We caught up with Aaron and Tino about their big summer plans and writing the follow-up to 'Defy'.
Of Mice & Men were in town this week as part of their huge 'Defy' world tour. So, we caught up with Aaron and Tino from the band to talk new music, writing on the road and their memories of Warped Tour as they head out on the festival's final run this summer.
HOW HAVE THE NEW SONGS BEEN GOING DOWN LIVE? ANY PARTICULAR FAVOURITES?
Tino: "New songs have been absolutely massive. It's been so cool out here on the 'Defy Tour' in support of new album 'Defy'. And, funnily enough, 'Defy' is one of the loudest damn songs in the set. So it's awesome. Another great one is 'Unbreakable' too. The new material has been going over absolutely amazing. Thank you to everyone for coming to the shows and screaming along with us and singing along with us and having the time of your lives. It's been amazing."
AARON, YOU'VE STEPPED INTO A NEW ROLE AS FRONTMAN ON THIS TOUR AND YOU SEEM VERY CONFIDENT ON STAGE. DID IT TAKE MUCH TIME FOR YOU TO ADJUST?
Aaron: "I think if you just do anything enough times you kinda get more comfortable with it. So it's probably just the amount of shows we played - we've been very busy this year."
YOU RELEASED A COVER OF PINK FLOYD'S 'MONEY' RECENTLY - WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT PARTICULAR TRACK?
Aaron: " A) It was just fun to do and B) I blurted out Pink Floyd 'Money' as a pisstake and then we just kinda ran with it (laughs)."
Tino: "And that's kinda how some of those ideas just end up working. We just see it to the end. Our producer Howard Benson was really excited on it. He was the one who brought up the idea about doing a cover. He asked if we'd thought about it and we were like 'hmm..not really.' And he was like 'well you should. Why not have fun? You've got time.' It's just something we wanted to do for fun. We've done covers in the past but this one was kinda fun, paying homage to one of the greatest to have ever done it, Pink Floyd. It's truly amazing. And it kinda fit pretty well with the album too, we thought, in the sense of lyrically. It's so crazy how a song written so many years ago can still ring so true lyrically today. That's a statement to rock music. It'll last forever. You never know what will happen in the world but these same things people were feeling decades in the past are still relevant today. I think that's something to say and somebody needs to say it. And we'll be here to rock that song and so will Roger Waters and everybody else."
IN TERMS OF NEW MUSIC, HAVE YOU GUYS STARTED THINKING ABOUT THE NEXT STEPS? HAVE YOU STARTED WRITING AGAIN YET?
Aaron: "We're brainstorming."
Tino: "Yeah, brainstorming. Just kind of talking. When we're out on tour, it's all very focused but we were definitely inspired by how insane the fans have been going to the new material. I know personally I think of certain parts and I'm like 'oh, yeah, that worked with those fans, this is gonna be cool to expand on this heavy part'. Or create something with a similar vibe but add another dimension. Not to mention, watching the other bands on the tour, Sylar and Wage War, has been inspirational for us, seeing how hard those bands go, seeing some of their melodies and heavy parts. We are literal sponges out here, absorbing as much of the audience, as much of the music, as much of everything as possible to then go and channel that into a body of work that will be our next album."
YOU'RE HEADING OUT ON THE FINAL WARPED TOUR THIS SUMMER - WHAT IS YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF THAT FESTIVAL?
Tino: "I had to have been 14. The hawk was up. The Rancid t-shirt was on. The Dickies shorts with patches all over them. My parents dropped me off and I then spent all of my allowance that I had been saving and some extra birthday money. And I was just running from stage to stage watching not only my favourite bands but bands that seemed to have crowds where people were having fun. It was such a cool experience because I'd never been to a music festival before. Getting to go to something like that where at the time there was probably ten stages, a big half-pipe skate ramp...it was such a huge, huge thing and a big part of my teenage years, knowing every summer my favourite bands were coming. It was just a really cool experience. Shoutout to Kevin Lyman and shoutout to everybody on Warped Tour. It's lasted for such a long time and I feel like it can't be done, you know what I mean? Warped Tour will live forever, not only in our hearts but in American summer culture for sure."
ANY FAVOURITE BANDS YOU HAVE SEEN THERE OVER THE YEARS?
Aaron: "I feel like I should just say Less Than Jake. They've played the most..."
Tino: "Yeah, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish. A bunch of the post-hardcore bands came on - I saw Glassjaw, The Used, Poison The Well. Every band under the sun, I feel like, has in one way or another played on Warped Tour. And I think it's crucial that bands are put on that grandstand. While it is a crazy tour, we've taken part in it four years..."
Aaron: "Um...five maybe?"
Tino: "Four or five, something like that. Having toured on it, having visited it, it was a crucial experience. We actually got to play our first ever Warped Tour Japan earlier on this tour. That was phenomenal. It was us, Limp Bizkit, Korn, Prophets Of Rage. Pinch me, you know, that's the dream lineup. And I'm stuck right in the middle of it with my dudes, it's awesome. So, if the Warped Tour comes out here, check it out."
YOU GUYS WILL BE BACK IN THE UK LATER THIS YEAR SUPPORTING BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE. ANYTHING SPECIAL PLANNED FOR THOSE MASSIVE SHOWS?
Tino: "Ourselves and our music. But be prepared for surprises."
Of Mice & Men's latest album 'Defy' is out now. They will support Bullet For My Valentine on their UK tour this November.