~ Asbury Park Vibes' Band of the Week ~

Ali In The Jungle

December 28, 2020

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HOMETOWN

Milton Keynes (Buckinghamshire, England)

YEAR FORMED

2012

BAND MEMBERS

Ali (Drums)

Chris (Lead Guitar)

Sam (Bass & Acoustic)

Tim (Vocals, Keyboards & Rhythm Guitar)

BASICS

YOUR MUSICAL PAST AND PRESENT IN ONE RUN-ON SENTENCE.

The crazy and confused days of youth, have brought us to this strange (but musically exciting) time, in order to make great music for the future, and share our point of view with the world, put to Ali’s drum beats.


SORRY, BUT WE HAVE TO ASK … WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND YOUR BAND NAME?

Ali was older than the rest of us, and we used to look up to him, so we named the band after him, and a song by The Hours that Sam and I knew from a playstation game, all about not giving up in the face of insurmountable odds.


HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND TO SOMEONE WHO HASN’T YET HEARD YOUR MUSIC?

Supercharged, witty, piano-punk revival music.


HOW DID THE STARS ALIGN TO BRING YOU ALL TOGETHER?

We all aligned at the same youth group, but Ali & Chris, and, Tim & Sam, had been childhood friends, so we formed as a group of pairs.


IF BANDS WERE REQUIRED TO HAVE A SLOGAN … WHAT WOULD YOUR BAND SLOGAN BE?

“Do the opposite.”

MUSIC

A PROJECT YOU’RE CURRENTLY WORKING ON THAT YOU’RE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT.

Our next EP and some singles. Sorry but I don’t want to divulge yet what the songs are specifically but if you want to get insider info, subscribe to our Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/aliinthejungle


HOW DOES THE BAND FLESH OUT A SONG FROM START (IDEA IN YOUR HEAD) TO FINISH (RECORDING)?

A song might start with me (Tim) having just watched a film and then a song or riff will enter my head. Or alternatively our songs tend to start with someone playing something wrong in practice and then everyone thinking it sounds great. Then from here we have no formula, or at least we don’t want one. We keep having moments of inspiration, and sometimes the whole song will come at once, or sometimes the song will reveal itself to us over a long period of time. There’s a song we’re recording soon that’s been in the works for years! Sometimes you don’t have the experience behind you to finish something. Then we’ll knock it into shape by practicing it loads and being really picky about every small detail, and then we get it done in the studio!


WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE BEST SONG YOU EVER RELEASED, AND WHY?

Today it has to be People Change. It probably has one of the best and most mad music videos I’ve ever seen. But as a song and as a video it’s such a perfect representation of how we evolve songs, but also how we inject them with joy and humour. Listen to "People Change."  


ANY MUSIC VIDEOS PLANNED OR IN PRODUCTION?

Again a secret one in production, but here’s our most recent video below.  

INFLUENCES

WHICH MUSICIAN OR BAND INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A MUSICIAN?

Well I was a child taking piano lessons, and I wasn’t that interested in piano. And then, age 9, Life In Cartoon Motion by MIKA came out. It was so varied, and is one of the best pop albums ever. The song ‘Stuck In The Middle’ specifically was what made me fall in love with the piano. I remember having to sing in school, year 1. The song was about bees or something, and I tried just bending the notes we were singing into different places. No one could hear me do it but I thought it sounded awesome. Then when I discovered jazzy but popular music songs like the stuff MIKA was doing, but also people like Queen and The Beatles had dipped their toes into, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.


AN ALBUM THAT’S HAD A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON YOU.

The White Album by The Beatles. It’s an absolute monster. I feel jealous when listening to it sometimes. They’re showing off and showing how they can write great songs in so many different genres. Just listen to the Sound of Music style closing track sung by Ringo: ‘Good Night’; the progressive rock classic ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’; the early punk/heavy metal track ‘Helter Skelter’. It’s all on this record! I’d love our music to have the same panoramic vision.


VOCALIST YOU ADMIRE THE MOST?

Probably Lou Reed. He’s just so texturally original and emotive. He can be the voice of the song with such emotional authenticity that it speaks volumes. That’s what matters from a singer; you don’t have to be a show off. Or sometimes when you show off, it’s about flaunting your personality and your charm and your ego, rather than your ability.


GUITAR SOLO THAT ALWAYS GIVES YOU GOOSEBUMPS?

‘Just’ by Radiohead has my favourite guitar solo ever. When they hit the note so high that it sounds like white noise - the bit in the video where Jonny Greenwood is bending the string way off the fret board… When he breaks out of that moment of suspension, it has me on the floor every time.


MOST BAD-ASS BASSIST?

Flea. It’s just jokes how he licks his hand in between slapping at 140MPH. It’s so ridiculous, but you’ve got to admit that level of virtuosity is bad-ass.


DRUMMER WITH KILLER CHOPS?

Ringo again. I can’t say enough how preposterously underrated he is, and I think that no one needs to explain why anymore. Society should be past that stupid debate.


ROLLING STONES OR THE BEATLES?

I like the Rolling Stones and they’ve written some of my favourite songs, but it’s not even close. The Beatles are miles above The Stones, and that’s because they were ahead of the curb. The Beatles made the culture and The Rolling Stones sat in it. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The Rolling Stones album ‘Exile on Main St.’ was a big influence on our track “You Make Me Feel So Alive”. But yeah definitely The Beatles. I’ve been a Beatles obsessive in my time and can’t wait for McCartney III, coming out in December.



PERFORMING

DO YOU HAVE ANY PRE-SHOW RITUALS?

