INTERVIEW: Pave The Jungle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Johnny Haynes

Whilst social distancing has been difficult for almost everyone, it may well have been further damaging for those forced to stop as they were hitting the peaks of their respective industries. Given the nature of playing live, and the time it takes to build up the necessary confidence to gel with others, it’s likely that certain bands found lockdown particularly hard; the last thing they need as they’re building momentum is a forced lockdown.

If you saw Cauls’ show at Sage Gateshead last year then it’s likely you would seen, and been mesmerised by, the second support act of the evening: Pave The Jungle. Strong, confident and prone to keeping their coats on, Pave The Jungle (making one of their first shows that evening as a live outfit) showed off a level of proficiency far beyond their band time-line should permit; screaming at us with Jesus & Mary Chain screeching guitar effects and clever My Bloody Valentine pop melodies. They were a band who needed a lockdown like they needed a hole in the head.

And so, after the delays enforced by Covid, and the brakes being slammed onto their juggernaut, the question is what exactly does a hot live band do when they can’t plug in and play?

The Hissing somehow manages to capture the sound and the spirit of their live show, complete with thunderous breakdowns and back-of-the-throat vocals

Well as it happens, Pave The Jungle would suggest you get into a studio and do your best to capture that live energy on record. “Lockdown has been strange, and it really came at a bad time for us a band,” confirms guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Rachael Whittle, “but we knew where we wanted to go as a band, so recording and mixing the materials was much easier having performed the songs live.”

Released in October, and pre-empted by a few singles, the band’s debut EP – The Hissing – is a tour de force of post-punk alt. rock intensity flavoured with intellect and wit. Produced with the support of Chris McManus at Blank Studios, The Hissing somehow manages to capture the sound and the spirit of their live show, complete with thunderous breakdowns and back-of-the-throat vocals. You may not be able to see them play live for the moment, but this isn’t far off that experience. “I’m happy with how the EP has come out,” confirms Whittle, though admitting that the process may have taken more time than originally planned. “The EP took a while but that’s partly as some of the songs came together as the old band [Rachael is a former member of grunge punks ILSER] were disbanding and Pave The Jungle formed so it was important to think about performing the songs with other people.”

Hoping to plug in and do something for the launch of the EP (“we’ve got some ideas but it depends on availability and lockdowns I guess”) the plan is to get back to play live as soon as possible and build the band’s live sound back up; though they’ve already started work on new songs for future EPs and a desire to continue the momentum. “It felt with the last song that we recorded for the EP that we really got the sound we all want to make, and we can’t wait to get back to the studio.”

Pave The Jungle release The Hissing EP on 9th October


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