The Jungle Giants
Sam Hales - vocals/guitar Cesira Aitken - Guitar Andrew Dooris - Bass/vocals Keelan Bijker - Drums
Ever been lost in love? Handcuffed by lust? Consumed by want? With hand claps, stomping backbeats and catchy-as-hell hooks singing about the trials and tribulations of love, heartbreak and past relationships, The Jungle Giants will have you falling head-over-heels for them. The four members of The Jungle Giants were bound to come together, but it took some time. The setting was their hometown of Brisbane, where lead singer Sam Hales, guitarist Cesira Aitken and bassist Andrew Dooris were in opposing bands at high school. It wasn’t until Sam tried to start a band at university that he realized Cesira and Andrew, good friends and great musicians, were the missing ingredients. Sam, Cesira and Andrew joined forces to create The Jungle Giants. What unified and cemented their relationship was their respect for each members musicianship. Andrew only picked up the bass to join the band and drummer Keelan Bijker passed the stringent test of dedication to the drums. In the beginning, lead singer and songwriter, Sam worked two jobs for six months to pay for their self-titled debut EP to be recorded with Brisbane producer, Yanto Browning. The batch of humble songs produced during this session was quickly noticed. Hales was awarded the 2011 Billy Thorpe scholarship for his song-writing prowess and Australia fell in love with their rhythmic indie pop tunes with ‘Mr Polite’ and ‘No One Needs To Know’ garnering the attention of radio stations around the country. Since releasing “The Jungle Giants” and having only played eight shows before its release, The Jungle Giants have honed their live show to perfection and made many new friends on the road playing alongside Boy and Bear, Last Dinosaurs, Ball Park Music and San Cisco. New EP, “She’s A Riot” is a collection of songs that the four-piece have put together over the past 12 months. Drawing on experiences throughout life, Hales tells stories of his adventures and woes. Reflecting on friendships and relationships, ‘Don’t Know What Else To Do’ tells of the cat and mouse game at the beginning of every relationship (I’m crazy for you girl/ It is why I got to play it cool/ I don’t know what else to do) and lead single, ‘She’s A Riot’ is about being lost in the moment of all consuming, blinding love. In an afternoon in rehearsal room, ‘You’ve Got Something’ was jammed out, hammering home that each of us has something to be proud of it. ‘Way Back When’ is testament to Sam Hales’ vocal range, and ‘Back To The Start’ is an older song that was bought back to life, with the addition of a keyboard part, thanks to the help of Hales’ housemate. The pop quartet have earned their stripes and are known for their electrifying and rousing live performances. “She’s A Riot” tackles the universal issues of love and loss with ultra rhythmic percussive lines, chordal harmonies and pop sensibilities that will have you swooning over The Jungle Giants.
The Jungle Giants are a young Brisbane 4-piece already turning heads with their catchy indie-pop tunes.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
Our sound is based on a combination of things. I began writing as an acoustic artist, and am really into melodies and chordal harmonies. I start writing a song on an acoustic, but when I bring a song to the band the other guys sort of melt their own style into it with electric guitars, bass and drums. We turn that sound into something that will translate well in a live setting. Essentially give it dynamics, riffs and sonic layers to build energy and tension in the songs.
What’s The Jungle Giants live show like?
It's pretty fun, and we always end up having the best time. We have heaps of energy to unleash at our shows because our lives outside the band are pretty boring. Andrew (bass & backing vocals) and I have ended up piggybacking each other a few times now. Keelan (drums) even joined in when we made a three person stack during a live show. That said, we are always thinking of our sound sonically. We're at this cool stage where we are discovering different sounds and ways to improve while we're performing.
What was it like transitioning from being a “high school band” to gigging and touring post-graduation?
It was absolutely great. We didn't really know what to expect, as we'd never played to more than 50 people before. I sort of tried to pick the brain of everyone could to find, to get some insight. It's been absolutely great so far and we are really digging the opportunities we've been given to play to bigger and amazing crowds in venues we've never visited before.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
I remember chatting to Sam from Ball Park Music right before we left for our first tour a few months ago. He said to just do your thing, have fun and people will love it. I guess that sort of brought things down to a simpler level. It also helped to make it clear that no matter if touring new to us or not, if we made a great sound and had fun, people would be none the wiser.
Tell us about the bands, producers and people in the Brisbane music community that inspire you.
There are so many people. The best and worst thing about Brisbane is that it's so small. There are so many muso's and industry people in such a small area, and they are always ready to share stories, so it's easy to make relationships. Our champion manager Stu McCullough has given us an incredible amount of direction and support. We have also become really close with the friendly people at Mucho-Bravado, especially Ben Preece, who has given us endless amounts of guidance. Yanto Browning produced our debut EP and he has pretty much become our band bestie. It's a great environment, and there must be something in the water, because there are so many great Brissy acts out and about at the moment.
What’s coming up for you in the rest of 2011 and looking to 2012?
We're super excited to be playing at Valley Fiesta on the 8th of October alongside Hungry Kids of Hungry, Nina Las Vegas and New Navy on the main stage. Then we hit the road to support Ball Park Music on their debut Album tour... we are stoked that they are taking us along. Over the next month we are looking forward to demoing some new music, and then heading back interstate to play some great shows with some wicked bands. By early 2012 we should have a new EP to unleash, as well as some more touring hopefully!
Australian music is…?
...nearly mullet free.View Profile Hide Interview
12 Jul 2011
These guys aren&...
These guys aren't really doing anything new - this is indie guitar pop with a hint of afrobeat. But they are doing it well, so this is definitely worth checking out.