Just Jinjer
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Just Jinjer

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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Just Jinger @ home"

Published: September 21, 2006
By Sally Scott

Sandwiched amongst Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Red Hot Chili Peppers and a few others of that ilk, my 14-year-old has given a slot to Just Jinjer’s new self-titled melodic rock album.

Our daily teen school run is very much part of cult cool, in that driving to school with music blaring we have to consider whether the in-car sound is worthy of being heard outside the windows - particularly when the lad is dropped off among his peers at DHS. Just Jinjer have made the grade.

South African musos Art Matthews, Brent Harris, Denholm Harding and newish US boy on the JJ block Sandy Chila have been California dreamin’ for quite some time now.

Based “a few steps from the beach” at Marina del Rey in Santa Monica, west of Hollywood (it makes you sick doesn’t it…), the guys seem to be living the viva fabulous. A great life and a new album which finally does real justice to the hard work these guys have put in to their craft over 10 years.

Currently on a whistlestop tour of their home country, Just Jinjer will be playing one KZN concert at Durban’s Botanic Gardens, next Wednesday, at 6.30pm.

Apart from getting some home time for Art, Denholm and Brent, (wizard guitarist/keyboardist Sandy Chila, who took over from band member Simon Bailey and produced this new album, is presumably doing the tourist thing) promotion is, obviously, the name of the game.

Although, with this release Just Jinjer have returned to the SonyBMG, earlier this year the self- titled album was originally distributed on the Burnlounge Music distribution service (in the States, the album went straight into the top 10 of the download listings) and as solid radio and TV air time easily demonstrates, is well worth the air miles travelled.

The Burnlounge form of distribution, as some will know, depends very much on spreading the news to fans, other bands and useful types in the music business by word of mouth.

If you put it out there it had better be good otherwise the word stops there.

So how does a band make money out of this? It’s a fact that some distributors cough up very little per download (as little as 17c is a norm), but via Burnlounge bands get a very fair deal.

Says Harding: “They’ve taken us under their wing and we get 60% of total revenue. Generally the artist gets 10 to 12% of what the record label sells the album to the stores for.”

Burnlounge seems to have the artist’s interests at heart, or as one US bassist put it online (he plays with the band Dropjoy): “it seems that where iTunes has an industry focus, Burnlounge has a people focus.”

As for putting the album on the market, Just Jinjer got together a pool of independent investors - “American fans, one an ex-South African,” explains Harding “and “we’ve licensed the album to market and distribute. We own this album and we can license it to any label around the world.”

Earlier this year, Jinger, as fans will know for reasons of US tonguemanship had to be changed to Jinjer.

Say Schwarzenegger or Zellwegger and they can curl their tongues right around it, but Jinger! Nope, it comes out Gee-nger,

A decade down the line and now based Stateside, bassist Denholm Harding says the band is very happy with the way things are panning out.

“We love South Africa, of course - we’re very patriotic - but we needed to make the move for longevity. The more territories we break, the more we can expand. When you’re away from home you’re not sure how much of a fanbase is still out there rooting for you, but we hope to re-state our claim as being top dogs on this short tour.

“Meanwhile, we’re chopping away at that stone worldwide which means hard draft and gigging.

“Putting out an album, basically the artist gets screwed,” laments Harding.

“The real money is made from touring, merchandise, branding, endorsements - unless the album sells 10 mil world wide and you’ve struck an amazing deal. You make your bread and butter on the road - and it’s a cut-throat business.”

As for making the move to the US, it wasn’t done without a lot of forethought.

Gig-wise, having to go up against a bunch of unsigned bands around LA or New York, the list of which could fill a telephone directory, isn’t easy for a start. But, having now established themselves, the band does have more of a choice. They could, says Harding, gig almost every night, if they wanted to.

They currently gig once or twice a week and are still doing showcases at the famous LA hang out, the Viper Room and in and around Laguna Beach and Orange County. The latter two actually really do exist outside TV teenybopperland. The deal for many gigs is a “we’ll take the door you take the bar” arrangement.

“As for working on the album this year it’s been “like strategic planning sessions until 3am or later,” says Harding.

As much as they’re all enjoying California - they usually get around on bikes “we hardly ever drive”, Harding - TONIGHT

"Just Jinjer adds spice to ho-hum Mondays"

Published: May 5, 2006

Monday night in Santa Monica is usually a relatively mellow night. That wasn’t the case on April 24 at Temple Bar on Wilshire Boulevard. Just Jinjer, dubbed by The Los Angeles Times as “Buzz Band” of the week, served up invigorating melodies and a butt-shaking beat back.

Playing to a crowded venue, the first thing that caught the attention of the urbanite crowd was lead vocalist Art Matthews’ crooner-like tone. That, coupled with accomplished musicians as a solid band, set a balmy mood. It was evident that this four-piece had something very unique to offer — a fresh sound with an edge and more importantly a message.

