The Jungle Giants are poised to make a triumphant return to the Australian Open Finals Festival stage this year.
As the Australian Open gears up for its Finals Festival, the music lineup is set to deliver a monumental fusion of global sensations, local icons, and LGBTQI+ champions. Among the stellar array of performers, Australian indie-rock royalty, The Jungle Giants, are poised to grace the stage on Women’s Final Day, Saturday 27th January 2024.
Led by Sam Hales, the band boasts well over half a billion streams worldwide and clinched the #1 ARIA-charting fourth album, Love Signs. Fresh from delivering huge performances over New Years at the likes of Beyond The Valley and Wildlands festivals, their reputation for explosive, high-energy live performances precedes them, making The Jungle Giants a must-watch act at this year’s Finals Festival.
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Returning to the Australian Open Finals Festival after their 2018 performance, Sam expressed his excitement, revealing a newfound appreciation for tennis. “This time around, I’m exploring more into tennis than ever before. I think I never really understood it because I never really watched that much tennis growing up, but last week I played a game of table tennis with Dylan Alcott, which was hilarious. He smashed me.
“On Sunday, he [Alcott] had an event and I went in and DJ’d and then went and saw Alex de Minaur and it was it was my first game of tennis. I loved it so much.
“It felt like gladiators in a Colosseum,” he adds. “The seats go up really high, and it’s this small tennis square in the middles and it’s so quiet. The intensity—I just loved it. I’ve kind of got bit by the tennis bug.”
The Women’s Final Day lineup promises a sonic feast with fan favourites DMA’s, ARIA Award-winning Ruel, and of course, The Jungle Giants taking the stage, alongside Tia Gostelow and Melbourne-based DJ Mel Hall. The atmosphere at John Cain Arena is set to be electric, as the band brings their infectious melodies and buoyant choruses to the forefront of the Finals Festival.
Sam expressed his delight at their slot on Women’s Final Day, saying, “It’s incredible. I think like they picked a really good lineup for the day. You know, hopefully I can just sneak in to see some of the matches. It just feels really good and really fun.”
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While it’s going to be a whole lot of fun, The Jungle Giants are actually set to contribute to the biggest open-air music performance in the history of John Cain Arena. With a 10,000-person capacity, the stage is set for a spectacle that transcends the boundaries of tennis and music, creating an unforgettable experience for all in attendance.
When asked about the fusion of music and sports at the Australian Open, Sam shared his positive take, “I really like it. You’re exposed to a whole other crowd of people that maybe wouldn’t know you or might have heard about the band’s, and don’t tend to go to the same festivals or shows that we play. It’s a chance for us to play to new people. And in the same way it’s great for the people who might want a break from tennis and want to dance a little bit. It’s a chance for them to kind of take a little take a moment for themselves.
“It works for everybody really well. There’s a really positive vibe and a nice, relaxed energy.”
Known for their genre-agnostic sound, The Jungle Giants have been consistently evolving, and their latest singles, ‘Trippin Up’ and ‘Rakata’, showcase the band’s refusal to stay still. Love Signs, the band’s fourth album, stands as a testament to their versatility, with influences ranging from Timbaland to Ashanti evident in their ’90s production style and vocal falsettos.
Driven by optimism, creative freedom and a desire to “keep it weird, keep it fun, and don’t be scared,” The Jungle Giants are paving the way for their continued metamorphosis with a fifth album currently in the works.
“I’m in the studio at the moment between shows, and after the AO, I’ve got a good chunk of time. We’re in a down-cycle, saying no to shows to focus on the studio and get everything done. And so I’ve just got like a nice bit of time now, just get the momentum building.
“I’m going to pop over to LA in about a month, just to do to some writing there and work on some collabs which is exciting,” he adds. “There’s heaps of things in motion at the moment. And it feels good. It feels like the record is going to pop out very soon. And I think people are going to enjoy what what’s cooking.”
Sam also touched on the evolution of his songwriting, mentioning collaborations – more than he has ever done before. “I used to find it kind of nerve-wracking, especially if you didn’t really know the person. Now, I feel more comfortable with myself and tend to write with people I really love. It’s exciting, and good things are coming from it.
“I think there’ll be a couple of collabs and featured artists on the record, which is exciting as it adds extra element or splash of colour to it all.”
Their journey from the release of Quiet Ferocity to the chart-topping success of Love Signs is marked by a commitment to creative freedom and love for experimentation, staying true to their roots, but also toying with exciting new sounds. “I find it natural. I’m not a big fan of doing the same thing twice. I mean, if that’s really what you love, then that’s okay. But I think that it’s really important to make music that sounds like what you’re into at the time.
“And obviously we all change year to year so I think you should make the music that you like at the time because then you tend to move with your fans and show people different elements and different genres that you like that maybe they don’t necessarily know. I like to move with the flow and and I don’t necessarily think you should make the same thing twice.
With the Australian Open Finals Festival on the horizon, Sam concluded, “Just really pumped to be there, pumped to see some tennis and make some music.”
As The Jungle Giants gear up for this musical grand slam, fans can expect a performance that transcends genres, bringing a fresh, vibrant energy to the heart of the Australian Open.
It’s a date you won’t want to miss!
Get tickets to the Australian Open Finals Festival here.