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Austin Carlile: Of Mice & Men Is Where ‘I Needed to Be’

Megan Thompson

A little under a year ago, metalcorists Of Mice & Men were faced with a serious problem. They had to decide whether to continue on after frontman and co-founding member Austin Carlile left the band due to his growing health problems that could only be resolved by open heart surgery.

The California-based band continued on with ex-Sky Eats Airplane screamer Jerry Roush. After countless tours and recording time set for the sophomore release, Roush was asked to step down in January and a fully recovered Carlile was asked to rejoin the band.

“It feels comfortable. It feels right. It’s obviously what I’m supposed to be doing,” Carlile told Noisecreep about being back in the band he started after leaving Attack Attack!

But the frontman — who now sports a deep surgery scar that overlaps his chest tattoo — revealed that he first declined the offer to rejoin. “Then I thought about it for a period of time, and talked to my wife and my friends and family and came to the conclusion [that Of Mice & Men] is where I needed to be and what I wanted to do; and skip all the year and a half of the little stuff that would come with a new project and just jump right back into it.” One more phone call and it was made official.

When Carlile first stepped down, a war of words began between both parties, ending the friendships that created the foundation for the band in 2009. All that seems to have faded. “There’s been no weirdness,” the singer admitted. It took a few rounds of phone calls, but soon the hatchet was buried.

“We missed hanging out. The whole thing about why they kept on touring was more of a miscommunication, and even now we were talking the other night about what happened, and I explained it to them. They were literally like, ‘Ohhhh.’ They explained to me their side and I was like, ‘Ohhhh.’”

Carlile saw that much what caused the rift came from a member of the band that has since left. “Things were said that made me never want to talk to any of the guys, but that’s all kind of past us and we’re just stoked to be making the second record how it should be.”

Taking the time away from recording, Carlile detailed how the album was coming out. “We’ve been here for a week and we already have 10 songs completely laid out — completely done and ready to do vocals.”

Heavier and faster is how many of the new songs have been described in their early states. “But at the same time, it’s more mature and a lot more melodic,” Carlile revealed. “There’s a lot more thought gone into it rather than, ‘Oh we like this part, we’re gonna do it,’ and there it is. We’ve been trying to think of what we want from the old record until now, and we’re starting to incorporate that and it’s really starting to show.”

For those who wonder if Carlile plans to quit wearing his heart on his sleeve when it comes to lyrics he, the answer is no. He explained that not only will that not happen, but it goes against how he sees music. “If you’re not writing about things you’re passionate about or have affected you in some way, if you listen to it and don’t feel anything, then you shouldn’t be writing it. My thing is music is emotion; music is passion.”

Of Mice & Men are slated to appear on the Warped Tour this summer.

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