The mysterious South London 5-piece takes to the stage to a quiet, intrigued audience. Their catchy, melodic guitar playing and energised lyrics infiltrate the room, dancing cautiously through the ears. A band that formed through monotonous lunch times, Jungle Doctors are a sight to see, hear and behold.
Jungle Doctors (Sam, Angus, Will, David and Louis) are a group of boys who not only see the sheer amusement in each other’s company, but who have evolved into a charismatic, infectious sound. Photographed by Sophie Mayanne in the depths of suburban London, the group frolic through the streets and have an enviable flair for life. With amusing anecdotes from the day, squirrel chasing and astounding revelations, including the fact that Angus’ hair smells like bacon, you will soon learn that there is much more behind the youthful faces that front the band.
Hi Guys, tell us a bit more about Jungle Doctors.
Angus: We are a five-piece band from South West London. We play sort of poppy, rocky music. Oh and my name’s Angus, I’m the loud one.
David: We were just bored at lunch times, and thought it would be cool idea.
Angus: It’s the same line for every single interview, it just hasn’t changed ever. We were pretty much just bored at lunch times, and thought ‘Why not?’. It was just a hobby at first, but it’s a fun thing to do.
What’s the story behind the band name?
Louis: My dad used to be in a band and they did an album called "Jungle Doctors Spots a Leopard", it was the name of a kids book. It’s a series about some guy, who is a doctor in the jungle, so we just shortened it to Jungle Doctors.
Angus: Don’t sue us! Ha ha.
Sam: I wanted us to be called Dr. Marmite and the Ladyboys. (Everybody Laughs)
Angus: The Ladyboys didn’t succeed, but Dr.Marmite did for a while.
Louis: Well that only happened for a two week period.
Everyone: We were called Radar Stars for a while.
Angus: And Pirates of the Serpentine. We were actually sort of a folk band in the beginning.
David: We thought we were a folk band.
Angus: First song we did I played ukelele and stuff. It was just weird, haha.
How would you describe your music now?
Louis: Uhhh, better!
Angus: Everytime he says better.
David: It’s quite catchy isn’t it? It’s got a lot of guitars and quite a full sound.
Angus: I think we’ve been classed as the genre Indie Rock. We like to think our sound is developing.
David: We play a bit more keys in the newer songs
Angus: Synth has been coming in a lot more recently too.
David: And Will, didn’t you want to get pads on the drums?
Will: Yeah, we were saying different samples on drumkits.
Angus: We definitely incorporate more synth nowadays, and it’s getting a bit more techno.
Louis: It’s not techno, just a bit more electronic.
Angus: And we’ve still got three guitarists.
What are your influences, and what music do you listen to individually?
Angus: It’s quite varied. Would you care to give your influences Louis?
Louis: Who have I been listening to a lot at the moment?
Angus: Matt Miller and Schoolboy Q. We all have our own individual influences.
David: I’d say me, Will and Angus get a lot of influence from pop bands like The Temples.
Angus: Pop stands for Popular.
David: What we all listen to is a bit mismatched.
Angus: Haha, it is. Whenever we're in the van someone is always like, ‘Now it’s my turn to play my music'. Louis gets it quite a lot, he had his music on the whole way here today. It’s not good when everyone has a hangover and you just have to listen to hardcore rap in the morning.
What’s the process behind your songs and writing?
David: It’s usually Sam, but any of us could have an idea. Like a vocal line, and then we all bring something forward and turn it into a song.
Sam: We just play around with it.
David: If someone has an idea for a song that’s one style, we bring it to the band and then it becomes a Jungle Doctors song, which I think is quite good.
Angus: There’s definitely elements to it that we all put together. It could be someone on their own who just plays a chord progression, and then when the whole band gets there it sounds like our tune.
What would be your dream gig?
Angus: Glastonbury - headlining!
Sam: Supporting Foals.
Angus: No, actually Foals supporting us! Or doing a crazy gig in a really small venue. Like a really feral, out of control and tight gig. I’d quite like to do a house party gig, where it’s like really out of control.
David: Haha, there needs to be a fairly big stage though. We play on small stages so often, and it’s really hard to fit everybody on. When we were at the Notting Hill Arts Club, there was literally a speaker right in my face.
Louis: Don’t ever complain about stuff like that, I’m the drummer with four people crammed infront of me, and I almost always lose my hearing.
Tell us some interesting facts about yourselves.
Angus: This is like doing improvisation… I have hair?
Will: I went from being the second smallest to the second tallest in around a year.
Sam: I have an outy belly button. It’s actually like a button you can press. It's not like normal people's.
Angus: David is colourblind.
Sam: Louis has ruined his elbow so many times from skating, he can’t do things properly.
Will: Angus’ hair feels like bacon.
