Q&A: Sam Cromack of Ball Park Music
Brisbane band Ball Park Music dropped their fifth studio album Good Mood last year, peaking at number five on the ARIA Australian Albums Charts.
The band is back on the road and hitting up Spin Off Festival with the likes of Childish Gambino, Wolf Alice, Mallrat, Ocean Alley and more, for what should be an epic day in Adelaide. We got to catch up with frontman Sam Cromack ahead of the festival.
Hey Ball Park Music! How are you? Where are you right now?
I’m sitting outside at a cafe in Brisbane. I rode my bike here. Smashing out emails and answering questionnaires. Someone just drove past in a mint-condition, Hollywood-grade 70’s police car, and yes, they were wearing aviators.
Congrats on another stunning album studio album, Good Mood – number 5 is quite the milestone! Does it feel like time has flown since you were noodling around in M Block at QUT?
Thank you, and yes, it does feel like time has flown. I’m reluctant to admit how many years have gone by. It’s disgusting that we’ve done five albums. I wish I paid more attention as my life was unfolding. Anyway. It’s been terrific, and for me, no love is lost. I’m still just as hungry, if not hungrier, to make some good music.
You’ve celebrated over a decade together as a band – what have you learned in that time?
Cheesy stuff, like that friendship really counts for more than anything else [vomits]. It’s true though. I look at my bandmates and they really are my fucking family. I’m so pleased I have had them in my life this long. I’ve also learnt a lot about Australia. We’ve done a lot of laps and have cultivated detailed opinions on lots of places. Well, the capital cities at least, haha.
Let’s talk some extensive touring: you’ve got a 21-date regional Australian Good Mood Tour coming up, hitting places you’ve never visited before! What are we most excited about for this tour? A place? A certain crowd? An oversized monument?
We’re excited to be downsizing a tiny bit. 2018 was a phenomenal year, touring in some of the biggest venues we’ve ever played and doing headline festival spots (how did that happen?!).
But yeah, going regional will take away some of the smoke and mirrors and put us back in touch with each other musically. It’ll be more focussed on the songs, the setlist, the jamming and the energy of these smaller, stranger places.
It’ll be incredible to remember that our fans to stretch out past the cities. We’re excited to be in the van together instead of constantly floating through airports like a cloud of germs.
What’s on your road-trip playlist? I imagine you’ll need a pretty long one!
It’sssss aaaaaa…. Lovely Day, Lovely Day, Lovely Day, Lovely Day, Lovely Day, Lovely Day, Lovely Day, Lovely Day, Lovely Day, Lovely Day, Lovely Day, etc.
You’re also hitting up Spin Off Festival (*takes a moment to FROTH the line-up*). Who are you most looking forward to seeing play?
Yes, Spin Off! See you there. Lineup is mega. Most looking forward to Childish Gambino and Wolf Alice!
When it comes to shows, I’m curious with your extensive discography. Do you ever make the conscious decision that that will be the last time you ever play a song, or do songs fade from your setlist?
I think there’s only one song that we’ve really put a bullet in, but yeah, the passage of time can do strange things to one’s mind – so I wouldn’t rule anything out! But yeah, songs do fade. We can have a song that we’ve played every night for years, and suddenly you drop it one day and it never returns.
The thing that has pleased us most in recent times is that four songs from Good Mood have become true staples: “End Times”, “Exactly How You Are”, “Perfect Life Does Not Exist” and “Hands Off My Body” have all felt like absolute essentials in the show.
That just doesn’t usually happen, integrating that much stuff from a recent album. I remember when we did Groovin’ The Moo last year, we realised, “holy shit, the audience is buzzing the new stuff way harder than shit from 2012”. It was a good feeling!
You’ve teased on your Twitter some recent studio sessions – anything you can give a scoop on? What else is on the horizon?
Now that we’ve got our own studio it’s easier than ever to just hang out, write, tinker, whip up some demos. We love it. It kinda means we’re constantly working. So yeah, we haven’t formally embarked on an album but there’s songs coming together and we’re really excited about the stuff we’ve got so far.
Thanks for your time and best of luck on the tour!
You can also catch Ball Park Music on their Good Mood tour of Regional Australia across May and June (dates below). Joining them on the road are Butternut Sweetheart, and Tia Gostelow (except for the shows in Byron Bay and Port Macquarie). For more information and tickets head HERE
May 24th | Beach Hotel, Byron Bay NSW (with special guests Sweater Curse)
May 25th | Panthers, Port Macquarie QLD (with special guests Sweater Curse)
May 29th | Cinema Burnie, Burnie TAS
May 30th | Saloon Bar, Launceston TAS
May 31st | Hobart University, Hobart TAS
June 2nd | At First Sight @ Metropolis & Newport Hotel, Fremantle WA
June 3rd | Bunbury Entertainment Centre, Bunbury WA (Licensed, all ages)
June 6th | Panthers, Bathurst NSW
June 7th | The Beery, Central Coast NSW
June 8th | C. Ex Coffs, Coffs Harbour NSW
June 9th | Miami Marketta, Gold Coast QLD
Jun 13th | Beer Deluxe, Albury VIC
Jun 14th | The Pier, Frankston VIC
Jun 15th | Costa Hall, Geelong VIC (Licensed, all ages)
Jun 20th | Harvey Road Tavern, Gladstone QLD
Jun 21st | Magnums, Airlie Beach QLD
Jun 22nd | Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville QLD
Jun 23rd | The Jack, Cairns QLD
Jun 28th | Venue 114, Sunshine Coast QLD (Licensed, all ages)
Jun 29th | The Mills Precinct, Toowoomba QLD
This article was originally published in the AU review.