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An Interview with Colin Dieden of The Mowgli’s

I had the chance to ask The Mowgli’s frontman and guitarist Colin Dieden some questions about the band’s current tour, new music, and more. For the last 5 weeks the band has been on a nationwide tour, taking a step back to play more intimate shows.  The band also released their 2nd new single, “Kansas City,” a few days ago which you can listen to here. Check out the interview below!

Shelby: In a recent interview with Paste Magazine you mentioned not being on a label anymore and having more freedom creatively. When it comes to releasing music, how is it different now for the band being independent?

Colin: We definitely have complete and total control now. In the past we dealt with a lot of “we understand that YOU think this should be the single, but we think it’s this other song.” Which is fine. It’s nice to work back and forth because sometimes you find that you (the artist) is too close to all the songs to make a really objective decision about which is best. But now we’re fully in control and make those decisions internally.

S: The band is releasing its 2nd new single (“Kansas City”) on March 23rd, can you elaborate on the meaning behind the song (aside from it being about where Colin is from)?

C: I went through a pretty transformative few months last year. Without getting into too much detail, I took some time off to really look at myself and realized I was treating myself pretty badly. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and really get a good look at everything. Kansas City is about that.

S: The band is releasing songs by single currently, what is the benefit in doing this vs. releasing an entire EP/LP at once?

C: Singles really are the future of music- and have been for some time now. EPs/LPs still exist of course, but I believe we’re going to find them to be more and more rare as time goes on.

S: Playlists seem to be what a lot of bands are focusing on now a days, and the band has previously mentioned they were important for new singles. Can you explain a bit about how that works/why it’s important for the band? Do only the big playlists matter or do individual playlists, such as from fans, also matter?

C: Both matter. The majority of listeners are out there right now looking for something new. A playlist provides them a consolidated and curated list of songs, making the infinite world of music a little smaller and more manageable while still allowing the listener the experience and feeling that they have discovered something.

S: Are there any current plans for a new EP or album?

C: We actually came up with an album name/concept that we think is pretty amazing but we’re a little too early in that process to talk about it.

S: When creating a new EP/LP how does the band go about creating it? Do you choose one concept then write the songs to go along with that, write the songs first, etc.?

C: I think the concept of the album really begins to take shape after the first few songs are written. It gives you an opportunity to really take a look at what you’re feeling. Figuring out how you feel is actually much more complicated that you might think.

S: The first new single, which is also the name of your current tour, “Real Good Life”, came out last month (February). How did the band decide to take what’s been going on in the world and turn it into a positive, happy song?

C: I wanted to encourage people to not feel guilty for being able to appreciate whatever happiness they find around them. The world is fucked. The president is fucked. But that doesn’t mean that for some reason you’re not allowed to be happy. I think it’s important so I’m going to say it again. Just because the world is fucked does not mean you are not allowed to be happy.

S: Speaking of what’s going on in the world, the band is known to be very outspoken about politics. Some bands choose to remain silent on the topic of politics, especially when it comes to controversies or choosing sides, what led you all to decide not to be silent regardless of what fans/other people may think?

C: If you’re not using your voice and platform for good, it should be taken away and given to someone who will. The world is too messy and broken for you to be indifferent.

S: Your current tour is the band’s first headlining tour in over a year, correct? What planning goes on prior to touring? (Ex: How are your decisions made such as the setlist, staging/displays, etc?)

C: We try to do things a little different every time so that people don’t feel like they’re getting the same show, while still keeping it familiar enough that coming to our show feels like coming up. This tour we ditched the backdrop and had andy make some really cool projections. People seem to like them. Either that or they’re high.

S: What’s next for the band after this tour?

C: I think we’ll start working on that record we talked about earlier.

S: The Mowgli’s have been together for many years, how would you say the band has grown and progressed?

C: Quality control. I think the songs we are putting out now are getting better and better and better. I see big things on the horizon for this band.

S: If a person could only listen to one of the band’s songs which would you want it to be and why?

C: “I’m Good” I guess. It is a clear message of what we stand for, yet probably better represents the future of this band, sonically, than San Francisco.

S: Colin has Culpriit and Andy/David have Split Party, how do you all manage juggling multiple bands/projects while also focusing on The Mowgli’s?

C: CAFFEINE.

S: I like to give readers new music suggestions from artists I interview, who are some bands you are currently listening to that people may not know of?

C: Jadu Heart, Mura Masa, Tove Styrke, Billie Eilish

Haven’t seen the band live yet? No problem! The Mowgli’s just finished up their Real Good Life eadlining tour, but they will be hitting a few festivals this summer! Look below to see the dates.

APR 08 Rhythm N’ Blooms Knoxville, TN
APR 27 The WhiskeyX Chicago, IL
JUN 03 Spring Fling Cleveland, OH

Find out more information on live shows here.

Stay up to date with The Mowgli’s:
Twitter: Twitter.com/Themowglis
Facebook: Facebook.com/Themowglis
Instagram: Instagram.com/Themowglis