Elke caught up with Sam and Jen from Ball Park Music to talk a bit about their latest album Museum, pep talks and life on the road.
So your new album Museum , has just come out on Friday, would you say there are any overarching themes or influences on the album as a whole? Or is it just kind of a collection of everything you’ve been working on?
Jen: The first album, it’s a bit eclectic. We didn’t really search for a theme or a running idea or anything we just went with the songs that we thought were best and wanted for the album. The songs are a bit different, I think overall, people may say darker, but i think it’s got a more mature sound.
Sam: I think that’s the band we are, we were saying earlier that the only real criticism, or I don’t really know if it was a criticism, but the comment was made that our first record was eclectic. Some people dig that, some people don’t.
Yeah I would say that’s a weird criticism, haha
Yeah well I remember saying to our producer, right after the first record ‘Oh people said the record’s too eclectic’ and he said ‘we don’t want to hang around those people’. His and our philosophy has always been to serve the song that’s in front of you, and I think that’s what we do in our band. I don’t think any of us have ever said you know ‘I don’t think that’s really our sound’ or anything like that, I think we just rate the song on it’s own merit. We’re of that opinion that a good song is a good song.
Indeed, and you’re about to embark on a 17-date tour is that right? There are so many gigs in such a small space of time how do you survive this?
Jen: Some of the weeks there are about 5 gigs in a row, which we haven’t really done before so that will be interesting. What’s really important about that keeping ourselves healthy.
That must be so hard! It seems impossible to be ‘healthy’ these days.
Sam: Yeah on the road it’s even harder!
Jen: We pretty much live on McDonalds chips.
Sam: We’re getting better though, with more fights, it means we become members of the virgin lounge. And there’s food in there! You don’t have to pay $100 for a sandwich! So I think it’s really positive progress.
Jen: It’s definitely good.
Sam: I remember at the end of the last tour feeling really burnt out, saying to our team ‘I cant do that again’ and then they organised this big tour, ahah.
Jen: We do look after ourselves I guess. We try and stay as calm as possible and then when you get onstage it’s the adrenaline release and then you can just go to bed.
If you weren’t making music what do you think each of you might be doing? If anything?
Jen: I would probably still be doing music.
Sam: Good response Jen.
Jen: Haha, no! I mean it would be something slightly less interesting but still music based. Like a primary school music teacher. Which is awesome but you don’t get the travel.
Sam: You’d work for RSPCA man!
Jen: That’s true I’d probably have my own animal rescue shelter slash still be a primary school music teacher.
Sam: I don’t know what I’d be if I wasn’t this, which is weird because sometimes I feel guilty about being a musician. Just like I’m not doing enough. I try to console myself saying that people respond to our records, but sometimes that doubt in what I’m doing is still there. But the reason I don’t know is just because I went down this path because that’s just what felt right, felt natural. I saw a quote from someone that was something like ‘Everyone needs to stop getting caught up with what they want to be and figure out what they want to do, and doing the things you like will lead you down the right paths, the ones that satisfy.
That is very wise and so hard to realise.
Sam: Yeah I digressed a bit, we’re giving you motivationals and inspirationals!
Well that’s what you’d be doing if you weren’t musicians then! But you are! You’re playing over New Years at Falls Fest, what do you expect from that?
Jen: Last time we did Falls Fest we didn’t get to do the one in Marion Bay, so I’m pretty excited to do the whole lot of them this time!
Sam: Yeah the first time we did Falls, we won this thing to perform there, and it was our first Festival, we were first up, and it’s exciting but then we got there and it was a bit underwhelming you know, you’re on one of the biggest stages ever and playing first it’s so early there’s only like 20 people there. So now a year or two later it feels like the hard work has paid off. Yeah, I really like these festivals in our country that prioritise with the locations and aesthetics of the whole thing.
Lastly, to get a bit nostalgic, could you both draw for me a "Sad Rude Future Dude"?
Sam's Sad Rude Future Dude:
Jen's Sad Rude Future Dude: