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WATCH: BALL PARK MUSIC – Dean Hanson “Weirder & Weirder’ Album Interview

Ball Park Music 2022 cred Thomas Calder

It’s been a long, wild ride since Ball Park Music formed in 2008 while studying music at university. In fourteen  years, they’ve produced seven albums (including the new one, Weirder & Weirder which is out today) – with many entering the top 10 of the ARIA charts. The band continue to sell out bigger venues each time they tour and regularly appear on the Australian festival circuit, including Falls Festival, Groovin The Moo and Splendour in the Grass.  Next month the band play their 500th gig and it’s apt that it will be during their Weirder & Weirder tour, celebrating the release of their most accomplished album to date.

Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips spoke to Ball Park Music’s guitarist Dean Hanson about the band’s career, gear and the making of the new album Weirder & Weirder, which is out today.

“It’s getting weirder and weirder out here baby” Sam Cromack sings in the title track to Ball Park Music’s new studio album. Ain’t that the truth! Ball Park Music’s 7th studio album ‘Weirder & Weirder’ is the second long player they created during a crazy time to be an artist. Their 2020 self-titled opus which, despite only able to perform a handful of shows, mainly in their home state of Queensland, debuted at #2 on the ARIA Album chart (their 4th Top 5 album) and featured the epic ‘Cherub’, was their biggest album of their career to date.

After ‘Ball Park Music’ was received so well and with limited touring opportunities, what’s a band to do?

Guitarist Dean Hanson: “We didn’t have a plan to kick off the recording for this album, it just kind of happened naturally. One morning hanging in the studio Sam was showing us some demos and we decided to just throw some mics up and see what happened, the result is pretty much what you hear on track 4 “Right Now” with a few minor changes. It’s a great feeling when things are flowing without forcing it. Would these songs end up becoming our next record? Are we rushing into it? Who cares, we’re having fun and think these songs sound great (and they still do).”

‘Weirder & Weirder’ is the sound of a band comfortable in their own skin. It’s the sound of a band stretching themselves sonically and loving creating music together. When talking about ‘Sunscreen’, the first single from ‘Weirder & Weirder’ frontman Sam Cromack reveals that the song “speaks to a lot of the themes spread across the record: despair, disillusionment and confusion in what appears to be an incredibly fast-paced, distracted, and rapidly changing world. I think these miserable themes certainly feel real to us, but they motivate us to offset the misery by rocking the fuck out.. it feels like that’s our duty.”

But Ball Park Music have a special knack for taking these themes and turning them into a positive, up lifting experience for the listener. Songs like the introspective ‘Star In My Eyes’ leaves you with the feeling that everything will be alright, ‘Right Now’ reminds you to live in the moment, ‘Caramel’ encourages you to just slow down and enjoy the company of all the beautiful, ignorant people around you (yourself included). The Dean Hanson written ‘Beautiful Blueberries’ with it’s incredible string arrangements courtesy of Emma Kelly, reminds us to trust in our own feelings. And ‘Weirder & Weirder’….the bands first ever title track….with its singing-in-rounds arrangement reflects on things not getting better or worse, just weirder.

“This is probably the most time we’ve spent all together, day-in and day-out, just making music together,” Sam said on recording ‘Weirder & Weirder’. “We really threw it all at the wall for this one.. we wanted more instruments, more people, more voices, more experimentation, more, more, more. It’s a twisted but hopeful lament about growing up in an otherwise strange world.”

The band are beside themselves that they can do a full proper tour for ‘Weirder & Weirder’, their first in four years. Starting in just one week at Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall on Friday 3 June, The ‘Weirder & Weirder Tour’ will feature RAT!hammock joining the band for all shows with Adelaide duo Teenage Joans and Darwin outfit King Stingray sharing support duties. For one special night, and to celebrate Ball Park Music’s 500th show, all four bands will come together at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion on Friday 17 June. Tickets for all shows are on sale now.

Since the release of the band’s critically acclaimed debut ‘Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs’, Ball Park Music have secured no less than five consecutive Top 10 ARIA Album Chart debuts. ‘Weirder & Weirder’ will only further help cement BPM as one of Australia’s favourite bands. The album, once again, was recorded and produced by the band in their Brisbane studio (Prawn Records) and mixed by 5x ARIA Award winner Paul McKercher.

BALL PARK MUSIC ‘THE WEIRDER & WEIRDER TOUR’
TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE

 FRI 3rd JUNE – FORTITUDE MUSIC HALL, BRISBANE **BE QUICK – FINAL TIX
With King Stingray & RAT!hammock

SAT 4th JUNE – NIGHTQUARTER, SUNSHINE COAST
With King Stingray & RAT!hammock

SAT 11th JUNE – ASTOR, PERTH **BE QUICK – FINAL TIX
With Teenage Joans & RAT!hammock

THUR 16th JUNE – UOW UNIBAR, WOLLONGONG
With King Stingray & RAT!hammock

FRI 17th JUNE – HORDERN PAVILION, SYDNEY
With King Stingray & RAT!hammock & Teenage Joans

SAT 18th JUNE – NEWCASTLE UNI, NEWCASTLE **BE QUICK – FINAL TIX
With King Stingray & RAT!hammock

FRI 24th JUNE – HOBART UNI, HOBART
With Teenage Joans & RAT!hammock

FRI 1st JULY – DISCOVERY, DARWIN
With Teenage Joans & RAT!hammock

SAT 2nd JULY – TANKS, CAIRNS **SOLD OUT
With Teenage Joans & RAT!hammock

SAT 9th JULY – UC REFECTORY, CANBERRA

SAT 16th JULY – FORUM, MELBOURNE **SOLD OUT
With King Stingray & RAT!hammock

SUN 17th JULY – FORUM, MELBOURNE
With King Stingray & RAT!hammock

NEW ALBUM ‘WEIRDER & WEIRDER’ – OUT NOW

PHYSCIAL / DOWNLOAD / STREAM HERE

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