Of Mice & Men's Austin Carlile: I was dead for 3 hours

Austin Carlile
Austin Carlile (Image credit: Getty)

Of Mice & Men’s Austin Carlile says he was clinically dead for three hours as he underwent life-changing heart surgery following complications from the genetic disorder, Marfans.

The vocalist, who was baptised earlier this month, also recalls the epiphany he had while he waited to be sedated.

He exclusively tells Metal Hammer: “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through. It’s hard to go through something like that that’s dangerous in general, and just to not know if you’re gonna be there, four, five or six hours later. When I had my heart surgery, my heart was stopped.

“They put my head in a whole thing of ice, to stop your brain activity, you’re dead. I was clinically dead for three hours while they did the procedure.

“There’s so much stuff going through my head. Like, ‘Am I going to see my mum? What’s going to happen?’ Like, who knows, I was kind of excited. But the one thing I remember right before I went under, and before they put in the relax sedative into you, I was just sitting there and my sister and my dad were there and they said goodbye and started wheeling me back.”

He continues: “I just remember being so at peace, and I remember saying, ‘Look God, this is in your hands.’ It was out of my hands completely at that point.

“I said, ‘I have to have faith that you have a plan for me and you want me to do something with my life. And if you don’t, then it’s just going to end right here. And if it doesn’t, then I need to wake up and do that.’

“Ever since that heart surgery, for one, when I woke up that day, I’ve never been in worse pain in my life. When you have your chest broken open, it’s just breathing, and moving your arms, and everything, it’s insane.

Carlile adds: “I spent two weeks in the hospital recovering, and then I ended up getting pneumonia in my lungs, so I had to stay another week and a half, and Alan came and saw me in the hospital, and just that whole experience alone really taught me a lot about myself and it taught me a lot of where I wanted to go next.”

Pick up the next issue of Metal Hammer on August 16 for a world exclusive interview with Of Mice & Men to find out what they’ve been through since Austin’s illness and how it changed everything.

Of Mice & Men release their fourth album Cold World on September 9 via Rise Records. It can be pre-ordered now. They’re on the road with Slipknot and Marilyn Manson.

Of Mice And Men tour dates 2016

Jul 29: Detroit DTE Energy Music Theatre, MI
Jul 30: Pittsburgh First Niagara Pavilion, PA
Aug 04: St. Louis Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, MO
Sep 30: Birmingham O2 Academy, UK
Oct 01: Manchester O2 Apollo, UK
Oct 03: Nottingham Rock City, UK
Oct 04: Newcastle O2 Academy, UK
Oct 07: London O2 Forum, UK
Oct 09: Cardiff Great Hall, UK
Oct 11: Paris Trabendo, France
Oct 12: Utrecht Ronda, Netherlands
Oct 13: Cologne Live Music Hall, Germany
Oct 15: Frankfurt Batschkapp, Germany
Oct 16: Munich Kesselhaus, Germany
Oct 17: Stuttgart LKA Longhorn, Germany
Oct 19: Solothurn Kofmehl, Switzerland
Oct 20: Vienna Arena, Austria
Oct 21: Leipzig Taubchenthal, Germany
Oct 23: Berlin Columbia Theater, Germany
Oct 24: Hamburg Grosse Freiheit 36, Germany
Oct 25: Antwerp Trix, Belgium

Everything you need to know about Of Mice & Men's new album Cold World

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.