Editor’s note: Some answers were edited for length and clarity.
Australian indie pop-rock band Ball Park Music is composed of frontman Sam Cromack, bassist Jennifer Boyce, keyboardist Paul Furness, guitarist Dean Hanson and his drummer-brother Daniel Hanson. The band, which formed in 2008, released their latest album, Puddinghead, last April. The group is going on a tour in Europe this summer. Ball Park Music will play three official shows during SXSW. Dean Hanson spoke with The Daily Texan about the band’s music and Australian roots.
The Daily Texan: How was Ball Park Music formed?
Dean Hanson: The five of us studied music at university in Brisbane, and that’s where we began playing together. It wasn’t too long before we realized we had a good chemistry as a band, and we should see how far we could take it. The rest is history.
DT: How would you describe your sound to people who have never heard your music before?
DH: We play alternative pop-rock music. We like to break your heart and fix it again, make you laugh, make you cry, and, all the while, we’ll be there partying with you.
DT: Who are some artists that influenced you?
DH: I think, as children of the ’90s, we can’t help sneaking twinges of ’90s pop-rock into our records. We like to explore lots of different influences and ideas track-to-track while always trying to maintain our trademark Ball Park Music sound.
DT: Do you think that being from Australia influences your music?
DH: There are definitely a few in-direct references to Australian themes that occur in some of our tracks. I think, by living in Australia and writing personal lyrics, you can’t avoid referencing where you’re from. We all listen to a lot of Aussie music, new and old, and we’re proud to be a part of Australian music, which is so great right now.
DT: What are any favorite memories or interesting anecdotes from tours you’ve been on?
DH: There have been so many that I could write a book about them. My personal favorite, which might not excite anyone else, was last year after our concert in London. [Furness, Ball Park Music keyboardist] and I found ourselves riding “city hire” bikes across London Bridge at 4 a.m. after a few beers. I looked to my left and saw the Big Ben and realized I was surrounded by all these beautiful London landmarks, and it was such a great moment. I thought to myself, “How did I end up here?”
DT: Do you have any favorites among your own albums or songs?
DH: I’m really proud of all our records, and I love them for different reasons. I guess the songs I love the most are the ones I most enjoy playing live because that’s how I feel them once the record is released. I always enjoy playing “Fence Sitter” from our second record, Museum, and “Cocaine Lion” from our fourth record, Puddinghead. “Cocaine Lion” is a real slow burner that just builds and builds to a great climax. It’s got a great energy, and I love playing it.