As the Soundwave Festival sold out across the country, 11 more bands were added to the monstrous bunch of names already playing the 2013 bill, including Californian metalcore band Of Mice & Men.
In July the band re-released their 2010 studio album The Flood with an extra four tracks and a different album cover to spice it up as well. The release sparked more hype for the already infamous musicians in the post-hardcore realm.
As Of Mice & Men drummer Valentino Arteaga (or Tino for short) came offstage from what sounded like a chaotically successful show in Nevada, the third announcement for the Soundwave festival, which had been released that very hour, got read out to him.
“Man, the lineup is insane” Arteaga laughs after hearing the recent additions, which includes the likes of Killswitch Engage and The Chelsea Grin among others. “We couldn’t be more excited to get out there. We want it to be next month or even next week; I mean to be on tour with Metallica, Linkin Park and Slayer to name a few is just an honour.”
The band is excited to return to Australian shores after making their first impression on the country with The Amity Affliction, I Killed the Prom Queen and Deez Nuts in May 2011.
The detailed chat was somewhat challenging for breathless Arteaga who had just finished a huge show in Reno, near Las Vegas. “It was great; lots of energy and good times. The combination of stage dives, big circle pits and walls of death made for a great show man.”
This was of course after the band did a little bit of gambling to get the night going. Among all the hits played on stage, Of Mice & Men included a couple of the newer tracks added to the deluxe re-release of The Flood.
“We didn’t feel like we had finished the album. We felt like there were still some musical ideas that we hadn’t touched on so we wanted to finish that chapter for ourselves. The album artwork was changed as well – it was something we wanted to do for a long time.” Despite anxiety to their fans’ response, they felt like they had completed The Flood and to their relief, fans responded with an abundance of enthusiasm.
As the post-hardcore influenced group are motivated by their fans, they’re always more than happy to meet them – whether it’s at a gig or on the streets. “We love it; we always try to say hi to our fans,” says Tino. “Sometimes we will be busy doing interviews, especially during festivals but if you see us walking around, make sure you come say hello!”
If you’re attending Soundwave and counting your lucky stars for a meet and greet with Of Mice & Men, you might just be in luck. “I would love more than anything to do a signing at Soundwave. We love meeting all our fans and hearing the stories of how our music has affected them and they have to know that we appreciate them just as much as they appreciate us.”
Not all musicians (especially large scale) are too tolerant of such fan adoration, and would prefer instead to shirk their commitments, not Of Mice And Men though. “As long as people are respectful to us, we are happy to. Of course we aren’t animals to put on display. We’re musicians and people just like anybody else.”
Tino emphasises the fact that many musicians may forget or fail to recognise their success to be a result of one huge factor – their dedicated fans.“They’re the ones giving you a career, making your life what it is and making your dreams come true. We all started out as punk kids and we learnt how to play guitars and drums just like anybody else.”
Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee ranted in the past few months via social media about how he loathes photos with fans and how unnecessary he perceives it to be, something which the fellow Of Mice And Men drummer is unsure about: “I’m sure Tommy has signed millions of things and he got to a point where he couldn’t walk down the street without being hounded by fans which can affect your life.”
Arteago can empathise with a band of that calibre, but still embraces the ecstasy of the fans’ support. “It’s extremely important to let your fans connect with you in that sense with pictures and signings and stuff like that. The fact that they all want to meet us is like a double gift.”
The band would never charge an absurd amount for a meet and greet; they would rather give you a gigantic packaged deal including shirts, albums, posters and more which includes the meet and greet.
Another band on the Soundwave lineup for 2013 that are enthusiastic to meet fans is Memphis May Fire. They will be joining Of Mice & Men for a sold out tour in the UK in October. “We got really close with them on this summer’s Warped tour and that went all across the US as well as Canada. We’re really excited to go to Europe with them and will definitely do more shows together.”
With Sidewaves being announced for a few cities of the East Coast during the Soundwave festival, Tino would love to get a gig going with Memphis May Fire. “If they give us the opportunity, we will certainly jump to it.” Time to put the pressure to Soundwave boss AJ Maddah…
Of Mice & Men will be heading to Australia in late February to perform at all five sold out capital cities for Soundwave. If you were quick enough to get your ticket, this is what you should brace yourself for.
“We’re going to come over there and kick your ass – give you the performance that makes you feel like you were very much a part of it. We strive to make our shows memorable and push ourselves. You’re going to see the best of us and the best Of Mice And Men have ever been.”
The deluxe version of The Flood is out now through Shock. Of Mice And Men play Soundwave Festival 2013 next February. Full dates and details here.
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