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The Jungle Giants – Interview

The Jungle Giants bass player Andrew Dooris takes time out of struggling through a hangover to chat about their upcoming tour in support of their latest EP She’s A Riot.

The Jungle Giants will be playing at Jive on Saturday, August 11. Tickets are available from on reading for a juicy insight into their scandalous lives with Manhattan’s elite… and their tunes.

the jungle giants fourwords

Thanks for the chat, how’s your morning been?

It’s been an interesting one; we were going to have a band practice and then we decided against, so I woke up nice and early at 8am, I think, and my dreams were shattered. Now I have to decide whether or not I should go back to bed or not you know…life of a rock star.

That is absolutely devastating!

Oh it was devastating, especially after I was out until two in the morning.

Oh man, I am not envious of your situation.

[Laughs] Ah, it could be worse!

You’re right there! Well, let’s get stuck into it then, considering it sounds like you have some time on your hands…

Yeah, let’s do it!

2012 has been pretty full on for The Jungle Giants, having played to some packed out crowds alongside Boy & Bear and San Cisco. How does it feel to be at this stage of the year, still doing these big tours, especially with this upcoming one being a Jungle Giants headliner?

How does it feel? Well it’s a bit scary, because now we have to test the waters by ourselves, with no big name to support us. It’s a little bit scary, but it does feel absolutely surreal because you know, I’m 19!

It going to sound stupid, because I’m only 22, but over the past few years it seems like a lot of the bands who are coming out of nowhere and are doing really well, are just coming out of their teens. How are you all dealing with the amount of attention the band’s been getting?

Oh I mean, to be frank, we’re not Justin Bieber or One Direction or anything!

That’s a good thing…

With all the success, I’ve still got my mum screaming at me because my shoes aren’t at the front door or something. Life is still exactly the same, it’s just that occasionally, we go and do some pretty strange things and sometimes I don’t have to pay for flights to go to Sydney and Melbourne!

It must’ve been overwhelming somewhat, dealing with the fact that all of a sudden, heaps of people knew who the band was, and more importantly, WANTED more material and shows from you all constantly?

Oh for sure, it’s absolutely overwhelming in a lot of ways; like, walking into a store and hearing your song being played for the first time and you know, surreal things like that. Having complete strangers come up to you on the street and say, ‘Would it be weird if I asked for a photo with you?’. It’s strange because I don’t feel any different, if anything, I feel more boring. I mean, I’m locked up on a sunny Friday afternoon in my bedroom because I’m a little too hung over to go outside! It’s overwhelming like you say, though!

The tour is going to be promoting the forthcoming ‘She’s a Riot’ EP. How are the vibes around the impending release, considering you’re all so close to the date now?

I’m pretty excited about it all and the recording process was really good; we recorded with Magoo, who’s worked with Powderfinger and Regurgitator. Walking into a studio and seeing two ARIAs on the wall was pretty incredible! Most of all, we took a long time polishing the sound, so we’re all pretty proud of what we’ve achieved and so it’s going to be exciting just to see how everyone takes it! Hopefully it all goes well! If the first single’s a good indicator then it should be smiles all round!

How did you find the recording and writing process of She’s a Riot compared to the first EP? I would imagine that, as song writers and composers, you all would have matured a bit.

Yeah absolutely. I think that is the biggest difference between the two EPs; you can definitely see a sense of maturity that we’ve all developed as we’ve all grown up. I mean, it’s only been a year, but I find that we’re at this time of life is probably where you’re either doing a uni degree, or you’re working a full-time job or you’re in a band, so it makes sense, I guess. Because we’ve taken so much time in perfecting the sound, we’ve been able to foster that sound that we wanted and that mature sound. We were able to really accurately produce the sounds and feelings that we wanted.

The Jungle Giants live shows are also something which have been garnering a fair amount of kudos; reviews have been commenting on their development as a result of these consistent tours you’ve been a part of and how the band seems to be maturing in front of every audience in this sense. Would you agree that you’re all still learning on the go, as it were, as to how to put together the live experience you all want to be giving the public?

Oh absolutely. Going on tour with Boy & Bear and touring with all these bands, you learn so much from what they do. You learn just as much touring with a good band as you do touring with a bad one! You really learn to appreciate the things that they’ve got going that maybe you don’t yet. The greatest thing about touring with Boy & Bear was that they were really humble and very open to giving advice and they really took us under their wing. They acted with an intense level of professionalism too.

For sure. I guess you’ve toured with bands with varying levels of exposure too; you’ve got Boy & Bear who’ve achieved so much success on a national level and then you’ve got bands like San Cisco, who’re blowing up as well, but they’ve got the younger crowd. It must be interesting to gauge where these bands are at, in terms of their crowds.

Yeah for sure. The San Cisco tour was really good because we’re both quite young bands; we’re all the same age and so we really fed off each other. Everyone got on so well! This was exactly the same with the Boy & Bear tour, everyone got on really well, but I think because San Cisco were the same age, we got on that little bit better. I don’t know how to say it, but we were really honest with each other, so there’d be times where you’d go, ‘Oh you know that bit where you do that? I think that you should do this because it’d sound so much better’ and then they’d go, ‘Nah man, fuck off.’ You know?! You were allowed to do that and nobody had any hesitations in saying, ‘Oh I love that guitar part there…’ and ‘Nah, that song is my favourite out of your set’ and stuff. It was just a great experience.

The tour looks to be a fun one, there’s some kickass venues on the list here – you must be getting a hand for playing quite a variety of stages at this point, hey?

Playing those venues with Boy & Bear…oh, I don’t know, I got comfortable with it and now I have to back to sweaty pub gigs! I won’t be able to distinguish my bass part from somebody puking in a toilet so it’s going to be going back to basic settings, I guess! By the same token though, with those bigger, amazing venues, there’s a bit of a ‘vibe’ and it’s not a bad one, but it’s completely different and I’m not used to playing to that. I think, deep down, we all prefer the sweaty pub gigs…maybe with the exception of Cesira [Aitken], because she probably doesn’t like getting hit on by sweaty, drunk patrons!

Yeah, that’s fair! Well that’s pretty much all I had for today, I can’t wait for this tour to kick off, it’s looking to be a great one! We’ll catch you guys when you come through Adelaide.

Yeah that’d be great if you could make it, that’d be awesome! I’m really excited for this tour. I’ve had far too many weeks without jumping on somebody or shaking my head to the point of extreme back pain, so I’m itching and I really want to get back into it. I think that this tour is looking pretty good and it’s also going to be pretty light, because there are not 28 shows! We were all looking at the dates when we were first organising it and we were like, ‘Oh it’s just three weekends, that’s easy! No worries!’.

No worries at all! Best of luck with it and enjoy getting past your hangover today.

Ah, I’ll be fine!

Catch you soon!

Yeah absolutely, thanks for interview!

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