Award-winning Aussie indie-rock royalty The Jungle Giants are known for their free and creative sounds, with music that celebrates being weird, funny, and fearless. Since forming in 2011, the band’s four studio albums have explored an eclectic mix of genres, seamlessly evolving through indie-pop to post-punk and to angular dance rock. In June this year, the ARIA number one band released their fourth full length album Love Signs, which has quickly become their most successful project yet. The album is the first one that Lead Singer Sam Hales wrote, recorded, produced, and performed completely alone during hours of solo studio time during lockdown.
Thirsty to return to live music and summer festivals, the Brisbane natives have partnered with Smirnoff Seltzer to create Ads for Artists, a new initiative supporting local musicians whose livelihoods have suffered after almost two years of lockdowns. The initiative will see Smirnoff Seltzer give away more than $1 million in advertising placements to emerging artists.
We spoke to the band about the creative process behind the album and their excitement for the winners of the Ads For Artists campaign.
Your latest album ‘Love Signs’ was released in June. Can you tell us a little about the creative process and the writing and recording of this project?
Sam (lead singer): I’ve been experimenting more with producing, so this record was the first time I was able to produce, engineer and write all in one room and really push myself creatively. I came out of it feeling so excited about the future and I was really happy with the record. The day I finished it was such a special feeling, and then it was just a case of showing it to the band and hoping they liked it.
What’s the secret behind maintaining such a consistent and recognisable sound while also being able to explore and evolve so well?
Sam: The key for me is listening to myself and trusting myself. As I evolve and grow my musical interests change, so I like to reflect that in the music I make. The stuff I create reflects what I’m listening to at the time. I like to be consistent in production sounds and the way that I meld the song writing with my arrangement or phrasing. I like to think that people can pick up all the little details I’ve put in the albums.
‘I’ve really enjoyed going deep on the production, taking control and experimenting’.
You guys have partnered with Smirnoff Seltzer to create Ads for Artists, who are some emerging Aussie artists that you guys are loving at the moment?
Sam: We’re so excited to get listening to all the entrants. I’m digging a Melbourne hip hop dance group called 1300, I absolutely love them. Also, King Stingray who made an amazing song called Milkumana. It’s my number one track of the whole year, it’s so cool and they’re such cool guys. It’s such an amazing song and I really think they’re onto something.
Cesira (lead guitarist): A band I’m listening to at the moment is called First Beige from Brissy. There really good jazz players but they make soulful, dancy music with a beat.
The band formed in 2011, that’s a decade of The Jungle Giants! What’s are some of your favourite highlights over the last ten years?
Sam: I remember when we first started a band, I made a list of things I wanted to achieve and one of them was to go on tour. It was one of the most amazing moments when this project took us on tour, it was so cool to be doing that. Since then, I feel like its all been highlights – even if we’re having a bad time, everything is culminating into a good time. Love Signs going number one when it was released was also a really big milestone for us. I know for a fact that when we play this album live for the first time it’s gonna be at the top of our list of highlights.
Cesira: It’s always a good time if we’re together. A big highlight for me was the week of Metro tours we did for our Quiet Ferocity tour. That stands out for me.
How excited are you guys to return to live shows?
Cesira: I actually keep forgetting that we haven’t played the Love Signs album yet and we’re going to actually have to learn and practice the songs before we can.
Sam: We’re so pumped it’s weird. We’ve been waiting for so long and we’re really connected to our live shows. A big part of how we experience our music is touring. With Love Signs becoming as successful as it has, we’re really happy with how the fans have received it, but we haven’t actually played it live yet. Gigs are back and we’re so lucky to already have sold out shows for our January tour, the shows are gonna be really huge and delicious.
‘Waiting to play this album live has been the ultimate tease… the ultimate entrée to a main meal’.