Of Mice & Men is an American metalcore band from Orange County, California. The group was founded by Austin Carlile and Jaxin Hall in mid-2009 after Carlile's departure from Attack Attack!. The name of the band is derived from John Steinbeck's novel of the same title.
Of Mice & Men was founded by Austin Carlile, the original vocalist of Attack Attack!, and bassist Jaxin Hall, an import from Auckland, New Zealand during 2009 in Columbus, Ohio. The two recorded their demo "Seven Thousand Miles for What?" with the band Though She Wrote at Paper Tiger Studios in Columbus. Carlile and Hall searched for other members for about a month. They came across Valentino Arteaga, drummer of Lower Definition, Jon Kintz of Odd Project, and Phil Manansala, a touring guitarist for A Static Lullaby. Carlile and Hall moved to Southern California to join up with the three. A little while later, Kintz was cut from the band and replaced with Shayley Bourget. With a question at hand asking of the departure of Kintz in a Q&A for the group, Bourget jokingly stated "Jon didn't cut it." On Kintz's part, he reportedly cited that the band felt he was "partying too much." After reaching 1,000,000 plays from their Myspace profile in just two months since its launch, the band uploaded a cover of Lady Gaga's song, "Poker Face". The song was mastered by Tom Denney, formerly of A Day to Remember and a copy of the demo was sent directly to Rise Records. Recognizing the band as Carlile's new musical project, Of Mice & Men was signed to the label. The group then traveled to the Foundation Studios in Connersville, Indiana on July 14, 2009, with Joey Sturgis to record their self-titled debut album.
On December 6, 2009 they had two video shoots in Ventura, California for "Those in Glass Houses" and "Second & Sebring". The band released their debut album on March 9, 2010, even though they planned on releasing it earlier. The original release date was February 23, but the album was forced into a delay. A month before the official release, though, the album was leaked on February 10, 2010 by fans that hacked into the system. The music video for "Second & Sebring" was released on Hot Topic's website and made its television premiere on Headbangers Ball on March 15, 2010.
The band joined the "Squash The Beef Tour" supporting Dance Gavin Dance, along with Emarosa, Tides of Man, and Of Machines. Also in 2009, Of Mice & Men was support on the Atticus Tour along with Finch, Blessthefall, Drop Dead, Gorgeous, Vanna, and Let's Get It. After completion of the Atticus Tour, the band supported I See Stars on the Leave It To The Suits Tour with We Came as Romans, Broadway, and Covendetta.
Jerry Roush, who was formerly a part of Sky Eats Airplane, soon became a permanent addition to Of Mice & Men. Originally, Roush was a substitute for Austin Carlile on The Emptiness Tour in 2010 which featured the band along with Alesana, A Skylit Drive, The Word Alive, and We Came as Romans. Carlile required a heart surgery performed in the near future and was forced to not tour by his doctor. At the same time, Carlile fell in to a conflict with the other members. Through much deliberation, the band and Carlile decided to part ways. The group thereafter invited Roush to front Of Mice & Men. The band was featured on the cover for the 19th issue of Substream Music Press shortly after this decision.
After "The Emptiness Tour", Of Mice & Men supported Attack Attack! on the "This Is A Family Tour" with In Fear and Faith, Pierce the Veil, and Emmure.
Months after Roush's inception, bassist, Jaxin Hall left the group on August 23, 2010. Hall considerably explained that the reasons for this decision were made to concentrate more on his personal life as well as his clothing brand, Love Before Glory. Dane Poppin of A Static Lullaby substituted as a bassist for Of Mice & Men's then upcoming tour dates after Hall's departure. The group were included in the Punk Goes... compilation, Punk Goes Pop 3, covering the R&B song, "Blame It" by Jamie Foxx with Poppin on bass and is the only recording by the band to feature Roush's vocals.
The band participated in Warped Tour 2010.
Shortly after the conclusion of Warped Tour, Of Mice & Men toured the UK in support of August Burns Red and Blessthefall.
Leading onto Roush being a part of the band for already nine months, the group confirmed on January 3, 2011 that they reached a decision to have Jerry Roush leave Of Mice & Men in favor for former vocalist and founding member, Austin Carlile to return to the group. Roush posted an extended response to his firing from the band on his Twitter account. Carlile was under an intention for months to start a new musical project, with fellow musician Alan Ashby, until his request to return to the group was made. Carlile and Ashby were then both accepted into Of Mice & Men, with Ashby as an entirely new member. Despite Ashby and Carlile's short-lived "drama" over Ashby exposing Carlile's brief affair with fan Delaney Michelone, they remained band mates and close friends. The group then underwent a slight arrangement, as they required a bassist after several substitutions that Dane Poppin, of A Static Lullaby, contributed to. Poppin's needed return to A Static Lullaby after extensive touring with Of Mice & Men had the group move Shayley Bourget from rhythm guitar to bass guitar but remain at clean vocals where Ashby was employed as rhythm guitarist instead of being employed as the needed bassist in the group.
The refreshed band began the recording process of their second album titled The Flood in late January 2011. Shortly after the album's completion, the band headlined the 2011 annual Artery Across the Nation Tour with support from Woe, Is Me, Sleeping with Sirens, I Set My Friends On Fire, and The Amity Affliction.
The band toured Europe and Australia in support of The Amity Affliction, along with I Killed the Prom Queen, and Deez Nuts. They also later supported Asking Alexandria on a short four-day UK tour along with While She Sleeps.
On May 13, 2011 Of Mice & Men released a brand new single entitled, "Still YDG'N". Also, on May 24, 2011 they released a second song entitled, "Purified". "Purified" has been added to the 2011 installment of Sideonedummy's annual Warped Tour compilation. "The Flood" was released June 14, 2011.
