We’re over 150 days with a COVID response in the U.S., or we’re 150 days with the lack of one. However you want to acknowledge the situation, it’s been an unmitigated disaster and it’s looking unlikely that it will be done anytime soon. It’s affected everyone and everything and things that were commonplace, like concerts and nights out…. Those aren’t gone but they’re gone for people with any reasonable amount of mental capacity. That’s why anything you can do to find solace for an hour among a day of chaos… that’s cool. Enter The Mowglis, their new app, and their new AR concert experience. It’s not going to make your woes go away anytime soon, but it might give you a nice reprieve from them.
Bands having their own apps was big in 2010, it hasn’t been a big thing since. There wasn’t any content that was worth checking out that couldn’t have been found on other platforms or on the band’s website. The Mowgli’s app is different and it’s because of the AR concert feature. It works like most augmented reality, you open the app, tap on the feature, and scan your surroundings with your camera. Once it figures out a place to put the five members of the band, the show starts. I have a smallish office where I work out of and the band performed on my desk. It scratched my live music itch and it was a cool way to spend a few minutes watching a show. Alternative Addiction recently talked with The Mowglis’ Josh Hogan about the app, the AR experience, and writing new music.
“We were approached by our managers to do it,” said Hogan about the AR concert experience. “They were working with Buzznog and The Knitting Factory people. Those are the people who were putting it together. It came up as an experimental thing that we were going to try. So, we jumped in and we had no clue with what we were doing. They gave us some guidance and we did it quarantine-style. Everyone shot themselves separately with a backing track. It came through our management, who we love and trust. It was experimental, and we just ended up jumping into it with an open mind to just try it. We were in quarantine and it was something to do.”
Video in general is a painstakingly long process. It’s more work than you think it is, almost guaranteed. There’s a lot of intricacies that have to be followed while filming and there’s a lot of details that need to be observed while editing. With 360 videos for an AR concert? Yeah, there’s more than usual. It’s something that Josh and the rest of The Mowglis had some initial problems with, but they eventually figured it out and put it together.
“When we tour, we play with a bit of a backing track and there's click in our in-ears. That's how we were able to build out this show and all play in separately. Without that I don't know how we could have done this. When we started, we immediately did it wrong. We shot the drums first and it looked like he was tilting forward because the angle of the camera was weird. Then we grasped the whole concept, figured out the angle where the camera needed to be and shared it with each other. We have a rehearsal space in Echo Park, and everybody went there separately and filmed themselves,” added the Mowglis guitarist.
The Mowglis AR Concert Experience
Luckily, the band didn’t have to edit the video, they just had to film themselves in a specific way and do a good job with their performances. After that, they handed it off to their team and the developers and they put the rest together. The result is something completely. You can check it out and see that the possibilities for the technology is untapped and so far, The Mowglis have done one of the better jobs of making a practical use of it.
Right now, the band’s emphasis is to promote their app and the AR concert experience, but they’ve been passing time through the hell of 2020 like a lot of artistic types have. They create when they can, and they don’t when they’re kind of emotionally worn out from everything.
“During quarantine we started recording ourselves to see if we could,” said Hogan about recording the music that they’ve been working on. “There were a few songs we chose that really worked for that. So, we're going to release those soon. We've been trying to stay creative. We've been doing livestream concerts, we almost did too many of those and it started to feel redundant. There’s such a thing as too many.”
“We were doing some writing and things and then when George Floyd's murder happened that changed our whole focus. It was hard to even think about writing music then. I had a session that day, and we just cancelled it. There’s been moments in this where I haven’t been able to write and moments where I can. Right now, I’m in a state where I’m feeling all these things and it's genuine and I’m writing again.”
You can find The Mowglis app and the AR concert in the iOS App Store, just search The Mowglis and you’ll get what you’re looking for. For a direct link and more info, you can visit The Mowglis official site at TheMowglis.com. -aa
Download The Mowglis app for iOS