am a vegetarian. But we spent a lot of the trip drunk so yeah these things happen. The last night we were there, we were with a host and we were taken to this really nice restaurant and we got massively drunk and ate lots of food including a goats penis. Then we flew out to Darwin that night at around 11pm and all I remember is being on the plane sitting in the toilet just spewing my guts up for an hour. Then we had all day in Darwin airport before we could get back to Brisbane, it was fucking awful.
Any star-struck moments while you’ve been touring?
Yeah when we do the festivals, which we’re getting into now, you can’t help but see people and be like “oh that’s such and such over there” but you quickly realise that they’re all just people. And as soon as you see a celebrity the walls just break down and you realise that they’re just like me or my friends – just normal people. But we did have a gushing fan rush up to us in Brisbane airport who was really excited to see us and couldn’t wait to tell all of his friends, which was nice.
Tell me about the song ‘Rich People Are Stupid’
Well it’s pretty stupid song really, it’s probably one of my biggest regrets, I just feel like a bit of a dumb shit. I used to work in a cafÃ© in a nice part of Brisbane and all of our clientele were kind of snobby, rich motherfuckers and I hated serving them. A journo in Adelaide said that song made him want to punch himself in the face and I kind of agree.
The track ‘It’s Nice to be Alive’ – did you intend it to be such an inspiring song?
Yeah I think a lot of people take it on face value which is fine but there is more meaning to it than that. It’s kind of just very literal take of the old saying “you only live once”. So I finished reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. And I felt really great after reading it and I really hate God and religion! But I kind of felt really grateful to be alive. I know it sounds so sentimental but it’s just a celebration really.
What about the film clip for ‘iFly’ where you smash a guitar and then eat a Scotch Finger biscuit, have you had any negative feedback about that one?
Yeah we deliberately forwarded that and tweeted it to all of the guitar companies that we could find to kind of enrage them and see if we could get any response out of it. The film clip has nothing to do with the song. We just thought, lets break something, everybody loves that and we wanted to have like a dramatic Bruce Willis style ending where someone lights up a big smoke but we didn’t want to promote smoking so we thought fuck it, let’s use a Scotch Finger.
Were you inspired by ‘Bittersweet symphony’?
Yeah everyone says that. I love film clips were people wander around and bump into people.
Any tips on what is there to do in Brisbane?
You have to head to the Valley. That’s where all the live music is and all the clubs are. And I guess a lot of people criticise it but in some ways we are kind of blessed to have this one area where everybody is every Friday and Saturday. I think Brisbane is a subtle place, you don’t come here and get blown away by its cultural landmarks like somewhere like Melbourne. But Brisbane has the perks of a major city but the modesty of a country town. It’s not here to show off, you get that when you meet people, there’s not too much ego.
Fave venue to play in Australia?
I love playing the Zoo at home but I also really like playing the Northcote Social Club in Melbourne, it’s not huge and we always have an awesome party when we go there.
Ball Park Music are touring nationally in October playing Gold Coast (Oct 13), Brisbane (Oct 15), Melbourne (Oct 21), Adelaide (Oct 22), Bondi (Oct 26) and Sydney (Oct 28). http://www.myspace.com/musicfromtheballpark[www.myspace.com/musicfromtheballpark]