INTERVIEW: BALL PARK MUSIC

It’s Flinders University O’Week, and for students new and old, this means many things. O’Week means watching student politicians being mercilessly plunged into icy cold dunk tanks. It means more free pens and showbag goodies than you can poke a stick at. This is also the 2nd O’Week in our new Hub and outdoor Plaza area, and ain’t it a beaut?

Finally, O’Week means bangers, great tunes, and awesome Australian bands, rolled into one fantastic Friday evening. The 2017 O’Fiesta lineup includes The Vandelays, Robbie Miller, Alex Lahey, Tkay Maidza, and the headliner, Ball Park Music. Empire Times chatted to Ball Park Music guitarist and back up vocalist, Dean Hanson, in the lead up to their Flinders University O’Week debut.

First up, we asked Dean if the band was excited to play at O’Fiesta, and the answer was of course yes! According to Dean, university crowds have an infectious energy that makes playing live so fun and worthwhile. He also said that the best moment of performing live is when the audience sings the lyrics back to you during the song; as a musician, that’s when you know you’ve created something special.

Ball Park Music released their fourth album, ‘Every Night the Same Dream’ in August of 2016, and the band decided this album would be the most upbeat and energetic of all their albums. They used a 4-track tape recorder to record their instruments, channeling an old school sound with rich musical results.

As the first Empire Times issue of the year was ‘Firsts’, we next asked Dean about the band’s very first gig, which was incidentally a students’ performance at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane where they were all studying Music. The band members didn’t know each other very well at that stage, and were brought together by chance, as there weren’t enough performers, so they were asked to fill in with not much notice. Dean said that their music careers would all be very different now if they had not been brought together for that gig. Dean also credited the venue, The Zoo, in downtown Brisbane for supporting local live acts and helping them get their start.

Dean said the band feel anxious rather than confident when the Hottest 100 rolls around each year, as it’s hard to tell how you will do. In the 2016 Hottest 100, Ball Park Music joined Matt Corby and The Temper Trap in the league of musicians who historically have done very well in the Hottest 100, but this time around got voted into the Hottest 200. Despite what numbers their songs landed at, Dean said that being voted in by your fans is quite an honour. Dean voted for local Brisbane bands and bands that his friends are in, as well as Timmy Turner by Desiigner, admitting that he’s a “closeted hip hop fan”. Dean finally told us that he did in fact vote for one of Ball Park Music’s singles, laughing and begrudgingly admitting he’s one of those guys.

Ball Park Music have a bit of a history with Empire Times, as the band had been interviewed by Empire Times back in 2014; however, representing the band in that interview was Dean’s twin brother Dan, the drummer of the band. On that topic, we couldn’t help ourselves; we asked Dean if he and Dan had ever experienced any spooky twin phenomena, and in fact they have. Dean said it’s mostly ESP which is standard for twins, just sensing what your twin is thinking or what they are going to say before they actually say it. However, the twins haven’t experienced any physical phenomena like feeling each other’s pain, which incidentally Empire Times Editor Eleanor’s mum and her twin brother have experienced, but that’s a story for another time.

Finally, we asked Dean what the band’s musical inspiration is, and it is…The Beatles. Would you have guessed The Beatles are the biggest influence to Ball Park Music? Describing them as a constant inspiration, and the biggest inspiration to the band, period. Dean divulged that before each album, all band members go on a Beatles binge to soak up Paul, George, John, and Ringo; “it’s a routine”, he confirmed.

Do you want to hear some live, Beatles-inspired Ball Park Music music? Yes??? Well, good news, you can still buy tickets to the O’Fiesta HERE.

You MUST bring your student IDS.
There will be food and drink on sale.
The event is 15 years and over only, so bring photo ID with proof of age.
Photo ID is necessary to buy alcohol (18+)

For Flinders students: $10
Other students: $15
For non-students: $25

Tickets will be available at the door unless sold out prior.

Interview by Aden Beaver and Eleanor Danenberg.

Photo Credit: Ball Park Music Facebook.