We’ll normally seek out a cheap chicken takeaway or something like that. Always gotta enjoy some of the local food. There’s also a lot of feeling like you’re gonna fall asleep, and then when you get on stage that goes away instantly and you realise what you were saving your energy for.


IF POSSIBLE, DESCRIBE WHAT PERFORMING LIVE FEELS LIKE FOR YOU.

It’s like driving a sports car, and sharing (and amplifying) that feeling with tons of people. It’s awesome. Then for the really emotional tracks it’s sort of the opposite to a sports car. You’re showing the world a ‘self’ that no one ever sees, because its who you are when you’re alone. You’re being completely honest with a hundred or so people, and I think that really connects with people, because you’re putting things out in the open.


IF YOU WERE SECOND ON A THREE-BAND BILL, WHICH BAND WOULD YOU LOVE TO BE SUPPORTING AND WHICH BAND WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO OPEN FOR YOU?

Well bearing in mind that we’d get to meet the band backstage too, I’d like to warm up for The Strokes. I think we’d have some really weird banter, but to be honest it’d be such a great chance to just geek out. Supporting us, a band we’re friends with called Little White Lights. They’re an awesome, really soulful duo with amazing guitar play. Check them out here


WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR FANS GET FROM YOUR MUSIC? IS THERE ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE THEM TO KNOW?

I hope it surrounds everything they do all day and gets them through. I hope they can empathize with things they hadn’t considered. I’m not sure what I’d want them to know, just that we’re glad they’re listening and we’re really really thankful for their support.

GOALS

MOST DON’T ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BELIEVE THAT WHAT THEY REALLY WANT ... CAN ACTUALLY HAPPEN. CLOSE YOUR EYES AND VISUALIZE WHAT YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR ULTIMATE SUCCESS. WHAT DO YOU SEE?

I think success is engaging with a loyal fanbase while making music we’re proud of. That’s the most rewarding thing.


WHAT ARE YOU DETERMINED TO SEE HAPPEN FOR YOUR BAND IN THE NEXT YEAR?

The most important thing is to keep expanding our fanbase, and to keep connecting with fans, and to find new and exciting ways to do this and share our music. We’d love to work with a record label and have some support from that side in order to do this! But also (COVID permitting) it’d be great to do the festival circuit - something that was cancelled last year.


UPCOMING SHOWS, EVENTS, FESTIVALS YOU’RE PLAYING?

We’ve got a tour in the works (COVID permitting) for some new releases we have planned for next year! We’re also still in the process of trying to reschedule some of the final shows from our Anyway EP Tour - one of these gigs at Dublin Castle (Camden)!!! Keep an eye on our socials for updates on when we're playing!


Stream ANYWAY!


PERSONAL

WHAT CONCERT DID YOU ATTEND THAT YOU’LL NEVER, EVER FORGET?

Keane at Hastings castle. It was before they got back together, they reunited for one show in 2017 (might’ve been 2018). It was the perfect Keane gig because the whole thing was melancholy for them, let alone the audience, and it was a triumphant night. They obviously enjoyed it so much that they got back together.


BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN.

“Do the opposite” - Sam Kelk to his band mates…


WHICH OF YOUR BAND MEMBERS:

- IS ALWAYS LATE? Sam

- EATS THE HEALTHIEST? Chris

- IS THE PRANKSTER? Me (Tim) - I love to wind people up

- IS THE TASK MASTER TO GET THINGS DONE? Chris

- HAS A USELESS TALENT? Ali


WHEN YOU’RE NOT PLAYING MUSIC, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE TO DO?

Ali and I play in a football team together called “Ali In The Football” (because Ali won’t do it if it’s not named after him). Chris is an amazing baker and a great filmmaker too - I like to chip in there! Sam’s an incredible rock climber.


IF WE WERE TO LOOK AT YOUR “GO-TO” PLAYLIST RIGHT NOW, WHO ARE SOME OF THE ARTISTS WE’D SEE?

Beirut, Fleet Foxes, The Strokes, Deerhunter, Radiohead, Franz Ferdinand, Johnny Cash, oh and Ali In The Jungle.


BEST BAND NAME YOU EVER HEARD?

Anal Flood was one that had written their name backstage at the O2 Academy Islington. We’ve never forgotten it so maybe that’s the mark of a great name.


VINYL RECORDS, CASSETTES, CD’s, OR DOWNLOADS?

Vinyl. It’s such an event when you put a vinyl on! I love it. I’m one of those people who searches endlessly for a perfect copy of Berlin by Lou Reed.


WHAT SONG IS AMAZING, YET NOT VERY POPULAR?

Well there’s loads of cases of that with well known artists. I love “You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)” by The Beatles. It was the last Beatles song I ever discovered and I genuinely think it shows them at the height of their creative powers.


AN ALBUM YOU NEVER GET TIRED OF LISTENING TO.

A Rush Of Blood To The Head by Coldplay


WHAT SONG ARE YOU CURRENTLY OBSESSED WITH?

‘Wading In Waist High Water’ by Fleet Foxes


WHAT SONG HELPED YOU WHEN YOU WERE HEARTBROKEN?

‘Next Year’ by Two Door Cinema Club


WHAT ALBUM OR ARTIST DID YOUR PARENTS INTRODUCE YOU TO THAT YOU LOVE?

The White Album by The Beatles


WHAT’S YOUR BENCHMARK FOR A GREAT MUSICIAN?

I guess you’re a great musician if you’re able to capture a moment in time, and do that in a compelling way. To write a song that feels like its own universe.

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