Of Mice & Men: "We're Not Giving Up On Rock Taking Over The World!"

Reviews from your UK tour have been hugely positive: how's it going from your viewpoint?

“It’s been amazing. The crowds have been mental every night and it’s really cool to be up there onstage playing our new songs and seeing how people react to them. Some of the shows sold out in a couple of hours, so it’s cool to know that we’re playing in front of hardcore fans, and that everyone there is there for us. In a sense you could saw we have nothing to prove, because it’s not like we’re seeking to win people over, but the energy coming off the crowd has really made this one of my favourite tours we’ve done so far. Because we’re playing songs from our new album Restoring Force for the first time here everything just feels so fresh.”

Has it surprised you how quickly things have blown up for you in the UK?

“It has, it feels like it’s come from nowhere, but then it’s always felt like that. Every time we come to the UK we under-book our tours to make sure that we sell out every show we headline, and that we absolutely smash it for the people that are there, and now that we’re in bigger rooms and hopefully moving on to bigger rooms still, it’s really exciting.”

What do you remember about your first UK show?

“I’d never left America until I got to come here with the band, so having the opportunity to be in a another country, meeting new people, and all because of music and us being up there on stage really meant a lot to me. Our first show was supporting another band at the Electric Ballroom in London and I just remember that the first time the music stopped you could hear all the different accents singing along and that was so amazing.”

You spent the early part of 2014 on the American Dream tour with Bring Me The Horizon: there were a lot of envious glances being thrown across the Atlantic from these shores at the time…

“That was such a great tour. All the rooms we were playing we’d already sold-out on our own headline tour, so it was really cool to go back to those same rooms and crack out a 45 minute set, rock out and then hit the road. It was cool to be on the road with the Issues guys and Bring Me, and we’re excited about the idea of coming back home to do even bigger shows. I feel like bands like Bring Me.. and A Day To Remember and ourselves are all pursuing what we want to do, and honing the sound of our own bands and developing into something special that can stand apart from any scene.”

A lot of America bands bemoan the fact that rock music is almost being forced underground again in the US: is there a sense that we’ll never again see a rock band become as big as Metallica?

“Well, I mean, I’m often talking with my peers about the fact that KROQ, the traditional home of rock bands on radio, just doesn’t play rock any more. I love bands like the Arctic Monkeys and Black Keys, and I’m absolutely not begrudging those guys their airplay, but obviously there was a time when you’d switch on that station and hear Incubus and Limp Bizkit and System Of A Down and Rage Against The Machine and you’re not really hearing the rock bands of our generation on there in the same way now. But, people are always going to love real rock music, and we know that the sales that Restoring Force are encouraging – in fact we had the number one vinyl record in America when it was released, which shows that people are still interested in buying records, they just want to find the right bands to support. Our fans, and other rock fans, are the ones keeping rock alive and I don’t feel like any of us are ready to give up on the idea of rock taking over the world again.”

So how’s the rest of your 2014 looking?

“It’s looking busy man! We go back home to a show called Rock On The Range in Columbus, Ohio, which is with Kid Rock and Avenged Sevenfold, then we go to Latin and South America, playing shows in Chile and Mexico and Brazil, and then we go from there to Germany to start the European festival season, from Rock Am Ring to Reading and Leeds. And then we’re headlining the second half of the Warped Tour. So it’s just touring, touring, touring, and getting in people’s faces for the rest of the year. There’s too many people out there who have no idea who Of Mice & Men are, so we’re hoping to change that over the next year.”

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.