Ali In The Jungle – “We were just so excited to finally release something.” / Interview

Ali In The Jungle have been knocking around since 2013, but only got underway with their music this year. 2020 saw the release of their debut single and EP Anyway, getting things in motion to make it a real productive time until it all went to shit. With plans on hold, the four-piece have pivoted in the best way. Multiple videos have been released for certain singles, some livestreams have been hosted and even gigs announced for the near future. We were more than happy to catch up with these productive bees to talk about it all.

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Hey Ali In The Jungle, how’s it going? Hi, really well! We’ve got a new video coming out soon for our track ‘People Change’ so just been busy getting that ready!

How did you guys get started in music? We used to go to the same youth group – Chris and Ali were childhood friends, as were Tim and Sam. Tim and Sam had been in a band together before called Euphoria, but Tim was fired as his voice didn’t suit the songs they were playing. Tim then went on a songwriting spree and Sam joined him, soon followed by Chris and Ali. Ali was older and cooler than the rest of us, so we named the band after him to entice him into joining. It’s a good job he joined, otherwise the band name would’ve made even less sense!

You released your EP Anyway earlier this year. What can you tell us about it? It’s a mad joy ride of different sub genres. ‘Drunk Generation’ combines glam rock lead guitar and piano with post-punk revival bass and drum styles, with a drunken energy of Lou Reed-esque playful lyricism. ‘People Change’ takes that Velvet Underground two chord trick and erupts to a disco beat with a pounding rhythm. ‘I Don’t Even Know You’ analyses distance between people, as an acoustic ballad with a bouncy twist at the climax. ‘You Make Me Feel So Alive’ is a Mobster flick of a song, which uses classical piano, traditional blues, and jazz. Yet it all has the Ali In The Jungle sound and character throughout.

We wanted our first release to showcase our range as we were just so excited to finally release something. We’ve been writing together for years, but because life and growing up had gotten in the way to some degree, we weren’t able to start committing our music to record properly until this year. Now we’re so glad we have and can’t wait to get back in the studio!

How has lockdown affected your plans for 2020? We had a mini EP-tour booked, including some great festival dates, but obviously a lot of that was cancelled til next year. Instead we did some live streams over lockdown for the #SaveOurVenues campaign.

We also had to change our approach for the ‘Drunk Generation’ video, but what we ended up with, against all odds, was an awesome lyric video that we’re incredibly proud of. We reckon it’s very creative with what it does in the genre and has been called a “DIY (Drink It Yourself) Subterranean Homesick Blues”!

Watch ‘Drunk Generation’ here: https://youtu.be/l1LIdM6afL8

We’ve also just released a video for ‘I Don’t Even Know You’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YOzpOPxEkg

We’ve currently still got London gigs coming up at Pin Ups in Islington (3rd October), and Dublin Castle (26th November)! Keep an eye on our socials for updates!

Could we expect to hear more music from yourselves soon? We’ve just been writing music for a short film called Making Waves that will be on BBC iPlayer, but we’re not sure when that’s coming out yet. In the meantime, we’re getting ready to record some singles in the studio.

If you wanna hear live versions of songs not already on record, then watch us support popular ‘drunk folk’ artist Beans On Toast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9wN8kUfPpc

Finally, if you could close out this interview with one final thought, what would it be? If Buzz Lightyear doesn’t know he’s a toy, why does he never speak to Andy? This isn’t necessarily an issue with the film; Buzz, deep down, does know he’s a toy, which makes his initial descent in the first film all the more tragic. (Otherwise, please support local venues and enjoy the natural world!)

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