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Three girls. Three genres. A really large amount of awesomeness.
Melbourne three-piece Jungal have been spreading the rhythm disease with their gritty guitars, soulful voices and addictive roots beats, with their tunes that mash together roots, rock and folk into one all-female package. After the overwhelming response to their up-and-at-them war cry song Say It, sisters Leisha and Jessie Jungalwalla and Victoria Beard are all geared up to launch their hotly anticipated debut album This Crooked Track.
Paper-Deer had a bit of a heart-to-heart with guitarist and singer Leisha Jungalwalla about Jungal's upcoming launch for their debut LP This Crooked Track.Where does the name Jungal come from? Does it have any meaning?
Jungal is half of mine and Jessie’s last name. Our full name is Jungalwalla, but its pretty long n crazy so we took the ‘walla’ off and kept Jungal cause it sort of sounds like our music.
How did the three of you meet up and start working together?
Jessie and I are sisters so we’ve been playing in bands together since we were little. Vic came along once Jessie moved to Melbourne from our family home in the country. They became fast friends and we all started jamming together.
What does each member bring to Jungal, in terms of talent personality, talent and energy?
Well, I bring all the talent!!! [Laughs] Kidding... We all bring different things to the table and that helps create a really unique blend. We’re all quite big personalities but the biggest is probably Vic, she is hilarious. Jessie is the boss; she’s really good at organising us and I like to think I bring the relaxed vibe. In regards to talent, musically Jessie and I really write music off sounds and feelings they give. Vic is really logical, analytical and good with her theoretical knowledge so she’s able to really nut bass lines out in a totally different way from Jessie and I. It’s a great way to work.
Jungal has been described as roots, folk and rock. Was it ever a conscious decision to mix together genres, or something that happened organically?
No, it was never a conscious thing to mix. It was really more a thing that came with liking and appreciating different styles of music and writing using different influences. Plus we all really enjoy playing different types of music. Rock is fun and crazy, folk can really be heartfelt and roots and soul are wonderful to sing.
Jungal is an all-female band. Does it annoy you when music journalists and fans point it out because it shouldn’t be a big deal? Or is it something that you are proud of?
No, it’s something that we are proud of. You can’t get annoyed at these things if you are just that, I got used to that young with a name like Jungalwalla! So no, it’s something that we are really proud of, but we are also aware of not sitting on our laurels and making sure we continue to increase our music skills and experience and not just be another average band no matter what sex we are.
How would you describe This Crooked Track?
It’s a mix of songs, but the music is high energy and heartfelt. Hopefully people will be able to dance and smile with this album.
Which song is your favourite on This Crooked Track and why?
Hmmmmn... I really like the intro song People because I feel it gets the album in a good mood! And because I wrote it for my grandma.
Are you excited about the launch?
Absolutely! We are jumping out of our skin! The Evelyn is a wonderful place to play. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more comfortable on a stage than when I play there, let alone playing with some really talented supports like Monique Brumby and Courtney Barnett. We are also going to have a brass section and a string section, so it’s going to be great fun!
How does your performance on This Crooked Track compare to your live performances?
We were able to take a little more time in playing around with different sounds, but the sort of energy that comes from a live performance can’t be recreated on an album. It’s always different. When you play live shows the energy comes from both you and the music. On an album it’s more the music, which is good because it lets the music speak for itself more. We were really happy with how the album came out.
What would you say to convince someone still deciding on whether they should go to your LP launch?
Doooooooo it! [Laughs] No seriously, it’s going to be such a great night of music, dancing and laughter. In the heart of Melbourne’s live music scene Fitzroy, what more could you want to start off the weekend?!?!
Immediate plans for after the launch?
Well, fourdays later we leave to tour Canada for six weeks! Then we’re back with a tour up the east coast in October to launch the album up there, and then it’s pretty much summer and festival time!
- July 9: Grind N Groove, Healsville
- July 10: McNairs
- July 23: The Evelyn [LP launch]