Ali In The Jungle Expresses Discussion of EP, Gigs and More!

Indie alternative rockers ALI IN THE JUNGLE have released their debut EP "Anyway", along with a lyrical video for one of the tracks as well! They are currently hard at work, upon new music for other projects and what not, including playing some live gigs real soon. See what else the band had to express within the discussion below.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

We’ve all known each other since we were about 10 years old. Sam and Tim had bass lessons together, and Chris and Ali played a lot of the Nintendo Wii together when that craze grabbed the world by the nunchucks. Tim and Sam were in a band together but Tim was kicked out for being below par, which kickstarted Tim’s obsession with songwriting and starting a new band. Once Sam had heard the sheer improvement in the quality of Tim’s ideas, he did the sensible thing and packed up his bags for a brave new world. It wasn’t soon after that Ali and Chris - mates from a youth club - joined the mission to write music that was insanely fun to play, and a challenge to remember all the parts for. Now in 2020, we’ve recorded our debut EP ‘Anyway’, have released our first music video for ‘Drunk Generation’, and now we have 2 more video releases in the pipeline. We’ve also played all over London at venues such as O2 Academy Islington, and The Garage.

There’s a buzz growing around us now which is super awesome as we have such kind and dedicated fans, and it’s just a cool time to be part of Ali In The Jungle. Ali bangs the drums and treats the band as a sport, Sam treats it as a sweet mistress with his smooth bass-lines and acoustic caresses, Tim treats it the best laugh there is, and Chris treats it how anyone should expect to be treated.

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

Ali In The Jungle is named after our drummer ‘Ali’, who being the oldest and coolest of the four of us, we felt needed to be put at the forefront. We love it when bands make their drummer a real part of the show! He’s also possibly the best looking so there’s that too… In addition, Sam and Tim used to play a lot of FIFA 2008 together as kids, and there was a song on it by The Hours called ‘Ali In The Jungle’. It was a nice bit of piano rock about not giving up against the odds, so as impressionable 14 year-olds we thought it was a nice mantra to take on.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you would recommend?

We’re based in Milton Keynes, the famed place of concrete cows and roundabouts. Honestly I get weirded out by the lack of roundabouts in other parts of the UK… There’s a great music scene around here! Venues such as MK11 (which has a great new stage!), The Craufurd Arms (who have hosted acts such as The Wombats), as well as Bedford Esquires, have been great to us over the years; we warmed up for popular ‘drunk folk’ artist Beans On Toast at MK11 just a few days prior to lockdown, and released our EP there too.

There’s so many brilliant local artists about and many of them like to coalesce at one of the best open mic nights in the whole world ‘The Sunset Lounge’ in Newport Pagnell. Artists like Little White Lights, Francis, Forest of Fools, and Gauss Gun, to name a few… We’re also getting really excited about a new band coming through called Next To Nada who’ve been releasing demos on Soundcloud.

4. How would you describe your style?

It’s indie/alternative, but more specifically we mix post-punk revival guitar rock (i.e. Franz Ferdinand, The Arctic Monkeys, Interpol) with ‘piano rock’ styles used in bands such as Keane, Radiohead, and Queen. We’re therefore able to have quite an emotional and sonic range, as we can access a rough garage rock sound, as well as a soft rock sound. We love to put our spin on loads of different genres and we have a deep pool of influences we like to swim in. We write acoustic ballads, progressive rock songs, music hall, hard rock - but it always sounds like us because the same principle of banterous lyrical word play, in order to put across serious points, is always there.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

We released our debut EP ‘Anyway’ back in February, as well as a lyric video for ‘Drunk Generation’ in May which has been described as a ‘drunken Subterranean Homesick Blues’. A listener can expect overwhelmingly playful music, juxtaposed with lyrics which although full of jokes and puns, tend to speak about disappointment, exclusion, and social hypocrisies. Expect bass-lines galore too; manic lead guitar work; lots of drum fills and tempo shifts; jazzy/bluesy piano; expressive instrumentals.

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

We’re currently writing music for a short film called Making Waves which is to be shown on BBC iPlayer! So that’s super exciting and a new challenge for us, using our rock instruments (as well as orchestral ones) to tell a story already written out in a script. The film focuses around a synchronised swimming group, so of course, capturing in music how it feels to be underwater for example has led to us experimenting with guitar sounds more than we would tend to, resulting in a wetter, and more progressive guitar sound (by our standards at least).

Otherwise we’ve got an extensive back catalog, and at least 20 songs we’re dying to record. We want to make a new EP soon - we’d make an album but we can’t afford it yet!

We’ve also written a lot in lock down. A country song based on Reese Witherspoon’s character in the film Mud called ‘Juniper’; a funky, dance but Johnny Cash-esque song about a jealous murder called ‘Fuel on the Fire’; an Elvis meets Beirut haunting big bombastic ballad ‘Seance For Las Vegas’…

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

We had a mini EP tour put together, mainly focusing on London, but we also had some awesome festivals booked. We’d played two shows, one in Camden at The Good Mixer supporting Couples, and one at MK11 supporting Beans On Toast, but because of COVID 19, like most bands we’ve had to reschedule everything, but there’s not a 100% guarantee as to when things will actually go ahead. Instead, we’ve used our time in lock down to play our part in the #saveourvenues campaign, doing online gigs in aid of venues around the UK such as The Nightrain (Bradford), Blackmarket VIP (Hastings), and The Macbeth of Hoxton (London).

We’re looking forward to all our gigs and festivals once they go ahead, and who knows, maybe next year if we’ve got a new EP out, we’ll be in a position to play at even more!

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

To keep playing great gigs, to play lots of festivals, and support awesome artists; for music to be our lives. To record more and more songs that people can relate to and that hopefully makes their lives better and more fun. We’ve also got a growing fanbase now in places like Brazil, so to be able to see the world and perform in all sorts of cool places like Rio De Janeiro would be incredible. We’d take a UK tour too! As you can tell, we’ve got big plans…

In the very near future we’ll be releasing our music video for ‘I Don’t Even Know You’, which explores themes of isolation (even though it was shot before lockdown). We’ve also got a video for ‘People Change’ on the way, which we can promise, is really really wacky.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

We’re on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Soundcloud - all the main streaming platforms, but if you want to give us extra support, you can buy our music from Bandcamp or iTunes. If people want to hear songs that we haven’t officially released yet, then head over to our Youtube - ‘Ali In The Jungle Music’. We have loads of live videos up there and are releasing some acoustic sets in a new Youtube series called ‘Acoustic In The Jungle’.

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Maybe the fun lyrics and puns which might make them think about something differently… Or if they connect with it, then to remember how that felt, because it’s a great feeling when you first get into a new song and it soundtracks your entire day, and then when you’re older you associate that song with a certain time in your life, or a certain feeling. It’d be amazing for our music to do that for someone.

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