OF MICE & MEN
Gold-selling hard rockers Of Mice & Men — Aaron Pauley (bass + vocals ), Valentino Arteaga (drums), Alan Ashby (guitar), and Phil Manansala (guitar) — will issue their new album Tether on October 6 via SharpTone.
“Indigo is about questioning why the sky would choose to be blue if it had the choice to be anything else — blue also meaning sad,” states Pauley. “It’s about comforting a loved one in a time of loss by telling them you feel blue, too.”
Taking all creative matters into their own hands, the Southern California quartet self-produced and engineered all of the songs on Tether, their astonishing eighth album. Pauley mixed and mastered the album while Arteaga designed and painted the album’s artwork. As a legion of devoted listeners worldwide has come to expect, guitarists Phil Manansala and Alan Ashby, Aaron, and Tino poured their hearts and souls into every note, creating another sonic document of their lives.
“With this one, we weren’t really focused on how it sounded as much as we focused on how it felt,” Pauley explains. “And that’s a weird thing to do when all you’re working with is sound. But that was really the goal. And we walked away from making it, feeling like we’ve accomplished that.”
OM&M take sobering looks at depression, anxiety, loneliness, and existential dread, powering through the darkness, and emphasizing the importance of creativity as a balm for mental health. A commanding tempest of sounds coalesces within Of Mice & Men, blending the uplifting eloquence of modern active rock with the atmospheric dissonance of experimental post-rock. The band first emerged as part of a vanguard of future aggressive rock hitmakers. Over the years, they’ve distinguished themselves with musicality, creative ambition, and resilient determination.
Album eight is no less ambitious. Tether is anchored by a reflective meditation on what it means to draw together as friends, family men, artists, and bandmates. What does it mean to be there for the people who depend on us, knowing we can’t fully protect them from the hardships of life?
Tether is the next step in OM&M’s evolution, combining their core sound with experimental and ethereal sound designs. The creative process focused on the excitement of discovery rather than preconceived “goals.” Pursuing the moments when the elusive “x factor” reveals itself in the songs. Those moments are palpable in songs like Integration, Warpaint, Enraptured and Indigo.
The Of Mice & Men core since 2016 – Aaron, Alan, Tino, and Phil – maintain a powerful bond with their audience and each other, no matter the obstacles. Whether a powerful anthem or atmospheric confession, their songs translate in intimate clubs and massive festivals. “It’s about creating moments for people,”Pauley says. “Music is the soundtrack to people’s lives.”
Of Mice & Men will hit the road in North America later this year with Bullet For My Valentine and Vended.
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