Have you heard No Great Mystery? My Own Pet Radio's début single is one of the greatest songs of 2015. But who's the man behind the project? Sam Cromack from the Australian indie outfit Ball Park Music you say? We caught up...
3rd: Hi Sam! How does making music for My Own Pet Radio compare with Ball Park Music? Is it more liberating being able to take your own direction with things?
Sam Cromack: It's lonely making music in MOPR, but I guess that's the point. It's an exploration of myself and I consult no one. MOPR certainly serves as a good change of scenery. After years of working in a band it is refreshing and liberating to just amuse yourself, but in saying that, I'm yet to see how MOPR makes me feel in the long run. The loneliness could get heavier, and it can be weird keeping any accomplishments all to myself.
3rd: Do you find the Brisbane music scene different without a band? Is it a city on the musical rise?
Sam: I've lived here since 2008. I feel like it's been healthy and active the whole time I've been here. All my first experiences were with BPM, but now I'm getting to experience it all over again and in so many new ways. I'm playing bass for a small local group called Denpasar and I'm doing more producing work in local studios with up-and-coming artists. It's great. It's hard to quantify, but my overall impression is that the Brisbane scene is super busy without being as competitive as the other major Australian cities. And I feel like Brisbane still likes guitars!
3rd: No Great Mystery is a fantastic track with a pretty abstract video. What was the inspiration?
Sam: I did the clip with my friend Jaymis on a super tight budget. I think it was the first clip I've ever done where I didn't appear in it. And Jesus Christ, why did it take me so long to make that decision? I cringe at every clip I've ever appeared in. It's so much nicer to watch something that's animated. We wanted to have a character who went on adventures but felt really apathetic, kinda mirroring the message of the song. One of our big inspirations was the opening credits of BoJack Horseman.
3rd: I find that the song has a resigned happiness to it on one hand, but on the other a melancholic feel. Is this song a particularly happy or sad one for you?
Sam: You're right. It's a bit of both. It's meant to be an honest song. It's upfront about who I am, and some of that means dealing with shortcomings or inadequacies I may feel, but at the same time it's liberating to say, "this is me - take it or leave it".
3rd: Do you plan on making more music as My Own Pet Radio in the future?
Sam: Absolutely. It felt like a big step to be able to say to everyone, "I feel like I want to do this properly".