Angus: Yeah, my hair feels like bacon. Oh, and I was in Downton Abbey, as a chef.
David: Didn’t you get like four second of screen time or something like that?
Angus: Yeah. Oh and I was a rioter in 24, that was much more fun, as you got to just shot and curse.
What’s your favourite memory as a band?
Louis: Blissfields was pretty fun.
David: Great Escape went down pretty well.
Angus: There was a really good audience there.
David: It was a really good stage aswell.
Louis: Bushall! Basically we played this gig at Bushall and loads of our friends came and were backstage, it was crazy and someone threw up in the sink. Security even tried to kick us out too.
Angus: We’re so rock and roll. I personally think the most memorable thing is Greyhorse. People were climbing on people’s shoulders and falling on the stage. I think it was in second or first year of college. It was out of hand, but it was fun.
If you had to describe the band member sitting next to you, how would you describe them?
Will: Angus…He’s a model and he’s got hair. He’s a really nice guy. He is also like a praying mantis. I’d also describe Sam as a poisonous frog.
Angus: I also apparently have VDD. Verbal Dyslexic Diarrhoea. Anyway, I’m describing Samuel Budd. He’s at Uni. He’s intelligent, pretentiously intelligent. He can be funny…on occasion. He’s just a rad guy basically.
Sam: I’m describing Louis. He’s a lovable idiot. He cares far too much about the condition of his clothes.
Louis: This is Louis…on David (Everyone Laughs)
Angus: This is Louis… I’m currently sitting on David.
Louis: I reckon David can probably seem quite shy if you don’t know him, but he’s probably the single most entertaining person I know.
Angus: Not intentionally.
Louis: Like he’s not trying to be, he just is. He’s also probably got the funniest dancing on stage in the world. And he’s alright at playing guitar. I could do better, but you know.
David: I’m describing Will…before we formed the band we were in the same history class for like two years and we didn’t even know each other.
Angus: Oh my God, this is going to be a whole story.
David: He’s been growing his hair for a year, and it’s not that long.
Angus: A lot of effort, ha ha. Right now he’s wearing a lot of black, and he is a lovely guy.
What’s your favourite food?
Angus: Crème brûlée.
Sam: Prawn Cocktail Crisps.
Louis: Probably spaghetti carbonara.
Angus: Caviar’s interesting.
We pretty much live off spaghetti hoops and jelly.
Sam: Spaghetti hoops are pretty good. I like spaghetti hoops.
Angus: Errrr… Jelly just makes me feel ill it’s too.. Bleurgh.
Sam: I eat jelly, you know when you just eat the cubes?
Angus: It’s the texture that’s just weird. Well you don’t like lettuce.
Sam: I don’t like the texture of lettuce. It’s got a crunch.
What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?
Angus: Jesus Christ, there’s probably a lot of them.
David: There’s quite a lot to choose from. Ohh, when I did that interview for us by myself.
Angus: Ohhhhhh goddd. David put one of my answers as ‘if that’s what the kids are calling it nowadays’; Apparently that’s what I would say. He basically answered this whole interview on behalf of us, and wrote a whole paragraph with me saying that in it. David, when have I ever said that, I am a child myself.
Louis: I once decided to walk on my own half way through Paris at half four in the morning. And I made it. I went into a friendly student’s flat and sat and chatted with him for an hour.
David:When we were playing at Blissfields there were these two model elephants on stage, and I went and I just sat on it.
Angus: But I thought you fell over, that’s why I thought it was embarrassing. I thought you were sitting on the elephant to like, style it out. I’ve done so many embarrassing things in my life that I don’t think any of them stand out. It happens a lot.
What were your childhood ambitions?
Sam: I wanted to be a Pokemon Master.
David: I wanted to be Rockstar, so I think it’s coming true, right guys?
Will: I think I wanted to be a footballer.
Sam: I wanted to be a duck.
Louis: Do you know my sister genuinely wanted to be a robot?
Angus: I wanted to grow up to become best friends with Rocky and Bullwinkle. And I wanted to be a famous actor, that’s still going.
Haha, that’s definitely an interesting array of ambitions. How was the shoot today for Boys By Girls?
Angus: Oh jesus, don’t get me started! I’m joking haha.
David: We enjoyed it.
Angus: Half of us are asleep. It was like a hangover mixed with wrestling and fighting. Oh and posing, getting photos taken and chasing squirrels. That’s the biggest highlight of today, the squirrel just running towards Will and then the squirrel ran away as soon as he ran towards it. It was the best thing. Oh and I got to be in the ‘zone’.
Haha, you definitely did!
To listen to Jungle Doctors latest single, Can you See it, visit them on Soundcloud.
Photography Assistant Tiona Devereaux
Interview by Dasha Kova
Words by Sophie Mayanne