It’s been about a year since Colin Dieden left The Mowgli’s to venture off on his own. Since then he started his solo project called Little Hurt and has released three singles with a fourth on the way. Alternative Addiction talked with Dieden about Little Hurt’s start, the single “Better Drugs”, leaving The Mowgli’s and more.
“I just felt that it was time to explore,” began Dieden. “I had been in that band for a decade and I took it as far as a I thought that I could. I didn't want to spend the next decade the same way. I'm the kind of person that needs to shake things up and be super excited about what I'm doing. I wanted to do this, and I wanted to do it alone.”
According to Dieden the split was amicable. He’s friends with the band still and there wasn’t any real drama with him leaving.
“They all understood. They were still happy with what they were doing, and I think that’s great. That’s not what I wanted to do anymore, I wanted to do something else and I wish them the best.”
Dieden hinted at the reason why he moved on from The Mowgli’s and it is the same reason why The Mowgli’s have had to evolve over the past year too. When the band started out, they started out with the sole reason of only writing and recording positive music. Believe it or not, it’s a hard thing to do to only put out one kind of music consistently.
“For me, those songs were easy to write when I was 18 or 19 and stoned in Venice Beach. Then life happens. Your heart gets broken. You lose people. It becomes disingenuous to keep writing songs like that. I felt like it wasn't me at that point. I had lived more and experienced more. I didn't become a sad person, there was just more depth of character. I lived more so I had more to write about than everything is going to be alright. I didn't feel like I was being honest anymore so that was a huge part about why I had to go.”
After he left the group, Dieden didn’t know what he was going to do right away. A writing session sparked two key things for Colin; the song “Better Drugs” and then the actual project Little Hurt.
“Better Drugs was sort of the first song that was written for this. It wasn't even a project yet. I was in a writing session with some friends and we were sitting around, and we started writing what turned into Better Drugs. We finished it, and one of my friend’s just immediately said, ‘you’ve got to do something with his song. You’ve got to do a solo project with this song. Then I heard how much this song sounded like me too. I was already winding myself down mentally from The Mowgli’s, I didn't know what I was going to do, but I knew I had to move on one way or another and this became the next logical step.”
After deciding to do a solo project, next up was coming up with a name. Dieden waited until the very last minute to come up with a moniker, that’s when he came up with Little Hurt.
“It makes sense because my songs tend to be kind of sad. I needed a name and that’s what I figured out. Everybody gets a nickname in little league baseball. Because Frank Thomas was The Big Hurt, I got called Little Hurt. That’s what I was called in Little League, so I kind of remembered that and I rolled with that and moved onto the next thing. I sucked at baseball, but whatever the name was fun,” he added.
Moving from The Mowgli’s to Little Hurt was an adjustment for Dieden in some ways and more of the same in others. When it came to actually writing the material, his process didn’t change a lot between writing for The Mowgli’s and Little Hurt.
“You know I've always been the prominent writer in the projects I was doing. So, it hasn't been that different. I've always sort of spearheaded that aspect of things, that's always sort of been my department. That was the first thing I ever fell in love with was writing music. I have a crew of guys who I feel comfortable around and who I can open up with and I write songs with them for this. The intention behind this project is to be as honest as possible to the point that it's uncomfortable. So, I really have to work with people who I'm close to or else I can't access that part of myself.”
Performing live was a change for Dieden. He had shared the stage with the same people for a decade, moving on from that would be a challenge for anyone and it was for Dieden too.
“It was a little scary at first. There is nobody else to focus on, you are kind of 'the guy' up there. I'm used to having three other people who are front and center as well. I had a band that I hired so I'm not literally by myself, but I'm a solo artist. So, I had to take that leap and be comfortable. I've been a frontman for ten years, I'm good at what I do, I know how to do the job. That's me having to build that confidence. It's going to take a couple of shows, I'm not there yet, but it’ll happen.”-aa