caught up with Of Mice And Men back stage in Birmingham
to talk about their forthcoming album, the Warped
Tour and much more.
you give us a brief history of the band such as
how you came together and came up with the name
Of Mice and Men?
Austin: The stars we’re aligned. We got
picked by the hand of Zeus, Nah I’m kidding.
Valentino: The band started about 2 years ago
we all came from different groups to form our
band and create music, this is the second tour
this line up has done. The name came from the
book called “Of Mice and Men”.
Austin: The idea of the book.
Valentino: Yeah, the idea of creating and moving
your dreams and focusing on achieving those dreams
which is what we do every day.
you formed back in 2009 you have gone through
a number of line-up changes, how are you feeling
about the current band line-up and can you see
this being a permanent fixture for Mice and Men?
Valentino: Given the different line-ups of the
band, I think the people who have been in the
band longest feel that this is a very solid line
up. It’s something we can all enjoy and
have fun; not to say we didn’t enjoy the
other ones it’s just this one works the
best for us as far as personality, musicianship
and overall excitement goes.
are currently working on your second studio album
‘The Flood’, how have you found the
whole writing and recording process this time
Valentino: The albums done and is slated for an
early summer release; and the writing process
Shay if you want to take that one.
Shayley: Well I just sat down and wrote music
ha ha. No we all collaborated, Alan had ideas
on his own, we had ideas of our own and we tried
to mash them together and tried to develop more
of a party metal and rock sound.
Valentino: Yeah we all got to work as a group
and really sit and work on things in the studio.
We produced a sound that is Of Mice & Men’s
first album, we just did it better. We’ve
been using the word mature a lot but that what
it is, we’re not the same musicians we were
2 years ago and it really shows in the music for
the new album.
has influenced you this time around?
Alan: Nu-Metal ha ha.
Austin: Everything that’s been happening
in the past couple years of our lives has really
influenced us to write about it and to bring out
on the table because we just wanted to be real
with it. Most people make up a whole bunch of
bullcrap because its sounds cool; we just wanted
to write about stuff that’s actually real,
thought through and that means something to us.
would you say ‘The Flood’ is going
to compare to your debut self titled album?
Austin: I think it’s a lot better. I was
listening to it this morning before anyone else
Valentino: I definitely woke up while you were
listening to it.
Everyone: Ha ha!
Austin: You what?
Valentino: It was so loud in your headphones.
Austin: Ha ha! Exactly but I enjoy listening to
it, Shayley sings a lot more on it and I think
he sounds great; so I enjoy his parts and the
guitar parts. There are a lot more light parts,
there are a lot more heavy parts, there are a
lot more vocal parts and I think it’s much
more structured than our last album which I think
is really good.
themes and stories feature on ‘The Flood’?
Austin: Sex, Drugs, Hobo’s, Friends, Love,
Valentino: Pain, Pleasure.
Alan: Being a ginger.
Valentino: Everything that we as people deal with.
A lot of the topics on the album a relatable to
anybody; one of these songs could be for someone
if their pissed off or really happy or a hard
time in the listeners life.
Austin: People can think “They get exactly
what we’re going through” we really
want people to relate to it.
Valentino: And we’ve experienced a lot individually
and as a band, there are parts musically that
you hear and you think “Man they were pissed”
or like “Yeah” when there’s
a really triumphant part. There’s a lot
of dimension to the music that is relatable.
have been signed to Rise Records pretty much since
the start, how did this come about and how are
they to work with?
Austin: We recorded a demo for the “Seven
thousand miles for what?” song, we put it
up on MySpace and that night Craig contacted me
and said “So you’re going to sign
to Rise Records right?” and I was like “No”
but after a few days he talked me into it. It
was literally 2 days after we made the MySpace
we hadn’t even played a show yet.
Valentino: You also had your affiliation.
Austin: Yeah my past band was on Rise also but
he was the person to contact me because he knew
how to get a hold of me and he wanted the new
project to be a part of Rise Records.
Valentino: We definitely don’t regret that
decision at all. Craig’s a great dude.
