In an interview with The Sound Lab at this year's Reading Festival, drummer Valentino Arteaga of California rockers OF MICE & MEN shared how the band's music has developed since its 2009 formation, including on the group's forthcoming sixth studio album, "Earthandsky". The LP will be the second to feature bassist Aaron Pauley as lead vocalist following the 2016 departure of Austin Carlile.
"It's really hard to look at it as a scope of ten years," he said (see video below). "We tend to look at it on an album-per-album basis. It's like a self-reflection of, 'Okay, well, the last album we pushed ourselves to create something powerful.' And kind of, like, let's take for example, 'Defy', working together with the producer Howard Benson and mixer extraordinaire Chris Lord-Alge; they are two of the most sought-after and innovators of the modern rock and metal sound dating back to the '90s when they developed this sonic prestige, I guess, and precision of sound. When we worked with them, we really wanted to have more of a wider sonic variety of music to learn things from the producer and have them challenge ideas that we wouldn't normally get. Whenever we work with producers, we look at them as we're the team and they're the coach. They come in and we do what we do good, but we look to the coach in order to kind of like bring it all together and kind of tell us, be a gauge for us. So, we did 'Defy' with Howard Benson and after that, after we went out on tour and toured that album, we kind of self-reflected on the music and we're, like, 'It just seems like our fans, our audience, they just want to mosh. They want to go crazy. They want to do what we want to do.' A lot of times we'll work with the producer and we'll just try different things."
He continued: "After touring the album 'Defy' and going on a couple of album headliner runs, we really saw what was connecting with our audience and what our audience looks at us to create, and what they enjoy and what they want to come to spend their time rocking out. That's important to us too. We love doing it as much as they love coming and watching and being a part of it. That's why 'Earthandsky' turned out the way that it did. We took what we felt like were some of the strongest and best parts of what 'Defy' was, then taking a self-reflection and all of the OF MICE & MEN albums and songs that we play in our setlist or older songs we've added into our setlist. We'll never write the same song twice, but there is a way of capturing energy through music and being able to say it in a different way."
"Earthandsky" will be released on September 27 via Rise Records.