Interview: Rum Jungle are gearing up to tear up the stage at Spin Off Festival

Ahead of Spin Off Festival, we caught up with Rum Jungle to talk festival favs, and the simple things in life

Welcome to our exclusive interview with Rum Jungle, the Aussie sweethearts from Newcastle.

Fresh off their UK/EU tour, they’re gearing up to tear up the stage at Spin Off Festival 2024 in Adelaide. Known for their eclectic sound and infectious energy, Rum Jungle shares insights into their latest music and their future plans.

sxsw sydney rum jungle

Happy: What are you up to today?

Rum Jungle: Listened to a few albums. New one from Cage The Elephant. Old one from Suki Waterhouse. New one from Faye Webster, and Wunderhorse’s album Cub. Also been writing some new tunes, cos who can’t when they listen to good music.

Happy: Tell us a little bit about Newie? What do you love about it?

Rum Jungle: Newy is the place to be. It’s got a bit of everything you want ay. Great beaches, good nightlife if you’re in the right spot. So many sick scenic spots to park up and sit back against the sun. Also got a
heap of the best people, like my mum. What more could you want?

Happy: “Did The Morning Let You Down” is the first taste of new music for 2024. Can you tell us more about the direction you’re taking with the rest of the upcoming material? Does the vibe of “Did
The Morning Let You Down” represent the overall feel of the new music?

Rum Jungle: I’m not sure we’ll ever have one single song that represents the overall feel of our new music. Maybe one day in the future, but for now we’re just exploring a whole heap of sounds and different styles of songs.

Our next project will be a cohesive bit of work of course, but so far I’m imagining it’ll have a whole heap of different sounding songs because we’re four lads who are into different kinds of music.

I think we enjoy tossing tunes out because it opens doors that we can follow later down the line too and “Did The Morning Let You Down” might be one like that.

Love a huge Brit Rock kinda tune and we’ll do some more like that again for sure, but that might not be what comes next.

Happy: You spent a week at Sonora Studios with “cheap barbecue lunches, scary cocktails and intense late nights.” How did this unique atmosphere influence the songwriting and recording process?

Rum Jungle: Most of the tunes we worked on were pretty much finished when we went in it was just fine tuning it. The cheap BBQ lunches, late nights and wicked cocktails probably just put us in the right state to try some new things which absolutely did wonders for the tracks.

That said, post-recording there was a lot of tracking back to reel the tunes in once we were out of the fun haze that was that week.

Happy: Working with engineer Jack Nigro and Tasker is mentioned. What specific things did they bring to the table that helped shape the sound of the new music?

Jack brought order and Tasker brought Chaos which was perfect for us. We always say our tracks are the meeting point between all our different influences so to have those two playing those roles I reckon we found an even better meeting point for these tunes that we have in the past.

Happy: “Did The Morning Let You Down” is described as “an honest display of sonic melodies.” Can you elaborate on what you mean by “honest display” in the context of this song and potentially the
new music in general?

Rum Jungle: I think with the new songs we’re in a place where we know what we want to make. We don’t feel like we’re trying to be anyone else.

I think the honesty comes from allowing ourselves to take inspiration from what we’re listening to rather than shy away from it like we have in the past because that person or the other will try to compare us to other tunes.

We’re making the music we want to make and if people enjoy it that’s amazing and we love you for it.

Happy: You’re playing Spin Off Festival in Adelaide this July. What are you most looking forward to about the festival and this particular show?

Rum Jungle: Honestly I (Benny McIntyre) have been heaps into The Last Dinner Party since they’ve smashed out ome amazing tunes and an amazing album. So I’m most keen to have a free ticket to see them and all the other mad acts on the bill honestly.

Otherwise just can’t wait to play for the Adelaide audience. They’re the nicest people and really get around it. Will hopefully have time to go out and meet a few people.

Happy: This will be your first show back in Australia after your UK/EU tour. Do you have anything special planned for the Spin Off setlist?

Rum Jungle: Will have to see what we come up with hey. Maybe Fraz will finally wear a hat not covering his entire face.

Happy: Looking back at your recent UK/EU tour, what was your biggest takeaway or most memorable experience?

Rum Jungle: The whole tour was amazing honestly. We met the best people and saw some sick places but the London show was insane.

Few hundred people singing back to us a million miles from home was just unreal and can’t thank everyone who came to a show on that tour enough.

Already heading back there in September to play a bigger venue which is terrifying but also can’t wait.

Happy: Lastly, what makes you happy?

Rum Jungle: I myself take pleasure in the simple things in life.

Check out Spin Off Festival here.