First published on 6 Aug 2012. Updated on 13 Aug 2012.
They only played their first gig in March of 2011, but Brisbane’s the Jungle Giants have a story dating back years. In high school, the four members were split between two rival bands that would always come first and second in the school band comps.
When singer and guitarist Sam started uni and began writing his own songs, he did the gentlemanly thing and asked his old crew to start a new indie band with him. “I got everyone on board, because we’d all played together before… we all just had the same idea”, he reflects.
After six months of uni, Sam dropped out and immediately got himself two jobs to pay for recording. For the band that had yet to even play a gig, it was extremely unfamiliar territory. “We knew absolutely no one. We just sort of did that EP to get a gig, essentially.”
Thankfully the gamble paid off for the then-teenaged band, whose five tracks of leverage turned out to be more than enough to get them noticed. Their summery first single ‘Mr Polite’ became a Triple J favourite, and the gigs came thick and fast. On tour earlier this year with San Cisco, they grasped just how far they’d come in such a short time. “We realised people knew the words to the songs, and no matter where we played, we’d get people jumping on stage.”
Touring soon became a reality of life for the band. Following the Politely Awkward tour with San Cisco, they were the guests on a thirty-day national tour with Boy and Bear. “It was really, really amazing. We grew as musicians, and as people, and learned what to do and what not to do on a tour.”
Sam didn’t canvas the whole of his ‘to-do’ list, but he did let slip that some good old-fashioned crowd-surfing even made it on there. “The best show we’ve ever had was in Cairns, on that tour. I crowd-surfed while playing guitar!”
But now it’s onwards and upwards for the four-piece, who are rather chuffed to have a second EP out this week. It leads off with the sweetly punchy single She’s a Riot, which also comes readymade with a confetti-heavy, whirling dervish of a film clip. Sam confesses just what a valuable player Brisbane producer Magoo (Regurgitator; Powderfinger) was in the making of this EP. “On this one there’s a lot more presence of tone in the guitars. Magoo is a big fan of distortion and taught us that distortion is our friend.”
Personally, Sam feels She’s a Riot is altogether a much more mature and robust effort than the band’s debut. “The first EP was all just me," he explains, "in my boxer shorts, in my bedroom.”