MY INSPIRATION: Pave The Jungle – Ants | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle alt. rockers Pave The Jungle have unveiled their brand new single, Ants, ahead of their debut EP, scheduled for an October release. A discordant slab of angst-fuelled heavy alt. rock, Ants provides yet more evidence of an emerging band comfortably at home in their own delightfully off-kilter world. Here, songwriter and frontwoman Rachael Whittle talks about her inspiration for the track…

I got the inspiration for Ants after reading Flowers for Algernon. It’s a novel about a mouse named Algernon who undergoes surgery in order to increase his intelligence. The surgery is then performed on a man named Charlie Gordon. Charlie is the first human to undergo this operation, and the reader follows his journey via the series of progress reports he writes.

What struck me most about the story were the themes surrounding the treatment of the intellectually challenged. The character doesn’t realise – until the effects of the surgery really take hold – just hold how unfairly he’s been treated since childhood. 

I first wrote this song a few years ago. Like many people in their mid-twenties I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I felt I was at a point where I needed to take control, and would analyse myself and my surroundings constantly. This would often prove to be a useful thing, but at times made me want to retreat to childhood; to immerse myself in that level of naivety where you only see the good in everything and everyone. 

Musically, I wanted the song to reflect the chaotic and unpredictable nature of modern life. That’s why the chorus is the only repeated section of the song. I wanted it to be quite progressive. At the time of writing it I had just discovered Pile. I fell in love with the way their songs are so unusually structured and are quite chaotic, but in the middle of it all is an amazing melody that draws you in.

Though this song has been sitting on a dusty hard drive as a demo for a couple of years, it wasn’t until I brought it to Chris at Blank Studios that it really took shape. What I love most about working with Chris is that no idea is a bad one. I can burst in at 9am and declare: “Right, now I want to stand back from the mic and scream at the top of my lungs. And it’s going to be like that for the whole mid-section of this track”, and he’s genuinely enthusiastic about it!

All of our releases have been put together in reverse of how I typically work. For a start, all bar one of the songs from our upcoming six-track EP were recorded before ever being played live. In recent years I’ve also been writing in front of a computer more, demoing as I go. This lets me deliberate for as long as I like, but it can lack the space for spontaneity you get when jamming out ideas in a practice room. So it’s a delicate balance. 

Ants is a firm favourite with the band; the guys all have pretty mad and unconventional styles of playing, which works great for this song. 


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