Of Mice & Men’s Austin Carlile on the New Album and Internet Trash Talk
After a year of setbacks and growing anticipation, Of Mice & Men have finally released their long-awaited sophomore album, ‘The Flood.’ Industry insiders predict that the record will be one of 2011’s best indie sellers. “If I’m not writing songs about things I’ve actually been through, it ruins the idea of making music to me,” says Of Mice & Men vocalist Austin Carlile while on the phone with Noisecreep.
“Shayley [Bourget, bassist-vocalist] wrote a few of the songs with me, and we took all of the things we had gone through in the past year and a half and put it into this album. There are songs on the record about everything from overcoming addiction and having someone cheat on you, to love and life in general,” says the singer.
Ever since he first appeared fronting Attack Attack! in 2005, Carlile has become one of the most talked-about figures in the screamo scene. His lyrics are always brutally honest and are matched by his impassioned vocal performances.
Noisecreep asked Carlile if there were any moments on ‘The Flood’ where he felt he might have pushed the envelope a bit too far. “Yeah, that happened a lot on this record,” he replied. “I actually had to re-write a bunch of the songs when I got to the studio because I just had left California after breaking up with someone after some stuff that had happened. Every single song I was writing was hateful, bitter and spiteful. My guitar player Alan [Ashby] read some of the lyrics I had written and said, ‘Wow, you’re really angry!’ So I ended up toning a few things down [laughs].
“We’re not a death metal band. I can’t really write about ripping people’s heads off and stuff like that [laughs]. It’s a respect thing. I’m not going to be like a rapper and mention the people I’m talking about in my songs by name. That would be f—ed up.”
Carlile has a really strong online presence, with several Tumblr pages and Twitter fan accounts dedicated to him. With that much attention, some of what’s being written about him is bound to be on the negative side. “There are times I do dig in and read some of that stuff, but it’s often not to my benefit,” Carlile laughs. “I think some people that write that stuff think that because I’m in some band that I won’t ever take the time to read it. But I’m not Brad Pitt and vacationing in Jamaica. I’m actually at home when I’m not on tour and I have a lot of downtime. It’s disheartening to read the really negative stuff, but at the same time I know who I am and I’m comfortable with myself.
“There was actually a period of about three months where I didn’t have a phone or computer. My drummer had control of my Twitter account and whenever I would think of something to say, he would tweet for me [laughs]. I went through some really f—ed stuff in the past year and people were on the Internet saying things that weren’t even true. The only people that knew the truth of the situation were me, my band and my father. Getting away from the Internet for that period of time was good for me. In the end, my life is my business and some things are better left private.”
Of Mice & Men’s ‘The Flood’ is out now via Rise Records.