Of Mice & Men frontman/bassist Aaron Pauley and drummer Valentino Arteaga had some interesting things to say over the weekend about the departure of their longtime frontman Austin Carlile. You might recall the shocking announcement that came from Carlile last December, where he revealed he would be leaving the band to focus on his recovery. He later elaborated online that he had a songwriting dispute with some of his ex-bandmates which also contributed to his decision to leave the band.
Speaking to Kilpop, Aaron and Valentino discussed learning that Austin would be leaving the band, when they found out, and making a decision about whether the band would continue.
Speaking on Austin’s decision to leave the band, Aaron Pauley says the band found out a few months before the public knew: “For us, this is something that’s been… A few months before the public knew about it, we knew about it. But it’s just been awesome to be out playing shows again with our brothers. We’re down a guy, but at the same time, it’s awesome to see our fans kind of hugely supportive of everything.” [As transcribed by Blabbermouth]
For a time, Of Mice & Men was unsure if they would actually carry on as a band. Austin Carlile’s departure left a big void for the band to fill.
“It’ something that we all kind of thought about. When that was happening, obviously, Austin’s health issues have been no secret to the public or anything like that, and we’ve always known, because being in a band is like being in a family. We’re a traveling circus also, and things are crazy all the time. Towards the end of that tour, it was, unfortunately, getting more difficult, and we all kind of had the talk together, because, of course, we had to talk together, and he kind of let us know what was going on. And, of course, we knew and we supported him, because that’s what we kind of have to do and because it’s for the best of his health. And so we didn’t necessarily know what we were gonna do, and we didn’t know if it would be right to… There would never be a replacement, so we would never want there to be some sort of public thing of, like, this person filling in or whatever.” Arteaga said.
Arteaga continued: “We needed to rise to the occasion because that’s what he would have wanted. He’s excited about the music. This is what he wanted us to do, and it’s what we’ve always wanted do and it’s what OF MICE & MEN has always done. The best-laid plans of OF MICE & MEN often go awry. You never get to dictate how your future is, but all you can do is just roll with the punches and kind of figure out what feels right in your heart and what feels right in what you wanna do. And that’s what OF MICE & MEN has always been: in the face of adversity, rise up. Don’t be afraid; be unbreakable. That’s what the OF MICE & MEN spirit is, and that’s what this band has been built on since day one.”
Following the release of the band’s new single “Unbreakable”, Carlile praised the band. He was complimentary of the band, their entire team, though it was interesting he referred to them as the “kings of screamo & metalcore again” which sounded kind of like a dig. I don’t know of any professional musicians in 2017 who use the term screamo to characterize their band.