Interviewer: Jeanine Woody (Station Manager)
Interviewee: Katie & Josh
Date of Interview: 12/12/2019
Location of Interview: The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
Aired 12/27/2019 at 8pm
The Mowgli’s started at the end of 2009 and released their first album in 2012. They’ve been touring ever since. Their first album, Waiting for the Dawn, resonated with me as a listener. I’ve been listening to them since high school, so I was super hyped to see that they have recently released a new EP, “American Feelings” and a new power anthem “Fighting with Yourself.”
You only get what you put into this life
I sat down with Katie and Josh at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ during the 3-Dimensional Tour which was co-headlined with New Politics and the Plain White T’s. The rich history of the Stone Pony made the experience even more special since I had the chance to see a band I love perform in a place where some great artists have performed.
Once I arrived at the venue, I was able to sit through The Mowgli’s sound check which was an incredible experience. As Josh said, “we have a sixth member, Jackson our sound guy, our front of house. Our team is dialed at this point we have it together.”
Speaking of their song “Fighting with Yourself” Josh spear-headed the writing process for it. The idea for the song actually came to him when he read a horoscope and the last line became the title of the track. The meaning of the song helped the lyrics fall into place. As Katie said, “it’s great when that happens, when a song can seamlessly come together.” The songs that are really organic and just happen definitely feel the best to them as a band. While writing the song, the band kept referencing My Chemical Romance and ironically the studio they recorded the track in was where Welcome to the Black Parade was mixed.
I don’t want to be defined by just three words
When asked to describe their sound in three words Katie said they can’t because their sound is always evolving since they want to continue to grow and come back to the place which resonates with the most with them. Genres are blurry and we shouldn’t have to fit a definition. This is such an insightful answer since it represents the growth of an artist with the growth of the industry at the times.
Josh plays multiple instruments (guitar, bass, drums, and piano) and Katie just recently started playing guitar and sometimes drums. Katie can only play Mowgli’s songs since she wanted to learn how to play the guitar on stage. For her it was a performance thing and the chance to be “a full-blown rock star.”
In their spare time Katie can be found cooking food for their dogs. As Josh says the dogs are thriving. They have two dogs, a Portuguese Water Dog named Abby who is 12, and 10-year-old Suki, a mystery mutt. The two of them can often be caught cuddling.
Since Katie and Josh live in LA, when they’re not creating music you can catch them riding bikes and hiking. In his spare time Josh loves to play soccer while Katie attends Dance Church. As Katie says, “it’s a form of therapy.” These activities are another outlet for them to express themselves like they do with their music.
Some messages are universal
During the 3-Dimensional Tour the Mowgli’s shared a bus and crew with the band New Politics. Josh says they are “forever friends” at this time and he is even already planning to travel to Nashville to write with Soren. Besides the Stone Pony, their favorite venue from the tour was the Fillmore in San Francisco. The Fillmore is another legendary venue. Katie mentions that “you can feel the energy of all the legends who have passed through here.”
In 2020, the band will be releasing so much more music. A new song and video will be dropping in January so be sure to check it out! The band believes that music videos are a fun way to tell a different side of the story that comes across in the song. A few of their friends shot a short film for their next single while the Mowgli’s were on the road. Even though they were touring they were still heavily involved in creating the concept for the video. They will be creating any way they can.
The Mowgli’s will be going on their first UK tour in 2020 where Katie’s family will be seeing the band play for the first time!
Make sure to check out the full interview on our YouTube page and don’t forget to go buy their albums!
Interviewer(s): Jeanine Woody (Station Manager)
Interviewee: Maria, Alex, and Nastacha
Date of Interview: 11/12/2019
Location of Interview: Towers A1 Lounge
Aired 11/12/2019 at 8pm
We sat down with Jigsaw Youth which is comprised of Maria (bass), Alex (drums), and Nastacha (guitar). Growing up in the hustle and bustle of NYC Jigsaw Youth has a lot of ambition. Since there are so many different styles of music that stem from the city, it was hard for the band to figure out how to be different and how to make their mark on the scene. They grind every single day to get where they are today.
I don’t think about it, I just be about it.
