"Verbalizing your thoughts and feelings and sharing that with people is really important in a time where truth is so precious and communication is lacking." - Katie Jayne Earl
Started February 26th, 2019, The Mowgli's kicked off their co-headlining tour with Jukebox the Ghost, dubbed the Making Friends tour, and we decided to spend the day with them in Atlanta. We wanted to get to know this group that has grown, and cultivated, a community with their fans that is all about spreading a positive message and putting out good music that makes you feel happy whenever you listen to it.
To start the day we met up with the band in the greenroom to talk with them about the evolution of their music. From the happy, fun loving jam sessions that make you want to keep the party going from day until night, to talking about emotionally vulnerable subject matter that they want people to relate to while keeping the tone positive. While on the topic of their music, we wanted to dive into their thoughts on the change of the music and about the different trends in the industry including the shift in how its consumed and how they, as a band, have changed to keep ahead of the trends. Being a multi-genre band, The Mowgli's have have always produced a type of music that can never really be pin-pointed; their music has been shared across many playlists from genre specific to mood music. Because of this, we wanted to touch on how they have changed the way they release music and how that creatively elevates the way the listener digests the music within this day and age of streaming and singles. This band has found a way for their listeners to not only hear all of what they have created by doing single releases and EPs rather than an album but they are also closing the gap of time from studio to audience. They are getting the music they are excited for the public to hear without having to wait for a finished twelve song album. Whereas with a four-piece collection, they have the ability to pick a few of their favorites to fully showcase and promote. For instance, American Feelings, that came out March 3rd, 2019, is an EP full of dynamic feelings and energy ranging in topic matter per song yet all come together perfectly. This also give the listener the opportunity to really give every song the opportunity to surprise you.
After the interview we went outside to do portraits quickly as The Mowgli's had to sound check immediately after. Then, as the band prepared to soundcheck, we were greeted by the venue dog Macks (Max)! He was so adorable and derailed everyone from soundcheck and we begun to start sharing about our pets back home. Not to mention, Macks received so SO much love from everyone- as deserved. Soon after soundcheck everyone dispersed either to the greenroom to hangout with Jukebox the Ghost, watched the soccer game, or went to the bus to relax a bit before the show.
When it came to showtime, we watched as fans filed in and found their spots for the night. Whether it be front and center for the show, overhead on the balcony, or at the tables towards the back of the venue. There were options for everyone. Even a full service restaurant adjoin the venue to provide mid-show snacks!
The show opened up with an old friend of ours that we have previously worked with, Arrested Youth. Arrested Youth is always full of high energy and, as such, the guys energized the crowd as they awaited for both headlining acts. Right after Arrested Youth finished, and before the Mowgli's went on, we joined the band in their ritual huddle to start the performance off right!
When The Mowgli's went on, the energy in the room only continued to grow as their well known tunes raged through the venue. Everyone was singing and dancing along to every beat. The band truly wowed the crowd when every member of this six-piece ensemble switched instruments, and again during "Hard to Love" when the they brought out a local choir. The Mowgli's finished out the show with some positive affirmations from "I'm Good" and a sing-a-long favorite "San Francisco".
Below is the full interview:
Punk Junk Magazine: Can you talk about your EP American Feelings and why you are releasing an EP rather than an album?
Mowgli's: Katie, " Lately we have been in this pattern of releasing EPs instead of albums because for us [A] we are really excited to get songs out right away; we don't want to wait until 7 more songs are written before we can share them. [B] It's a really great cycle to be able to write, record, put out four songs and then go out and support those four songs with a tour instead of having to do that with a whole album. Also, a lot of songs we have written and loved through our career have been buried in the albums.... because they don't have they same kind of push and promotion that we are able to give each song when we put them out in a such small collection. So it's been really really fun and exciting for us to experiment in releasing this way...to get them in the hands of our fans, friends,and family as quickly as possible. Another cool thing about the whole four-song collection thing is that we don't have to wait for twelve songs to all fit a vibe"
Matt, "We're not in the era of listening to deep cuts on an album anymore... the fact that we can focus on one song at a time... just makes more sense for how music is flowing now"
PJM: When creating a collection such as American Feelings, Does each person have a specific part that they contribute towards?
Mowgli's: Katie, "It's different every time, we get asked a lot 'what's your process like?' and to be honest with every collection, every album, every EP and sometimes in every songs case the process is a little different... So there really is no said answer for the process and how it happens... The one thing that seems to be the common thread is when we are all excited about a song everyone is eager to contribute their part."
PJM: The feeling in your music has always been about being a community and to have fun. Would you say there is anything different from American Feelings compared to what you have done in the past?
Mowgli's: Josh, " It is very important to create positive music for the world and especially kids, but it is also just as important to be honest and have a bit of that mixed in."
Katie, "We have found this nice balance of making our music sound happy and now we are in this place where we can put a spin on the lyrics and have this song that can sound happy end up striking some deeper chords; creating this nice dichotomy."
PJM: With continuing your trend of releasing in four-piece collections, does that mean there is already another EP in the works?
Mowgli's: Katie, "There is definitely a huge body of concepts...[as in] we do have a lot of bits an pieces that we are talking about revisiting."
Matt, "It's been awhile since we have been able to sit down in our rehearsal space all together and jam them out, and I think we are leaning into a place where we want to do that a little more. We have all these other great songs from us writing together... and that's good to have that collection, but we've always done so well when we sit in a room together and write a song as a band. I think there is more time in the future of this band for organic songs to come when we are together in our rehearsal space and see what happens."
Check on the links below to listen to The Mowgli’s music and follow them on social media!
All photographs taken by Olivia Amaral
If you haven't seen them in action yet, then make sure to check them out when they role through your town on this Making Friends Tour this spring.