"This album is very introspective..." - hmv.com talks to Of Mice & Men
As they release their new album Cold World (you can preview and purchase it on the right-hand side of the page) we sat down with Of Mice & Men bassist Aaron Pauley to find out how it all come together...
How did writing and record this album compare to Restoring Force?
"We wrote a lot of Restoring Force either on the road, or during preproduction in New Jersey. For Cold World, nearly all of the material was written in our studio, the five of us jamming. Some songs were pieces together and arranged during the recording, but from pieces we'd written by jamming, so this record has much more organic feel to it."
How did you want this album to move on from what you’ve done before?
"We wanted to write the best songs we could, and not worry too much about the sound or outside expectations. We didn't think about that too much."
You worked with David Bendeth once again, why did you decide to go with him as a producer?
"David is great at knowing how and when to push people to deliver the right emotion. Having worked with him in the past, we could get right to work on Cold World, which is a much more emotionally connected album."
You came into the writing of this album after a difficult period for the band, did that feed into the songwriting?
"Absolutely. Austin and I wrote about the same struggles from different perspectives. Albums and songs are just snapshots in time—if you're genuine in your intent, that will shine through into the lyrics."
What was the song on the album that took the longest to get right?
"Probably 'The Hunger'. We wrote the song, arranged it, wrote lyrics, rearranged the song, rewrote the lyrics, recorded, rerecorded. It was a painstaking process, but we're happy it evolved the way it did."
And which came together most quickly?
"Probably 'Game of War', as it was already a complete song when I showed my bandmates. While it was never intended to be on an album per se, the band was super supportive and insisted, which then became the introduction to the record, and also where the title "Cold World" comes from—the first two words of the song."
What kind of album this is lyrically? Does it have a common theme?
"Without giving too much away, it very much does have a theme. The album is very introspective, and thoughtfully rich in subdued metaphor. I think listeners are starting to pick up on the concept of the album, as comments and questions start coming our way about the album."
When did you settle on the title of Cold World? Were there any others in contention?
"After the record was complete, we named it. I can't recall any others in the hat at the time. Cold World was decided on pretty quickly."
What are your plans to take the album out live?
"We played the album in full last weekend at the Roxy in Hollywood. We have 3 more album release shows where we'll play the album in full, then we'll sprinkle song new songs in with the old when we go back out to headline."