Jordan Murray and Sophie Minissale, Pelican’s Music Editors, spoke with Sam Cromack of Ball Park Music. Here’s what he had to say about their upcoming tour and recent rise in profile in Australia.
So you’ve been creeping up the Hottest 100 in recent years, peaking at #18 this year with “Exactly How You Are.” I guess what I’m asking is: when can we expect a #1? What does it feel like to have songs in the Hottest 100?
Haha. Yes we’ve been slowly climbing the ranks over the years. Maybe one day we’ll take out the top spot! I’m going to need to write a cracker.
Personally, I (Sophie) feel like you guys represent the forefront of Aussie indie rock. I always associate your album Puddinghead as being my first introduction into the vast array of Aussie music of a similar sound. Do you guys feel like you represent this in some way and how do you feel about being so influential in the scene?
Well I’m very honoured that you feel that way. It’s a true compliment. I guess it’s hard for us to have perspective on that kind of thing. Like I said, it’s really special when fans or musicians feel that way. We keep busy doing our own thing and just try to do the best we can. We don’t see ourselves as very important haha.
What was it like to graduate to headlining slots at festivals with your last album, GOOD MOOD?
It kinda snuck up on us. We’d receive offers to play festivals and we’d usually just check the dates with everyone and lock it in. Often it wasn’t until these events would be getting close that we’d suddenly realise, ‘Holy shit, we’re headlining these stages’. We’ve been enjoying it a lot! I think we’ve always had a lot of ambition and it feels liberating to play headlining sets. We’ve been playing longer shows and upping the production best we can. There’s certainly a higher expectation but I think we enjoy that extra pressure. It keeps you on your toes and forces you to keep growing/changing. Yeah it’s good.
How does it feel to play opening night at the Brisbane Festival, your hometown?
This gig is getting us particularly excited. I dunno, it’s just gonna be huge. There’s a still a few weeks to go and there’s already over 4000 punters coming. I just don’t understand really. I can’t believe that many people wanna come see my band. It’s going to be almost exactly ten years since our first show so I think the night will feel pretty momentous.
How do you feel about the ongoing and increasing support for your band locally and internationally? Did you ever envisage Ball Park Music becoming so successful?
I feel very flattered. Again, as I’ve mentioned above, it’s really hard for us to have perspective on this kinda stuff. We have always been dreamers and I think we’ve worked pretty hard, so yeah, it’s nice to feel like it’s been worth it. In many ways, we’re still dreaming about what we could do in the future! We’d love for more people to know us outside of Australia.
What is the best place you’ve been able to tour? Conversely, what’s the worst place you’ve had to play?
Well, we’ve travelled to some cool places for shows, but I think my favourites are still just the Australian cities. This country is home and I really just enjoy seeing the different vibes in the Australian cities. Brisbane is always a big hometown shindig and getting to Sydney and Melbourne is rad; they’re amazing cities and we have lots of family and friends to catch up with. It still excites me to take the one hour flight to Sydney for a show haha. Boring answer, but it’s the truth.
How does touring internationally compare to touring Australia?
We did a fair bit of international touring between 2013 and 2015, but we haven’t done much since then. It’s equal parts exhilarating and challenging. It’s an unforgettable adventure with your friends but it’s also a hard slog being away from your loved ones for months at a time. We’d love to do more but it’s really quite hard to get momentum overseas. It’s expensive to take a band and crew around Europe or wherever for weeks on end if you’re not going forward. I guess we’ve taken a break, but we’d like to push it again in the future. We’ll never give up. We’d love to visit America again.
What other bands would you like to tour with?
We’re already living the dream! We get to take awesome up-and-coming Australian artists with us every time we tour and it’s the best. We love meeting talented, young, friendly artists and putting them in front a bigger crowd.
When can we expect a new album?
Hmmmm. Not sure. If history is anything to go by, it shouldn’t take us too long.
What can we expect after this tour in terms of future performances?
We’re talking about trying to put together a big Australian regional tour. It’s been a while since we’ve visiting all the places off the beaten track. That’s what we’ve got our eyes on at the moment.
Jordan Murray & Sophie Minissale