Interview | Jinja Safari

After an 18-month hiatus, Sydney’s Jinja Safari are back together in Australia and are about to hit the venues of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to share their new single “Find My Way” and treat fans to some of their favourites. The band, which was ‘unearthed’ by Triple J way back in 2010 had their songs on rotation before they had even played a live show.

Now in 2015, Jinja Safari are set to tour in the lead-up to their new yet-to-be-named album, and lead singer Marcus Azon said the band is excited to be working together again after the long break.

“Once we’re all (on stage) together there’s a completely different dynamic. You get live interpretations that I suppose you can’t plan for in the same way as recording. It was a really important thing that we took a step back. We didn’t want to feel the pressure to conform to what everybody else is doing domestically and internationally.”

The currently untitled album which includes the new single “Find My Way,” will feature 10-12 tracks; the future result of 25 songs that will be worked through and condensed down. It will also be Jinja Safari’s first independently released album after dropping their management and label. When commenting on the album, Azon said the band hasn’t locked anything down in terms of a release date and said they’re happy to be working on their own.

“It’s all up to us. Once we make that decision there’ll be no other “bushes to shake”…I think the idea is that if you want to be a writer or a musician, you’ll always have an inkling to create; always wanting to develop further, always seeing what else you have hidden away. We want to get this album out now, we really like that it’s part of our inspiration, you know, not breaking up and letting it fall to the wayside.”

Jinja Safari’s first live show is in their hometown of Sydney on July 31, and Azon referred to their rehearsing as a bunch of sweaty boys with their tops off playing some explosive sounds.

“It’s really fantastic to have a variety of instruments and multi instrumentalists. Having the two drummers on stage allows for polyrhythms and fantastic and explosive sounds that can be played differently. We’ve been rehearsing a lot, I think about nine rehearsals in the last fortnight. We did a full run and set yesterday afternoon, we were sweaty by the end of it with tops off and open doors (laughs).”

After being on a break for over a year, Azon said the small tour is to test the waters and see if the fan base is still there. Although the band is not coming to Adelaide yet, hopefully Womadelaide could possibly be on their horizons again as the band enjoyed the energy and vibes when they played there a few years ago.

“It’s a small tour and I guess it’s just to see if we still have an audience out there. Regional touring is also an important thing for us, not that Adelaide is a regional city (laughs), it’s a great place to tour and it’s definitely a part of the main touring circuit, but there’s always a dip in the ticket sales. I don’t know why. It’s not the size of Adelaide I don’t think, maybe it’s the live music culture. There’s really great festivals though, we had one of our more enjoyable shows there at Womad, that was a pumping festival.”

Azon also said that what the band is doing now and the album they are working on is for “the right reasons” and that they want to keep doing things together.

“The great thing is, is that where we’re at at the moment, the five of us will give completely different performances. I guess it’s for the right reasons in the sense that everything we do is on our own steam, we don’t have the money from a major label behind us anymore. We believe in the music and the project and want to keep doing this together.”

WHO: Jinja Safari with guests Sea Legs
WHERE: Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne
WHEN: July 31 – Aug 7
TICKETS: jinjasafari.com

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