Introduce us to your band
We’re Ali In The Jungle, a four-piece indie/alternative band from Milton Keynes – a place an hour from London, known for concrete cows and roundabouts. Ali on drums, Chris on lead guitar, Sam on bass, and Tim on vocals and keyboards.
How did you guys start out?
We’re old school mates who started playing music together at age 14! It was just Sam and Tim to begin with, Chris was enticed by a lyrical pun which we never even used (so the jokes on him), and we named the band after Ali as a sign of respect because he’s older and cooler than the rest of us.
Describe your band’s sound
Our sound is along the lines of the post-punk revival genre (Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand), but we replace one of the guitars with supercharged piano. With energetic melodic bass lines and manic lead guitar, we create an overwhelmingly positive rock sound paired with lyrics which use humour to convey serious themes.
What influences your craft?
Sam’s a trained classical guitarist and applies this style to his bass lines. Ali learnt drums in Ghana and reckons that influence remains today. Chris’ guitar style is influenced by more retro artists – the style of a lick in You Make Me Feel So Alive was inspired by Dire Straits. Tim’s love of movies also pervades our musical canvas. You Make Me Feel So Alive has lyrics greatly inspired by the American mobster film genre.
What makes your project different?
Our love of exploring an ambitious range of sub-genres, from acoustic ballads to progressive rock, to blues and glam. We use the style which best suits the subject we’re exploring… Drunk Generation mixes indie bass and drums with glam guitar and piano, showcasing the flashy and glamorous side to drinking with nods to Queen and Elton John – Bohemian Rhapsody is still the 1am-drunken-karaoke-banger in our experience.
When introducing people to your music, what song should I show them first? What is your quintessential track?
Drunk Generation – that’s why we chose to start our debut EP Anyway with it. Lyrically, it’s quintessential Ali In The Jungle. The song critiques a serious social issue through the medium of constant banter, put to upbeat music.
Otherwise our track People Change – also on our debut EP Anyway – is quintessential in the way it allows every instrument space to show off, constantly evolving, as we see how much we can do with just two chords.
What has been the biggest struggle in your career so far?
By far the biggest struggle was getting to a place where our lives crossed at the right time to give Ali In The Jungle a real go. We’re 22/23, having been in the band since adolescence, and with that comes all the changes in our lives which would usually lead to most young bands, well, disbanding… However, everyone in Ali In The Jungle has shown real commitment to one another, and the quality of our music. We’re as passionate as we were when we started out, and we’re lucky to be finding an equally passionate fanbase.
What has been the biggest highlight in your career so far?
Warming up for popular ‘drunk folk’ artist Beans On Toast at MK11 in our hometown. It was a big honour to be chosen as a warm up for such a great artist. To play our last live gig pre-lockdown to a packed venue, with the atmosphere the fans brought was very special.
Please help support venues such as MK11 in the fallout from COVID 19… #saveourvenues – https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/savemk11
How bright is the future of your band – what are the plans?
Really bright, at least 1000 lumens! We released our music video for I Don’t Even Know You this July, and have one for People Change on the way too. We’ll also be recording music for a short film called Making Waves which will be released on BBC iPlayer! Otherwise, we’re rebooking our EP mini-tour dates, and are getting more and more fans worldwide every day! We hope to record some more tracks later this year, with a view to ending up on a label where we can make our album. With at least 20 tracks that we’re dying to record, we want as many people to hear them as possible! A bright future indeed.
When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
If we changed the music landscape, that’d be amazing, but at minimum, it’d be incredible to be remembered by fans of our music for having soundtracked great moments and memories in their lives. Also, if there’s ever an Ali In The Jungle covers band, then we’ll know we made it!