It has been an eventful few years for Of Mice & Men, full of highs and lows. And 2012 has been no different. Featuring a massive lineup change, an album re-release and work on their third studio album, next year is an exciting one for the band. Vocalist Austin Carlile sat down to chat with Kill Your Stereo about heading to Australia, the new album and what is to come for his band.
Hey Austin, thanks for chatting with Kill Your Stereo, how are you going?
I am okay, it’s 1.30 in the morning and I’m walking around Reno, Nevada.
We are all very excited to hear that Of Mice and Men will be heading back to Australia to play Soundwave. How are you guys feeling about the festival?
We couldn’t be more excited. We heard that we were on it and I immediately called my manager and I said ‘email me now with a list of all the bands that are on it’ and he showed it to me and I was reading through it and, I was just, words cant even describe, we are super excited to play with some of the bands I either grew up listening to or that influenced us or just bands that we are really stoked to be able to watch every day.
You haven’t been back here for quite a while so we are very happy about the announcement!
Awesome. Every since we were over there, as soon as we left I was already wanting to come back.
The lineup is massive, are there any bands that you are personally excited to check out on the tour?
I am interested in seeing Stone Sour, Linkin Park, A Perfect Circle, I love those bands, those artists are great artists and I really respect them. Im stoked to be able to one play with them and two just be able to watch them every day.
Have you heard much about the festival and what are you expecting from it?
I don’t know. All the things that I’ve heard are just good, positive things; that the shows are massive, that you’ll have fun, and they’re great, and the catering and the people and its just a good time. So I’m really stoked to be able to go and experience all these things that people say and I’m also stoked to play in front of thousands of people every day, I don’t know anybody that wouldn’t be excited to do that.
While it is still very far away, what do you think Australia can expect from Of Mice and Men? Especially those that didn’t get to see you last year?
We have fun. We go on, and whether we play for thirty minutes or an hour we put our heart and soul into it to every set that we play. Just give us one or two songs, then if you don’t like it you can throw something at us and walk away, but I can guarantee that if you like any kind of music from three quarters of the bands on Soundwave you’ll enjoy watching us and I hope that the people that watch us have half as much fun watching as we do on stage. It’s the reason why we wake up in the morning and it’s literally the best part of my day. We are really intense too and we go really hard and when we play I want people to watch us and say, ‘wow, that was intense’, I want them to walk away enjoying it.
You get a lot of down time on Soundwave, so is there anything you have on your Australian bucket list?
I don’t know, last time we went we did a lot of sight seeing and saw the Opera House in Sydney, and we saw this and that, this time I just literally, I just want to go out and see people, you know meet a group of ten people and hang out all day, take me to parks and clubs, your house. I love going to other countries and being able to experience everything, it is one of the greatest things I feel like I get to do in my life.
Do you have a preference when it comes to playing smaller tours like Destroy Music when you were here last time or headlining shows compared to the big festivals like Soundwave?
I don’t, I like them both equally. I like the smaller shows where I can really get out there and I can jump off of stuff and get people’s sweat on me and put the mic in people’s faces and do things like that but at the same time I love the festival shows as well because you get to walk out and hear thousands of people screaming and its one of the greatest feelings in the world. I love both, I can play in front of 40 people and I can play in front of thousands of people, it wouldn’t change the performance, it wouldn’t change the thrill, being able to play music for me, and being able to play in front of people that like it at least a half as much as I do is just the greatest feeling and I am super excited to come over there to play for massive crowds –laughs-
You guys recently re-issued The Flood with four new songs, what made you guys decide to put that little package together?
We wanted to be angry for a bit. The songs are a lot heavier and faster and you can hear that they are a lot more angry. We wanted to do that but we didn’t want to do an entire album revolving around that, so we just put it together kind of like an EP added to the front to try and touch on that and see how our fans reacted to it and the reaction has been absolutely amazing and we couldn’t be happier, whether it be online, on tumblr or twitter or facebook or live. When we play the songs live kids and our fans just go absolutely crazy for them and that is such a cool feeling for us to know how they react to this little step so that we know that we can take more in the future and that people will really accept it.
Did you get all the angry out with the four songs?
