Californian hardcore rockers Of Mice & Men have spent the last month and a half touring Europe, selling out most of their UK dates and re-visiting especially to play last month’s Slam Dunk Festival. With a growing fan base, the band are set to travel back over for a short 4-day UK tour later in the year after spending the summer months playing the Vans Warped Tour.
For a band who just don’t stop, Already Heard were lucky enough to catch up with vocalist Austin and guitarist Alan to find out how they’re finding their first UK headline experience, influences and what to expect from the band for the rest of this year.
Already Heard: Does your band name have any reference to the book ‘Of Mice and Men’?
Austin (vocals): Yes, it does! I like the book, but yeah the book is about the American Dream and that’s kind of what we’re doing.
AH: Does religion influence your band in any way?
Austin: No we’re not a religious band at all. I am, but the band as a whole completely is not. I wouldn’t say our songs our influenced by religion but they’re influenced by love. We wrote a song about love, ‘The Great Hendowski’ is about love and not giving up, knowing that there’s hope and there’s an answer to anything bad that’s going on. Things get better, what’s does it say, ‘you know you’re young but don’t give up’; I don’t know it’s a good song but it’s about love more than religion. I think religion is for the birds, the word “religion”.
Already Heard: What’s it like playing your first UK headline tour?
Alan (guitar): Fucking awesome! The last five shows have been sold out and the next three shows have been sold out!
Austin: Yeah and then the one after that isn’t, then the next is, so let’s hope we can sell that one out too.
Already Heard: Where has your favourite city been to play so far on the tour?
Alan: Nottingham Hit The Deck.
Austin: Yeah Nottingham, Glasgow, Aberdeen; they’ve all been fun.
Alan: I can’t wait to go to Camden. Here tonight, we haven’t played yet but there’s gonna be so many people here.
Austin: We were walking by the queue and people were like ‘AUSTIN! ALAN!’ and we were like ‘WHAT?!’ They had to kick out people from Primark because we were shopping and kids were like running and screaming. I was telling Alan that I felt like Justin Beiber.
Already Heard: What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened to you on tour?
Alan: Oh man.
Austin: Our tour manager got so drunk one night and he passed out. We put a fake ‘you know what’ in his ‘you know what’ and he woke up and it was in there and he didn’t know what to do; so he started crying. It was really funny (laughs). We put it in his mouth too and he doesn’t even know until just now (Tour Manager sat with his head in his hands).
Already Heard: So you’re travelling back over here especially for Slam Dunk Festival in May?
Austin: Yeah, from here we go to Europe for two weeks and then we’re back here for Slam Dunk.
Alan: Slam Dunk’s gonna be amazing, there are so many bands that I want to go and watch.
Austin: Yeah lots of bands that we’re fans of, lots of bands that we’re friends with. Taking Back Sunday, Architects, While She Sleeps, Say Anything and It Boys! Ton’s of bands, we’re really excited.
Alan: And I See Stars.
Austin: Yeah we like those guys.
Already Heard: Do you guys have a favourite song live? Is there a particular song that people go crazy for?
Austin: I like them all! I think my favourite though is probably OG Loko, it’s definitely one of my favourites.
Already Heard: How would you sum up an Of Mice & Men show?
Alan: Rock ‘n’ roll. Heavy, loud.
Austin: Yeah heavy, loud, fun, crazy! Cheeky.
Already Heard: Can we expect any new material off you in the near future?
Austin: Yes, new music and we’re actually coming out with a re-release, not a third album, not yet; but we’ll come out with this re-release and then a new release before Warped Tour.
Already Heard: Finally, for those who haven’t already listened to you, why should they check you out?
Austin: That’s a good question. I think just seeing our live show we like to have a lot of fun and you can really tell we have a lot of passion about doing it in general. I think if you listen to our band in comparison to other bands then we sound different; we obviously have the same aspects of other bands, that are the same genre of music, but I feel like we’re a little more set apart from most of the other bands that are out there.
Alan: A lot of bands rely on too many fake sounds but we just play our instruments and have a good time. A lot of bands just forget how to just have fun.
Austin: Yeah we don’t have any added stuff, no added crazy parts, no backing tracks; everything that you hear live we are actually making. From vocal stuff that I’m doing, guitar parts; what you hear is exactly what we’re making and not from the click of a button.
‘The Flood’ by Of Mice & Men is available now on Rise Records.
Words by Hannah Gillicker