Chatting With Colin Louis Deiden of The Mowgli’s

Stephanie Richards ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

California indie pop band The Mowgli’s are hitting up Boston’s Paradise Rock Club on their Kids In Love tour this Tuesday. Their third full-length album will be released on the same day, April 14th, featuring lead singles “I’m Good,” Bad Dream,” and “Through the Dark.” The group goes in depth with their prevailing theme of love previously explored in hits “San Francisco” and “Say It, Just Say It.” Emertainment Monthly got vocalist, guitarist, and percussionist Colin Louis Deiden on the phone to a quick preview of the show in anticipation of the new music headed our way.

Thanks for getting on the phone with us! How are you doing?

I’m good. All is well. What’s going on?

We’re looking forwards to having you here in Boston on Tuesday! You’re in the middle of your Kids in Love tour—what are you most excited about?

We’ve been touring on Waiting For the Dawn for the past year or so now, or a couple years. We’ve been playing some of the old songs, like “San Francisco” and “Say It, Just Say It” and all the old songs kids love, but it’s nice to introduce them to new stuff. It’s what we’re doing now, the music we’ve been excited about writing, how it translates onstage, how the kids react. It’s a very exciting time for us.

Your website mentions that these new songs are much more specific in exploring the idea of love and are based off personal experiences. Would you mind sharing some of those stories?

Yeah! I fell in love with someone a little while back, and I think everyone’s fallen out of love, too. I guess this record kind of—I want to say is more mature. This record is all about loving everyone around you, and that’s still what we’re all about. That’s why we make music. Do you want me to tell you a specific story about my life?

If you’ve got one right off the top of your head, that would be great!

For sure! I’ve totally fallen out of love. I’ve been sitting at home, waiting for a girl I lived with to come home, and she never did. And you’re sitting there, feeling shit about yourself—it’s as dynamic of a feeling of falling in love as it is to fall out of it. Why shouldn’t I write about that? I wanted to explore the duality of those two feelings. They’re both energetic in such different ways. It’s really interesting how you can be so vehemently in love and out of love with someone simultaneously and so quickly. There are tons of stories, and there’s a little piece of one right there, you know?

It seems like there’s a lot going on there; how do you put all of that into verses and a chorus that makes sense?

Obviously, you don’t have a lot of time, just a four-minute song to say what you want to say. It’s more about the sentiment, it’s more about the feeling. I mean, you can only say so many words in a song, and you have to get across in very little time an entire story. A lot of that is about the sentiment and the music and the vocal performance—how you sing it. So a lot of it is about the sentiment and the moment. I dunno, just trying to capture everything in the tonality of your voice and the way the guitar is strummed and the band moves—it’s all encompassing.

So would you say that your music is most accurately felt at a live show rather than in a recording?

It’s tough for me to answer that question because I want to say yes, but I speak for me, personally. I can more accurately portray it live because I am able to relive whatever that specific song is about. I’m able to relive it in front of the audience, and I think that they’re able to feel that from me and the rest of the band. It’s imperfect—that’s awesome about live shows. It’s not as perfect as it is on a record. “Make It Right” is a very special song to me, and in the live show, I hope the audience can feel that from me, that it’s a special song and it means a lot.

So what song do you ‘feel’ the most when you play live?

“Kids In Love.” It’s one of the last tracks on the record. It’s definitely that one, for me. It almost sucked to write, you know? Writing it was a whole thing: trying to face some things and be honest with myself about a bunch of stuff that I didn’t necessarily want to. So that song is definitely a special one for me on the album.

Cool. What’s life on the road like?

It’s been much better this time around. Before, we were in like, fifteen passenger vans, and that’s not the vibe by any means. But I’ve been with my best friends travelling the country and going all over the place together, so it’s pretty nice. Obviously, sometimes we get lonely, so we call up people at home. But I mean, I’m in a bus with my friends, literally living day-in, day-out my dream, so I can’t imagine complaining too much about anything.

That sounds so awesome! Do you and your bandmates have any preshow rituals?

Yeah, we always try to have a few moments together. Something that always happens—things are kind of crazy, especially if they have friends in the city—most of the time we try to spend a few minutes together. We sing together, we harmonise together, make sure out voices are on point, we hug, put our hands in the middle, scream something weird, then go out and do it.

That sounds so fun.

It is!

So we’ve got some questions about the band. First of all, you guys are called the Mowgli’s—apostrophe-S. Why is that?

It’s totally grammatically incorrect.

Was that an accident, or on purpose?

I don’t know… I think it was a combination of being young and smoking pot, or something—I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that. But whatever. People are like, “Why do you do that?” Well, why not? We can do whatever we want to do. We’re a band that’s making art, why does it matter? It’s totally grammatically incorrect, and we’re aware of that, we were aware of that then. I think, really, the answer is that it’s something that we belong to. It’s part of the spirit we belong to, you know? Like, a young, crazy, insane group of kids and the feeling we all ascribe to.

On that, perusing the band’s website: there’s a lot of talk about being young and the frustrations when you look at social injustices around the world. How do you want to spur your fans into action?

The thing that I know—without trying to be grandiose or thinking that I’m able to change everything I’d like to change—is I don’t know that I can, to be realistic with myself, but I know what I can do. And what I can do is have every single kid walk out of a show feeling so much better than the way they came in. And I’m aware that I can do that every single night. If you check people out after the show, make them feel better, that whatever was bothering them, whatever things they were holding onto, whatever bullshit they were clinging to is gone. They’ll feel better, they’ll feel happier. That everyone I interact with is able to walk away feeling that way? Then I’m doing my part. At least in my own social spectrum, I’m able to help people out one-by-one. When the record comes out and tons of kids hear it, I’m doing it on a larger scale. And that’s why I’m doing this.

We’ll definitely be looking forward to that feeling at the end of the show!

Hell yeah.

Thanks for talking with us.

You’re so welcome! Are you coming to the show?


Come say hi to me!

Check out The Mowgli’s on the 14th, in person or by way of their new album.

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