-laughs- I will always be angry, that’s why I like having that thirty minutes on stage, that’s my laying down talking to my shrink, by you know, yelling in people’s faces. That’s not the whole story as far as our sound, Of Mice & Men is, you know, there’s a lot of choruses, and the soaring parts and the build ups and the sing-alongs and that is something that we definitely don’t want to steer away from we just kind of want to put a different spin on it and so that our future music can be an accumulation of everything that we have done in the past.
Was the writing and recording process quite different this time around compared to when you headed in to originally record The Flood?
Oh man, our process now is much different. With our first album and then with The Flood, the album that came after, we were super rushed to write and record them, when I say rushed it was like 3 to 4 weeks, and that’s not near enough time to put together a record because it might be a year and a half, two years until you make a new album. This time we took our time on it, we get to write demos of songs and listen to them and let them marinate and really listen to them and grow with them and change them and make other ideas for those songs and make new ideas from the changes and have 20 songs written when only 14 make it to the album and that is something I am really excited to do as a band because Of Mice & Men have never been able to take their time on an album and we are more than excited to be able to do that.
So does this mean Of Mice and Men have a new album on the way?
Not quite on the way, we are writing it right now, then we will take November and December to really get into it. We are expecting it within the first half of 2013 for it to be out and for people to check it out.
Awesome, so we might even get some more new music at Soundwave?
I do hope so. By then we will have a new song released, and we will definitely be able to come to Australia and play some more of the newer material. I always love playing new songs, especially on this tour we are playing two of them, and the reactions have been absolutely insane and I want to be able to do that in Australia as well.
You have the band’s sole vocalist for quite a while now, how did you like that role?
I did that for two tours, we had a UK and a European headlining tour, and I did both and I loved it. Oh man, it’s so hard [laughs], but its so much fun being able to take over both and being the writer and the song writer and then being able to do all of that live is the greatest feeling, but now we have a good friend of mine, his name is Aaron Pauley, his just finished his first tour with us which was Warped Tour and people loved him and the fans really accepted him and he has been a great addition to the band, we don’t know if he is going to be a permanent addition but for right now we just say that we are kind of dating him, and we could dump him in the future or we could marry him, it just depends how the future comes and what that brings.
He is good in bed and he does treat us well though so we’d probably be dumb not to marry him [laughs].
When you are writing for an album what inspires you? What do you like to surround yourself with?
I think my biggest influence towards writing is just life. Ask any of our fans what they take away from Of Mice & Men and what they get out of it and it’s that we are real, I write about real things, and yeah “booties up in the club and raining money, cash, hoes everywhere” that stuffs cool but for Of Mice & Men I’d rather sing about stuff that other people can relate to so that people can hear a song and go “wow I have experienced the same thing” or “wow I have gone through that same thing” that’s what I want people to walk away with. I want people to hear our songs and be just as inspired, we want people to hear our songs and walk away from it going I can use this in my life in this way and I can use this in my friendship in this way or I can use this song for my relationship or I can use this song for my Grandpa passing away or for a cheating wife or for a cheating husband, I can use this for bullying at school, for whatever it comes down to and that’s something I really pride myself on is writing music that people can relate to and that people can take something from and use it for their own benefit in their lives.
You and the band use social media really well to interact with your fans. You see people all the time telling you on twitter, for example, how much your music means to them. Is it important is it for you to have that immediate connection with them?
Oh yeah, absolutely. That is something really important to me and I feel like we got to this point where we are in three years and to me that’s not by chance, we worked out butts off to get here, I think it’s because we are actually making music that can help people, we’re making music that people can relate to so much and having those tweets from people on twitter and people writing on blogs and whether they need me or they hear a song and it changes their life, I think it is something that’s caught on and it shows that we are doing this thing for a reason and using this position that I have, and I use it for that reason.
Besides taking time off to prepare your new album, what is next for Of Mice and Men before you head down to Australia?
We have, right after this tour we have a UK/European headlining tour again and it goes all the way to Halloween and I just found out today that the last show sold out for that one as well, so we have an entire headlining sold out tour, and then we have November and December off which we will spend writing and then a little bit of a surprise that we can’t talk about in January and then February we head down there for Soundwave.
Is there anything else you wanted to add before we let you go?
Just that we love Australia, I had so much fun when we were there and I have been excited to go back ever since and we look forward to it and we cant wait. Like I said at least listen to two or three songs live and if you don’t like it then throw something at us and go watch another band but I guarantee if you give us a chance you wont be disappointed.