Australia’s Stella Mozgawa Talks Warpaint and Living Her LA Dream

Los Angeles Warpaint’s fourth studio album Radiate Like This reveals a new depth to their sound that’s only possible when you’ve been making music as long as they have.

The four-piece which formed on Valentine’s Day in 2004, and tried out many drummers before they met Australian Stella Mozgawa in 2009, lean on indie rock as much as they channel all the shades of alt-rock meanderings.

Mozgawa met the band via an introduction from Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Flea. The rest is a LA rock’n’roll tale that’s still being written.

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Both a drummer and producer, Mozgawa was born and raised in Sydney Australia before she made the decision to move to LA in 2006. She’s played drums on many albums including for Welsh singer Cate Le Bon’s Pompeii in 2022, Kurt Vile, St Vincent and Sharon Van Ettem.

She recently co-wrote the 17-ambient tracks for Courtney Barnett’s award-documentary Anonymous Club made by filmmaker Danny Cohen; which premiered at SXSW in 2022.  She’ll now join Barnett on an instrumental tour later this year in the USA, and in Australia early next year.

For someone who keeps busy working with other bands, being in Warpaint allows her to drop the producer hat to play the full-time musicians.

“We had more time to make this record due to the pandemic, but as a result and silver lining of that, we weren’t in a pressure cooker situation in a studio rushing to make our dreams happen,” says Mozgawa.

“We had more time to absorb and process what we wanted to do, and that allowed for a more meticulous album. I think our friendships have also really grown over the years, we’re comfortable to say what we feel and that also made the song writing process a different experience to previous albums,” she says.

“And there is something to be said for the history between us,” she adds.

“With every record we have come closer to a distilled version of what the band is. On the first few albums you figure the boundaries and push them sometimes. With this record it feels the most cohesive. We get closer and closer to being a pure version of ourselves. It also comes to communicating betters as collaborators and friends and getting older.”

 The band was asked to take part in a jeans campaign for Calvin Klein in 2013. It was an indie step in a new direction which saw them fly to New York to do the shoot.

“That was a major moment for us,” Mozgawa says.

“To get us in the mood they kept playing our song Love Is To Die in the background. A group of models in the audience pretended to squeal and dance around us. It was like making a video clip and they tried to make us comfortable in our world. We got to jam and play a few songs as they we’re photographing us. It was fun,” Mozgawa says.

Warpaint heads to Australia this October – both at Harvest Rock in Adelaide, The EightySix Festival in Melbourne and other club headline shows.

“We can’t wait to bring the band back to Australia. I moved back for a year and a half before covid and spent time in Sydney, Byron Bay and Melbourne,” she says.

And what’s more, perhaps she’s following in the steps she saw her parents take before her.

“My parents were musicians who played in bands in their native Poland in the 70s and 80s. When they moved to Australia they kept playing and it’s something they did until I was in high school,” she says.

“Seeing them working and live out their love of music definitely had a huge impact on me. As a spoilt only child it made me feel  feel anything was possible.”

WARPAINT AUSTRALIAN TOUR

  • Saturday, 21st October – A and I Hall, Bangalow NSW.
  • Sunday, 22nd October – The Zoo, Brisbane QLD.
  • Monday, 23rd October – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney NSW.
  • Thursday, 26th October – Northcote Theatre, Melbourne VIC – w/ Bright Eyes.

 

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