Wasting Time: An Interview with Modern Original


Josh Hogan and Andy Warren had written a song that was about to be scrapped. Their band, The Mowgli’s, decided to take an indefinite hiatus. A global pandemic was threatening their livelihood. Were they just wasting their time? What would they even do with this song?

Start a new project, of course.

Modern Original had its path begin to carve through that song - which will soon be released - and another song - which was definitely scrapped. They were calling it “Modern Original” (see where this story is going?) but felt like they were trying to jam two songs together instead of one cohesive piece. It ended up working out in their favor, however, because the search for a band name was not going well.

“In this endless search for a band name I remember that song and actually thought it was really cool,” Hogan said. “It's one of those things that now that that's the name we're finding all these great meanings and all this hidden code in there.”

This project has given them the opportunity to explore new ways to create music, whether it’s a Zoom writing session with songwriters from London or testing the sounds of an instrument they’ve never heard before while producing a new track. Whatever the new exploration is, Hogan said the feeling of genuinely wanting to write songs has finally made its way back to him after being lost for some time.

They also have the opportunity to release music as independent artists, meaning there are no time restrictions or music executives to take away that genuine feeling. They’ve built the foundation themselves, and now the band and their audience get to build the rest.

While it has been a positive experience thus far, a bit of fear and anxiety plays into it.

Releasing their first single, “Turn It Around”, could have gone in any direction. Fans of The Mowgli’s may not have been into it. It may never get radio play. John Stamos may never tweet about it. Luckily, all of those things happened.

“I always had this fear that maybe I just wasted a lot of time in my life - like a lot of this time was for nothing - in The Mowgli's specifically,” Hogan said. “[Watching ‘Turn It Around’ get recognition] really gave me a bit of a boost and it helped me to see that none of that was wasted time.”

Despite the fear of not knowing how “Turn It Around” would be received, they knew that it had to be their first single.

“Almost every single time I played it for someone, and even for myself, I thought everything else was the previews and ‘Turn It Around’ was the movie,” Hogan said. “It grabs you immediately and it was just in my opinion the best way for us to enter the world as this new project.”

Their second single, “I’m An Alien”, was inspired by a group text and became one of the easiest songs they’ve written so far. It asks the questions that everyone has been thinking the last year and a half - What are days? What is time? Do I have any friends anymore? It’s a song for anyone who has ever felt disconnected from society, and finding acceptance and healing from that.

Modern Original are all about embracing your inner weirdo. They may still be searching for what they want this project to be, but anyone along for the ride is surely not wasting their time.