The Jungle Giants Talk US Tour, “Tussing” & Bribing Children With Food
Written by Tara Clifford on 17th March, 2014
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In between working in his backyard studio on some rap beats with a friend, the charismatic lead singer of The Jungle Giants, Sam Hales, gave us some time for a chat ahead of the band’s first-ever performance and tour overseas in the United States.
Hales calls it the “business trip”, and says it will hopefully involve roller-skating down Sunset Boulevard or at the least some Segway action. It’s a big deal for the band. Not only is the US jaunt a definitive marker of The Jungle Giants’ career, it’s also the first time out of Australia for lead guitarist Cesira Aitken.
“We are just really excited not only to play but to hang out in America and drink American beer and hang out with American people,” said Hales, speaking of his preparation for the South by Southwest Festival in Texas and their run of shows in LA.
This is only the beginning of a big year for the Brisbane four-piece, who are looking to tick all the boxes a big name act should. Already having played this year’s Big Day Out, they will return to Australia after their US trip in time to play the regional Groovin The Moo tour, headlining stages in capital cities along the way.
This run of shows has been affectionately, and officially, dubbed The Tuss Tour, following the creation of the word ‘tuss’ by Hale’s housemate — an inside joke about the band’s behind-the-scenes antics. “We are always mucking around and I always like hit someone’s leg or stick my finger in their armpit. It’s kind of like wrestling… it’s tussing,” explains Hales.
He says the word describes his cheeky behaviour, which he believes is a good way to remind people that they are human as it keeps their feet on the ground. “We do it a lot on tour so we decided it would be really funny and fun to name the tour after that because that’s pretty much all that’s happening backstage and on the road between shows,” he says.
“If we apply it to the shows as well we think that it could be pretty fun. I might try to go tuss the crowd a bit, run out to the front row and slap their heads…I don’t know, I probably won’t do that but you know.”
Mixing work and play is nothing new for the band. Last year they partied on a yacht in Sydney Harbour with Two Door Cinema Club after supporting the British band on their Australian tour. Hales then invited them to a pool party at his house in Brisbane — before his car broke down on the British rock band en route to get sausages.
“We realise that they are guys just like us, they just want to make good music and you know a part of that is touring around to play to people but just they are on a bigger scale and it made it seem really attainable in some ways,” he says.
It would appear that “bigger scale” isn’t too far off either. With writing of the second album already underway, there are also plans to tour overseas again towards the end of the year although the destination still remains a secret. “We haven’t announced it yet but it’s in the Northern Hemisphere and there’s cool shit to do there. That’s all I can say.”
The Jungle Giants – I Am What You Want Me To Be (Official Unofficial Video)
Meanwhile, curious fans will be happy to know that the newest single off the album will be A Pair Of Lovers and that work on the video is already in progress.
“This clip’s a little different actually. We have got a cool story and a couple of cool effects, we are getting Cesira’s little brother to be in it again,” says Hales. Kenny Aitken formerly starred in the “official unofficial” video of I Am Who You Want Me To Be, which showed the band presenting the youngster with $100 on his birthday to buy as much food as he could so he could “eat heaps of shit”.
“He’s really little so he doesn’t want money but he really likes food,” Hales explains. “So every time he does a clip we just give him a bunch of food. He plays a lot of sport but he eats more food than I’ve ever seen a kid eat before.”
A love for food must run in the family, as Hales blames Cesira for the band’s “About” section on Facebook, which says nought but ‘Two chocolate biscuits…’. In case you were wondering, it’s another in-joke, following a night in bed with Tame Impala, scotch fingers and the munchies. But that’s a story for another time.