Latest release: The Flood (Shock)Band site: www.facebook.com/ofmice
California’s Of Mice & Men are another member of the metalcore brood making their way to Australia next year as part of the mammoth Soundwave Festival. Speaking from outside the band’s tour bus in Reno, Nevada, vocalist Austin Carlile (formerly of Attack Attack!) gave Loud an update on their next album, the term “metalcore” and the festival shows.
Q: The third announcement of Soundwave acts was made earlier today and the lineup is looking even more stellar now. This will be your first time on the festival – what are your expectations?
A: I couldn’t be more excited, man. As soon as we found out we were playing I told my manager to give me a list of all the bands that were going to be on it, and I went through and I literally just… I didn’t know what to say. Just the fact that we get to play with so many legendary bands is just incredible. I’m so excited to come over there; I’ve wanted to come back to Australia ever since we left last time. So it’s really exciting, getting to play in front of so many people and with all of these legendary bands.
Q: Who are you keen to check out at the festival?
A: I’m definitely going to watch A Perfect Circle, Stone Sour, Slayer and Linkin Park. They’re my top four; I just really like their music and the artists and I’ll be really stoked to watch them live. I want to go to Australia and explore too; there’s so many awesome people there and places to go. I just want to go out, meet people and enjoy the experience of being on another continent. Last time we went there we got to do that. It was just a great feeling and I can’t wait to do it again.
Q: Of Mice & Men is likely an unknown quantity to many people attending Soundwave. What can people expect from one of your shows?
A: We’re really intense; we put on a really intense show and we go as hard as we can. Like if there’s four people watching or four thousand, we play that intense show. If you’re walking by and you hear us, give us two songs of your time. If you don’t like it, throw your beer at me, walk away and go watch another band. Give us ten minutes of your time and I guarantee you’ll appreciate something, take something away from watching us play.
Q: This is your second time here – the first visit was with The Amity Affliction.
A: Yeah, it was with The Amity Affliction and I Killed the Prom Queen. We’ve kept in contact with The Amity Affliction over the past few years; we had a US headlining tour and they actually opened for us. Then we came over there and opened for them on their Australian tour. They’re great guys and I can’t wait to get back on the road with them.
Q: Their new album just debuted at Number One here as well.
A: Yeah, I saw that; I contacted them on Instagram to congratulate them (laughs).
Q: Good to hear. Back on Of Mice & Men; The Flood was released last year and was a strong performer for the band. Are you actively working on a follow-up yet?
A: We’re doing a little bit of demoing on our bus here on the road. That gets really tiresome… It gets kinda hard to write on the road. But we have all of November and December off, so we plan on doing a fair share of the writing then. That’s when we want to take the most time to work on our next album. I must admit that the band has never been able to take time to write music (laughs). We’ve always had to rush. We literally have had three weeks one time and four weeks to write and record an album. With our break coming up it’ll be a nice treat to be able to take our time with it; think about it, change it and write more.
Q: It really does seem like it’s been a whirlwind few years since the band formed in 2009. Has it been difficult to take it all in?
A: Yeah, man. I don’t even… It’s like having a dream; we simply woke up one day, the band started and now we’re here (laughs). Which I guess is a good thing, because we’ve just been constantly on the road and constantly doing things, which is good because we want to work hard. But it’s been crazy; it’s been a whirlwind of a ride. But I’m so grateful that we got to the point where we are in a matter of just three years. I’m really proud of my band, my crew and our management now that we have; everyone’s just worked their asses off to get it to where it is right now. We’re out here because they all worked so hard.
Q: Where do you envision the next album heading then – heavier? More melodic? More diverse?
A: I think it will definitely be an accumulation of our re-release that we just put out and The Flood. With Of Mice & Men, we have the melodic choruses; parts that you can sing along to, and that’s something that we really want to touch on. We liked our new sound and we want to incorporate that… We want to put out a third album that’s just a little older, more mature-sounding Of Mice & Men. But we don’t want to step away from what we are, because our fans like Of Mice & Men; they don’t like us trying to sound like someone else or something like that. Whatever we write is the thing that we want to write; we don’t think about it too much… We want to write music that we know that our fans will like.
Q: I interviewed Miss May I recently and they were saying while they’re proudly a metalcore band, they feel the genre has become somewhat of a dirty word in recent years due to all the sound-a-likes. How do you feel about being dubbed a metalcore band?
A: I hate it. I hate (the use of) screamo, metalcore, post-hardcore, all of it. I think labels are for people that can’t just appreciate the music. We play hard rock, we play metal, we play heavy music and I think classifying it is just kinda brings all of these difficult things that I don’t really think matter. Watch a band and whether it be heavy metal, hardcore, screamo, nu metal, punk rock, whatever the hell you want to call it. If you like it, just fucking listen to it and don’t try to name it. We just want to play heavy music and have fun (laughs).
Q: Any famous last words?
A: Come out and watch us on Soundwave. Give us ten minutes; if you don’t like it, go watch some other band. But I guarantee you that you’ll at least be able to bang your head a little and enjoy some part of the show.
Of Mice & Men perform at Soundwave 2013 on the following dates:
Saturday 23rd February – Brisbane- SOLD OUT
Sunday 24th February – Sydney- SOLD OUT
Friday 1st March – Melbourne- SOLD OUT
Saturday 2nd March – Adelaide- SOLD OUT
Monday 4th March – Perth- SOLD OUT