Liverpool Sound City

added: 9 May 2014
interviewed by: Alex Butler

Jungle - Liverpool Sound City - Printable version
Last weekend we headed to Liverpool for the incredible festival that is Sound City. With 350 acts playing across 25 venues over 3 days, it was music central! Music duo Jungle were on the line-up for the JD Sports stage on Saturday and performed their hits including ĎHeatí and ĎBusy Earniní. Fresh from their soundcheck, we grabbed the two lads for a quick chat and delved deeper into the mysterious world of Jungle...

Hi Jungle Ė thank you for joining us!

MN: So, talk us through how you both met, weíve heard a story about Pokemon cards?!

T: Well, it started with a Game Boy really, I was in my next door neighbourís garden playing football, playing Game Boy, trading Pokemon cards and heíd obviously moved in down the road that day and he just like, jumped over the wall and said ďYou alright? Safe.Ē

MN: As you do! Being a kid was great! So... everyone talks about how mysterious you are Ė do you find that funny?

T & J: Yeah! (Laughing)

MN: How did that happen? Was it intentional? Or did it kind of just happen and you stuck to it?

T: We did a couple of videos early last year and someone said oh you need to do a press shot, so we chose a photo from the end of one of the videos as the press shot. It was of the two skaters from the video and people said, oh a duo, when they saw it. The two skaters are actually friends of ours but everyone just assumed that was us! It was quite funny! We kind of get asked some weird questions about it but Iím sure that that will change.

MN: How different do you think your approach to music would be if you werenít in the internet age? Would you approach music differently?

J: I donít think so, I think, you do what you do because you love it and it sounds good, I donít think you can think about how people are going to listen to it or how itís going to be spread. If you start thinking about that, youíre not going to be focussed on what you should be doing. Let the public take it and do what they want with it, the only control we have is in the studio really.

MN: OK, so like you just said, youíre in control of what youíre doing, including your videos - talk us through those, they are all really funky, cool and fun...

T: Yeah, I guess itís kind of, expression in its purest form and especially related to music. Itís nothing highly original to do a dance video; a lot of people do that but we just wanted to present that sort of talent in its purest form. You see a lot of videos where dancers are in the background and we wanted to put it on a simple kind of stage and not cut too much. When youíre able to see the whole thing together thatís what gives you the flow. If it keeps cutting you just kind of go, oh well I could of cut every five seconds to me and Iíd be the best dancer in the world! You can never tell, itís like a skateboarding trick, if somebody takes off and it cuts off in the middle of the air, he could have done it a hundred times to get it and I love the idea of being able to just capture a performance and thatís it. There are mistakes in that and I think thatís the beauty of it.

MN: So tell us about your influences? The 80s/90s? Fashion-wise also?

J: I think we are mostly influenced by visual things, films, games and things that evoke something visually. GTA (Grand Theft Auto) for example, itís a work of art, kids play it, everyone plays it - but itís a fascinating thing because itís a different place to live in. Itís all about escapism really and you see a lot of people go and live in that place, you know? People live online and through social media or whatever and we like to explore the idea of that. We both have places in our own heads and what the record is about, is those sorts of places. Metaphors for how you feel. So, thatís where we get our inspiration from.

MN: You mention social media and the internet a lot, what is your take on it? Has it hindered the music scene or has it helped it?

T: I think record labels are blind if they think they can take it back to how it used to be. Itís never going to be like that, youíve got to accept the fact that people are going to digest music differently. Anyone can pick up a song from anywhere at any time, so youíve just got to make sure youíre at the top of the pile!

J: I think youíve just got to be good, thereís a lot of stuff out there, thereís no space for good stuff you know? In fact, the more stuff that is there, lets the great stuff shine through. It makes music much more democratic, rather than before on radio where you were told what to like. Whereas now you can completely pick for yourself, there are a lot more editors of what is good, your best friend on Facebook could be an editor of what you listen to. If they post a song, you are more likely to think oh what is she listening to? Ten years ago they just got told what to like, it was whatever the radio DJís were playing or what HMV had!

MN: We could talk about that for hours but Iím sure you guys have a busy day ahead! So, your creative process Ė how do you guys work? What is your studio space like?

T: I think it just revolves around us two just sitting down together and having fun and not thinking about things too much. Most the work we do is out of his bedroom.

J: Weíve been in studios and stuff and then you kind of think, well whatís the point, you know? You get there and you have all these pretentions about what it should be like and what it should sound like if you go somewhere Ďproperí. You go to Abbey Road and you think oh my God, we have to go to make it sound Ďproperí but what is Ďproperí in music?

MN: It can such an uninspiring atmosphere, you go in the studio and itís just a blank room...

T: Exactly! Also all our stuff is in his bedroom, itís a place where we feel really comfortable in.

J: Yeah, itís got to be about honesty you know? Thatís the most important thing in music, keeping it honest and how you get there and how did you get to your final outcome? Who cares? Nobody ever sees that, most of the vocals and the guitar, the first time we ever play them is on the recording or on the album. Rather than playing it and thinking you have to better it to be more professional. A lot of people are obsessed with the idea of having to be professional, whereas if you concentrate on the honesty and the authenticity of something. It could be anything... It could be a demo or something, if thereís that passion in the music, then itís going to work.

MN: We agree! So weíre in Liverpool! When someone mentions Liverpool, whatís the first thing you think of?

T: Culture capital! Well it was!

MN: Sound City is massive and thereís a lot going on - what do you make of it?

J: Itís really good, some great people playing, thereís a Liverpudlian band called All We Are, theyíre quite new, quite like them.

T: Jaguar Ma, theyíre really good.

T: I wonder if thereís any good hip hop, maybe Chance The Rapper?

J: No, I donít think so, we wouldnít be sitting around a table if he was! Weíd all be screaming outside the venue ĎChance, Chance, I love you!í

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