Today I am introducing you to indie/alternative band Ali in the Jungle. They tell us how they like to perform different styles of music, how a FIFA game inspired their band name and their love of bands giving more status to drummers.
Band Name: Ali In The Jungle
Members: Ali (Drums), Chris (Lead Guitar), Sam (Bass & Acoustic) and Tim (Vocals, Keys & Rhythm Guitar)
Founded: September 2012
Originated From: Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK
Discography: I Don’t Even Know You (Single, 2020) & Anyway (EP, 2020)
How would you describe your music?
We like to explore lots of musical styles, from glam to progressive rock and classical guitar, all combined with our take on the ‘post-punk revival’ genre of the 2000s. Rather than having two guitars all the time, we swap one out for a piano. So it’s ‘piano-punk revival’ with serious themes put to upbeat music and conveyed through a lot of lyrical word play.
What is your musical creative process like?
We all contribute equally to the music; we have very different playing styles and influences, so this allows our music to be really varied. Normally someone makes a mistake while practicing, and everyone likes the sound of it. Otherwise people will come to practice with a riff or a melody and we’ll go from there. We swap instruments a lot too which helps our varied style come through.
Some songs take a few hours to write, and others take a year. Sometimes you have to dig deeper to finish your songs. We began writing I Don’t Even Know You (from our debut EP Anyway) back in 2013/2014, but only finished it in 2019, as we hadn’t had the necessary life experience when we began writing it, in order to put across the emotion we’d been struggling with back in 2014.
How did the band form?
Tim and Sam were in a band together called Euphoria, but Tim was fired as his voice wasn’t working with the covers they were playing. This inspired Tim to start writing music that suited his voice and sensibilities. Sam was impressed and left Euphoria to write with Tim. Chris and Ali soon joined, and our sound really came together!
How did you come up with your band name?
Ali was a year older and a lot cooler than the rest of us, so we enticed him into joining by putting his name in the title. This was a way to stroke Ali’s ego, but more importantly to give him more status as a drummer; we love it when band’s make a big deal of their drummer (see Ringo, Helders, Grohl…).
The phrase Ali In The Jungle comes from a song of the same name by The Hours, which we heard on PS2 game FIFA 2008. The song’s about not giving up in the face of adversity, so we thought this was a good mantra to take on.
Who influenced you within the music industry?
The Beatles are a big influence, mainly because they didn’t limit themselves to a genre. The same goes for David Bowie. We like to keep pushing ourselves into new areas, so that we can always surprise and excite our audience, as well as ourselves.
Other influences are people like Oasis, The Killers, Lou Reed, Franz Ferdinand, Vampire Weekend, Radiohead, Fleet Foxes, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes and Interpol.
Have you performed live much and what was your favourite gig to play at?
Yeah, we’ve grown up gigging together, and have played some great gigs in London venues such as O2 Academy Islington, The Garage, 229 The Venue, and more!
Our favourite gig was when we warmed up for popular ‘drunk folk’ artist Beans On Toast at MK11 in our hometown.
What is the best thing about being in a band?
Big question! Being able to express your feelings with your mates that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to – the kick we feel when we write something new – and to have the opportunity to share these songs with people you don’t know, and make something people can relate to.
What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far as a musician(s)?
Getting into a position where we were able to record our debut EP Anyway. We’re 22/23, but have been in Ali In The Jungle since we were 15, and have been through the changes in life that would lead to most young bands, well, disbanding…
However, we’ve all got such a love for what we do and a commitment to its quality, and our friendship, that we’re as passionate as when we were 15, and we’re so glad to be finding equally passionate listeners.
What plans have you got coming up this year?
We released our music videos for I Don’t Even Know You and Drunk Generation. We also have a video in the works for our track People Change.
We’re also writing the music for a short film by Chloe Kennedy called Making Waves, to be shown on BBC iPlayer!
We can’t wait for venues to reopen so we can recommence with our mini-EP Tour too. A follow up EP is also on our minds for sure.
What is your ultimate dream as a band?
To be able to do it full time is the current dream; imagine how much further we could take our song writing if we could give it even more focus. Classic albums and performances are the ultimate dream though, we want to change music and inspire other musicians and listeners.
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