‘Feel good music’ is a phrase frequently tossed around as a shortcut from delving into the actual nuances behind a particular band’s lyrics or sound. However, when it comes to The Mowgli’s the expression is not a timesaver, but exact.
The six piece group, known for their ‘laid-back mix of West Coast pop and 60’s Laurel Canyon folk’ sound, brought sunny California with them all the way to Cincinnati for Bunbury Music Festival. We caught up with the energetic ensemble, and asked them how they felt about coming back to the banks of the Ohio river and their ambitions for their soon to be released third album.
Festival Snobs: Welcome back to Bunbury! How does it feel to be back, and how did today’s performance differ in comparison to your show here back in 2013?
Katie Jayne Earl: It was different. It was so awesome to be on a bigger stage and to be in front of a crowd that we’ve been touring for and working for, for a really long time now. Since 2013 we’ve been coming back and touring and trying to reconnect with these people so it was really great to see them all come out with us today. It was really awesome.
FS: If you had to choose, between your smaller shows and your big festival shows where you have new people who may have not seen you before, which shows would you choose? Which ones are your favorite?
KJE: I mean favorite is not maybe the word. I don’t know. Festival shows are special.
Colin Dieden: There’s different things about each that you like a lot. Today we preformed in front of however many thousands people.
JH: Right, and there’s so much more attached to the show with a festival. We have friends here like X Ambassadors, some Walk The Moon kids, and Haim. It’s cool to see those people, but then again for me I think maybe shows are better in a lot of ways playing in small more intimate venues.
KJE: Especially when you know those people bought a ticket just to see you. There’s something really special about that.
FS: So the answer is both?
JH: We’re going with both.
FS: I was listening to your first two albums on my drive from Atlanta to here, which was really nice because it was very uplifting and positive. So if I had to put your music into one word I’d say ‘The Mowgli’s’ are very ‘uplifting’. What would you say ‘The Mowgli’s’ are in one word?
KJE: I’m going to go with energy, because we all put so much energy into both the shows and the records. So that’s my word. What do you guys think?
JH: My word is kind of the same words as yours. Positive. Like I would describe our music as positive rock and roll.
CD: Both of their’s together. Positive energy.
CD: Pinergy is my word.
FS: I read in an interview where you mentioned the first album’s message was ‘love can change the world’ and the second album was more about ‘universal love and personal love, how that impacts people.’ So for this next album, do you know what that message is?
CD: This next record for me, I think it might be different for everybody, but the next record feels way more existential. A little distant but in a good way.
KJE: A little introspective too.
CD: Like looking at it all from above.
JH: I feel like it’s a more pin pointed messages, rather than a broad ‘do you feel the love.’
KJE: Each song holds its own kind of message.
JH: And some of it is a little outside of that, which is cool.
FS: You guys have done a lot of philanthropic work, raising money for different charities, refugees, and you’ve even played a show at an Austin homeless shelter. What drives you to do those things?
KJE: More than anything it’s just so easy to put a little bit of effort into something that makes a big difference. Sometimes when we actually do those things and put the effort in and get something done, it seems like why wouldn’t we do that. It’s so easy.
JH: It starts with us really giving a shit. We actually care about these things.
KJE: And even with that being said, it’s not that much effort on our behalf just to bring people together and make a really big difference. It’s really easy. When you think about how easy it is and the minimal effort it takes, why wouldn’t we do that?
FS: So the next album are you excited, nervous, are you ready?
KJE: I personally am so excited for this third album. I think it’s the most collaborative. Everything has been collaborative, but I think on this particular one as a team, as a group, and as a family we listened to each other a lot and opened up to eachother a lot. And I think that we as individuals connected as a group more on this record than ever before and it really shines through in the music. I’m really excited to put it out.
FS: Anyone here at Bunbury you’ve seen today or are excited to catch tonight?
JH: X Ambassadors.
KJE: We just walked over for them.
JH: We saw like four songs, and it was great. Then we ran over here.
KJE: And, I’m not supposed to say this because he’s embarrassed, but our drummer is in love with Alana Haim. And Haim is just such an awesome band so I really hope to catch their set.