Interview with Colin Louis Dieden from The Mowgli’s
The Mowgli’s describe themselves as “5 childhood friends from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, augmented by 3 mid-western transplants.” I may have needed a calculator, but that means that the southern California band are bursting at the seams with 8 members. However, 8 members means 8 potential vocalists, and the band do their best to make that happen on every track. They love the big sound and you probably will, too.
The band consists of (this might take awhile) – Colin Louis Dieden (vocals/guitar/percussion), Michael Vincze (guitar/vocals), Katie Jayne Earl (vocals/percussion), Matthew Di Panni (bass/vocals), Josh Hogan (guitar/vocals), Dave Appelbaum (keys/vocals), Spencer Trent (percussion/guitar/melodica/vocals), and Andy Warren (drums/percussion/vocals). The Mowgli’s have a recent EP called Love’s Not Dead, featuring the great song, San Francisco. They even have a celebrity admirer in Lindsay Lohan, have recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and are back in Austin this week for a second stint at South By Southwest. PeteHatesMusic caught up over email with Colin, who tells us about the perks of being in a big band, and what he would want on the band’s Wikipedia page.
PeteHatesMusic (PHM): You guys sure love the group singing dynamic – a lot of songs sound like one big party! What’s the reasoning behind this approach?
Colin Louis Dieden (CLD): We decided when we started this band that the “lead vocal” was a collection of all of our voices. A song isn’t a Mowgli’s song until everyone has put their intention into it.
PHM: Love seems to play a large part of your song lyrics. Is this because it’s more positive to have a group rally behind love and not hate?
CLD: There is so much hurt and sadness in this world, the last thing we want to do is perpetuate those sentiments. Our mission is to make people feel great. If they leave our shows “feeling the love” we believe their next interaction with someone on the street will be a better one. It’s really simple. Love and light.
PHM: What are the best and worst things about being in a band with so many people? I would think ‘picking up the tab’ would be a big con.
CLD: The best things are traveling around with 7 of your best friends. Also it’s so amazing to have a few different people that write because there is differentiation in where the art gets pulled from. The worst thing is 30 minute gas station stops in weird towns.
The Mowgli’s – San Francisco
PHM: How does the songwriting work with a large band? Lots of epic matches of beer pong I would imagine.
CLD: There’s so many idea’s being incessantly thrown around. It’s really fun to elaborate on someone else’s thoughts from your own angle. Sometimes one of us will bring a completed song to the table, other times its pure collaboration.
PHM: I noticed that you guys don’t have a Wikipedia page. What is one made up fact that you would like to have on your future Wikipedia page?
CLD: We prefer to not wear shoes and we don’t give a care that the apostrophe in our name is grammatically incorrect.
PHM: What is the connection between your band name and the protagonist in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book series (besides the obvious)?
CLD: The Mowgli’s to us means being young and wild forever. Until we get old and boring I guess.
PHM: You guys played SXSW in 2012, and are back playing this year. What did you learn last year that you will do differently and better this year?
CLD: We learned that you shouldn’t bring your trailer, which we’re doing anyway. Give up trying to meet up with your friends, too much effort. See you on Facebook dude. Try to trade music for food if you’re broke. Don’t go back to your hotel just cause you’re tired, there’s so much happening. Be everywhere at once.
PHM: What was it like to perform on Jimmy Kimmel? Did you nick any mementos?
CLD: Didn’t steal anything. I did want to call him ‘Jim Kim’ though to see how he’d react, but I forgot. Playing late night shows are really fun.. 2 down, a lot more to go hopefully.
The Mowgli’s – The Great Divide (Live on Jimmy Kimmel Live)
PHM: I saw that Lindsay Lohan retweeted you and her love of your song San Francisco. Hopefully you experienced a spike in sales in addition to the exposure! How surprised were you to see her tweet about you guys? Dare I say it – how about a future collaboration?
CLD: Yeah, that was cool! No other comment.
PHM: What are your future album and EP plans?
CLD: I believe our full-length record comes out sometime in June on PhotoFinish/Island Def Jam Records. We’re so excited to release, we’ve worked really hard on these new songs and I think they’re quintessentially US.
PHM: Congratulations! You are a guest-editor on PeteHatesMusic.com – which is more of a punishment than a reward. What new bands would you tell all of our readers about and why?
CLD: Here are the bands you gotta check because they inspire us endlessly: the Janks, the Lucky Lonely, Terraplane Sun, the Diamond Light, Cold Eskimo, Julia Nunes, Defining Times, Clairaudients, Lucius.
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If you like a band that prefers to not wear shoes, then the Mowgli’s are your band! Be sure to catch the Mowgli’s at SXSW on Friday March 15 at Stubb’s, and check out their Facebook page for their latest tour dates and other great music.