Get To Know: The Mowgli's

The Mowgli's are a band to look out for in the coming year. Rising from California, The Mowgli's consists of five childhood friends from San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles and three transplants from the mid-west.

The Cali-sound is distinct in their music works, with influences from Grouplove, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, The Beach Boys and The Byrds.

The band mixes genres of indie, folk and dance along with the inspiration of Big Sur serenity and San Francisco magnetism to create a new-age rock and roll sound.

Empty Lighthouse recently had the opportunity to talk virtually to Matthew Di Panni, bassist and vocalist for the Cali band, about the formation of their group, musical influences, upcoming plans and more - read further and get to know The Mowgli's!

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: How did you first get your start in music?
THE MOWGLI'S: Music has been in my life since my first year of existence.

My father and mother always played records around the house, tapes and CD's in the car, and they even got me my first guitar.

Years later, I began jamming with friends, writing solo songs, and then eventually I joined The Mowgli's just as the band was forming.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: Who are some of your musical influences?
THE MOWGLI'S: I have always believed that No Doubt and Rx Bandits are two of my biggest influences.

Everything about those bands has captivated my mind and ears for the last 15-20 years.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: Who do you listen to in your spare time, and what are some of your other hobbies?
THE MOWGLI'S: My current favorite bands are Deafhaven, Hunter Hunted, Lucius and Haim.

I'm kind of a super nerd so I like comics and graphic novels, and I used to collect vinyl figurines.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: What has been your most memorable experience while touring?
THE MOWGLI'S: The festival circuit blows my mind. We were able to play some of the largest crowds of our career, and then we were able to mingle with everyone at the festival. It gives us and the fans the ultimate experience to see that we are all just people. Musicians and fans should be able to watch their favorite bands while standing next to each other.

The experience a band can have with that sized crowd makes a band step their game up. The other side of the experience is that you actually see what kind of production a festival really is.

The companies host festivals, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits especially, are innovators for the concert-going experience. It is guaranteed that you will enjoy yourself.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: What is the craziest thing you've seen a fan do to get into a show or on stage?
THE MOWGLI'S: Most of the time we are inviting the crowd on stage so it's actually really easy to just jump on stage with us.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: What advice would you give to other young people looking to succeed in the industry?
THE MOWGLI'S: Learn to swim with sharks.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: When you hit a creativity block, what re-inspires you?
THE MOWGLI'S: I look to my bandmates, family, friends, relationship, media - these things are stimulating with creativity.

I find that just being around people will generate lyrical and musical ideas.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: How do you manage your time between your music and personal life?
THE MOWGLI'S: I've integrated my personal life with my career. My girlfriend and I have made this work for the last four years, and we don't intend on stopping.

I fly home once a month or she will fly to me once a month. I see my family when I can and they completely understand my situation. Everyone has adapted very well.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: What are your upcoming plans in regards to more touring, releases and producing more music?
THE MOWGLI'S: We will be attending the Sundance Film Festival in Utah this month. Next month, we will be performing on The Rock Boat with tons of other bands and then in March we will be heading to SXSW. We will probably be touring all over the country this year, but can't confirm anything. Also, we are writing new music constantly and have been in and out of the studio recently. More information on that sometime in the future!

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: If you could invent anything, what would it be?
THE MOWGLI'S: The Hoverboard.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: If stranded on an island, what three things would you want to have with you?
THE MOWGLI'S: Water, food and Jessica. I'm a simple man.

EMPTY LIGHTHOUSE: Anything else you would like to add?
THE MOWGLI'S: Thanks for digitally chatting with me!

For more on The Mowgli's, visit www.themowglis.net, and be sure to see them perform live at a festival coming up!