March 5th, 2014
On a rare sunny day in March, we caught up with The Mowgli’s and their adorably rambunctious dogs, Abby and Suki, at the picnic table behind The Independent in San Francisco, just north of the Panhandle. Our interview quickly turned into hanging out, where we discussed the band's future tour plans, bodily functions, Grouplove, and everything in between. We have to say, The Mowgli’s are a great group of people just having fun putting their music out into the world and inspiring positivity.
This is Part Two of our interview. You can find Part One here.
SFCS: You guys have blown up this past year.
Katie: It’s crazy. It depends on where you go. San Francisco’s been a great market for us.
Colin: I wonder why that is.
Katie: We’re actually going to be hitting up a lot of cities this tour that we’ve not yet toured through.
Andy: Jacksonville, Florida, and a lot of colleges in the South. We’ve never played in North Carolina before.
Colin: Myrtle Beach.
SFCS: Where did the name come from?
Colin: Jungle Book. Next question. [Laughs] Totally kidding. We had a friend that used to be in the band—
Andy: A brother—
Colin: A brother, [laughs] and he had a dog that was half wolf named Mowgli, and he used to run around our studio when we writing all these songs—
Katie: And he’d bark in the background of the demos.
Colin: In the “San Francisco” demo you can hear him.
Andy: He was kind of a jerk.
Colin: He was sort of a dick.
Katie: But aren’t we all?
Colin: I think that the spirit of Mowgli from The Jungle Book is something we identify with a lot when we were starting this band, in terms of being young and crazy.
Katie: Wild kid, no parents—
Colin: Literally climbing trees.
Josh: Young and wild and free.
[Matt walks outside to join us]
Andy: Hey Matt!
Andy: Matt, where’s the best pizza in the country?
Matt: In Los Angeles or in New York, you decide.
Andy: Good talk.
Katie: That’s Matt DiPanni everybody!
[Applause and cheers]
Andy: That’s why they don’t send him to the interviews.
Katie: ‘Try the appetizers, they’re great.'
SFCS: [pointing] So you’re from Israel and you’re from Kansas. How did you guys all meet?
Katie: Somewhere between Israel and Kansas.
Colin: Throw a dart on a map, the midpoint, Maine maybe.
Katie: He’s from Oklahoma, too [pointing to Josh].
Andy: A lot of us grew up together.
Katie: If we didn’t grow up together, a lot of us met in the music scene, like Josh and Colin.
Andy: We were all brought together through people we grew up with.
Katie: Josh worked with our producer years before we were ever even a band, so that was a big connection. And he played music with some of the guys in bands and in our scene. Colin was just in the music scene and he linked up with people and before we knew it...
Katie: We started the band. A lot of us date back to elementary school.
SFCS: What’s your favorite song to perform, and is there a song you can’t end a show without playing?
Colin: “San Francisco.”
Andy: Yep, gotta play “San Francisco”.
Colin: We’re required I think.
Josh: Personally, I’ve been loving the song “Emily” because we’ve been opening with that a lot. We come out and a couple songs later, I’m like ‘damn, I shoulda saved a little.'
Katie: Yeah! The song brings out this weird energy in us.
Colin: I would say that or—
Josh: Let’s go with “Emily”!
Andy: That’s a great song!
Katie: Print it. Next!
SFCS: If you were gonna cover a song tonight—
Colin: Oh we are!
Katie: We are!
SFCS: What are you covering tonight?
Katie: We’re sick of playing “Time,” so we’re probably going to play HAIM.
Colin: She loves that.
Andy: We do have a HAIM cover prepared but we’re going to—
Josh: Well, prepared is a loose term.
Colin: It’s a euphemized way of saying we don’t really know it.
Colin: We’re going to play “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates. We actually recorded that song from our split with… Actually, I don’t know if we can talk about this yet.
Colin: But we also have a new song called “Your Friend”. It’s in a movie called Earth to Echo on Relativity Media.
Katie: Speaking of fun songs lately, that’s been a really fun one to perform.
Colin: I’m loving it. That was my answer.
SFCS: If you could have written any song—
SFCS: Yeah, if you could take credit for it?
Josh: Holy hell.
Josh: “Since You’ve Been Gone”.
Katie: “Gangsta’s Paradise”.
Colin: “X Factor,” by Lauryn Hill.
Andy: Nice, nice choice.
Katie: Oh, okay, “Forgot About Dre”.
Josh: “Gangta’s Paradise,” that song in that one film...
Katie: Oh! “Amish Paradise,” by Weird Al.
Andy: Any Weird Al song. I want the rights to that song.
Katie: I do too. Any Weird Al song.
Colin: He’s around still.
Andy: He was at Bonnaroo last year.
Colin: He’s just Al now. [Laughs]
Josh: Be like, “Alex! Hello, Alex!”
Colin: Is it Albert or Alex? What do you think?
Katie: Weird Albert?
Andy: Weird Alex?
Josh: Weird Alexander, for sure.
Andy: I’m dying to know. I’m looking it up. [Laughs]
Colin (reading upside down from the question list): What’s the most important thing in a live show?
Katie: He’s just reading the questions now.
Colin: The most important thing to me in a live show is the audience.
Josh: Participation. Having fun.
Colin: If they’re stoked, we’re stoked. And if they’re really into it we put off twice as much energy. My favorite moments are having the mic out in the crowd and everyone screaming the words.
Katie: I so agree with Colin on that one.
