The Jungle Giants Explain Why Having A Girlfriend Is Good For Your Career
The Jungle Giants are a pop-rock quartet out of Australia, fresh off the release of their music video for “Creepy Cool,” a track from last year’s critically acclaimed album Speakerzoid. Check out the video below.
And then get to know the band! Here, leadsinger-guitarist Sam Hales tells us about their influences (you’ll never guess which folk singer brought him out of his metal phase), his favorite Bond movie, and most importantly, the age-old question of why people with Australian and British accents sound American when they sing.
I saw the “Pussy Galore” poster in your guys’ “Creepy Cool” video—what’s your favorite James Bond movies?
Sam Hales: Casino Royale, I think. Bond is so cool and handsome.
Growing up in Australia, who were your guys’ cultural role models? Who were your favorite bands when you were young?
SH: I went through a bunch of phases in high school. I loved Metallica when I was 13, then moved on to a fair bit of death metal while learning to play the drums, like bands like Lamb Of God and Arch Enemy. Weirdly enough, when I was about 15, I heard Bon Iver for the first time, then immediately went in that direction. Bon Iver probably made the biggest impression on me musically. I loved his style of writing, production, and the melodies just killed me. I still love it just as much now. Then I started moving onto more bandy stuff after my acoustic obsession, like Cloud Control, Two Door Cinema Club and The Drums. Those bands pushed me to take the acoustic songs I was writing and arrange them for a full band.
Why do people from Australia not sound like they have accents when they sing?
SH: I don’t really know. It’s kind of weird. Like, if an Aussie really sings like an Aussie, it really sticks out. I guess it’s just influence. When you’re young and trying to learn how to do something, you have to recreate it in some sense, and then twist it your own way. Maybe it’s that when young bands are figuring their thing out, they’re listening to more international stuff?
Would you say having a significant other makes it hard to focus on your work together as a band? Have you guys been in relationships while on tour? What is that like?
SH: At first I was worried that would be the case. I thought maybe living with a girlfriend would cut into writing time, and also we’d fight when I went away, stuff like that. In reality, it’s so much easier than that. I’ve been living with my girlfriend for a year now, and it kind of forced me to change things up a bit, but in ways that have made me more productive. For instance, I used to record and write everything in my bedroom, but once she moved in, I was finally motivated to rent out a studio space in the city. I’ve never looked back from that. It’s so much better to have a place that’s completely kitted out and private. It also put me in this routine that I live by. I wake up, work out, go have a coffee, and then rock up to the studio at 10am. I have a full day there and leave at 5. Treating it like a job in that sense really helped me focus, and also helped me turn off my brain when the day was over. I realize now how important that is, forcing yourself to give your mind a rest when you finish a day of writing. If you let yourself think about other things, and almost forget the song you were writing when you left, then when you turn up the next day and play the track, it’s like a surprise all over again—you kind of just go straight back into the mindset you left with the day before.
If you wanted the world to understand one thing about your band, what would it be?
SH: We live by positivity, and are in this for the long run.