Of Mice & Men is one of those bands that takes a punch and throws a counter right hook in response. They're a band that has gone through a considerable amount of adversity, losing a few members over the years. But lead vocalist Austin Carlile is happy to walk through the fire, and bring you the best songs that he possibly can. I was very excited to sit down once again with the man, the myth, the legend that is Austin Carlile, in Seattle, WA, right after the band leveled a extremely large crowd on the Kia Soul Main Stage.
First off, how're you feeling, man? I read you went to the hospital a few weeks back...
I feel great, that was a few weeks ago, I feel superb, stupendous, great.
What were you in the hospital for this time around?
I honestly don't remember, because I'm there all the time. Sometimes it's because I fall, sometimes it's because my heart is too big, sometimes I get an ammonia in my left lower lung, sometimes it's because of HIV...it just depends on the day.
Aside from being sick all the time, how was Warped this time around?
Warped tour is a lot of fun, and I'm super thankful to be a part of it again. What's the one thing you'll walk away with on this tour?
A lot of scars, a lot of scars, physical scars.
Oh, so not only do you get sick a lot, you also fall down a lot?
I go hard, yeah, haha!
What bands have you enjoyed watching on this tour?
Yellowcard, Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory, All Time Low, We The Kings, Breathe Carolina, Pierce The Veil, a bunch of homies on this tour.
Any new bands that you've discovered on this tour?
Discovered? No, but there's newer bands that are coming up that are really good are MOD SUN, Born of Osiris, Colt 43, Tomorrow's Bad Seeds, lots of cool bands that people should check out.
You guys just re-released The Flood on Rise Records, with four new songs: The Calm, The Storm, The Flood, and The Depths. What is the significance of the progression of the four new song titles?
We wanted to make four pissed off songs, and we didn't want to have an album that sounded like that, so we just did four new songs. The re-release actually did really well, and we're going to take a step away from it, and the new album is going to sound like a mixture of the three albums that we've done.
Can you explain "The Depths" a bit more? When you guys released it, people came up with their own ideas of what it was about, whether it was written about Shayley or not, etc. [EDIT: AUDIO CAN BE FOUND HERE]
No, I won't ever waste a single nerve ending on Shayley, will never write a single song about him, will never care -- he is irrelevant to this band, and irrelevant to our lives. We wrote "The Depths" because I was pissed off about life in general, and about people being hateful. We released "The Depths" because it was the furthest thing from what we've previously recorded. So releasing it, we wanted to throw people through a loop, and get people talking, which they did, and have people go "Oh, they wrote this about someone!" or "Oh, they're changing their style!". We know how much people talk, and it's literally a joke to see people react to such a small thing, when they don't know the entire basis of the entire story.
Last time we chatted, you mentioned that you were listening to Mumford and Sons, Sigur Ros, and Alberta Cross when writing The Flood. What were you listening to this time around, when writing these new songs?
Nothing, actually. I did the vocals on these new songs in 3 days, so I just went with it, and what felt natural.
So we have Aaron Pauley, formerly of Jamie's Elsewhere joining you guys as a fill in vocalist/bassist on this tour. Is he a permanent member now? Or what is he up to?
We don't know yet, we're dating him. We always joke around and say we're dating him, and we could either date him and dump him, and just be friends...or we could date him and marry him, and have lots of little babies. It just depends on how the relationship goes.
Is there a projected date you're looking to figure that out?
We're just going with it. We've only been a band for 2 and a half years, so it's really cool that we get time to settle down and think about things, and slow down, and think about what we want to do.
So you have a new album on the way. What can you tell me about it? I want to know EVERYTHING.
It's going to be amazing. Our first album we wrote in three weeks, our second album we wrote in the studio with Alan and myself writing it by ourselves in the matter of a week. This third album, we get to take months and months of writing time. I'm actually going to Costa Rica right after this to go write, so I get to be by myself and write music, and go have "me time" -- I haven't had "me time" in the past three years, so I'm excited to go and write, and dig into my mind and my soul, and see what I can pull out to create with.
At a surface level, are there any immediate topics that comes to mind as far as lyrical content goes?
Life; we've always been a really real band, we always write about real issues, and relatable things that the average person can adhere to and comprehend. The average person can listen to one of our songs, and say "Okay, I completely understand what they're talking about", and that's something I want to keep with our music, is keeping our music relatable to people -- because that's who's buying or downloading our music.
I guess is it more of an continuation of where you've been in the past?
Kind of, but it's more of a progression towards the future though. I'm tired of looking back on the past, if it happened 5 minutes ago, then I don't give a shit anymore, that's my opinion.
Something we're both stoked about, is Aspire & Create joining the Buzz Media network. What can you tell us about this company?
It's a clothing line that I started, that in part gives back. I can't wait to work with it more in the future; I started it on a whim, and it took off, and I can't wait for things with the band to slow down so I can start working on it more.
Where would you like it to go in the near future? Where do you sortof envision?
I honestly don't know. Just to have it, and have it support me and my friends, and people who wants to be part of the movement.
Is there a new band you can recommend? Or even a new album?
There's this DJ, his name is Skrillex...
Yeah, he made 15 Million recently, haha.
As far as touring goes, what's your fall/winter look like? I know you're heading overseas with Memphis May Fire...
Yeah, we're doing a headliner overseas, U.K. and Europe, but actually in three weeks, another tour starts in the fall, which will get announced in two days [August Burns Red U.S. Fall headliner], then we have a day off, then we're off to Europe.
It makes me wonder what actually happened... He's always sounded like a jackass, but he kinda came off like a dick on this one... That whole video saying everyone is cool, and he's just like, yeah well, fuck Shayley, this that.