It’s a long way from London to Phoenix. It’s even further from Johannesburg.
Daniel, Dylan, Johnny and Jesse Kongos are not only brothers, but also band mates who have made the trek, and now call Phoenix home.
The band makes good ol’ snap your fingers to the beat, funky pop-rock music, and the places they’ve lived have definitely had a musical influence on them.
The brothers are in the studio now working on their second album, which has been in the works for a while, though not because these guys are just sitting around doing nothing. DPJ talked with Johnny Kongos about coming to Phoenix, the band’s upcoming album and, of course, the music.
“We get perfectionist about [the album],” Johnny says. “It’s getting close. We’re aiming for some time at the end of the year.”
Every month, Kongos will release a song from the album. “It’s a Good Life” and “Come with Me Now” are now available on the band’s website for free.
“It helps get a little bit of buzz,” Johnny says of releasing each song.
And it’s been working. “It’s a Good Life” has been one of Dallas’ KXT FM’s top songs for the past two or three months.
Although the band hasn’t even been to Dallas, they’ve been thinking of touring after the album is done and going there just because of their popularity. Right now, they’re focusing on grabbing the attention of Phoenix and LA. They’ve played LA many times and will be playing at the House of Blues Foundation Room at the end of August.
The brothers were young when they came to Arizona, but they definitely noticed how different it was going to be.
“[Phoenix] is literally the other side of the world in every way,” Johnny says.
Eventually, they want to make it back to London, but for right now their pockets can only afford Phoenix and LA.
“Phoenix is really great,” Johnny says. “Downtown is really starting to get a scene now. When you go Downtown and a couple places in Tempe, there is a scene happening.”
The Lost Leaf has become the band’s favorite place to play, and they jam there pretty consistently.
“We play a three- to four-hour set there; we play whatever we want, and it has an amazing vibe,” Johnny says.
If you see them live at the Lost Leaf, you’ll truly see music at its rawest. Kongos improvises most of its set, with just a small form of how their song is going to go.
“When it gets packed in there and [the crowd] reacts, we just feed on the energy,” Johnny says. “You can sit in the studio and never know if it connects to people.”
The stage is the one place where Kongos can really let loose, but don’t think these brothers don’t get at each other’s throats from time to time.
“We do fight a lot,” Johnny admits. “We’re brothers at the end of the day. We actually live together, so the farthest we can go is just a couple hundred yards.”
Kongos will play one of its epic sets on Saturday at the Lost Leaf, so stop by and experience their music for yourself. Don’t forget you can download “It’s a Good Life” and “Come with Me Now” FREE just by signing up on their website.
If You Go: Kongos at the Lost Leaf
Saturday, July 31, 9 p.m. until close
914 N. 5th St. in Evans Churchill (light rail at Roosevelt Station) — 602.258.0014