Everyone: Yeah Craig’s Awesome.
Valentino: We love everybody that works there;
they’re really helpful to us in guiding
this band through everything, putting our records
out and getting us working with the producer we
want to work with and making things available
for us on this journey.
are currently in the UK touring with Asking Alexandria,
how did the tour come about and how have you found
the shows so far?
Austin: The shows have been great! I think they’ve
all been sold out. It’s been really cool
being in like Belgium or Paris and having people
know the words and sing along. Just being a part
of that being this far away from home and people
still excited to know who we are. While She Sleeps
and Asking Alexandria are great guys and we’ve
got 3 days left then we go back to the states.
you had any time to check out any of the towns
and cities you have been playing on the tour?
Valentino: This is our 3rd day in Birmingham today.
We did some shopping yesterday, walked around
and ate some food from restaurants people have
been raving about either that we know or online.
It’s cool this time around we get to do
more exploring, the first time we were here it
was pretty hectic we had a lot of problems with
our van and stuff. We had a day off in Paris too;
being dudes from America we don’t have shit
like the Eifel tower and stuff so to see that
stuff from touring is good fun.
understand that you have been confirmed for the
Van Warped Tour this year, what does it mean to
you to be playing such a well loved long running
Valentino: We’re all super excited
Phil: We did it last year too so we know what
to do this now this next year and really enjoy
it. I enjoyed it last time but this time it’s
going to be like summer camp back to back, best
summer camp ever.
you looking forward to checking out any of the
bands on the tour?
Austin: Paramore just got confirmed and Simple
Valentino: We came as Romans, The Word Alive,
Winds of Plague, Asking Alexandria, A Day to Remember.
Alan: Look at that, Tino knows the whole list!
Austin: Do you work for them or something?
Valentino: I may as well dude. Nah we’re
definitely thankful and exited to play the tour
and meet the fans.
do Of Mice And Men have planned for the rest of
the year apart from the obvious Warped Tour?
Austin: After warped tour we get 3 weeks off,
then we’re going on another tour to last
the rest of the year; can’t say with who
yet but we’re going be on the road supporting
the new album, after warped it’ll still
be quite fresh so we want to get it out there
and play it for a bunch of different people.
your take on the digital revelation killing off
the music business?
Shayley: It sucks dick.
Everyone: Ha ha!
Valentino: I think 10-15 years ago people actually
sold records. Now with the digital age and everyone
downloading and iTunes, bands aren’t necessarily
seeing as much money as they would back in the
day. This way the fan base gets to be more of
a grassroots movement, like underground for like
our band because you wouldn’t necessarily
hear us on the radio or see us on MTV playing
our video after Lady Gaga or Neyo like big pop
artists. It’s kind of cool that more people
get to hear of us on the internet with social
networking. It makes things more accessible, it’d
be better if people bought albums which we encourage
as it’s our art.
Austin: Dude what? Ha ha.
Valentino: I’m going to have to knee you
in the face. Sorry my answers are too thorough
I’ll make them shorter “YES, DIGITAL”.
Alan: It’s the cranium man.
Austin: He is the backbone and the brain of this
do you hope to see Of Mice And Men in a year’s
Austin: Being alive still.
Valentino: We want to be able to continue doing
just this being on tour, hopefully in new countries
because it’s new experiences out of our
usual US touring.
last random question that we ask every band, if
you could be an animal out of a zebra or Giraffe
which one would you be and why?
Valentino: Definitely Giraffe because their fucking
badass because they use their heads and necks
and have straight up battles, I think that’s
Austin: I’d be a zebra so I can run around
Phil: I’m down with the zebra thing for
Shayley: I’d be a giraffe just to chill
and eat the trees.
Alan: I’d be a gingeraffe ha ha!
Everyone: Ha ha!
for your time is there a message for your fans
Everyone: Thank you!
Austin: It’s been amazing to be here we’re
really grateful for your support and people
giving a crap about us its really cool thank
you! Go pre-order our album June 14th!
Valentino: Like us on Facebook and Tweet us
on twitter. Thanks!
Interview By James Webb