After overcoming many obstacles in life, Of Mice & Men frontman Austin Carlile never ceases to amaze me with what he is capable of. I’ve seen him and his bandmates live over five times, and each night I bring home a long-lasting memory that I will never forget. He truly pours his heart and soul into every performance, attracting fans of all music genres.
Taking some time during their busy summer tour with Marilyn Manson and Slipknot to chat with little old me, I could hear in Austin’s voice just how excited the band is to release their new record, Cold World, due out Sept. 9 on Rise Records. We chatted about everything from life on the road, recording, their fan base, and so much more. It was truly a pleasure hearing what Austin had to say. Check it out below:
Hey there! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Austin. I am a big fan and excited to hear from you. Where are you right now?
Hey Maria, thanks for having me. I am currently in the very hot and very humid, but very lovely Charlotte, North Carolina (laughs).
Awesome, I love it there. Is today an off day?
No, it’s a show day, actually!
Well then, extra thanks for squeezing me in! I will get right to it then. You guys are currently on the road with Slipknot and Marilyn Manson. Such an epic lineup, I imagine the fanbase is very diverse. Both of those bands bring out insane crowds on every tour as well, as I am sure you are witnessing yourself! How has the tour been going thus far?
Oh man, it’s been so amazing. It’s an honor to be on the road with these guys. It’s a radical kind of scene; you know, we seem to be making a great impression on both the Slipknot and Manson fans, which is so important to us. Naturally there are a lot of faces in the crowd that have no idea who we are (laughs), but yet at the same time there are a lot of familiar faces and people singing every word to our songs! It’s opportunities like this that we live for, they are crucial in our careers. It’s so special every night.
That’s amazing. That actually leads right into my next question. I’ve seen Of Mice & Men live so many times, and it’s always an experience. There is never a particular type of fan in the crowd, you are very lucky for that. You pull in so many types of people. Do you guys ever notice that?
Yeah actually, a lot, and I love it. Music is universal; no matter what race or religion you are, what you believe in, or where you are, music can still speak to you, and if it does, listen!
You know, we pride ourselves on our music being very real; we talk about situations that we’ve actually experienced and been through, and that really helps our fans to connect with us. I truly believe that is one of the reasons why we don’t have a “specific type” of fan, you know. We aren’t a cult; there is no wardrobe required to come to our gigs, we want anyone! (laughs)
Right on, that’s exactly what I was hoping you’d say. Of course, I want to talk the new album, but first let’s get to the new single “Pain.” I absolutely love it. It has a perfect blend of energy and emotion. What made you guys decide to pick this as the leadoff single?
Thank you! We wanted to start off with a song like “Pain” for this album cycle. We really wanted…to come out of the gate swinging, hard! I had been down for a while recovering, and not having put out music in a while, the choice of the song was very important to us. We want people to know we are the real deal and how much we love doing this. We are in this for the long haul. We want it to be special to our fans, and for them to know how much they mean to us.
You know, this song is very heavy, emotional, and angry, but on the flip side the whole record is a lot different than that; when they hear the next single, and the one after that, it will become even more different! We hope that keeps everyone surprised.
We are so excited for the full release, Cold World, to hit the shelves on Sept. 9. You guys worked with David Bendeth again, which makes great sense. Did you know off the bat you wanted him to produce the record?
OH MY GOSH, I am sorry, I am being distracted by five puppies coming out of a door at the venue right now. Can you repeat the question? (laughs)
OH MY GOSH is right; I am so envious of your situation right now! Whose dogs are they?
I don’t even know, oh man, okay, I am sorry! Yes! We knew off the bat we wanted to work with David again. You know, it was familiarity, but we also let him know from the beginning what buttons we wanted to push, which ones we didn’t want to push, things like that.
We went into this recording process totally different than previous times; we had a lot better idea this time around, we knew exactly what we wanted to do. We weren’t going to budge on anything, and he is amazing at overseeing things. He’s fantastic to work with.
From what I have heard thus far, it almost seems that each song was built around the vocals. Is that how the process was in the studio?
You know it’s funny, I’ve been singing my whole life, I figured why not do it in my band too! (laughs) You know, many think without vocals it isn’t song. It took a while for me to learn placement and such, you know like “what I just wrote doesn’t fit here,” and “what I want to say needs to go somewhere else,” but we kind of write the records backwards, but I agree with you, this record does tend to revolve around the vocals.
At the end of the day, we just want the listener to gravitate to what is going to hit them the most. There are so many crucial parts to rock music, so I love that I can help deliver the story with vocals.
From a fan standpoint, this record is totally a whole new step in the evolution of your vocals, and you sound amazing!
Thanks so much, that means a lot. The guys really pushed me to find my voice on this one. They really challenged me, and I am so thankful for that.
Job well done. I will let you get back to the show, but one last question. After the record is released, and this tour ends, what is next for you and Of Mice & Men?
Touring the record! We have a couple of headlining tours confirmed that we will announce later in the year that we’ve been working on, and be on the road for the rest of the year, and into next year as well. We want to tour and travel and put this record in front of as many faces as we possibly can.
Well best of luck to you, I love this record, and I hope it goes to number one!
It’s number one to us, that’s all that matters! (laughs)
Of Mice & Men will play at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City on Sept. 16 and the Rock Allegiance in Chester, PA on Sept. 18. Their new record, Cold World, is available Sept. 9 through Rise Records. For more information, visit ofmiceandmenofficial.com.