An eight-on-one interview moves fast, trust me. It’s late on a Saturday afternoon at Lollapalooza, and I’m talking to the California pop-rock-indie collective The Mowgli’s. We’re keeping our conversation short and sweet – everyone, myself included, is excited to check out one of the last Postal Service gigs on the other end of the Lolla grounds.
Katie Earl stresses that the band’s goal is simple: they want to make people feel good. “We want to write about love and positivity,” she says. To wit, their major label debut (2013’s Waiting for the Dawn) is chock full of breezy melodies, sunny tones, and a youthful vibrance that could only come from eight Californians with on a mission. It’s light, happy and uplifting stuff, and the band goes as far as I ask about the challenges of getting an eight-piece band together to do anything, let alone tour, and they laugh – it’s obvious that it’s a struggle, but they insist their commitment pulls it together. “We all come at it with the same passion,” says Michael Vincze. “We sacrifice to make it happen, and we make it work. At one point, we had ten members!” As you’d hope, the band’s live sound is as big and bright as their lineup – songs burst with vocal harmonies at their core; they ebb and flow while remaining bouncy.
The band has been on a tear over the past year, playing all sorts of national festivals (LouFest included) alongside smaller gigs. Michael points out that The Mowgli’s have actually organized their own festivals with friends. The California CA, as they call themselves, reminds me of The Elephant 6 Recording Company – bands that shared members, recorded with each other, and worked on their sound in a tightly-knit community of likeminded musicians. The Mowgli’s are creating their own scene, and so far, it’s working out well for them.
Photo: Jason Stoff