I started taking notice of songwriter Mike Mosley when I heard Brian Lambert cover his song “Cool Down.” Originally recorded by Mike’s band Junior Mozley, “Cool Down” has a strong 90s indie rock vibe reminiscent of Cracker and the Foo Fighters. Now recording as Jr. Moz Collective, Mike is moving ahead in a similar vein with a new song (available in two different mixes) called “I Won’t Be.” Quick disclaimer: Brian Lambert and I mixed the song, and I provided the art work for both mixes. That said, I’d be a fan of Mike Mosley whether I worked with him or not—and regardless of what his band is called.

To my ears, your music has a strong 90s vibe. Is there a sound you’re consciously going for, or it more like that’s just the kind of sound you naturally make?

Well I’m 46. Graduated high school in ‘93. So, talent shows etc… We played Alive and Teen Spirit and I got to live then. But back then, I was mostly into power pop. Jellyfish, Jason Falkner post-JF, but also the Afghan Whigs, Radiohead. Then I also got heavy into 70’s singer songwriters like James Taylor, J Denver, Jim Croce, Carole King etc. Worked at a cool indie record store, and the older employees exposed me to a ton. But also as a younger teen late ‘80s I got into heavy stuff: Metallica And Justice for All was big to me. Queensryche. All that stuff.

 In the 90s I didn’t write like songwriters in the 90s but wanted to. So, whatever you call my style, I think it’s finally what I always wanted it to be. Probably has a lot of 90s influence. I still love those 90s Lemonheads albums for instance. 

How long have you been making music? What has your musical journey looked like?

My Dad bartered me out of the line to sign up for football at 12 by promising to buy me a guitar. That worked. At some point trying to write songs rather than learning covers meant more to me. Had a 2 track tascam in ‘94 or so. My late friend Tim, who was older than me by 12 years or so, and I wrote the most Beatley songs we were capable of. Still have that stuff. He passed untimely in ‘15. I still think about him every single day. Every single day. 

I’m curious about the switch from Junior Mozley to Jr. Moz Collective. Is that something you’re okay talking about?

Staff changes basically. That’s happened a few times, but by tying my name to it, it’s mine. But I have the respect of former collaborators to change it slightly names so what we formerly did is ours (mine and former folks I worked with). The “collective” so far is Me, Paul Prater on drums, and you and Brian. Paul and I have known each other since our first band in 6th grade. Great guy. 

As a side note, I love the word “collective.” What’s behind your use of that word in the name of the band?

The “collective” so far is Me, Paul Prater on drums, and you and Brian. Paul and I have known each other since our first band in 6th grade. Great guy. But I’ve worked with a bunch of great musicians, engineers, producers for years. And I’m always open to working with anyone I’ve worked with before. I can’t think of anyone I wouldn’t work with really; but, like for instance some I can’t like Tim who passed away. Anyone else, they know how to find me. Finally though, the cost informs what I’m doing at a particular time. Right now, I’m trying to be a bit more conservative about my music costs for other reasons. 

We were chatting a while back, and you mentioned that you’ve known the drummer on “I Won’t Be” for quite a while. What’s it like to play music with someone you’ve known for so long?

Comforting. We live a street over so that’s easy. But truly is my brother as in our respective parents raised both of us. Paul.

Your lyrics—particularly in “I Won’t Be”—suggest persistence in the face of disappointment. What draws you to this theme?

I know how to write songs a certain way. And it’s all something that has occurred in life. And I of course change themes a bit so it’s not on the nose. But most of my writing is poison pen stuff really.

What informs your songwriting?


I had the good fortune of hearing your album “Pop Salad.” When did you record that one? Was it ever released? What’s the story there?

I had said ‘96. It was ‘98. Recorded at home as a thing for me apart from Tim and I. He probably helped engineer some of it and as I listen an old friend Mike Hollis probably played drums on 2 songs. Also a good fella. In ‘98 as I recall there was nowhere to release anything you made at home. Just gave it to friends. 

How does music fit into your life? In broad terms, why is it important to you?

It’s therapy. I am past the point where Tim and I were enjoying it as in let’s make the coolest chord progression we can and harmonize like crazy and be the Beatles. Tim and I played as a duo a couple times. We did Under the Milky Way, maybe some White Album stuff and our stuff. It was a lot of fun. Now, I don’t know. I gotta get feelings out. That’s how I do it.

Any plans for the future?

As long as I’m upright, I’ll write and record as long as I got issues to deal with. At 46, I wouldn’t have thought that would still be the case. It is though more than ever. So, the Collective is coming hard like a freight train. That’s the plan.