Of Mice and Men

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It'€™s been a while since I last caught up with the boys in Of Mice & Men and I got the opportunity to do so again at Warped Tour this summer. Since our interview, the cofounder of the band Jaxin Hall has announced he has left the band which now leaves the band with out their founding members. It doesn'€™t mean an end though. Really in my eyes, it'€™s just going to make them stronger. Being on a huge tour this winter with fellow management mates Attack Attack and a band sure to have lots under wraps, you won'€™t stop hearing their name any time soon.

With insane crowds every day on the tour and seeing their audience grow from our first time around back in February, this band won'€™t be going anywhere and have plans to continue touring in support of the debut effort. In our interview, I had the chance to catch up with Shayley, Tino and former member Jaxin where we joked about their Warped shenanigans, plans for new videos and the, at the time '€œrumored'€ Attack Attack tour. Read on to catch a glance at a band I'€™ve been extremely lucky to watch grow over these past few months, you won'€™t regret it!

So clearly a lot has gone on since we last talked even though it'€™s only been a few months. We can just skip it over, obviously Jerry is the lead screamer now. How has that helped you guys on Warped Tour with the change?
Shayley: Um, his stage performance definitely like brings a new element to our band because we all pretty much rock our hearts out every day but him bringing just his sarcasm with his body language and just having fun. Kids just love it. They just soak it up and he'€™s an amazing screamer and person.
Tino: I love it because I'€™m sitting behind the drums and I don'€™t really get to interact too much with the fans other than like making faces and pointing at him and stuff but it'€™s cool to see like him doing a front flip out into the crowd or like climbing up on to something or just really vibing off the whole front line. It really pushes everybody to give that live show and to really try and bring it to the next level to give kids something that they go and they'€™re like '€˜oh I'€™m watching a show'€™. I'€™m not listening to a perfect CD rendition of their songs. Like I came to see them perform live and then I feel like with the chemistry that the band has now, the band can really bring that to fans and have a good live show that kids enjoy.

Then last time we talked it was the beginning of the Emptiness tour so the record hadn'€™t come out yet. Now that it'€™s been out for a few months, how has it been doing? I know you guys were stoked to have it come out!
Jaxin: The album? Yeah well the album'€™s been doing great you know like I'€™ve always said that if we sold one copy of our album, I would have been stoked. In complete honesty just because it'€™s the fact that it was real and that it came out and we all sat down in that little practice space for those months and we came out with that record. We'€™re all so proud of it and we put so much of ourselves into it that just the fact that it was released at all, it blows all of our minds. So the fact that so many people have gone out and bought it so far and it was like the biggest debut album released on Rise, like first week sales and stuff. That was huge for us so we'€™re so grateful that everyone wants to go out and buy it, it'€™s just like I said blowing our minds that we made something and people really like it as much as they did and it'€™s amazing.

And then video wise, you'€™ve put out the video for '€˜Second & Sebring'€™ and I know you'€™ve put one out for '€˜Those in Glass Houses'€™. If you could pick any other track, what'€™s the craziest video concept you could think of?
Tino: Gosh! Wait, what was the question?
I know you have two videos out for '€˜Second & Sebring'€™ and '€˜Those in Glass Houses'€™. If you were to pick another track off the record.
Shayley: Oh um, I mean that'€™s a toughie. There'€™s like a lot of songs like '€˜Tommy Clayton and the Rawdawg Millionaire'€™ and maybe '€˜Westbound & Down'€™. Those are the songs I feel like would be a good pick but I don'€™t know like kids are really liking '€˜This One'€™s For You'€™ too so I don'€™t know man! It'€™s really tough.
Tino: It'€™s also a little difficult because we have a new vocalist who doesn'€™t sound like Austin so we don'€™t want to put forth a video with some one else screaming while Jerry'€™s supposed to be screaming.
Jaxin: Unless we'€™re like making fun of it. We got some cool ideas that you know like maybe we could, with out having to re-record any of our songs, still be able to realistically do a video. You know the two other videos are pretty serious and if you come watch us live or know us personally or follow our twitters or anything you know that not one of us are very serious when it comes to much at all so it would be really cool to do something really fun and maybe will surprise every body with something that works. That'€™s very of Mice and Men.

Then this is your first time on Warped I believe as a band. How has it been going for you guys, even though it'€™s only just begun?
Shayley: It'€™s '€¦ phenomenal. Like dream come true and like me and Tino especially. Like we'€™ve been fighting since day one as kids just struggling doing this music thing. Just going to warped tour dreaming and looking at Underoath and wishing and wishing and seeing that crowd that we used to think was big and now we'€™re on stage looking at kids like us that have the same dream and it'€™s just breathtaking. I don'€™t know what else to say.
Tino: First Warped Tour was ten years ago and I'€™ve been to it almost every year since then. As a fan going to shows and buying the shirts and supporting the bands and dying of heat and not getting enough water and trying to sneak under a merch tent for shade and to actually be here performing for exactly how Shay said it for kind of like me. Where I was ten years ago, it'€™s completely a dream come true.

And then where can kids find you at the Warped Tour this summer? What stage are you playing, are you guys doing signings, what'€™s going on?
Jaxin: Well we'€™re playing on the Skullcandy stage and it'€™s been a really, really good stage. There'€™s some really great bands on there too like Confide is playing on the stage and In Fear and Faith and they'€™re both really great friends of ours and there'€™s some other great bands. Bands that I haven'€™t actually seen play before like..who'€™s the band that I was watching the other day?
Tino: Tomorrow'€™s Bad Seeds.
Shayley: Yeah, Tomorrow'€™s Bad Seeds. Like this sick reggae band where we were just like '€˜Damn these guys are sick!'€™
Tino: It'€™s being on a stage and sharing it with different types of musical genres. There'€™s the screaming and then there'€™s like pop and there'€™s some electro stuff and then like some dancey punk stuff and then some reggae. It'€™s a really eclectic blend of bands on the stage and it really brings like to the kids who are kind of lingering around after our set or something just to actually hear a band that they wouldn'€™t actually have taken the time to listen to on their own and that'€™s what kind of what Warped tour does. It brings all these different genres of bands and you catch one and you'€™re like '€™oh that kind of sounds cool'€™ and you find a band that you had never heard of.

I believe you have a tour coming up with Attack Attack. Is that rumor true?
Tino: That'€™s a pretty good rumor.
Shayley: I mean I hope that'€™s true. I think we hope it'€™s true but who knows? We'€™ll see what happens!
So besides that, what'€™s going on with you guys post Warped Tour? Is there anything you can talk about yet?
Jaxin: Yeah, well we have a fall Europe tour with August Burns Red and blessthefall which is going to be great because we'€™ve toured with blessthefall before and they'€™re great guys so we'€™re looking forward to hanging out with them again and obviously we get to go to Europe with a band like August Burns Red who I know all of us like have looked up to kind of coming up through our musical careers. They'€™re an amazing band and to have an opportunity to play with a band that big and on a platform like Europe, that'€™s ridiculous! Like it does not seem real so that'€™s what we'€™re doing. We have a little break and then we go do that and then we come back and hopefully have that tour you were talking about.

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