The Mowgli’s Are Making Their Own Music

The Mowgli's at Sunset Strip Music Festival SSMF August 2012
(photo above: The Mowgli’s at Sunset Strip Music Festival SSMF August 2012)

By Nicole Hanratty
October 24, 2102

The Mowgli’s are a party of 8 friends making music and creating their own energy force. 7 boys, 1 girl and an unstoppable force: Michael Vincze, Colin Dieden, David Applebaum, Spencer Trent, Matt Di Panni, Josh Hogan, Andy Warren, and Katie Earl.

Recently signed with Photo Finish Records this talented band is on tour and just released their EP “Love’s Not Dead” that is hooked-on-the-first-listen good!

When you interview The Mowgli’s you had better be ready for the enthusiasm and the love that comes along with them. This lively group exudes energy and their message of inspiring others to be “their best self” is contagious.

“We have so much going on,” Colin tells me when I got the chance to speak with him in the tour van en route to Connecticut from Pennsylvania. He optimistically tried to put me on speaker phone so I could have the entire fun loving and talented 8 member band on the line, but then had to pull over and take the call in a quieter location on the side of the road just patching in Michael to the call.

I was glad I got to say, “Hi” to all of The Mowgli’s, but Michael and Colin decided the conference call party was out of control and the interview needed to be conducted under more serious AKA audible conditions. Remember when your dad used to say, “Don’t make me pull this car over?” (Well, they say we all become our parents at some point….) Michael and Colin relocated outside of the van and took the call in their new office otherwise known as All The World’s A Stage.

These two singer songwriters exude a down to earth and organic vibe which Colin attributes to the way the group interacts and “grounds each other.” I suggested it was the Midwesterner in the group but Colin was far too humble to take that kind of compliment.

“It’s such a beautiful drive,” he tells me and having done that drive myself I know he’s right. He adds, “We’re so excited.” And they should be. Fresh off signing a record deal with Photo Finish Records The Mowgli’s hit the road on tour promoting their “Love’s Not Dead” EP which includes the popular track “San Francisco,” as well as “The Great Divide,” “Slowly Slowly,” “Time,” and “Carry Your Will.”

Five of the members grew up in Calabasas in the iconic San Fernando Valley and the others grew up in Oklahoma and Kansas City. Los Angeles eventually brought the friends together in a way that they say happened organically and call Calabasas the birth place of their band.

I asked Colin to give me his Valley favorites in the following categories:

1) Restaurant: “Roys”

2) Place to take a date: “Somewhere with an illegally open bottle of wine in a wide open space where we can fall in love…”

3) Dive bar or low key place to hang out at night: “Power House. Now it’s redone, but in college I would go there after class and sit for 5 hours drinking cheap beer and writing poetry.”

Nicole: There is an interview online in which you tell the story Colin about you and Michael were sitting on the front lawn of a home in Calabasas, CA under –and I’m quoting you now—“those big ol’ sad California stars.”

Colin: Yeah, they are.

Nicole: Let me just say here, you’re a great writer even when you speak.

Colin: Wow. Thank you.

And you can tell Colin is really taking in the compliment. His humble, appreciative, kind and forthcoming nature continued to unfold.

Nicole: You say on that lawn you wrote “The Great Divide” and The Mowgli’s were born.

Michael: I want to clear the air about how the band formed.

He explained that he had a music inspired relationship with each member of the band individually yet separately but knew one day he would do something music-wise with each of them. These one-on-one relationships were all cultivating a movement beyond what any one had ever conceived possible but had certainly hoped for. Michael went on to explain that they put the band together based on wanting to surround themselves with not just their friends but with people who inspire them.

Michael: That’s the point of The Mowgli’s, everyone is in The Mowgli’s.

We believe him. It’s evident by their song lyrics that The Mowgli’s are trying to spread a positive message. Just listen to the song “Time” and read the lyrics:

“I don’t like time, time is making me old but I’m doing alright cause I will still be young tomorrow.”
“I hope to see us love one another and I know we can.”
“When life gets hard you’ve go to remember who you are, and forget about what people think.”
“We’ll learn to let go.”
“Let’s make a harmony and life will sing”

Nicole: Colin, since you are such a talented writer, tell me, if you were going to write a book about The Mowgli’s, what would you title it?

Colin: A book about The Mowgli’s? What would I title it? I don’t know… Hmmm…

Nicole: (laughs) It’s a hard one. We can come back to that one. Tell me what genre of music are The Mowgli’s or by which genre do you want to be defined?

Michael: We’re [insert deep drawn out funny voice] the love rock genre. The Mowgli’s are soo brilliant we’ve come up with our own genre!” (laughing)

Colin: We are Folk Step.

Nicole: What?

Colin: Like Dub step but Folk Step. Maybe that could be the title of the book about The Mowgli’s. Yeah, if I write a book about The Mowgli’s it would be called Folk Step.

Knowing they are spending countless hours in the car driving, I ask them which songs they are listening to in the car. They name numerous bands including Outkast.

Colin: We love everything, we listen to whatever whomever is in charge of the radio puts on…

Nicole: I love the line in “San Francisco” that says, “I’ve been in love with love and the idea of …something binding us together.” Is it difficult to write songs with 8 people in the band?

Michael: That’s amazing. That’s the very first line we finished for each other. Collaborating can be challenging but it’s about allowing others to finish your sentences and giving others the permision to finish your sentence. That line Colin wrote and didn’t know how to finish and I said, “you know that love is strong enough.”

Talking to The Mowgli’s is something you can imagine doing for hours in a coffeehouse into the wee hours of the night. Given their song title, “The Great Divide” I asked them what they think divides people most? The answer was not what you would expect from young musicians embarking on a successful career. It was humble, it was thought provoking and it was intrinsically theoretical. In short terms it was about pride and people letting their ego get in the way. On a bigger scale it was a reflection of what The Mowgli’s have that is going to make them a success: perspective.

Watch The Mowgli’s “San Francisco”
With catchy lyrics like, “I’ve been in love with love and the idea of…something binding us together, you know that love is strong enough” Life of a Rockstar has not doubt you’ll be humming along!


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