Another chat with Sam Hales from the Jungle Giants

We caught up with Sam from the Jungle Giants ahead of their Together We Can Work Together tour, to chat about otters, new music, second degree burns and grape throwing bullies.

Bridie: Hey there Sam, what are you up to on this rainy Thursday afternoon? 

Sam: I’m currently in the studio working on some new tracks. I’ve been working on this one really annoying song that I couldn’t get right, but ten minutes ago I had a breakthrough and I figured it out.

Bridie: I’m sorry to interrupt that! 

Sam: It’s okay. Once I’ve found the song it’s good to have a bit of a break. You know, let the ideas build up.

Bridie: Right-o. So first up, and most importantly – do you own a pet otter? I follow you guys on Instagram and I notice that you’ve recently put up a lot of photos of otters. 

Sam:  I wish I owned an otter. We were recently in Phuket, and we stayed with this guy in an Airbnb on the edge of the island.  When we got there, he was roasting us some stingray and pork belly on the fire.  He was seriously the nicest guy ever. We hired motorbikes and drove to his friends house across the peninsula. His friend lived in this amazing house that he’d built by himself. He had so many otters, and they were so well trained. They were so noisy too, they would howl really loudly. So we hung out there and petted them for hours. It was amazing. I really want one now.

Bridie: I thought you guys had somehow smuggled one into Australia, which would probably be very illegal. 

Sam: (laughing) Yeah, definitely illegal!

Bridie: Your drummer Keelan has recently opened a cafe in Spring Hill. How is it going? 

Sam: It’s going really well. They had their opening last Friday, the cafe is looking really nice. White Stag from Moses Gun Collective did the wood work in the bar. He’s done a bunch of bars around Brisbane, like The End in West End and Barbara in the Valley. It’s got this nice, old rustic style to it.

Bridie: How was the opening night? 

Sam: It was awesome, I DJ’d for four hours straight and got really drunk.

Bridie: You guys do a lot of DJ sets. What is your favourite song to drop? 

Sam: Jaws by Luxury. It is the coolest dance song ever. I strongly recommend a listen.

Bridie: I remember watching you play late last year at the Triffid. Before you played your flute solo in It Gets Better, you told the audience a story about some bullies throwing grapes at you? Care to retell it? 

Sam: Well, as a kid, all the other kids would pick on me for playing the flute. I was walking to my flute lesson one day when I was in grade six, when of a sudden, a bunch of older kids came up to me and started shouting ‘flute boy.’ They started throwing like a million grapes at me, so I had to run away with my flute hidden under my school shirt. I thought that it would be a good story to tell the crowd. You know, look at me now, you can throw all the grapes you want.

Bridie: You’re about to play some more dates, how are you feeling about that?

Sam: Super excited, our first show is at the Triffid in a couple of weeks. We’re just about to start rehearsals and we have a great setlist planned. We also have the coolest projectionist working with us. We found a guy who piles moving boxes onto the stage and projects multiple images onto each box. It’s a really cool effect. It’s going to give the performance so much more depth, and make the stage look much wider.  I’m probably going to be so spaced out at the shows that I’ll forget to play music.  He’s also doing our Splendour set.

Bridie: You guys have been to few Splendours in the past. What would be your number one piece of advice? 

Sam: Well, for any red heads out there, sunscreen is a must. Every Splendour I get second degree burns. Also gumboots, don’t be dumb, bring gumboots.

Bridie: You have Gideon Benson, who was formally in the Preatures joining you on the tour. Have you heard any of his new music? 

Sam: I actually haven’t heard anything yet. We’ve toured together before, and we get on really well. When I heard that he was doing his solo thing, I jumped at the opportunity to have him on board. He’s a really nice guy and he’s cool to hang out with, so I’m looking forward to that.

Bridie: Will there be any sneaky surprises at the shows?

Sam: There are a couple of surprises, but I’m going to keep them on the down low. But I will say, if anybody wants tickets, get to it quick because I think three shows have already sold out.

The Jungle Giants play on the 17th of June at the Triffid, limited tickets are still available so be snappy!

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