Courtesy of Brightest Young Things
The Mowglis performed at Washington DC’s first Landmark Festival on September 26th. They’re a high-energy band of seven from Venice Beach, California who has recently released their second album, Kids In Love. WVAU DJ and Promo Director Dani Rosen and WVAU staff writer Lauren Peressini sat down at the bank of the Potomac to discuss their past work and upcoming projects.
Dani Rosen: Who would you say your main influencers are?
Josh: For me, I was raised on classic rock, The Beatles were my band, you know. All growing up my friends were like “check out this Nirvana album” and I was like “have you seen the White Album though?” I appreciate my dad for introducing me to the Beatles though and having that George Harrison influence in my life. I got into punk rock and had an r&b phase too. But I kind of grew up playing punk music too. I had a punk pop band called The Grizwolds actually that was my first band. We’re all kinda punk at the end of the day.
Andy: Ska music, I played in a ska band for years and that’s where I started really appreciating and listening to, like the Hippos and bands I had never heard of before. And I would write them emails. But also classic rock too I think is music that inspires us all. Like jazz and classical and things that our parents raised us on.
DR: How do you think your sound has evolved in the past year?
I think it’s evolved a lot actually, we wrote our first record without a label, kinda hanging out in Venice Beach. So the times change, they were jangly love songs. We want to keep the positive vibe, the positive message but I think we’ve all grown as writers. We’ve been co writing with other writers and other producers and every time we do that we learn something, you know? We’ve grown as humans and so that changes the writing a little. There’s more of a pop influence on the second album. Kids In Love has a lot of rad guitar influence because our producer was a guitar player.
I think now, moving forward with our new songs that we are writing we learned a lot more from these professionals in the music industry from being kids in Venice hanging out. But now we’re trying to refine that energy that we had before and get back in touch with why we love making music in the first place. It’s definitely ever evolving.
DR: If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead who would it be?
George Harrison or any of the Beatles would be fun to jam with. To write a song with Freddie Mercury or play some drums with that guy. Also would have loved to be in the band Pink Floyd. We would join Pink Floyd. I would quit everything for that or maybe not.
DR: Are you working on any new projects?
Next week we’re releasing a song called “Room For All Of Us” [at the point of publish the song had be released] off the B-side of the Kids In Love album. All of the proceeds are going to rescue.org, which helps out the Syrian refuges, and we’re doing a poster we’re going to sell on the road that will go towards that too. We’re just trying to keep the material fresh since we recorded so much stuff for the second album we’re just like “let’s release stuff” and I think that’s important. It helps us to stay relevant in some way and buys us a little time to sit and work on another album. Because we didn’t have that between the first and second album, it was just “okay the label’s ready let’s go and tourÛ. We’re now able to chill and think seriously about what we want our future sound to be.
DR: What is your spirit animal?
Josh: I think mine is the California Brown Bear. My dog Abby, the Portuguese water dog looks like that bear so, my dog is really my spirit animal.
Andy: Sea otter. Also I know Katie isn’t here but hers is totally a red panda.
DR: What’s your album of the year?
Andy: Multi Love by Unknown Mortal Orchestra. They’re super talented, kind of funky r&b but also super indie and rock. They’re just really cool.
Josh: Talking is Hard by Walk The Moon and the last Tame Impala album, Currents. We got to watch them side stage at nighttime at festival a few months ago. It was such an amazing experience.
Lauren Peressini: Do you guys have matching tattoos? Is there a fun story behind it?
A friend of ours did the album artwork for Kids In Love and sent us a bunch of logos. We didn’t do anything with this one but we loved it. One day on the American Authors tour we were in Portland and Colin and me had an hour before sound check and it took like five minutes. So we all just chilled and waited. And that was it.
It was great talking with you, thank you and we’ll see you at the 9:30 Club for your tour in November!