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INTERVIEW: Mo Lowda & the Humble

Hi Mo Lowda, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’ve been great… first couple weeks of tour have gone well.  Stoked to have the new record out and to be playing more of the new stuff that we’ve been sitting on for so long.

Can you talk to us more about your most recent single “Why’d It Take So Long”?

“Why’d it Take So Long” was one of the first songs I wrote that was fully intended to be on this full-length after we released our EP ‘Act Accordingly’… we sort of just jammed on it at practice a few times until it started to come together.  I originally wrote the intro as the sort of surf-y instrumental piece that comes in after the first chorus… however, I eventually changed my mind and thought the first line would be more compelling if it just dropped into full band right off the bat.  That way when the post-chorus instrumental section does finally happen it would potentially hit harder, considering it only happens that one time and introduces and new variation on the chords.  It decelerates the tune nicely into the relaxed feel of the second verse. The chorus just sort of happened naturally and felt right from the first melody I ad-libbed over it and the big, major sounding bridge is sort of my ode to My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses and some other great southern rock bands.  Big harmonies over rockin’ guitars baby.

Did any event inspire you to write this song?

I think just going through life and having a bunch of failed relationships (not always the worst thing).  I’ve learned from all of them, but sometimes it seems that there was never really supposed to be a relationship there to start.  The concept of the song revolves around that idea: that a relationship is doomed from the beginning, yet there are enough distractions and attraction to sort of mask that.  So “Why’d it Take So Long” to fall apart?  However I end up learning from them and often times the person ends up having some sort of impact on my life at some point down the road.  I think we’re all molded by our experiences, good and bad.

Any plans to release a video for the track?

Not as of now. But we will see!  We work with a super talented director/videographer Kirby Sybert… so he may cook something up.

The single comes off your new album Creatures – what’s the story behind the title?

The title “Creatures” came about after every song had already been recorded. It can be found in a line in the chorus of the track “Piece of the Pie” that states “I don’t mind creatures crawling on the walls behind me”.  Other than the fact that we thought it sounded cool as an album title, I’ve thought more and more about what it means and why I even used that word in the first place.   Really, we are all creatures.  This band consists of 3 creatures, who have come together to create something. I’m sort of fascinated by the fact that 99.9% of the “creatures” on this planet are only really concerned with the basics; with survival.  Yet ONE species of creatures constantly chases the extracurricular thrills in this world… MUSIC, art, film, sports – anything that makes you happy or takes you out of reality for that split second while you are engulfed in it.   We’re all creatures… but we are interesting creatures at that.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was incredibly easy/positive.

We recorded the whole album ourselves.  Shane Woods, our drummer, engineered the entire thing with help from our bassist Jeff Lucci, and we just sort of did it on our own time.  It was great.  We booked a week off the bat to bang out a bunch of bass and drum tracks… then, since we all live within a mile of the studio, it just sort of became this “okay who can do a few hours Thursday night?” sort of thing to finish all the overdubs.  It was fun as hell and super freeing to be in complete control.  The workflow was smooth and we all were getting pretty fired up about the tones and takes we were getting.  It felt good to knock out a great take and feel the energy and hopefulness of everyone in the room.  It was hard to know when it was really done… there’s always some “cool shit” you can add… or even take away.  Kyle Pulley of Headroom Studios helped us a lot with those decisions in the mixing process and we’re all stoked on how the album ended up sounding.

What role does Philadelphia play in your writing?

This is a good question.  Directly? I’m not sure…  there are some Philly references in the lyrics of our last EP but nothing nearly as transparently Philadelphia on “Creatures.”  We all grew up in the burbs outside of Philly, though we all live in the city now.  I’ve always been drawn to nature especially in my writing, so I think in that way… it actually may create more of a yearning for nature and open space that you don’t find in the city.  On the other hand, the city provides a plethora of different people that you come across, from all different backgrounds.  The song “Tied Up” is my sort of imagining of what it would be like to grow up in the inner city with nothing, and the odds stacked against you.  I’ve only had the chance to observe it, never lived it.  But living in the city, and seeing the type poverty that is still so prevalent can be quite alarming/moving at the same time.

What aspect of greed and homelessness did you get to explore on the record?

Greed is touched upon constantly in our tunes.  I just don’t give a shit about money at this point in my life.  I think it ruins people when they get too focused on it. I understand the reality of needing it to survive, l and I’m not one of those live off the land and fuck the establishment dudes… but I hate prioritizing it over real relationships and experiences. Card Shark tells a fictional tale (not so fictional for some people) of a guy getting caught up in a gambling addiction and starting to sacrifice all the other aspects of his life until he loses it all.  I wrote it on a plane ride home from a Las Vegas trip… I had just graduated college, had basically no money, and was playing $5 tables with some buddies for a couple nights- pretty harmless.  I broke even on the trip, BUT, I saw how easy it could be for some people to get so deep into that gambling hole, and how it could ruin families and relationships.

Standing in place touches upon the greed that I started to see in my peers following college graduation.  Everything immediately became about money, and business deals, and possessions and I was just so far on the other end of the spectrum at the time.  I was working a $12 an hour job just to save up so I could tour with the band.  I grew up never having to worry about money, my family was upper middle class… I was lucky, but never spoiled.  My dad was always extremely frugal, he valued security, not items.  When I lost him 4 years ago to cancer, it shook my world.  However, one of the biggest things I took from it, was that when he left this world, he couldn’t take any possessions with him, nor money… he took our intense love with him, he took the impact he had made on people’s lives, and he left a legacy through his experiences and relationships, not the money he had made in his time here. That’s where the line “we can’t leave with these things in our hands” comes from in ‘Standing in Place’.

Homelessness is touched on in ‘Piece of the Pie’.   I tried to put myself in the shoes of a homeless person and the ridicule and judgement they face daily… I don’t think it’s fair to assume all homeless people must’ve done something themselves to get in that position, whether it be drugs or crime, or whatever.  Sometimes circumstances, mental illness, or family tragedies put people in a very difficult position and homelessness ends up being a brutal cycle that is hard to break out of.  It can happen in a blink, which is embodied in the line “Don’t you know you’re only one home away from (having) none at all.”

Any plans to hit the road?

We’re on a 2 month tour at the moment.  Seems like we never STOP hitting the road.  It’s a blast and we’re feeling good about the reception and turnouts we’ve been getting.

What else is happening next in Mo Lowda & The Humble´s world?

Honestly, we are laser focused on this tour and this album right now… we have some great festival spots this summer though including Peach Fest, Mile of Music, Oskar Blues Burning Can, and Hall & Oates’ Hoagie Nation Festival. Other than that… just a lot of ridiculous nights, laughs, meeting fans, making friends, strange situations… and some booze of course.

For more information:

Website: http://www.molowda.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MoLowda/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/molowda

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/molowda/

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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