Of Mice & Men participated on all of the Warped Tour 2011. They were joined by former bassist Jaxin Hall on select California dates for "Second and Sebring." From September 13, 2011, until October 14, 2011 Of Mice & Men supported We Came as Romans on the Im Alive Tour along with Miss May I, Texas in July, and Close to Home. Afterward, the group headlined the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour with Iwrestledabearonce, I See Stars, Abandon All Ships, and That's Outrageous!. For the Fallen Dreams were also included on the first half of the tour.
In 2012 the group announced that they were returning to the studio to begin work on their third release. On February 9, the announcement of Shayley Bourget's departure from the band was released to the public via Facebook and YouTube. Shayley had also released a video statement on YouTube, stating the reasons he had to discontinue with the band. He suffered from depression and alcoholism, along with other personal problems, and felt that he was bringing the other band members down. Shayley stated he will not be returning to the band, has since started a new project called Dayshell, with Raul Martinez, and he is continuing on with creating new music for himself. On March 2, the band announced via Facebook that Austin Carlile would be taking over on all vocals for Of Mice & Men's third studio album.
A reissue of The Flood was released on July 24, 2012. It contains 2 discs, featuring 4 brand new tracks.
For Vans Warped Tour 2012, Aaron Pauley of Jamie's Elsewhere substituted on bass guitar and clean vocals. Pauley has since stated that he is no longer a band member of Jamie's Elsewhere, but he did not leave on bad terms.
On December 4, 2012 the band revealed via Facebook that they are currently writing and demoing material for their next album. The band stated "In case some of you don't already know, we are currently home from tour for the remainder of 2012 and are now back in our studio working on our brand new album! YES! An entire album of all brand new material is being written and demoed RIGHT NOW!" The band entered the studio in June 2013 to begin pre-production on the album with producer David Bendeth. On October 1, 2013 it was announced that the band has finished tracking for their new album, having spent the Summer in New Jersey recording the album, with David Bendeth, who was in the processing of mixing the album.
On October 17, 2013 Alternative Press released the first studio video and announced the completion of the band's third album, the band posted this statement on the completion of the album; "Over the past few months, we've been in the studio writing & recording our third full length album with producer David Bendeth. We are excited to announce that after the most in-depth recording process we have ever experienced, the album has been completed & we can't WAIT for you to hear it!"
On November 26, 2013 the band released a teaser for a big announcement to come the following day. The next day the band announced their third studio album named Restoring Force, due for release on January 28, 2014 in North America. They also announced dates for a UK headlining tour in April 2014 with Issues and Beartooth.
On December 1, 2013 the band released their first single from Restoring Force. The single, "You're Not Alone" is the band's first release with new bassist and clean vocalist Aaron Pauley. They announced that Bones Exposed would be the next song released from the new album; it was released on December 23. After the album was released, the band toured as a support act for British metal band Bring Me the Horizon, along with metalcore band Issues, on the 'American Dream Tour' throughout America, starting early February and finishing in late March. Once the tour finished, the band headlined in the UK, with Issues and Beartooth supporting them throughout April.
A music video for the song 'Would You Still Be There' was released on May 15, 2014. Starting from May 23, the band supported easycore band A Day to Remember in Latin America, finishing in early June. In July it was announced that the band will be the main support for popular metal band Linkin Park on their European tour in November.
On October 8, 2014 the band posted photos of them back in the studio with David Bendeth on Twitter. On October 23. 2014 the band released a music video for the song "Feels Like Forever"
On December 16, 2014 a deluxe edition of Restoring Force was announced entitled "Restoring Force: Full Circle", which will include three new tracks and an acoustic version of "Feels Like Forever", and is set to be released on February 24, 2015.
On February 4, 2015, the band premiered a new single "Broken Generation" with an accompanying music video. The following day, the single was available to listen to through streaming library Spotify.
Of Mice & Men have most often been classed under the metalcore genre, and more recently the nu metal genre. The band's first album has been called a typical metalcore album, similar to the works of The Devil Wears Prada, We Came as Romans and Attack Attack!, and has also been considered to have elements of post-hardcore.
Of Mice & Men's second album was described as different in style to the typical modern metalcore genre and more melodic than the band's earlier work, and has been described as having some slight elements of nu metal. On their third album, the band started to incorporate a lot more nu metal elements into their sound, with a Rock Sound review describing the album's style as a mixture of nu metal and metalcore. "You're Not Alone", the band's first charting single, was compared to the style of Deftones, Disturbed and Slipknot.
When asked about the band's name origin, vocalist Austin Carlile responded with;
“"The book Of Mice and Men says 'the well laid plans of mice and men often falter.' You make plans, and they get screwed up. (Jaxin Hall) and I both had plans for life, and they both got screwed up, so now we're making the most of what we can."”
Former bassist Jaxin Hall also commented stating;
“"The main theme of [Of Mice and Men] is the American Dream [...] and being self sufficient [...] As a band, I was thinking about that when Austin and I were thinking about forming this band that we wanted this to be our American Dream, especially considering that I'm not from America [...] So this was to be our self sufficient thing that we could live off and make our own and achieve this dream. [...] So I looked at things that happened with [past relationships] and that everyone had the best intentions with things, and that they didn't quite work out the way we wanted it to."”
Phil Manansala - lead guitar (2009-present)
Valentino Arteaga - drums, percussion (2009-present)
Austin Carlile - unclean vocals (2009-2010; 2011-present), clean vocals (2014-present)
Alan Ashby - rhythm guitar (2011-present)
Aaron Pauley - clean vocals, bass guitar (2012-present), unclean vocals (2013-present)
Of Mice & Men (2010)
The Flood (2011)
Restoring Force (2014)