As their Twitter profile says: ‘Pepa Knight & Marcus Azon frequently dress as forest animals and scurry through the underbrush’- certainly an interesting insight to their personality and also to their music. Described as surf rock meets afro pop, Jinja Safari were Unearthed winners for this year’s Splendour in the Grass. The duo have recently launched their debut EP Jinja Safari, and will be playing Big Sound in Brisbane and later this year at One Movement in Perth. Marcus answers our questions:
1. What was the first band you saw live?
Frenzal Rhomb. I was probably about 14, They played at a small country fair, in the south of Tassie- i told my parents that i was staying the night at my friends farm, which was around the corner from where they played.
2. What’d you learn from them?
I don’t know if you go to a Frenzal Rhomb concert expecting to learn anything, i was pretty young so i think i learnt a few things about the male and female anatomy – But i do remember being impressed/amazed/confused by the way they could move and gyrate around the stage, while still kind of playing in time. It was a hub-juble of limbs and shapes. If you play most of your set in the right key and in time, the rest is up to the individual.
3. Got any pre-gig rituals?
Pre-gig rituals include-30 mins of driving around the carpark of any venue, due to our poor sense of direction, looking for a load in area: an hour if its a university show. 30 mins working up the courage to ask one of the other bands if we can borrow a instrument lead, because we always seem to be one down every night. Half an hour tuning Pepa’s Sitar, and 1 hour of tweaking with the input so it doesn’t feedback, 2 hours of mic’ing up Strals percussion extravaganza, 1 minute for jacob to set up his entire drum kit and sound gear, a solid hour to convince him to leave the rider long enough for us to play a set, then we do a quick group huddle before we go on – like what you see on a basketball movie, without the natural athleticism, co-ordination and flexibility, but all the sweat.
4. What do you think the most important issue effecting artists in NSW is today?
Same as always, new music relies heavily on the support of local radio stations, and small venues. They, in turn, rely on us to support them. Pay 10 bucks to see a couple bands you haven’t heard before, become a supporter of FBI- Lets keep the big musical wheel a turnin’.
5. If you weren’t a musician what do you reckon you’d be doing?
Ninja. Or Crime Scene Investigator. We are actually in the middle of a concept based, reality children’s program called Ninja-Safari Investigates. If we didn’t have to play shows, we’d have more time to work on this.