Jungle talk influences - from Bowie to Grand Theft Auto and beyond
Jungle talk a good game, know all about playing smoke and mirrors – and have the album of the season to prove it. We're ‘an escape from those ideals of what people think bands should be all about’ says Josh Lloyd-Watson
The records the pair admire tend to be hip-hop records by artists such as J Dilla or Madvillain. “We wanted to make our sound sampled without using any samples or having to clear samples or go through all that. So with Busy Earnin’, we recorded it in a very DIY way and then cut it up and resampled it into new tracks. It had, like, 18 different versions, and the groove for what people hear now only came about on the last 45 seconds of this extended eight-minute edit. That song took three months all in all, but the actual song people know only took 10 minutes.”
It all makes for a record Jungle are happy with, a much different state of affairs to their time in Born Blonde.
“We learned a lot from that”, says Lloyd- Watson. “We were friends who played in that band rather than it being our band. We learned how to play in a band and do gigs, but it never got off the ground. It didn’t feel honest, and we weren’t happy because the whole thing sounded like something trying to sound like other people.”
Jungle: Busy Earning
The aim with Jungle, then, was to follow their own star. “Jungle is an escape from those ideals of what people think bands should be all about. We wanted to create something else completely. Same with the photos. We’re producers, so it feels weird to take a photo of yourself and put that up. The music industry expects that and the press expects that, but it shouldn’t be about who you are and what you like. It’s about the music, the art. The creative purity we have found is really cool.”
Lloyd-Watson is after the best of a couple of different worlds. “We want to be part of that world where you make the music and also be in the audience. One of the biggest things for us as artists is how can you listen to your own record. I want that Men in Black thing where you can erase your memory so you can listen to your record from a different perspective.”
The most important thing for Jungle is to keep their egos out of the room. Hence the photos and videos. “That’s why we call each other T and J, our nicknames when we were growing up. I want to keep Josh out of it because the day that Josh comes into the room is when the ego comes in. I always feel quite awkward about self-promotion, which is why I’m keen to stress that there are up to 20 people involved with Jungle.
“This world is about trying to be liked and that’s a Facebook thing. By inventing a like button, they have created this world where you measure and quantify your successes by how many likes you get. So it’s very easy to become obsessed by the individual ego. When that happens, you don’t get an honest free expression.
“That might sound a bit pretentious, but that’s what I believe.”