WHEN electronic soul collective Jungle released their self-titled album in summer 2014, no one was more surprised by its success than the band.
A Top Ten album, a Mercury Prize nomination and sold-out live shows, the band led by Josh “J” Lloyd-Watson and Tom “T’ McFarland say everything came out of the blue.
Josh recalls: “We didn’t have any perspective on it all.
“You are in it and holding on for dear life and going, ‘What the f*** is this madness?’”
Now the West London band have made follow-up For Ever, a more expansive album than their debut, which took the duo out of their bedrooms to the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles to write inspired songs such as Heavy California and House In LA.
Josh says: “We moved to LA to make a record, which didn’t really happen, so it’s an LA record but it’s not.
“What actually happened was I fell in love with somebody who happened to live there and some of the experiences of the record were inspired by that place and of it not working out.”
Tom adds: “He moved to LA while I moved to East London.
“I went from grey skies to more grey skies.
“And we couldn’t really get Bethnal Green in song titles.”
We moved to LA to make a record, which didn’t really happen, so it’s an LA record but it’s not
We meet at a trendy East London hotel where the two friends who met at school are back from promoting the album in Europe.
Tom says: “We have a wide-ranging and varied fan base.
“I vividly remember playing Shepherd’s Bush Empire and I looked up at the balcony and there was a ten-year-old kid with his grandad, both having an equally great time, which was nice.”
Both say that playing Glastonbury, performing to 4,000 people in Mexico and hearing that such people as Noel Gallagher were huge fans were moments that took them by surprise with album No1.
For that album, the band were largely anonymous with the pair simply known as “J and T”.
When it came to work on their next record, both were conscious it was going to be a different and more personal record and so there is less mystery about who they are.
Tom says: “This record is more autobiographical and has a different sonic feeling to it.
“Change is really important for us and I think we were quite conscious of it. It had been two years touring the record and our lives had changed.”
Josh says: “We are different, and of course that is going to change our emotional perspective of the album.”
Jungle toured a lot in the US, gaining a big following there, and particularly found California an inspiring place.
Tom says: “LA has always held that really romantic place for us.
We grew up listening to Crosby, Stills and Nash and the city is very romanticised in popular culture.
We were writing about ourselves and what we’d been through.
“When Josh was living there he was sending me music over by email and we worked like that.
“Then he came back to London after his relationship ended and I was going through a break-up too, just in a different location.
“The shared experience brought us back together for this record.
“We were writing about ourselves and what we’d been through.”
Josh says: “That’s why this record is so important to us — because it’s real.”
Jungle are a seven-piece led by Josh and Tom. Josh says: “Us two are the nuts and bolts.
“We are a bit like Gorillaz in that sense.
“It’s our ideas and we then expand with the band like Damon does with his collaborators.
“For this we also worked with (producer) InFlo.
“He played and sang on the record and was great to give us perspective and confidence with our ideas.”
InFlo was not the first producer suggested to Jungle.
Josh says: “We met Rick Rubin and Nigel Godrich.
“We went to Rick’s amazing house — it was like a scene from Bruce Almightly.
“Both are incredible, with very different ways of working.
“But we are producers too so we needed someone who could give us a different perspective and InFlo was right for it.
“He has a great energy and inspired us to go and better ourselves.”
Writing For Ever, it became clear to Jungle that the record was an album of two different feelings and moods.
Their recognisable falsetto vocals and urban funk sound is heard on tracks such as Heavy, California and Happy Man but other songs such as Cosurmyne and Give Over are sparse with different sound layers.
Tom says: “It’s very much two sides. It’s split into two distinct halves.”
Josh adds: “Someone said it was like an old Janet Jackson record because it had the hits at the front half and the ballads on the second half.
It’s an analysis of the good times. It’s like a journey or a film
“It’s an analysis of the good times.
“It’s like a journey or a film. (Album opener) Smile is like Saturday Night Fever.
“It’s like we are going to take over the world and then you get to Heavy, the track about California and then Beat 54 is also about good times.
“Then you get to the second side of the record and there’s House In LA which is dark and then when you get to Pray you are getting over the hard times.”
Josh reckons House In LA is the most important track on the album.
He says: “It was the moment where we felt like we can do anything. I’m really proud of it.”
Equally as impressive as the songs on For Ever are the videos that accompany them.
Tom says: “For us, the videos have always been about creating something we want to see.
“I was so inspired by dance videos when I was younger.
“I always loved Michael Jackson and all his videos.”
Jungle will spend the rest of 2018 touring, first in the US, then Europe, followed next February with a big date at Alexandra Palace in London.
Tom says: “We are always creating, making sure the show is great. We were nervous when we first started.
TOO CRAZY LIFE
Katie Price’s reality show at risk of being axed after coke rap shame
Katie Price calls cocaine shame holiday with toyboy ‘the best week of my life’
Kendall Jenner’s naked photos leaked online after being stolen by hackers
what about dan?
Jacqueline Jossa sparks rumours she’s on holiday again WITHOUT Dan Osborne
LEE’S BLUE-TY QUEEN
Strictly’s Lee Ryan, 35, dating beauty queen 13 years younger than him
‘it would have been huge’
Rita Simons admits she’s desperate to rejoin EastEnders as Roxy
“Now we know our shows are really good so we can enjoy it a lot more and have fun.”
Josh adds: “We have the confidence to understand that our audience is there to be with us rather than judge us.
“We have a special connection with our fans — that’s the most important thing for us.”
- Stream it if you want, but Garbage’s new album is no ‘digital-disposable’ throwaway
- Insect Eyes Inspire New Solar Cell Design
- Tokyo Jungle review: Survival as blissful and banal as the real thing
- New Super Luigi U Secret Exits Locations Guide – Where To Find
- New Super Luigi U Hidden Luigis Locations Guide
- Mickey and Oswald Saddle Up to Fort Wasteland in ‘Epic Mickey 2’ PAX Reveal
- ‘Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion XL’ Exclusive Character Reveal & Prize Package
- Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate Slashes Up New Screenshots, New Trailer & Character Details
- How synthwave music inspired games to explore a past that never existed
- Rumor: Kingdom Hearts 3 to Feature Jungle Book World
- Incredipede interview: how lizards and subways inspired the bohemian globetrotting devs
- Overwatch Livestream Reveals New Short, Skin, and Map Details
- ‘World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor’ Jungle Starting Zone Revealed
- DJ Hero Renegade Edition CD 2 Pack Track List Revealed!
- Why ‘Mass Effect 3’ Needs A New Ending
- Kojima Productions' new game: Everything you need to know
- Ubisoft Discusses Far Cry 5’s Bold New Setting, Potential Controversies, Lessons Learned
- Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns hands-on – entering the jungle
- Forza Horizon 3 Track list Revealed, Includes 150 Songs Along With Access To Groove
- Tokyo Jungle review
Jungle reveal how finding and heartbreak inspired new album For Ever have 1399 words, post on www.thesun.co.uk at September 13, 2018. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.