“It revitalises this record” – hmv.com talks to Of Mice & Men
Album reissues are a complex business, you need to add enough new cuts to make it worth re-investing, not just bolting a few live tracks on the end. California metalcore titans Of Mice & Men are doing things the right way, they’re reissuing their crushing third album Restoring Force with three brand new tracks as well as a stripped back version of ‘Feels Like Forever’.
We caught up with bassist Aaron Pauley to find out why they’re putting the album out again, their experience of touring with Linkin Park and their plans for the follow-up to Restoring Force…
So why have you decided to re-issue Restoring Force?
“We had a year to sit on the record and we spent a lot of time on it, we’re very proud of it, but we do feel like it’s missing some elements. Before we even decided to record all of them and call this re-release Full Circle, we’d written these songs and we thought they’d be great on the record. They fit the soundscapes and thematic elements. We wanted to cap off the year we’ve had for our fans, that’s how this came about.”
Are these songs you’ve had for a while? Or brand new?
“They’re newly written, but some have new ideas and some have old ideas. We’d come off of a long tour and we wanted to do something fresh. It’s all new material, but it comes from ideas we had during the making of the record.”
Does this give Restoring Force a new kick and the chance for you to keep touring?
“We love releasing music. This was a way to release new songs that really made sense, it allows us more time to tour and it revitalises this record.”
How long do you think you’ll be on the road for now?
“I think right now we’re booked through summer. We’re going to take some time towards the end of the year to start on the next record, but we’ve got a lot of touring before that.”
Are you able to write on tour?
“We always try to come up with ideas. For me, it’s two completely different mindsets, performing and creating. I never feel like I can express myself properly on tour.”
How do songs in Of Mice & Men generally get written? Do you start with a riff or a vocal?
“Pretty much any way you can think of is a way that we’ve done it. A lot of times Alan or I will come up with the skeleton of a song and share it. But as soon as I tell the guys then everybody comes onboard. Sometimes Austin will come to me and literally sing a riff to me, we’ve done a lot of writing through jams, but also when people come with complete songs.”
You spent much of 2014 touring with Linkin Park, what was that like?
“It was amazing. Being a rock musician now, it’s hard to establish a career, it’s just not as popular anymore. To experience those kind of stages, we’d be playing places where Elton John and Michael Buble would play. For a lot of bands, if you think about the lighthouse on the top of the cliff, that thing you aspire to, it’s bands like Linkin Park, and they’re one of the most successful rock bands of the last 20 years. We learned so much from them.”
Were they fun to tour with?
“So much fun. Meeting your heroes is a weird and we love that band. For us and so many people Linkin Park was their introduction to heavy music. We hung out with them every single day, they were the best.”
You’ve got a big UK tour coming up, what can fans expect to see?
“It’ll be the Of Mice & Men experience. We never have the most production, we don’t have the most visually exciting show, we’re all about the connection, all about watching kids screaming the words back to you.”
Have you talked about having a bigger stage show?
“It’s something we always talk about. We never seem to agree on what we want. It’s a bit of an afterthought, I’d love to someday have the Daft Punk pyramid with all the lights, but I’m sure as the band grows so will our lighting rig.”
Will you be back for any of the summer festivals?
“We have a few here and there. But we did a lot in UK and Europe last year, so we’ll probably save that for 2016.”
Of Mice & Men will release Restoring Force: Full Circle on Monday (February 23rd). You can pre-order it in store now.