Fill Our Plates: An Interview with Modern Original

by - September 20, 2022

Andy Warren and Josh Hogan have fully embraced the local music scene in Los Angeles.

After a solid decade in touring with The Mowgli’s, they felt out of touch with the scene that helped build them up. There was a time where they felt like they had their own collective; the competition was so fierce that these artists decided to come together instead of rally against one another. While they strayed away from that, it is now something they are building up again.

Warren and Hogan’s latest project, Modern Original, is very much a passion project that is missing all the external pressures of working alongside a major label. They admit that the longer their last band was together, the more disconnected they felt from the creation process. They went from a real group effort in the studio to a strange little amount of jadedness.

“We were always still very in love with the band and the process, but I would go and maybe track three songs on drums that day and hang out in the studio for a little bit, but then if the next day was vocal day, I didn't necessarily feel like I had to be there,” Warren said. “It was this weird detached feeling that honestly I'm not super stoked on how we all got to that place, so this has been a really nice re-excitement about how we used to approach music.”

They never want to feel that sense of detachment again, so they make sure they are hands-on in every aspect of the creation process. A prime example of that is their latest track, “Checkin’ Out”.

The song was co-written with professional drummer Ilan Rubin, who brought their ideas to life. It was like nothing they had ever written before, with lyrics of looking inward and realizing that there is a fine line between being fully involved and fully checking out. With its fluctuating tempos and distinctive harmonies, it is a song that just feels downright cool to them.

In addition to Modern Original, Warren can also be found in bands Strawberry Fuzz and The Scuba Kids, while Hogan also works with his wife, former Mowgli’s vocalist Katie Earl, currently a member of The Blushes. They have all become part of that collective that they have so desperately missed.

“We've really been really trying to fill our plates with music for fun,” Hogan said. “It's low pressure, and it's all just really good getting back to those roots of why we do this.”

They recognize that they do not have the same following or fanbase that came with The Mowgli’s, but this version of starting over has taught them patience and persistence. Warren said that with these new projects he has understood the idea of keeping an eye on the prize while growing as an artist.

“I think we've just been working together for so long and always respected each other, and this band really rejuvenated our partnership as writers together,” Warren said. “It's made it easy so now when we’re in sessions together with other people, Josh has really helped me get the confidence that I need to feel comfortable pitching a lyric or a melody because he listens to me. It's a good, loyal partnership.”

“It's almost like relearning all that stuff and being reminded of why we started doing this in the first place,” Hogan adds. “Andy and I have found ourselves in this really good mental headspace and artistic headspace. I have no complaints about anything; I feel really lucky and so blessed every day because I just get to make music for a living. I'm so grateful that we had the Mowgli's for so long and that we got to enter this bubble of music that I tried so hard to get into my whole childhood. It's all really good over here. Our smiley face logo is exactly how we feel.”

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