In a new interview with Finnegan “Finn” McKenty of The Punk Rock MBA, OF MICE & MEN bassist/vocalist Aaron Pauley spoke about the musical direction of the band’s upcoming album “Tether”, which is due on October 6 via SharpTone. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I think there’s some material that’s maybe touching on things we haven’t done, but I think largely what we wanted to do was sort of take our sound or what we feel like our best qualities and distill that into our eighth album. I think it sort of presents itself with a unique challenge of how do we offer the audience something new but with familiar flavors and with a familiar history. So when you listen to it, it still has a very sort of nostalgic feeling to it, I think. And I think it had that for us creating it. It reminded us, sort of, of being back in the 2013 studio where it’s, like, ‘All right, let’s figure out what we’re doing now,’ like working on (2014’s) ‘Restoring Force’ or whatnot. And I think there’s a lot of stuff that’s going to excite fans that have been with us for a long time.”
Asked if that means that fans can expect something super heavy from the “Tether” album, Aaron responded: “There are moments that get super heavy. It’s interesting, ’cause I feel like I see that a lot, but then we’ll release something that’s not super heavy that focuses more on like the emotional aspect of the song and that seems to resonate way more with people that listen to it in higher numbers, but that don’t necessarily take their time to tweet me about it. So it’s super interesting. I’d say of all the records, it’s probably closest to ‘Restoring Force’. That’d be my guess. If I took myself out of it and just objectively looked at all of our other albums and said, ‘Oh, which is this most like?’ I think it’s most like that one. Truthfully.”
Pauley mixed and mastered “Tether” while drummer Valentino Arteaga designed and painted the album’s artwork.
“With this one, we weren’t really focused on how it sounded as much as we focused on how it felt,” Pauley explained in a press release. “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.”
In a separate interview with Outburn, Pauley elaborated on OF MICE & MEN‘s mindset while writing “Tether”, saying: “I honestly think it’s chasing the exciting moments when we are collaborating and writing music. It becomes easy, especially as you achieve some success. It’s very easy to choose that as a model, but you end up getting too formulaic with things. Whereas we try to focus on the excitement factor when we’re writing together, and not always just writing exciting sounding songs, but chasing those little moments where a spark of creativity happens where two people’s ideas combined become greater than the sum of both.”
“We wholeheartedly love to create music,” Arteaga added. “We are all musicians at the start of the day, and I believe we all admire and respect each other’s artistic integrity since we are able to be in a creative group or band together. For us, being creative musicians is what keeps us going and the fact that we can bounce ideas off each other. It may not be the most amazing concept, but the exciting part is sharing it and witnessing someone else’s excitement. Then we extrapolate and fall down a few rabbit holes to develop something we never thought was possible. That has been the case since the beginning. Whenever we are writing music or creating something, we use each other as a barometer for excitement.”
OF MICE & MEN will hit the road this fall with BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE and VENDED.