Colin: Everyone just being involved, with the sense of unity in the room, is the most important thing to me.
Katie: Yeah! When the audience is singing and dancing and clapping it just feels so good.
Josh: Hi Suki! [kisses the dog]
Katie: You feel like you’re contributing to people having a great night and a great memorable time. We’ve been going to concerts forever, that’s one of our favorite things to do.
Colin: Hey little cutie [talking to dog]!
Andy: What do you think it is guys? What do you think Weird Al’s real name is?
Colin: What is it?
Katie: Weird Alfred.
SFCS: He almost didn’t even need to change that, just Weird Alfred.
Josh (reading from the question sheet): What’s the last live show you have attended? I saw Dr. Dog at The Wiltern last week, that was nice.
Katie: They’re awesome right? So badass.
Josh: Before that we were on this thing called the Rock Boat and we saw tons of bands.
Katie: Reel Big Fish.
Colin: Reel Big Fish played horns with us on “San Francisco”.
Colin: If you could collaborate with any musician living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?
Katie: Quentin Tarantino. I’d make a movie.
Colin: I would collaborate with… Started that sentence, but had no answer.
Andy: Duke Ellington.
Katie: Wow you’d just be cooling it out.
Josh: I would definitely go hang out with George Harrison and write some cool song with him.
Katie: That’d be cool.
Colin: I want to collaborate with, what’s that chick’s name who’s really cute?
Andy: Taylor Swift?
Colin: No the chick that says…
Andy: Kacey Musgraves.
Colin: No, but that’s a great one. Actually, I’m going that route [Laughs] I was going to say that chick that says...
Katie: Oh, Lily Allen.
Colin: Yeah! I would love to write something with her. And also I want to kiss her on the mouth. Right on the mouth.
Katie: I’d want to do something with Beyonce.
Colin: Just one time, right on the mouth.
Katie: I also would love to write a pilot with Tina Fey. That’s probably my number one.
Josh: I’d write the shit out of a song with Dr. Dre.
Katie: Dave? Peanut Gallery?
Andy: Wait, Dave’s still here?
Dave: Maybe Hiromi.
Colin: Isn’t that a kind of beef from Korea?
Andy: Next question.
Colin: Whatever, David.
Katie: Kids don’t care about Hiromi, Dave!
Josh (reading the question sheet again): What was it like the first time fans recognized you in public?
Colin: Really weird.
Katie: Super surreal.
Colin: The first time I remember it happening, I’m sure it happened before this, but the first real memory I have of it is when I was out to dinner with my mom in Kansas City. We had just like been there for something, I don’t remember what, and we’re just having dinner, and these two girls walk up and do that whole thing where they can’t talk for some reason. I don’t know why they can’t talk, like, say hello—
SFCS: It’s because when you’re in the presence of someone like you—
Colin: No that’s not… No. I was having dinner with my mom and I was eating some soup, and these chicks rolled up on me and they left and my mom was like, ‘What the fuck was that?’
SFCS: So when was that time wise? Since the EP came out?
Katie: Like last year.
Josh: Last night, I don’t know [Laughs]. All my stories were lies guys.
Colin (reading our notes): First gig as a band, huh?
Josh: The Viking Room in Los Angeles.
Katie: That was just me, you, Colin, and Michael.
Colin: I’m Colin.
Katie: Just doing “Time” and “Great Divide.” But then we did our first official show at this spot in Echo Park or something. You [Colin] were working a production job and couldn’t make it. It was me, Michael, Pete, and Matt DiPanni, and I think that was it. And then probably our first full band show was at the Dragonfly.
Andy: I mean, I wasn’t in it.
Katie: Yeah, Andy’s the new guy.
Andy: My first gig was at the Viper Room.
Tour Manager: You guys still doing an interview?
Katie: This is the meanest tour manager.
Andy: You take this one.
Colin: This one’s for the tour manager.
Katie (reading the question): You have a day off in the city, where do you go?
Tour Manager: Sleep.
Colin: He doesn’t leave the hotel room.
Katie: Josh and I usually find those spots where you can rent a bike, and we’ll ride to the local lake, river, pond, or ocean.
Andy: We’ll all get drinks, check out the vibe.
Colin: Me and Andy do a lot of lunches.
Katie: A lot of local food.
Andy: Maybe we know a friend in the area—
Colin: Walking around—
Katie: Local food and local beer are big things for the Mowgli’s. We all like to find whatever the city is known for. If we’re in Chicago we’re finding where the best deep dish is. We find good food and drinks, and that’s pretty much our vibe.
Colin: We, uh, we drink.
Andy: Um, lemonade.
Josh (yelling at the dog): Abby!
Colin: Satanic rituals.
Katie: The dogs are actually here for this sacrifice we’re doing later.
Colin: We’re going to bleed them and then wear their faces.
Andy: That’s not true.
Katie: We’re The Mowgli’s and we love you!
Andy: Can we go off on that note?
Katie: Peace and love everybody.
SFCS: We want to know why “San Francisco” is about San Francisco if none of you are from here?
Josh: We love it, we love San Francisco.
Katie: Because it didn’t happen in Reno.
Josh: Right. That actually, that’s the best answer I’ve heard all night.
Colin: Me and this dude Michael came here once and we had a really cool experience here and fell in love with the people we were hanging out with in the city, and it didn’t happen in Reno!
Katie: That’s our new single off our next album: “It Didn’t Happen in Reno”.
Tour Manager: Alright guys we’re ready to start setting up—
[Hugs all around]