09 May 2014 (released)
09 May 2014
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 ‘Heat’ and ‘Busy Earnin’. Fresh from their soundcheck, we grabbed the two lads for a quick chat and delved deeper into the mysterious world of Jungle...
Hi Jungle – thank you for joining us!
MN: So, talk us through how you both met, we’ve heard a story about Pokemon cards?!
T: Well, it started with a Game Boy really, I was in my next door neighbour’s garden playing football, playing Game Boy, trading Pokemon cards and he’d obviously moved in down the road that day and he just like, jumped over the wall and said “You alright? Safe.”
MN: As you do! Being a kid was great! So... everyone talks about how mysterious you are – 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 I’m sure that that will change.
MN: How different do you think your approach to music would be if you weren’t in the internet age? Would you approach music differently?
J: I don’t think so, I think, you do what you do because you love it and it sounds good, I don’t think you can think about how people are going to listen to it or how it’s going to be spread. If you start thinking about that, you’re 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, you’re in control of what you’re doing, including your videos - talk us through those, they are all really funky, cool and fun...
T: Yeah, I guess it’s kind of, expression in its purest form and especially related to music. It’s 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 you’re able to see the whole thing together that’s 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 I’d be the best dancer in the world! You can never tell, it’s 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 that’s it. There are mistakes in that and I think that’s 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, it’s a work of art, kids play it, everyone plays it - but it’s a fascinating thing because it’s a different place to live in. It’s 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, that’s 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. It’s never going to be like that, you’ve 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 you’ve just got to make sure you’re at the top of the pile!
J: I think you’ve just got to be good, there’s a lot of stuff out there, there’s 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 DJ’s were playing or what HMV had!
MN: We could talk about that for hours but I’m sure you guys have a busy day ahead! So, your creative process – 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: We’ve been in studios and stuff and then you kind of think, well what’s 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 ‘proper’. You go to Abbey Road and you think oh my God, we have to go to make it sound ‘proper’ but what is ‘proper’ in music?
MN: It can such an uninspiring atmosphere, you go in the studio and it’s just a blank room...
T: Exactly! Also all our stuff is in his bedroom, it’s a place where we feel really comfortable in.
J: Yeah, it’s got to be about honesty you know? That’s 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 there’s that passion in the music, then it’s going to work.
MN: We agree! So we’re in Liverpool! When someone mentions Liverpool, what’s the first thing you think of?
T: Culture capital! Well it was!
MN: Sound City is massive and there’s a lot going on - what do you make of it?
J: It’s really good, some great people playing, there’s a Liverpudlian band called All We Are, they’re quite new, quite like them.
T: Jaguar Ma, they’re really good.
T: I wonder if there’s any good hip hop, maybe Chance The Rapper?
J: No, I don’t think so, we wouldn’t be sitting around a table if he was! We’d all be screaming outside the venue ‘Chance, Chance, I love you!’