Interview with Mondo Cozmo at ACL Festival: I Had Two Weeks to Write a Record. I Just Went Out, Took My Dog, a Bunch of Beer and My Computer

Photo by  Austin Roa

Photo by Austin Roa

We got the chance to have a quick chat with Mondo Cozmo during ACL Weekend 2. They discuss the makings of the album, Plastic Soul, and what it was like performing with Dan from Imagine Dragons.

Teal Magazine: To start off, where did the name Mondo Cozmo come from?

Mondo Cozmo: My dog’s name is Cozmo and I was watching a movie called Mondo Trasho, it’s this old movie with John Waters. I was just thinking, “Man, this is such a great name.” I just took the Mondo and put it with Cozmo and wanted it to look great on a t-shirt.

TM: You just toured with Bastille recently, how was touring with them like? Were there any interesting and memorable experiences?

Mondo Cozmo: The Bastille run was really good for us because we only had a handful of shows before then. Our first show with them was in front of ten thousand people, so we had to get good really fast and learned to work a big audience like that. For them to take us on at the stage we were at, it was really nice and sweet of them. Probably one of the nicest bands I’ve ever met too and they look after their opening acts like I’ve never seen before.

TM: We saw that Dan from Imagine Dragons actually covered Bittersweet Symphony with you? How was that like performing that song with him?

Mondo Cozmo: It was so cool. I’ve never met the guy before. He was coming to the show and we were like, ”Do you want to jump up on the stage?” and he says, ”Yeah!” We didn’t have time to rehearse the song with him or anything. The first time I saw him was when he starts walking up on stage and I’m like “That’s Dan from Imagine Dragons!”. To do that in Vegas was such a treat. We talked about it on the phone before he jumped up on stage and it was truly a rock n’ roll moment.

TM: Having been on multiple festival lineups over the past few months, what are you to expect at ACL?

Mondo Cozmo: This is awesome, this festival is so cool. This is our first [festival] where they do it two weeks in a row. After last week, we were like, “Wow we get to do this again next week!”  It was really cool and hope it’s not as hot as it was last week.

TM: Were you familiar with ACL fest?

Mondo Cozmo: I’ve always wanted to play it. I’ve played SXSW a lot. However, when we booked this, we were really excited.

TM: Which song of the album would you say holds the most meaning to you?

Mondo Cozmo: There’s a lot. Lyrically, Thunder is important to me. Plastic Soul is a special song to me. It really encapsulates the record. I just really like that one.

TM: I heard that you produced your record at Joshua Tree, how did being there play into your song writing process? Did you write on the road often while touring? Or did you happen to write all your songs within the two week period while making the album, Plastic Soul?

Mondo Cozmo: I had two weeks to write a record. I just went out, took my dog, a bunch of beer and my computer, I just went to town and got it done. It was exhilarating and scary all at the same time. I remember finishing the record one day early and going, ”Oh my gosh! This is amazing!” I was really proud of that.