By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Indie group Ali In The Jungle recently released the new music video for the track “I Don’t Even Know You,” which appears on their ‘Anyway’ EP and was the first video they shot.
‘Anyway’ was a project four years in the making, as the members spent their time away at different universities throughout the United Kingdom and gigged and wrote together whenever possible. The video was filmed in member Tim Holmwood’s house, the band’s creativity haven, as a lot of their music was written there.
The band wanted a “ghost”-like presence, as members reappeared between shots or in long takes, in addition to using rough, old 8mm film for the first half. The overall concept was to show how the setting represented their headspace – at first, desolated and empty, but slowly becoming positive through music and unity.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk with Holmwood about what they’ve been up to lately and more.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Tim Holmwood – It seriously affected our plans when it hit this year. We had multiple festivals and gigs lined up in order to share our debut EP and being in the early stages of getting our music out there, it’s meant that we’ve had to change our approach. Our fanbase has still grown loads this year and we’ve had an awesome response to our music videos and the ‘Anyway’ EP, so we’re taking the positives in our stride and are grateful for all the support we’re getting!
Music Bugle – If you had the chance to go back to this past New Year’s Eve, what would you tell yourself about 2020?
Tim Holmwood – One, “Invest in toilet roll stocks.” Two, “Don’t worry – the next Strokes album’s going to be amazing!” Three, “Ali In The Jungle will have a great time, no matter what!”
Music Bugle – What do you miss the most about performing in front of a live audience?
Tim Holmwood – The short, but sweet affirmation that life isn’t pointless (laughs), but yeah, probably sharing the elation that live music provides and how immensely special it feels when we hear people enjoy our music with us.
Music Bugle – What has been the most productive thing you’ve done while in quarantine?
Tim Holmwood – We made the “Drunk Generation” lyric video in lockdown in the space of two days! That was efficient and amazingly fun all at once and we’re really proud of it.
Music Bugle – What was it like making the lyric video for “Drunk Generation”?
Tim Holmwood – So, we had in the pipeline a bigger budget “one shot” video, with me singing to the camera and walking through the party, where loads of mad stuff would take place, but what with COVID-19, we ended up having to make the video in lockdown conditions, directing it over FaceTime. Designing the napkins was great fun though and I love that video so much. I think most lyric videos are dead boring and look like no effort was put in. That isn’t true at all of “Drunk Generation,” which has even been compared to Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” by some critics!
Music Bugle – How would you describe the United Kingdom to someone who has never been there before?
Tim Holmwood – It’s a beautiful mess. It does blow my mind how much amazing art has come out of such a relatively small place. I think this country needs to recognize that art is one of the greatest exports, but also, we’re slowly destroying all of the green beauty this country possesses, so see it now! Whoops, I sound like Bono. Oh no.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about indie/alternative music?
Tim Holmwood – I guess the music itself, but it’s a great culture which can beautifully combine pop-sensibilities with artistic music and writing. It’s always a victory for the world when a great indie/alternative album does well amongst the general population. I just think it’s music with real heart and expression and when it’s great, it doesn’t exist to make money, it exists to make a point and to get people to feel a certain way. Where a lot of mainstream music sounds soulless to me at the moment, I think indie/alternative has the power to break through that trend.
Music Bugle – What is the biggest challenge in being a band with four different members?
Tim Holmwood – Agreeing on things. The best thing about being in a band with four people is also the most challenging thing. We have to compromise with one another a lot and that can be really challenging, especially as your emotions are easily caught up in the music you’re writing, but in that compromise, we find the strengths of all four of us combine to make a much better song in the end.
Music Bugle – What song stands out the most to you on ‘Anyway’?
Tim Holmwood – Today, it’s “People Change.” That’s an essential Ali In The Jungle listen! We took two chords and a disco beat and explored how much fun and joy we could have with it and it is seriously joyful, with every instrument taking the limelight in different sections and using a sort of pop vocal to talk about social paradoxes. It’s just so playful. I love it. There’s a video for “People Change” on the way, so give it a listen on our ‘Anyway’ EP and get ready.
Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a band to stand out these days?
Tim Holmwood – Sort of. It certainly makes the feeling that you’re competing with artists more palpable, but social media allows us to keep up with our listeners and fans in a more accessible way than bands would have had 15 years ago, so it’s a great asset, really. If you’re good at being ahead of the curb with social media and making it work for you, I’m sure it can make it easier to stand out.