''This was the first time it felt like we were making a real record'' - Of Mice & Men open up about their new album Restoring Force
Californian metalcore band Of Mice & Men have come an awful long way in the four years that they've been together. Founded by singer Austin Carlile and former bass player Jaxin Hall during mid-2009, after Carlile had left mid-level rockers Attack Attack!, the band have gone on to sell over 150,000 copies of their two studio albums and have quickly established themselves as one of the most exciting live bands on the planet.
The band have spent much of 2013 been locked away with producer David Bendeth, who's made his name as the man at the controls on albums with the likes of Paramore, Bring Me the Horizon, and A Day to Remember, and have come away with a new album Restoring Force, which is due for release on January 27 next year. You can hear a brand new track from the album which is titled 'Bones Exposed' at the bottom of the page.
We caught up with Austin Carlile to find out all about the record…
So, is the album all done and ready to go?
Austin: It's all done, we've actually had it done for a couple of months now, but we've been waiting for the right release date.
Why have you opted for January?
It's a good way to start the year and it gives us the whole year to really push on and tour, it'll be great feeling like we have the whole year ahead of us.
How would you say it moves on from The Flood?
I think it moves on a lot from our last record, we really thought about where we wanted to go this time and we concentrated on the idea of 'What comes after a flood?' when it came to inspiration. It feels like it's a statement of where we are as a band, presenting a force, bringing things back to equilibrium.
What was it like working with David Bendeth?
It was a long, long process. It was rough to begin with, me and Aaron (Pauley – Bass/Vocals) went a couple of weeks ahead of the band to work with him and do some pre-production and that was the start of a long process.
This was the first time it felt like we were making a real record. Before we'd just taken a couple of weeks to record and whatever came out of that ended up on the record. This time it was different; we really worked at the songs.
You recorded the album in the middle of nowhere right? In New Jersey?
Yeah, we were kind of in the middle of the woods. It meant that the focus was entirely on the record, being in the middle of the sticks meant the choice was either go inside and record or don't. We got lots done.
Why did you decide to record out there? Why not a big city?
We wanted to work with David, no matter where he would have been, that pretty much decided it.
What kind of record is it lyrically? Is it a personal record?
It's a pretty personal record. Aaron and I wrote everything we wrote about our lives and experiences and where things have taken us. I feel like every song has its own story.
You're playing to much bigger crowds now than when you wrote The Flood, was that a consideration in how you wrote this record?
Sometimes yeah, we kept it in mind. We really just wanted to make a record we wanted to hear, a record that sounds like the stuff we used to listen to in high school, something that we really want to listen to. I really enjoy listening back to it.
This is your first time recording with Aaron, how did that change things?
It made things easier, certainly for me. We're like brothers, him, and me when there's someone you're that close to, it makes writing go quicker. We were really on the same page and we both wanted to make the same kind of record together. What he gives us is great and I'm really stoked for people to hear it.
Have you experimented much? Are there strings and effects on some of the songs?
There's like two songs with that on it, we wanted to keep things as we do them live and not add much on just because we could.
You're touring the UK early next year, are you excited about coming back over here?
We're so excited, we've not been over in while. We love playing over there and apparently some of the shows are already sold out, which is fantastic. We can't wait to see you guys again.
You've also confirmed that you're playing Reading and Leeds…
Yeah, we're so stoked for that. We've always wanted to play and we could never make it work. But this year we can and we're headlining the Rock Stage; we really want to show the UK we're here to stay.
Finally, what's been your favourite record of 2013?
Oh man, I don't know! Did that Kendrick Lamar record come out this year?
No, but it got re-issued this year, so we'll let you off
Definitely that. I love hip-hop and that's one of the best records I've heard in a long time.
Of Mice & Men's Restoring Force is out now and available to buy in store and from our download store.
Of Mice & Men took over hmv.com on January 28, click here to find read all our exclusive features including personal Top 10s and an interview about Restoring Force.