Maria claims that New York is kinda grimy and fast-paced which has inspired them to write the type of music that they put out. Maria grew up listening to a lot of Cuban, 60’s psychedelic, and punk music form different decades. Nastacha cites Zepplin, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam as influences. But once Nastacha heard Black Flag everything spiraled out of control.
They all cite the Riot Grrrl movement of the 90's definitely as a huge inspiration, especially Bikini Kill. Their band name is actually the name of a Bikini Kill song. They got permission from the band to use the name. After meeting with the members of Bikini Kill they were told to “take over New York.”
Nastacha and Maria actually met off Tumblr. So, they decided to meet in real life. They met in down-town Manhattan and they were already writing songs together following the initial meeting. Nastacha and Alex met in marching band at Wagner College and ever since then the three of them have been inseparable.
Won’t fit your definition.
Their music combines melody and a dark grungy fast-paced rhythm to create their signature sound. On their EP, Sorry for the Distortion, was the next step for them. The music became more intricate and there were more layers in the production process. It took about two years before the EP came out and was written when Nastacha was going to college. She says that she is always thinking about what’s next, she says “it’s old to me already.” At the same time, once they are going through the production process the songs sound even better than they could have imagined.
They came up with the name of their EP since they were rehearsing at Rustic Music and Nastacha blew up the amp. She thinks this happened because the amp couldn’t handle her pedal board. When this happened, she said “sorry for the distortion” which just stuck as the name of the EP.
I don’t make music for it not to be heard.
Their goals for the future are to hit the studio and approaching it like 90’s style Smashing Pumpkins with a lot of layering. And of course, tour! Texas, California, Canada, etc. Maria and Alex are out of school and Nastacha will be graduating this year. They would love to gain more exposure and get out there in the industry. They put every single once of themselves into what they do, and it is definitely paying off.
Check them out and catch the full interview on our YouTube page!
Interviewer(s): Jeanine Woody (Station Manager) & Renata Pastuszack (Program Director)
Interviewee: Raye Zaragoza and Caitlin Mahoney
Date of Interview: 12/7/2019
Location of Interview: City Vineyard NYC Pier 26
Aired 12/19/2019 at 8pm
“I know that we’ve got a long way to go and I have to believe that change is a choice that starts with me.”
This December, Jeanine and Renata had the opportunity to interview critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Raye Zaragoza. They met her in the Green Room at City Vineyard NYC at Pier 26 to discuss her music and goals for the future. They also spoke with Caitlin Mahoney who shared with them about her career as an independent artist.
Raye originates from the city and she currently lives in Los Angeles. She discussed the differences between the two cities. As she says, “they are both poetically different” and they both have played a role in the development of her music. Her music focuses on the struggles of figuring out your own identity in this huge world, while staying true to yourself. Her songs are super thoughtful through her lyricism.
Time is a manufactured concept and people are constantly living in the past. She wants to focus on the present moment and the moments soon to come. Raye believes one of the big issues of human nature is holding the past against someone and that music is a tool that makes one think about the past, present, and the future.
Caitlin comments that performing a show helps to create a connection between the past songs she has written and someone in the audience who relates to the song in the present.
“Through the greatest struggles you find the greatest hope.”
As a songwriter, Raye believes tapping into the human condition is beneficial to forming a connection across many different people and beliefs. She says that a song paints a picture and is universal that can be relatable and timeless. Raye comments that her identity was cut into different pieces and everything she did only represented one part of her. With her music, she hopes to build bridges across all parts of herself in hopes of creating bridges for all types of people.
She wants to be the voice of the people. “I stand up for my people and for my people I mean anyone who considers themselves to be the people.” Through her music, she shares hope and as she grows older and learns more about the world, she is able to dive deeper into hope and meaning in her music that she hopes will universally relate to others.
This is important to understanding Raye as an artist because her music is about the journey, not just the destination.
Caitlin commented on this through her female empowerment song since her music is a pep talk to herself. What she strives for as a songwriter is finding the truth within herself and the relationship between herself and others.
“Time is a healer and time is the revealer.”
One of the important concepts discussed during the interview was the importance of being an active listener. Both artists described their feeling towards inspiring others through their lyrics and their composition. The shift towards understanding your identity, instead of focusing on boy problems, and breaking out from the artificial mainstream to create social justice music that connects with everyone.
