Of Mice & Men’s Aaron Pauley talks band’s post-Austin Carlile era: “Music is how we actually deal with things

Credit: Lindsey ByrnesThis week, Of Mice & Men dropped a new song called “Back to Me,” the second track the band has released since frontman Austin Carlile left the group late last year, following “Unbreakable.” Bassist Aaron Pauley, who now handles lead vocals in Of Mice & Men, explains that both tracks were written in the wake of Carlile’s departure.

“When Austin left the band, while fans might see that as a Wikipedia entry in the chronology of the band somewhere, that was a life event for us, this is our life,” Pauley tells ABC Radio. “Music is how we actually deal with things, it’s how we cope, it is our therapy.”

Perhaps surprisingly, both “Back to Me” and “Unbreakable” carry inspirational, uplifting tones, focusing more on overcoming an obstacle than being hindered by it.

“A lot of it comes from the sincerity of knowing that, like, ‘OK guys, if we buckle down we can do this,'” Pauley says.

“Then I think the other half of it is, ‘I hope we can do this!'” he laughs. “‘Let’s write the fight song to get our spirits up and get the rally going.'”

Pauley and the rest of Of Mice & Men didn’t want to continue unless they knew they could keep the quality of the music on par with their older material.

“We told each other that we were not going to continue this unless we felt like we could still deliver an Of Mice & Men show, still deliver an Of Mice & Men song,” Pauley says. “That was super important to us.”

“‘Cause we do know that there is a certain level of showmanship or sonic quality that our fans expect from us,” he adds. “So for us, everybody’s kinda stepped up to try and deliver that as best we can.”

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