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By Charlie David Page
31st March 2014

It might sound like a bit of a ridiculous title, but Ball Park Music's new album 'Puddinghead' actually refers to one of the most severe insults... from Shakespearean times.

Frontman of the band, Sam Cromack, provides some insight into where the name came from. "I first came across the name in high school when we were studying Shakespeare. I remember the class, apart from the teacher, were like, 'What is that?', and him saying that it was an insult that was typical of the time, which we found really funny because it’s a pretty pathetic insult. So I wrote a song years ago called ‘Puddinghead’, which we dug up and reworked for the album, and funnily enough it didn’t make the album. Daniel [Hanson], our drummer, Googled it to see what I was on about, and on Urban Dictionary it did say a puddinghead is a person who manages to fuck up even the easiest task, and we found that pretty funny, and it just stuck and felt right as we were making the album."

That may be because 'Puddinghead' came from a process of trial and error, as the band made the decision to record their third album themselves. "I didn’t think it would happen this soon, I thought it would be the kind of thing we would do maybe a few records down the track, but it just came together really quickly," Sam explains. "There was an interview with Kevin Parker from Tame Impala in [a] magazine - everyone’s heard his recordings and they’re beautiful and amazing, but when I read his interview, I was really surprised by the modest way in which he does it all. I was reading it thinking, well, that’s not really too different to the way I record things on my own, and we could totally do that. Everyone was keen on the idea, and as soon as we finished that tour, we started getting gear and looking for a place to start our third record, to do it ourselves."


The experience gave Sam and the rest of the band a flexibility they hadn't had on past albums. "The first few records were done almost exclusively to tape, so it was a real live band feel. We would all set up in the room and put mics on everything and just play our songs, as any traditional rock band would. But this time around, we were recording digitally, which gave us a lot more scope to manipulate what we were working on, or try out new and modern production techniques which are absent from a lot of our earlier recordings. I don’t think we went overboard, but yeah, the record definitely explores a lot of new sounds and approaches and techniques and instruments too."

Rather than a traditional recording space, they opted for a house in Brisbane's suburbs to work from. "Me and Jen [Boyce] and Paul [Furness] applied as if we were looking for a place to live for the three of us, and went to the inspection and signed the lease with all three of our names on it, and I remember the real estate agent being like, “Oh, are you excited to move in?”, and we’re like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah...” And we had one inspection while we were there too, and we moved some mattresses and clothes so it kind of looked like people lived there - but it was the saddest house you’ve ever seen, there’s just mattresses on the floor, no bed frames. They would have definitely thought, oh my god, these are some derros that have heaps of musical gear."

Now that the album is complete and set for release later this week, Sam is itching to get back on the road. "For the last three or four months, we’ve finished the record and been stuck here in Brisbane with really nothing to do, and I think we’re all getting a bit crazy. So I think getting back on the road will give us a sense of doing the thing we do best and feeling normal again."

The band's tour takes them on a comprehensive trip around the country, including to plenty of regional towns Ball Park Music hasn't performed in previously. "We are Australians and we love our Australian fans. They’re the reason that we exist. So we’re very excited to go to some new places and play there. That’s a really fulfilling part of the whole experience. We’ve never played Darwin before, we’ve also got Coffs Harbour, and Burnie and Albany. We’ve never been to any of those places to play, so I can’t wait."

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BAND: Ball Park Music
MEMBERS: Samuel Cromack - Vocals, Guitar
Jennifer Boyce - Bass, Keytar
Dan Hanson - Drums
Paul Furness - Keyboard, Trombone
Dean Hanson - Guitar, Bass
FORMED: 2008
FROM: Brisbane
SOUND: Alternative/indie Pop
FACEBOOK: ballparkmusic
TWITTER: @ballparkmusic
INSTAGRAM: @ballparkmusic
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