“What He Means,” the band’s new single started off with the lyric ‘If there is grace in this world, if there is light on this earth, let us use it, let us see it, starting right now.” It’s an anthem that speaks to us about the state of the world we all live in. Matthew’s message was clear “Peace, love, more tolerance.” “It doesn’t matter what book you read.”

Hailing from South Africa, the band has released four-platinum albums in their native country, opening for acts such as U2 and Skunk Anansie.

Just Jinjer will be performing again at Temple Bar on June 6.
- Santa Monica Daily Press

"Just Jinjer"

Published: December 22, 2006

South Africa’s most successful rock band returns to Cape Town with a once-off gig at the Kirstenbosch Gardens.

Now based in California, Just Jinjer (a spelling change necessitated by the way Americans pronounce Jinger) will showcase its many hits and material off its self-titled 2006 album.

Since forming in 1996, and from the instant ‘All Comes Round’ introduced Matthews’ set of simply superb songs to rock fans around the country, Just Jinjer has been the gold standard in homegrown rock music.

That debut album became the best-selling rock album in South African history and its follow-up, 1998’s ‘Something For Now’, reached gold in a short three weeks, moving to platinum status (50 000 units sold) shortly afterwards. A third studio album, 1999’s ‘Here’s To You’ (a nod to the group’s extensive fanbase) was similarly a critical and commercial success.

In-between their albums, Just Jinjer became one of the hottest touring acts, playing extensively in South Africa and beyond its borders with the likes of U2, Crash Test Dummies, and Toto, co-headlining with Hootie and the Blowfish, Skunk Anansie, Stevie Wonder, Spice Girls, Chaka Khan and many more.

And, as the group’s recent trip to South Africa proved, Just Jinjer remains a compelling live force, capable of standing alongside the best homegrown rock acts on offer at the moment.

Since its release earlier this year, ‘Just Jinjer’ (recorded in the group’s American homebase) has received critical acclaim – and deservedly so. The current line-up of frontman, Art Matthews, Brent Harris (drums) and Denholm Harding (bass), as well as newcomer, Sandy Chila (who also produced the most recent album), has turned in a great offering that has already spawned several new radio hits including ‘what He means’.
- capetowntoday.co.za


Just Jinjer Review
Published August 17, 2006

By Shane Shaw

After months of waiting, the time had come – ticket in one hand, beer in the other, we traipsed over to Shepherds bush, arriving early to bag a good spot on the upstairs balcony, and get a few drinks down before the action started.

We knew it would be a worry taking one of our posh mates with us! He kept making us drink these exotic cocktails called “snakebites”, but not wanting to offend him, We drank them down with a smile!

It’s a brilliant venue, with a good set up, pretty good sound, and plenty TV screens for those stuck behind any pillars, and the size makes it just small enough for it to maintain the “personal concert” feeling, but just big enough to get that mental atmosphere from a crowd of pumped up fans!

We decided to skip the balcony, and cram in downstairs with the masses – the only way to appreciate a good concert! The crowd had filled every spare inch of floor space, and you could smell the excitement in the air (may have been something else, but I’m calling it excitement!)

The guys were scheduled to play at 8:30, and, they were bang on time, so there is a lesson for all those acts that charge you 70 quid and make you wait for hours while they sit backstage having a feng shui lesson!

They walked on stage to massive applause, and straight away kicked of with a couple of their new songs, and the audience sang along like they had known the songs for years. Really stoked to see Its so hard to choose a favorite from the new tunes, but this is what Just Jinjer do – they give you a whole album of songs that could easily each be released as a hit single! Time of your life, till im done, shine on you, What he means, all brilliant, REAL songs that actually mean something, instead of bubblegum crap from simon cowel and some kid fresh off a council estate singing about their under active thyroid!

Some old classics went down well, with “she knows” a personal favorite Then it was time for the crowd to go absolutely bonkers

Sugar man kicked things into hyperdrive, and I almost spilled my glass of chardonnay!

They also played a few that are brand spanking new, and the response from everyone was awesome.

There was no way they were getting away with one encore, and they came out twice more. Table top almost made a few Caapies cry into their pints!!!

JJ really come into their own when they play live, and its good to see a band that feeds off of the audience, instead of sticking to a formulaic routine. One thing that limited them was the size of the stage. Im used to seeing Art wonder all around, climb on speakers, etc, but the stage at shepherds bush doesn’t let you do this.

A couple of people afterwards commiserating that their personal “favorite” song wasn’t played, but that’s JJ’s fault for having so many good songs!!! (and for everyone that has seen them do “going to the bank” live, you know what im talking about!