Raye’s EP is called Fight for You since she was learning how to fight for things outside of herself and learning how to fight for herself. The goal is to put out music that makes people think and take a step back to digest what the artist is telling you.
Raye and Caitlin both performed amazing sets following the interview! As a listener, we were able to understand the messages both artists displayed in their music. The focus on identity and ones place in the world makes us stop and think about our own futures. Creating conscious music helps to make us more aware of what is going on in the world.
In 2020, Raye is releasing a new record and she will be continuing her journey of deepening her music and career and creating more of a balance in her own life. She is only as good as the instrument she plays and that instrument is her own body. While, Caitlin is hoping to keep playing more music and doing what she loves every day! We cannot wait to see what both of these artists do in 2020!
Interviewer(s): Jeanine Woody (Station Manager) and Renata Pastuszak (Program Director)
Interviewee: Tyler Young
Date of Interview: 11/20/2019
Location of Interview: Towers A1 Lounge
Aired 12/5/2019 at 8pm
MAKEOUT is a band hailing from Providence, Rhode Island. They’ve recently revamped their line up and are in the studio preparing for their next album. We spoke with Tyler about what's in store for the band in 2020.
Before the interview we got a chance to see their new lead singer’s audition tape and we were blown away by his voice. As Tyler said, Kyle sounds similar to their old singer so that they can still play their old songs but at the same time, Kyle leads them into a new future.
Tyler originally wanted to play drums in elementary school but ultimately ended up playing the clarinet and saxophone instead. When he was around 11 or 12, he found his dad’s old acoustic guitar in his basement. Following his newly found passion, he received his first electric guitar for Christmas that year. Tyler has been playing ever since.
When he was first learning the guitar, Tyler listened to a lot of older punk bands, and then progressed by listening to metal. He joked that he “pigeon-holed” himself into these genres. Tyler is currently listening to artists like La Dispute and Sleeping with Sirens. If it’s fast and loud it is definitely something you can catch him jamming with.
After going to college in Connecticut, Tyler went back home to Rhode Island where he joined MAKEOUT (originally known as Trophy Wives). The local scene in Rhode Island was definitely growing and expanding at this time, which allowed the band to gain more exposure in the industry.
When asked what his favorite venue was that he’s played in, Tyler was excited to tell us about The Complex in Salt Lake City. One of the reasons why he thinks the venue is the best is because it’s basically three venues in one, the environment definitely stood out to him.
When asked what his favorite lyric that he’s ever written is, Tyler responded that “It always changes because it’s always the newest thing that I’ve wrote that I like the best.”
Tyler mentioned that the band is “coming back swinging.” That they have been writing a lot of new music and they will hit the ground running in 2020! We can’t wait for them to release their new album. Be sure to check it out when it drops!
Check out the full interview on our YouTube Page!
Interviewer: Jeanine Woody (Station Manager)
Interviewee: Christo Bowman
Date of Interview: 11/20/2019
Location of Interview: Towers A1 Lounge
Aired 12/2/2019 at 8pm
Bad Suns is a band whose music is timeless. We spoke with Christo Bowman (lead singer and guitarist) about his experience breaking into the music industry while staying true to the roots of their sound. The layering and production on their tracks definitely create an immersive experience for the listener, which represents the care placed on each track produced.
Christo mentioned how he became interested in learning how to play the guitar because of the movie School of Rock, which was actually filmed at Wagner College! He said “that was the first movie I saw where I realized that…you don’t have to be an adult. So that was why I started playing the guitar so young.”
The true artist helps the world be revealing mystic truth.
While writing lyrics and music for what would become Mystic Truth, the band got together and began collaborating to produce the album. They set up in their living room, since they were living together at the time, to focus on creating a final product that represented each of them. When the four members of Bad Suns get together to write their next album something amazing happens. Christo said, “something just kind of happens and we are all on the same wave-length.”
When asked what his favorite lyric that he has ever written was Christo replied with “my favorite lyrics are the ones that just hit me, that I completely understand. They’re what I’ve been thinking but I haven’t heard anyone else say.”
In 2020, Bad Suns hopes to keep up the same momentum they had while writing Mystic Truth. Their music has definitely inspired me and I know the staff and I cannot wait to hear what they do next!