by Jaz Bowens
The eight member band is spreading hopefulness, joy, fulfillment and charity while promoting their new album, Waiting for the Dawn, during their tour. We wanted to get to know the band behind the hit single “San Francisco”, so we gladly took the chance to chat with Michael Vincze, guitarist and vocalist, about life with The Mowgli’s, their new album, and their stop here at the TLA.
Colin Louis Dieden – vocalist, guitarist and percussionist; Katie Jayne Earl – vocals and percussion; Matthew Di Panni- bassist and vocalist; Josh Hogan- guitarist and vocalist; Dave Appelbaum- keys and vocals; Spencer Trent – multi instrumental member, and Andy Warren – drums, percussion and vocals, are the seven other members that make up The Mowgli’s. With eight members in the band total it’s understandable to wonder how everyone works together and co-operate so effortlessly.
“I’m glad that it seems effortless, that’s one of our goals,” Vincze jokes. “We sort of just fall all into place. The whole intention of the band is to make one massive harmony and we just feel that. Plus, it just comes from our drive and willingness to do so. Genuinely, it is our will to put on a great show and keep it together.”
One massive harmony is exactly what they are as their chemistry on and off the stage is evident because of their close friendship. They are friends who came together to form The Mowgli’s for their shared love of music and the way it brings people together. “I met Katie in the third grade. Andy was in the second grade so we were all in elementary school together. I stood on stage for the first time with Andy when we were in Little Shop of Horrors,” Vincza says. “ …Katie and Andy did a lot of plays together. Then, we met Matthew our bassist in middle school. He had lived all over. He was actually born in Israel and made it to L.A. by time we were in middle school. We met David, our keyboardist in middle school, too. I met Spencer in high school. We were both interested in skateboarding and music which were two of my favorite things at the time. I met Josh and Colin after high school and within six months of knowing everyone, the band started.”
The Mowgli’s started during a time in California when the music scene was ripe for something new. “It started back in 2009. I just wanted to invite all of my friends to be in a band together and that was simultaneously during the start of a massive art collective called Collective CA,” Vincze says. “Everyone in The Mowgli’s were also playing in a lot of other bands at the time and there was all of the incredible music playing around me and one day I was just like, ‘Man, we should just start a scene and join forces and see what happens.’ So I called everyone over to my garage and I asked everyone what they thought. They were down so, the next thing I know, we are throwing mini music festivals.”
After the formation of the band some members came and went but the core stayed and fought through. “We always had the dream of being independent. We had high hopes that we would really make a riot and everyone on our team would handle (the business) everything and form our own label. But, after about 75% of the band broke up and people stopped working, things fell through,” Vincza explains. “It was a sad time but it was sort of a blessing because it gave us the time to really focus on the band. So we went in the studio and started to write Sound the Drum.”
That first LP was released independently and within the first couple of months of the release their career sky rocketed with the help of the single “San Francisco”. “We were approached by an agent and we got a manager by winning a Battle of the Bands. One of the judges was our current manager,” he says. “He helped us out and got us to become professional. From there, we got our label, Photo Finish Records, a joint venture with Island Def Jam. They liked our music and believed in the message, in vocation of joy. We want to change the greater good and we want to really spread the love.”
Under Photo Finish, Love’s Not Dead was released during the week of Hurricane Sandy. They were stuck in lovely Philadelphia. With the help of their new label, they were able to tour and to polish their sound and live their dream all the while doing what they love to do. Their current album, Waiting for the Dawn, was released in June and has been getting rave reviews ever since.
“It’s surreal to be on the radio and doing shows and to have grandma or our parents come out with a smile on their face,” says Vincze. “It makes us feel validated about what we are doing. I get teary eyed just thinking about it because we worked so hard. I have been at this for 12 years and in the last 300 days I’ve started to see the fruits of our labor.”
Michael Vincze conveys raw emotion during our interview. It would be hard to not want nothing but the best for The Mowgli’s. The hardships that bands go through to get their foot in the music industry can be devastating at times. But, this band pushed through and made sure to get their music to the masses. They believed in themselves which makes the fans believe in them.
At every upcoming concert, the band will be collecting non-perishable items to donate to organizations in the cities they are playing in. Here, all donations are going to Philabundance. “We are so excited,” Vincze says. “We love Philly and the arts districts and culture. The city has such a unique energy and personality.”
That Mag encourages music lovers, people who love to have a good time, and people who love to be a part of a great cause to go check out The Mowgli’s at the TLA on Sunday Nov. 17. You will be glad you did.