The Mowgli’s Interview.
California-based indie rock band The Mowgli’s played Buzz Beach Ball 2014. Guitarist, vocalist and percussionist Colin Louis Dieden:recently discussed his love of his hometown of KC, the story behind their hit song “San Francisco” and lyrical inspiration. For more info on The Mowgli’s, check out http://www.themowglis.net
Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?
My mom was an actress in Los Angeles when I was a kid and she would bring me on set with her with was cool. My dad is maybe the worst singer in the history of America. So no, I wouldn’t say I came from a musical family. But they bought me a guitar when I was a kid and that’s all that mattered anymore.
What was your earliest musical memory?
My dad drove me up to Ojai, California when I was 8 or 9. He had the Beatles white album on cassettes and apparently I wouldn’t let him turn it off. I was fascinated with the lyrics and when we got back from our trip I had memorized every one.
What was the first album you bought?
Natalie Imbruglia I think, but mainly cause I had a big crush on her. At that age I totally related with being “Torn” between Mario Kart and my GI Joes.
What albums do you constantly find yourself listening to?
There is an album called “Southeastern” by Jason Isbell. I listen to it in it’s entirety pretty much every two days. He’s kind of my hero right now.
How did The Mowgli’s get started?
We were just a bunch of weird hippie kids running around Venice Beach exploring our minds, art, each other, everything around us. It was a extremely formative time and I guess we all just needed some place to put all of that.
What inspires you lyrically?
Hope and love. The intention of this band is to make people feel better leaving the show than the did when they came in. But I write about all kinds of stuff. Just whatever affects me enough to feel.
What was the first song you recorded together?
Probably “Time” or this song “I’ve Been Around.” I don’t know, actually, that feels like a different life.
How did the song “San Francisco” come together?
We had been walking around the city all day with friends, and fell absolutely in love with the moment we were living in. Thought maybe some other folks might like to feel that way too.
What are your hobbies outside of music?
I’m not sure I really have a life outside of music anymore but someday I plan to sleep until noon again.
You played Buzz Beach Ball this year. What do you enjoy most about playing in Kansas City?
It’s my hometown! Such an amazing feeling to come home and see the city that I love most from a much different place in my life. I’m a big KC guy.
What have been the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome in your career?
Ignoring the noise, not getting too involved in the aspects of this industry that just don’t matter. Anything that isn’t directly related to the music itself is irrelevant to me. I do not care what kind of shoes I wear on television.
Do you have a quote or motto that you live by?
“Nothing’s fine I’m torn” – Natalie Imbruglia. Just kidding. I don’t know. Be here now.
What advice would you give to artists just starting out?
Play a lot of things that sound bad until something sounds good. Write some lyrics that are so honest they feel uncomfortable. That’s it. People are very see through so if you’re making art with integrity it WILL be noticed.