I had a chance to get to know this great band in Valga cruising, Estonia, in summer 2008. The band performed on two nights and gained a lot of popularity. Certainly the band was well known already elsewhere, but for me it was the first time I saw them on stage. Now I'm looking forward to their gig in Finland in Febraury 2009.
Band's vocalist/rhythm guitarist Bernd kindly answered some questions:
Rockabilly Bash: 1) First of all, please, tell me, who you are and where you are from?
B: Hi Jaana, we're the "Jungle Tigers" -Chris, Stefan, Bernd and Detlef, and we come from Germany.
RB: 2) How long you have been playing together?
B: The band originally was founded back in 1988 in Frankfurt/Main, Germany by our lead guitar player and singer Chris. The band stopped playing for about 4 years playing live when Chris moved to Barcelona, Spain regarding a very good job offer from Seat (cars). After his moving Chris and me (Bernd) also moved to Spain 4 years after Chris' moving, like him for private and working reasons, and as we knew each others since many years in Germany we decided one night to restart the band as a live-act. The first gig after the "reunion" was in early 2002, so the actual line-up is playing now since 7 years. As you can see the band had its 20th anniversary last year.
RB: 3) Who are your inspirers?
B: As we all started in the German Rock&Roll scene in the early eighties we're mainly influenced by the bands of this time period which mainly were acts from the music-style you nowadays call Teddyboy /Rockers music such as crazy Cavan, Freddie Fingers Lee, Matchbox and Flying Saucers as well as classic, let's say original artists from the Fifties such as Elvis, Jerry Lee, Chuck Berry, Sleepy La Beef, Ray Campi, etc.
As musicians we also get influences, directly or indirectly, by a lot of other music styles, too, like Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Doo Wop, Country, Soul, Rock, etc.
RB: 4) Do you write music yourself and if so, who and how?
B: Sure, we do. At the moment the majority of our originals are written by Chris, but also some by Stefan and me (Bernd).
You can't plan to write songs - the ideas come by their own (or not). Therefore sometimes you have a complete idea and the song is finished in 10min and sometimes you have an idea but to finish the song it takes month or years.
RB: 5) You are coming to Finland in February and you play in Tampere. I guess this is not your first visit in Finland. Where and when you have been here earlier?
B: The Jungle Tigers have never played in Finland before. Our drummer Stefan has played in Finland many times with his ex bands like Lou Cifer, Wildcats, etc.
In September 2009 on the 5th we're going to play in Helsinki together with the Cosh Boys. The date is fixed, only the venue isn't confirmed yet. So check out our homepages later on in the year.
RB: 6) Do you have a lot of gigs and do you like to tour?
B: As we live far away each other (about 250Km) also being busy with jobs and families we're not playing that much, about 20-25 gigs per year maximum.
And "yes", we like to tour. That's why we're making music: Having lots of fun on our own travelling around, making the people enjoying our music and having a good time on our concerts - hopefully! ha ha ha!
RB: 7) Please, tell about your recordings.
B: As in these days of computer technology you can make recordings at home with good quality, we're recording quite a lot - about every 3-4 months. Sometimes our own stuff, but also with "guest artists" like we did yet with Darrel Higham, Ray Campi and Pep Torres: The tracks with Darrel are out since one year on vinyl, including also one cover version of "Tiger Twist" by Teddy & The Tigers, the recordings with Ray and Pep will be out within the next 2-5 months on the Spanish record label "Sleazy Records" (all of these releases are /will be EPs on vinyl).
RB: 8) You have also some fan stuff on sale. Do you decide together, what to sell for your devotees?
B: Normally we decide all together what we make, but for not complicating the things, one of us is taking care for the designs: A friend of us is doing 2-3 possible logos and then the band decides which one we finally take.
RB: 9) Your regards to readers of this website?
B: Thanks a lot for the interview, which has been a pleasure. We would be pleased to see and get to know all of you in one of our gigs in the future. Stay wild and don't forget.....ROCK & ROLL IS THE NAME OF THE GAME !!
(Bernd, Stefan, Chris & Detlef)