All in all, damn fine set of live music, with 16 (or was it 17?) songs. The band is looking tight, polished, and on top of their game, and having seen them 8 or 9 times before, I can honestly say they get better and better every time!
7 albums, 10 years, sold out gigs, and dozens of homegrown artists climbing the ranks to try and achieve half of what JJ have achieved

I think we can finally put to bed the question :When is a SA band gonna make it big?”

"JUST JINJER - Album Review"

Published: August 24, 2006
by Nils van der Linden

Just Jinjer, as they are now known, have released a consistent stream of albums during the past decade. And yet they’re still best known for their debut — the one that gave us songs like ‘Farther and Father’ and ‘Stand In Your Way’.

That’s about to change.

Their new self-titled release is easily the best, most accomplished thing they’ve ever done — an album born out of patience, talent, hard work. And a lot of ambition.

Reinforced by some sparkling production and programming from new American conscript Sandy Chila, Art Matthews’ songs have never sounded so complete, his vocals so intuitive, the group so relevant.

No longer the little band from South Africa trying to make it big in America, the quartet now sound like they’re challenging Coldplay and U2 for title of Biggest Band In The World Today.

A lofty dream out of their reach? Probably. But that hasn’t stopped them from trying.

Just listen to ‘Time Of Your Life’, a bonafide, banner-waving sporting anthem just begging to be blared from stadium speakers alongside Bon Jovi’s ‘It’s My Life’. A few lyrics about being happy and clapping your hands aside, it’s like ‘Paradise In Summertime’ and ‘I Like You Madly’ but older, wiser and definitely stronger.

Similarly, ‘What He Means’ (with its “Peace, love, more tolerance” refrain) plunges a steroid shot into Matthews’ trusted mid-tempo rockers — ‘Shallow Waters’ but bigger, braver, better.

Even a previously released song like ‘Home’ benefits from the group’s newfound drive. Thanks to a Keane-flavoured piano melody, added instrumentation and a gusty new vocal, it gets a complete makeover that adds a fullness and dynamism missing from the original.

And the older ‘Here’s To You’ gets an even bolder overhaul (cue Edge-like chiming guitars and a smidgen of electronica) ensuring it too fits in with new songs like slow-burning opener ‘Steady’ and ‘The Spy Who Gave A Damn’ — a distant cousin of Coldplay’s ‘Talk’.

All are powerful rock tunes showcasing the band’s new swagger and enhanced sound, but it’s the piano ballads that best highlight the other major development — the newfound sensitivity in Matthews’ voice.

No longer prone to belting out everything, the dreadlocked frontman delicately — and beautifully — breathes life into ‘East Coast Lullaby’, the completely reinvented ‘Take Me There’ (previously known as ‘Perfect Ground’), and ‘Seasons’ (by bassist Denholm Harding).

He sounds better than ever — just like the band.
- iAfrica.com


*Just Jinjer (2006)
-First international album
*Bootleg Album (2003)
*Strange World (2000)
*Here's To You (1999)
*Something For Now (1998)
*All Comes Around (1997)
-The biggest selling rock album in South African history
-Over 110,000 units sold



Just Jinjer Brings Its South African Contemporary Rock Melodies to America

"…a fresh sound with an edge and more importantly a message."
-Santa Monica Daily Press

Hailing as South Africa's top-selling rock band of all time, Just Jinjer is fiercely blazing a trail on the international radio and online download charts. Led by vocalist Art Matthews, the four-piece outfit reinforces patriotism with relevant melodies coupled with the band's dynamic instrumentation by Sandy Chila (guitar/keyboards), Denholm Harding (bass/vocals), and Brent Harris (drums/vocals).

For the past decade, Just Jinjer has maintained a consistent stream of successful albums, however its latest CD has been described as the best yet. According to iAfrica.com, the band is breathing new life. "All are powerful rock tunes showcasing the band's new swagger and enhanced sound, but it's the piano ballads that best highlight the other major development- the newfound sensitivity in Matthews' voice." Bassist Denholm Harding believes they have truly stretched themselves in this album. "The song writing is more mature with more shading; we like to think of this is as a new era for Just Jinjer."

Though the band members are proud and loyal South Africans, they also serve as cultural voices and global advocates for peace. The band's new single "What He Means" speaks about the state of the world we all live in… "if there is grace in this world, if there is light on this earth, let us use it, let us see it, starting right now…peace, love, more tolerance."

Since forming in 1996, Just Jinjer has been "the gold standard in homegrown rock music." Their debut CD "All Comes Around" was the best-selling rock album in South African history. Sandwiched between releasing their four-platinum albums, Just Jinjer has become one of the hottest touring acts performing internationally with U2, Counting Crows, Hootie and the Blowfish, Stevie Wonder, and Def Leppard among many others.

For everything else, visit www.justjinjer.com and www.myspace.com/justjinjer.